Tag Archives: Marilyn Little

Little Leaps to Another Victory in $132k Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3* at Tryon

Marilyn Little and Clearwater. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – July 7, 2018 – Marilyn Little (USA) and Clearwater maintained their winning streak for the week, this time in the $132,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3* to highlight Tryon Summer IV competition, blazing through the short-course timers in 45.818 seconds. Fernando Cardenas Jr. (COL) and Quincy Car, the 2004 Oldenburg stallion (Galiani Car x Amour Parfait), claimed second after clearing the timers in 49.463 seconds, while Sydney Shulman (USA) and Villamoura, a 2009 Warmblood mare (Diamant de Semilly x Kasina) owned by Jill Shulman, finished third on a fast 43.939 second jump-off round with just the last rail down.

“He was really on fire in the first round,” Little said of the 2007 Holsteiner gelding (Clearway x Come On) owned by Karen O’Connor. “He was very aggressive. He had a very fast class on Thursday, and as I said, I’ve just got him really strong and really fit coming in here and he was on fire tonight. He loves showing at night and he is a great night horse. He felt the energy and was totally amped when he walked in there, so I had a lot of horse on my hands.”

Little continued, “It made it a little hard going into the jump-off, but I knew that I could just have a nice easy clear and still slip ahead because he’s such a fast horse, but if I had done that, Clearwater would’ve known something was up, so I just came to the first jump like I always do, let him find it and turn him loose, and he was like ‘Okay I got this.’ He was easier to ride through the jump-off.”

Thirty entries toured the course designed by Alan Wade (IRL), with four horse-and-rider pairs returning to fly around the short track. Little complimented Wade’s building, emphasizing his attention to detail and evaluation of the field.

“This week is a huge victory for me because I haven’t seemed to have so much luck with and I’ve really had to learn how to ride Alan Wade’s courses. They’ve always been a real learning experience and this week the courses were definitely challenging, but I loved them,” she said. “I don’t have anything bad to say about them. I think they were very technical. In this ring, the footing is fantastic, the lighting is excellent and the jumps are beautifully presented, but being square, it can become difficult if they build into the corners.

“Alan is such a ring craftsman. He knows exactly how he’s using the ring in addition to how he’s using his course,” Little continued. “His courses are always a little deceptively tricky. We watched the first few and everybody thought he under built, but you always just have to sit there and wait because the more you study them, the more it’s like ‘Oh my gosh. There’s a lot to this.’ It’s wonderful when there isn’t just one difficult spot; the rails really came for people all over the course.”

Following her win in the $35,000 1.50m Welcome Stake on Thursday, Little credited Clearwater’s technical skill for their success and said that the same talent helped them prevail. “As I said the other day, my horse is really great at the technical aspect of things and he was just on this week and fresh and ready to go. What a fun week it was with him!”

After a busy winter circuit in Florida, Little is keeping things light with Clearwater and choosing shows that suit him best. “We did a lot during Florida and I just had an unlucky winter circuit. I won a couple in the beginning and then I just decided that I needed to go home, re-group, train a little bit, let him get fresh and start over again. I think we’re just going to keep going and I’m going to show him when he feels like he’s really peaking, not just show because there’s a show I want to go to and we’ll play it by ear.”

Little, a multi-discipline athlete who is also preparing for September’s FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 as a member of the Land Rover US Eventing Team, revealed that continuing Clearwater’s jumping career is critical to her preparation. “I only have one eventing horse, so this is really how I stay sharp and all of my horses are my support team for the Eventing as well. I have to keep going with him and I need him, but I’m starting to find the balance for what’s right for him and it’s really paying off.”

Please visit www.tryon.com or call (828)-863-1000 for more information.

Little and Clearwater Conquer $35,000 1.50m Welcome Stake CSI 3* at TIEC

Marilyn Little and Clearwater. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – July 5, 2018 – Marilyn Little (USA) and Clearwater scooped up a win in the $35,000 1.50m Welcome Stake CSI 3* to officially open FEI Tryon Summer IV competition at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), sweeping through the short-course timers in 31.617 seconds. Aaron Vale (USA) and Major, a 2007 Danish Warmblood gelding (Carmargue x A’khan Z), claimed second place after clearing the jump-off in 32.701 seconds, while Samuel Parot (CHI) and Thriller P, a 2004 Swedish Warmblood stallion (Cardento x Lucky Light) finished third on a fast, four-fault round of 31.416 seconds.

A total of 39 entries contested the first-round track set by Alan Wade (IRL), with seven pairs welcomed back for the short test. After watching both Parot and Vale’s performances, Little and the 2007 Holsteiner gelding (Clearway x Come On) put in a quick and clean round that could not be beat.

“It’s always exciting to ride one of Alan’s courses,” said Little of the competitive class. “He does an incredible job and they’re always extremely technical and challenging. I think he usually evaluates the field that he has very well. Today’s was a well-planned course and there were not too many clear. It’s a step up for the 3* week, which was nice and it was a lot of fun.”

Little further elaborated about the course’s technical nature, which plays to Clearwater’s strengths. “There was a center line that was quite difficult – [Wade] included three doubles today and he does that somewhat regularly. It really allows the course to be even more technical. The doubles really caught a lot of people out, but my horse is very technically able. He’s really easy to ride and when I see those kinds of lines in a course, it’s definitely to his advantage,” she explained. “He’s a very quick horse in the jump-off.”

“I knew that with that group of people, whether some had rails or not, I’d have to put in a personal best to win,” Little described, noting the day’s stiff competition. “Clearwater is very fast, and he was really excited to be here, too, since it’s his first week here this summer. He’s had a lot of good rounds in this ring, so we’re looking forward to Saturday’s [Grand Prix].”

Little has been keeping things light with Clearwater in the Jumping discipline while she focuses on preparing her FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) mount, RF Scandalous, after the duo was recently being named to the Land Rover USA Eventing Team Short List for the event.

“I was last here for The Fork. But recently, I took Clearwater to Upperville in June and then to a small national show to give him an easy round. He won that and so we haven’t been doing a ton, but I’m just trying to choose well-planned, well-timed shows and not push it leading up to September.”

In addition to preparing and maintaining her horses, Little is also still mindful of an older, but serious foot injury and has recently completed a six-month stint in a boot, she added. “It’s pretty good. I expected by now to have had surgery. I did spend six months in the boot, which had I known I was going to be in it for that long I would have tried something different, but in the end, it really let it heal. I won’t say it feels normal now, but it’s certainly manageable and I don’t notice it when I’m riding.”

Earlier in the week, the $5,000 1.40m Power & Speed Stake CSI 3* congratulated Javier Fernandez (MEX) and End Good All Good, a 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Mr. Blue x Caretino) for their victory, stopping the short-course timers in 29.316 seconds to best the field of 32.

Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Almighty, a 2008 Hanoverian gelding (Caspar x Quidam De Revel) slid into second place after their 29.569-second jump-off performance, while third place honors went to Mattias Tromp (USA) and the 2009 Dutch Warmblood mare (Harley VDL x Orthos), Eyecatcher, after they completed the short-course in 30.964 seconds.

Please visit www.tryon.com or call (828)-863-1000 for more information.

Marilyn Little Wins Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous (Photo by: Taylor Pence/US Equestrian)

Lexington, Ky. – Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous added another milestone accolade to their resume on Sunday. As the top American combination at the Land Rover® Kentucky Three-Day Event (LRK3DE), they earned the Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship. A six-time competitor of the event, Little reached the LRK3DE podium for the first time with a score of 32.8. In a shocking twist, Great Britain’s Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class placed first with a score of 28.7 to strip Germany’s Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST’s chance of earning their fourth straight title.

“It is a really incredible feeling [to win the National Championship] and be next to Oliver Townend and Michael Jung. For ‘Kitty’ to have this performance this weekend, she just astounds me every day. I’m so blessed to have the opportunity to ride her, and it makes it even more special that [owners] Jacqueline Mars and Phoebe and Michael Manders were here,” said a thankful Little. “The people who brought this horse to this level, the hours, the tears, the time – it’s unimaginable to the outside world [of eventing], but we all feel it intensely in the prize giving ceremony, and it’s a very emotional experience. The partnership with [RF Scandalous] is strong, and I’m grateful for everything I have had with her, and I’m looking forward to the future with her.”

As the heavy favorite, Jung took the early lead in the LRK3DE following the first day of dressage on Thursday with a stellar score of 27.1. However, in an interesting turn of events, Little (Frederick, Md.) and RF Scandalous, a 13-year-old Oldenburg mare, put in a personal best dressage performance of 24.8 to steal the lead from Jung.

“She was a little bit excited with the Friday afternoon atmosphere, which we are familiar with at Kentucky. I was excited to go on Friday afternoon and knew she could handle it well. She was very businesslike, and it was a great ride. She was looking to please and she did her job,” said Little, who has focused heavily on improving Kitty’s dressage scores over the past year.

Not only did Little compete in the LRK3DE, she pulled double-duty and jumped in Friday’s inaugural Kentucky Invitational $35,000 Welcome Speed Cup CSI3* before conquering Saturday’s cross-country course. Little rode Derek di Grazia’s track cautiously, which resulted in eight time penalties, finishing 11 seconds over the time. As a result, they dropped to sixth place with a score of 32.8.

“I was thrilled with her; she jumped all the combinations well and gained confidence with every jump. She held her line great and tried hard. She has a long, lopey stride and was looking to go,” said Little.

Sitting in fourth place, Lynn Symansky (Middleburg, Va.) and The Donner Syndicate LLC’s Donner were the top-placed American combination following cross-country heading into Sunday’s show jumping finale with a score of 31.3. Only four jumping faults separated the top five, and Little and RF Scandalous produced a clean round, which put the pressure on Symansky to jump clean. Unfortunately, they dropped one rail, which moved Little to third place following a clean round by Townend and Cooley Master Class and two rails by Australia’s Christopher Burton and Nobilis 18.

Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) and Z, owned by Thomas Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Ann Jones, and Caroline Moran, were the second highest-placed American combination and placed sixth overall with a score of 33.7 to earn the Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Reserve National Championship. The Rio Olympic individual bronze medalist and Z finished on their dressage score, an impressive feat for the nine-year-old Zangersheide gelding’s first CCI4*.

Edited Press Release from Classic Communications

Little Comes Up Big in Dressage at Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous (Photo by: Taylor Pence/US Equestrian)

Lexington, Ky. – It was no surprise that after the first day of dressage, reigning champions of the Kentucky Three-Day Event, Michael Jung of Germany and fischerRocana FST, were sitting comfortably in first place. However, the second day of dressage did hold some surprises, as American combination Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous took control by turning in a personal best to grab the lead with a 24.8, more than 2 points ahead of Jung’s 27.1. Australia’s Christopher Burton and Nobilis 18 are keeping pace in third with a 27.9.

In addition to her top placement on the international leaderboard, Little (Frederick, Md.) is also currently leading the Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship. Her stunning score is believed to be the lowest in the history of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.

“She gave me a great ride today,” said Little. “She was a little bit excited with the Friday afternoon atmosphere, which we are familiar with at Kentucky. I was excited to go on Friday afternoon and knew she could handle it well. She was very businesslike, and it was a great ride. She was looking to please and she did her job.”

Little calls the 13-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Jacqueline Mars, and Phoebe and Michael Manders, “Kitty.” Kitty served as Little’s mount for the Pan American Games in 2015, where the pair brought home two gold medals.

“She’s been with me for a while, but she’s changed so much,” Little said. “I knew she was capable of putting in a great test today. She’s been steadily improving. We haven’t competed much because we’ve been focusing on training, but I thought if she had a personal best she could be on top today.”

Kim Severson (Charlottesville, Va.) and Cooley Cross Border, an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by The Cross Syndicate, sits in second in the Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship on a score of 28.3. Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Tsetserleg, the 11-year-old Trakehner gelding owned by Christine Turner, and Lauren Kieffer (The Plains, Va.) and Vermiculus, Jacqueline Mars’s 11-year-old Anglo-Arabian gelding, are tied for third on a score of 31.2.

For more information about the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, visit kentuckythreedayevent.com.

Edited Press Release from Classic Communications

Marilyn Little Takes Lead on Day Two at Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

(LEXINGTON, KY) – April 27, 2018 – USA’s Marilyn Little produced a breath-taking dressage test to score an incredible 24.8 and take the lead from defending champion Michael Jung. Partnered with RF Scandalous, a 13-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Jacqueline Mars and Phoebe and Michael Manders, Little looked calm and focused as she entered the arena knowing she needed to achieve under 27.1 to top the leaderboard. Australia’s Christopher Burton laid down the gauntlet earlier in the day to nearly clinch the lead aboard Nobilis 18 securing 27.9, finishing the day in third place.

Marilyn Little commented after her ride, “She gave me a great ride toda;, she was a little excited with the Friday afternoon atmosphere here at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, but then she really focused and did her job. Tomorrow’s course is well presented and Scandalous is a very good cross-country horse, so I am looking forward to it. There are a number of questions on the track but as long as we are prepared I think we will go well.”

“This is a really special weekend for me. I am going to try and enjoy this feeling of the being in the lead for now, as with Michael close behind, I know it might not last!” — Marilyn Little, USA

The cross-country course, described as ‘the best cross-country track in the world’ by Christopher Burton, is set to test the 46 world-class horse and rider pairings as they not only need to cross the finishing line clear, but also need to ride inside the optimum time of 11.03 mins to keep their current scores. Course Designer, Derek di Grazia, carries years of experience and will no doubt have some tricky combinations laid down, with all eyes on the Land Rover Head of the Lake as the riders steer through the famous water complex.

Marty Bauman
Chief Press Officer
Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event
508.698.6810
marty@classic-communications.com

Little Holds Lead Heading into FEI CIC 3* Cross-Country at The Fork

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous. ©ShannonBrinkmanPhotography.

Tryon, NC USA – April 6, 2018 – Marilyn Little (USA) and RF Scandalous were uncatchable on the second day of dressage competition at The Fork at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) and FEI World Equestrian Games™ Eventing Test Event (WEG), remaining in first place position and heading into the cross-country phase with 24.2 penalties. Second place was captured by Kimberly Severson (USA) and Cooley Cross Border on a score of 24.5, while Phillip Dutton (USA) and I’m Sew Ready held a tight grip on the third place position with a 26.4. The FEI CIC 3* competition continues April 7 on the White Oak Course, and concludes on April 8 with show jumping in the George H. Morris Arena.

Little reflected that her strategy for cross-country largely depends on how the 2005 Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold x Lario) reacts in the warm-up.

“I got to see the course yesterday and there are so many fly fences. I’m sure plenty will make the time, and I’m just not sure this is the event to push her. I’m working on rideability and control and it would be easy for the horses to get going out there because [Captain Mark Phillips] is using so many portables. So, we’ll have to see how she warms up. I just rode her down there and back and she’s been pretty calm, so it’s nice to see that she’s changed a lot in a year. We’ll just see how she feels.”

Little has been recovering from a broken foot injury that occurred last November, but wasted no time getting back in the tack just two weeks post the start of the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival, where she went on to compete successfully throughout the course of the circuit. “Initially, when I injured it, they thought I had just broken a lot of bones,” Little explained. “It wasn’t until January that they found there was more damage to the soft tissue. At that point we were getting quite close, so I thought I would try to see if it would heal, and I decided to keep riding and heading in this direction.”

Kimberly Severson of Charlottesville, VA and the Cross Syndicate-owned 2007 Irish Sport Horse gelding, Cooley Cross Border (Diamond Roller x Whos Diaz), snuck into second place after putting in a solid day two dressage test. Severson commented, “He was very good today. I missed both of my flying changes – this has been quite a thing with him and me – but he’s a really good boy and does a good job, and he tries really hard. I am most happy with his rhythm and frame, but we still have little things to fix, like everybody.”

Severson, who has represented the United States at four FEI World Equestrian Games™, commented on the venue in regard to its purposes come September. “I think there’s a lot of room in there [George Morris Arena]. It’s obviously going to feel a little bit smaller with the seating full, but I actually went all the way to the outside and it feels a lot roomier than it has certainly in a number of other WEG locations.”

As she plans a strategy for her run on the cross-country course, Severson also has Kentucky in mind. Much of her goal will be focused on a smooth water ride. She joked, “You mean don’t fall off in the water?! No, I think he’s good. We did two little water schools in the past weeks. He’ll either be really good for it or worse for it, but I actually think he’ll do much better. That’s how I’m going to plan to ride it – the whole thing.”

The 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Bronze Medalist Phillip Dutton moved down one spot from second place standing, but will still enter the cross-country phase in the top three rankings, aboard I’m Sew Ready, the 2004 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Lupicor x Jarda), owned by Kristine and John Norton.

“I was pleased with my tests, but like Kim said, there’s a lot to improve on,” said Dutton. “I haven’t run them a lot, so it is good to see where your training is at and what you’ve got to work on. The cross-country course I think is nice and not overly taxing, which I like at this time of year. The ground’s a bit firm, but I think they’re holding off watering because of the rain coming and I think that ultimately the footing’s going to be really good.”

Dutton is riding a total of three horses across the FEI CIC 3* track, and noted, “[I’m Sew Ready] wouldn’t be the easiest horse I’ve ever had to ride, but we’re just working on getting him reaching in his neck and not being tight in his back. You have to kind of be patient in the warm-up because he doesn’t give you the greatest feel in the beginning, and a lot of times in the past I’ve reacted to that and tried to fix him too quickly, so a long warm-up is good for him because over time he just loosens up anyway. He’s a very quiet horse, so that’s just kind of him. So, I was pleased with yesterday, and had him more forward than I’ve had him and we started to lose a little bit of power at the trot, but otherwise it was good.”

Like his cohorts, Dutton is here in preparation for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018. “I feel that horses go better once they’ve been to an event at least once,” he said, “and you see this a lot at Championships where a brand new course causes a lot of trouble and rides much better the next year. So I think there’s definitely an advantage to being here, and that’s one of the reasons I sent my entry in!”

Please visit www.Tryon2018.com or follow @Tryon2018 on social media for more information.

Little Fights to Preserve Winning Title at The Fork FEI CIC 3*

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous. ©ShannonBrinkmanPhotography.

Tryon, NC USA – April 5, 2018 – Marilyn Little (USA) and RF Scandalous sit atop the leaderboard in the FEI CIC 3* division at The Fork at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), receiving 24.2 penalties on the first day of dressage competition during the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG) Eventing Test Event. Phillip Dutton (USA) and I’m Sew Ready currently hold second with a 26.4, while Jordan Linstedt (USA) and Revitavet Capato round out the top three on a 26.7.

For the second year in a row, Little and the 2005 Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold x Lario) claimed the top spot during the first day of dressage at The Fork, as they strive to maintain their winning record at the event since its relocation to TIEC last year, as they head into their second phase on Saturday. While their position is the same now as it was last year, Little acknowledged that her partner is a much different horse.

“I think RF Scandalous is much more mature than she was a year ago. She went in there today and had some of the best canter work she’s ever done. I was really pleased with her changes. She was perfect. She’s a dream!”

After a graceful start for the duo this spring, Little hopes to go at a more consistent pace throughout the month, keeping “Kitty” active and her fitness level intact as The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event approaches later this month. “This is her final competitive run before Kentucky,” said Little. “I was really thrilled with her today, given that she is incredibly fit right now. My plan was to get her as fit as I could by this time, and then be able to back off a little bit in April and fine tune some things, so she’s coming into this event right where I’d like her to be.”

Thirty-six horse-and-rider combinations will contest the track on Saturday, designed by Course Designer Captain Mark Phillips, who is also responsible for course design at the WEG later this year. Little will strategically map her intentions for her run after she walks the course and confirms a plan for the pair.

“Last year we had a mixed bag of success,” she continued. “The Fork was wonderful for us; that was a great event. I came back in the fall for AECs and that didn’t go so well for me, so there are some things that I would like to accomplish out there.”

Little also plans to use The Fork to prepare the mare, owned by Jacqueline Mars, Robin Parsky, and Michael Manders, for possible WEG contention. “I think it’s a very important prep event for a lot of reasons,” she explained.

“The management and the staff are really allowing the riders to train for WEG here. Not only do we get to keep an eye on things and see where things are going, but everyone has been very sensitive to the horses and the fact that the next time they come in this ring, it will be for that. You saw that today in the amount of time they gave us around the arena before we started the test. I thought that was very kind, and I thought the horses were able to truly settle.”

Eventers from across North America arrived to test the waters at the venue this week, many taking their turn in the George H. Morris Arena on Thursday in anticipation of the prestigious events to come. “Of course, if there are people that couldn’t get here, there are plenty of opportunities to come to the other shows during the summer and I’m sure that we’ll see people taking advantage of that because it’s such a fantastic opportunity for us to have that chance,” concluded Little.

Later in the afternoon, Lynn Symansky of Middleburg, VA and Under Suspection posted the lead in the Advanced-A division with a score of 25.70, while Symansky reigned supreme once more on Donner, claiming the second place position with 28.20 penalties. Boyd Martin of Cochranville, PA and Kyra rounded out the top three on a 28.90.

Will Coleman of The Plains, VA and Obos O’Reilly currently sit in first place in the Advanced-B division on a 24.50, while Lauren Kieffer of Middleburg, VA and Veronica earned a 26.10 to stand in second. Leslie Law of Ocala, FL and The Apprentice follow in third with a score of 27.00.

Please visit www.Tryon2018.com or follow @Tryon2018 on social media for more information.

Marilyn Little and Clearwater Win $130k Suncast Commercial Welcome Stake CSI 5*

Marilyn Little and Clearwater. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – October 19, 2017 – Tryon Fall V continued on Thursday, October 19, at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) with yet another fast-paced victory for Marilyn Little (USA) and Clearwater in the $130,000 Suncast® Commercial Welcome Stake CSI 5*. The pair sped through the jump-off track in a quick 38.941 seconds to secure the victory. Kent Farrington (USA), currently the top ranked show jumper in the world, guided Dublin, a 2007 German Sport Horse gelding (Cobra x Caribik) owned by Farrington and Tanma Corp, to the second place position after stopping the timers in 40.076 seconds. Margie Engle (USA) and Royce, a 2004 Oldenburg stallion (Café Au Lait x Petula) owned by Gladewinds Partners LLC, captured third place with a short-track time of 40.115 seconds.

The afternoon saw 45 horse and rider combinations test the track, cleverly composed by Olaf Peterson Jr. (GER), while eleven combinations returned for the competitive jump-off round.

Of the course, Little said, “I thought Olaf did a beautiful job designing the course today. You have to make the 5* courses complicated and I think he did that with the width of the jumps. It was very technical. There were still a good number clear after the first round and it was a fast jump-off, which I love.”

The George H. Morris Arena is sporting several new jumps specifically made for the CSI 5* week, built by Eric Sassmannshausen and team at U.S. Precision Construction LLC (USPC), a manufacturing company operated by Tryon Equestrian Partners (TEP). Little commented on the freshness of the ring and how new obstacles helped to tune Clearwater’s focus in the ring.

“There are some new jumps out there and the skinny made it so much fun. They all really jumped well, but they went in and definitely noticed the change. Especially those of us that have been showing here for a while. There was a nice combination of filled in jumps and then some airy ones and it really helps keep their attention.”

Little and the 2007 Holsteiner gelding (Clearway x Tricolore-W) owned by Karen O’Connor dominated the Tryon Fall IV $130,000 Suncast® Commercial Grand Prix CSI 3* last week, and are maintaining a solid blue-ribbon streak.

“This is his first 5* week,” Little noted. “I’ve only prepared for this by waiting for him to get older. He’s a 10-year-old now. We’ve been bringing him along and just waiting for him to get stronger. He’s a real technician in terms of his rideability, and that came before his strength to jump the big jumps. He just keeps stepping up as he goes along, and you think ‘maybe this is all there is,’ and then he answers the next questions and I think he’s the real deal.”

Although he is very focused in the ring, Little described the gelding’s personality out of the show ring. “He is a total dude. We call him ‘Dish’, ‘Dishy’, ‘Dirty Dishes’ if he’s bad, and ‘Clean Dishes’ if he’s good. He’s just a total ham. He comes in from the paddock and is filthy. He walks in as a bay horse head-to-toe. He then comes out here and is a true showman.”

She concluded, “I don’t know how Saturday night will conclude, but I know he’s ready and he’s proving he can do it. I’m so proud of him.”

Developing Jumper Championships presented by Spy Coast Farm Pave Road to Future Success

Earlier in the day, the Developing Jumper Championships presented by Spy Coast Farm continued at TIEC in preparation for the final on Saturday, October 21. Amongst the entries moving onto the final rounds in the 5-Year-Old, 6-Year-Old and 7-Year-Old classes is Doug Payne, piloting several mounts, including the 5-year-old Cascor, owned by Stephen Blaunder.

Of the gelding, Payne commented, “This horse was purchased for Eventing, but he’s a great jumper. We brought him over from Holland and broke him here and I’ve done everything with him thus far. What we generally try to do with the horses that are bred to jump, but could also event, is we steer them in what direction suites them the most. We actually just got back from the Young Event Horse Finals at Fair Hill, he’s competed through Training in Eventing, and this is probably the biggest jumping class he’s done.”

Payne is also riding the 6-year-old Quintessence, owned by Jane Dudinsky. “He’s a special horse,” said Payne. “He also has done Eventing. His last competition was at The Fork here in the spring. He’s crazy careful, and while I think he is a good eventer, I think that jumping is going to be where he is best suited. He’s a spectacular horse. I haven’t ridden anything like him. I’m very grateful to have this ride.”

Of the Developing Jumper Series concept, Payne concluded, “I think it’s critical to have these classes. In any sort of developing series, I think it’s critical for the success of this country’s future. At the moment, it’s far less expensive to develop them over in Europe. I think then we are in a pigeonhole for sure because either you’re going to pay an astronomical price for a top-quality horse, or generally the ones for sale are second tier because the best ones are identified early and are not sold. I think for us to have a parallel developmental track, it makes it a bit more economical to get them off the ground and it should follow with a much stronger team in the years to come.”

Lambre and Casino N Continue Success in $35,000 1.45m Power & Speed CSI 5*

The $35,000 1.45m Power & Speed CSI 5* saw top honors awarded to Santiago Lambre (MEX) and Casino N, as the pair dashed through the finish to stake claim on the first FEI class of the week. Lambre and the 2007 Swedish Warmblood gelding (Careful x Nicky), owned by Aurora De Alba, completed the short track in 31.695 seconds, ending the day at the top of the leaderboard.

“I went toward the beginning of the class,” commented Lambre. “I think that helped us a bit because the class was long with over 60 riders. I thought that the course was technical with the double vertical in the second phase, so it wasn’t so easy for us.”

The horse belongs to Lambre’s wife, Aurora, but he took over the ride for her as she is currently expecting a baby. “Casino is for my wife and I started to ride him about 6 months ago. He is a High Amateur horse, and she will start to ride him again when we get to Wellington,” he said.

Second place was captured by Luiz Francisco De Azevedo (BRA) and his own Collin, a 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Colandro x Oberlina) in 32.064 seconds, while Shane Sweetnam (IRL) rounded out the third-place position aboard Don’t Touch Du Bois, a 2009 Belgian Warmblood mare (Kashmir Van Schuttershof x Virginia) owned by Sweet Oak Farm, Spy Coast Farm, and Paul Tracy, stopping timers in 33.284 seconds.

Lambre has had a successful few weeks at TIEC, winning the $35,000 Horseware® Ireland 1.45m Classic CSI 2*, as well as the $35,000 Suncast® Commercial Welcome Stake CSI 2* during Tryon Fall III.

Lambre stated, “We were here for the summer and have been here for the past few weeks. The horses know the arenas and are comfortable here.”

For more information on TIEC, please visit www.tryon.com.

Marilyn Little and Clearwater Win $130k Suncast Commercial Grand Prix CSI 3*

Marilyn Little and Clearwater. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – October 14, 2017 – Tryon Fall IV competition was highlighted at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) with a win for Marilyn Little (USA) and Clearwater, as the pair took top honors ahead of 43 other pairs in the $130,000 Suncast® Commercial Grand Prix CSI 3*. Little and the 2007 Holsteiner gelding (Clearway x Tricolore-W), owned by Karen O’Connor, stopped the short course timers in a brisk 35.32 seconds, while Eve Jobs (USA) took second place aboard her own Charleville, a 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Quasimodo Z x Wickeyville), after completing the jump-off in 35.638 seconds. Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) and H&M Harley VD Bisschop, a 2007 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Dulf Van Den Bisschop x Charisma I), owned by Ludo Philippaerts and Ben Beevers, claimed third place honors, finishing in 36.119 seconds.

The course, designed by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN), saw 44 pairs test the first-round track. Eleven pairs returned for the jump-off round, where Little and Clearwater flew to the top of the leaderboard to claim first place.

Little said she is happy to break her recent streak of “one-fence-itis” with a win. “I haven’t had great luck lately, so I’m happy to break that tonight. This is a great venue for him, and he’s really developed a lot here this summer and in the past year. These have been great classes for him to really step up to being a real horse and a top horse. I can really count on him.

“The footing is fast in here, so you can really take a shot at it, and so he’s a really fun horse to ride in the jump-off,” she continued.

The pair was last to go after jump-off rounds that kept getting faster throughout the short course, and Little admitted there was some pressure to perform against the other top riders. She was followed closely by young U.S. talent Eve Jobs and European standout Nicola Philippaerts.

“There were so many in the jump-off. I thought Beezie was quite fast, and that I’d be trying to beat her, and then they just kept getting faster and faster,” she said. “That’s a little how the class went tonight overall. I knew I was going to have to go in and put in a personal best, and if we did that, he would win because he’s so fast.”

Little and Clearwater will contest the $380,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* next week for the first time together, and Little reported that this win is a real confidence boost. The duo then plans to head to Wellington, FL for their winter circuit, where Little will look to compete in the top classes during the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

“From here, he will go to Wellington and will hopefully be a real contender there. He was an eventer initially, tried some jumpers and we decided to see how far he could go. It’s been a wonderful ride for us both and he’s a really special horse,” she concluded.

Amber Harte (USA) was presented with the FEI Leading Lady Jumper Rider Award presented by Meg Atkinson of Town & Country Realtors after accumulating the most points throughout the week of FEI competition. Marilyn Little’s groom, Daniel Aranda, received the $500 Absorbine Grooms’ Award as groom for the evening’s winning mount.

Karen Polle and Little Lord 90 Cruise to $35,000 Horseware® Ireland 1.45m Speed Stake CSI 3* Win

The $35,000 1.45m Horseware® Ireland Speed Stake CSI 3* saw Karen Polle (JPN) and her own Little Lord 90 streak to the top of the honor roll as they completed the course in a blazing 64.82 seconds. Just behind her in second place was Daniel Bluman (ISR) aboard his own Bacara D’Archonfosse, a 2007 Belgian Warmblood mare (ASCA Z x Queen D’Archonfosse), finishing in 64.92 seconds, while Brianne Goutal (USA) took third place honors aboard Fineman, a 2003 Swedish Warmblood gelding (Feliciano x Kotiljong II) owned by Rose Hill Farm, stopping the timers at 65.47 seconds.

“Today went really well,” said Polle. “I was lucky. The lines just came up really nice for me and it was perfect. My horse is really quick and has a lot of foot speed, so I just had to guide him around,” she said of the 2005 Holsteiner gelding (Lasino x Remini).

Polle mentioned that her trainer, Rodrigo Pessoa, encouraged her to push herself in some spots throughout the course. “The first line I walked a forward eight and it ended up being really steady for me, and then on the second line I was going to do nine [strides] but my trainer, Rodrigo, told me to do eight. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it, but I did, even though it was a little long.”

The pair has been together since April so the gelding is still relatively new to her. “He’s such a trier; he has such a good heart. He’s so fast, so he’s really fun. I just kind of zip around on him,” she said.

“He’s sort of a 1.45m or 1.50m horse, so this class is his specialty. I hope we’ll keep getting better and better at these,” she concluded. “This was my best placing this week, so it’s been the highlight so far!”

For more information on TIEC, please visit www.tryon.com.

Marilyn Little Maintains Lead in USEA Advanced Gold Cup Division

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – September 2, 2017 – The fourth day of the 2017 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Land Rover and Nutrena® saw another large group of divisions conclude with impressive show jumping rounds, while the remaining horse and rider combinations tackled their cross-country courses at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Riders from the Novice divisions and a single Preliminary division were honored and recognized with final awards, while the Beginner Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced divisions will conclude Sunday, September 3.

Adequan® USEA Advanced Gold Cup

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous produced a double clear show jumping round to keep a tight hold on their lead in front of an enthusiastic crowd, as they head into the final phase of cross-country in the Adequan® USEA Advanced Gold Cup division. The pair made easy work of the track underneath the lights to remain on their score of 27.8.

“I’ve jumped a lot of classes in this ring, and it’s been a lucky ring for me so far,” said Little. “I hope I get luckier, but it’s been a great experience. It’s special to get to bring Scandalous in here to take center stage; she deserves this so it’s cool for me.”

In preparation for jumping under the lights, Little arranged for RF Scandalous, a 12-year-old Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold x Richardia) owned by Jacqueline Mars, Robin Parsky, and Phoebe & Michael Manders, to travel with her show jumping string to Balmoral Park in Chicago, IL to contest an evening class.

“I actually drove her to Chicago so I could do a night class. I was really glad that I did because it also affected her quite seriously in the warm-up area. She’s just a smart horse and she was a little nervous in the ring under the lights last time, so I didn’t know if she was still going to be that way, but, she’s such a smart horse and she’s a good partner, so she took what she learned and came out really solid tonight.”

Jennie Brannigan continues to sit in second place aboard her longtime and veteran mount Cambalda, a 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse by Balda Beau out of Cathys Lady and is owned by Nina Gardner. Brannigan, who managed an unusually sensitive “Ping” in the warm-up, encountered some trouble before heading into the ring, but produced a nearly foot perfect round to hold their placing on the leaderboard.

“I had an interesting warm-up. I don’t think I’ve ever jumped that horse under the lights before. He was quite fresh and I thought that was going to be a good thing. I warmed up with Phillip and he was building square oxers. I don’t know if it was the combination of the lights, but I crashed into a jump and fell on my hand,” she explained.

“I know that horse well and I haven’t had a bad warm-up like that ever, but he jumped well, so that’s good. He’s consistent, so I was a little worried about what he was going to do, but he jumped great once we got out in the ring.”

Angela Bowles traveled all of the way from the state of Texas to contest the 2017 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Land Rover and Nutrena® and was thrilled with her rise up the leaderboard on Bliss III, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Corland x Lenja) owned by Alyssa Phillips. The pair was holding fifth place following dressage, but a strong show jumping round propelled them up the leaderboard where they now occupy third place.

“I’ve been helping Alyssa with Bliss since we imported the horse about three years ago, and I’ve ridden her on and off throughout that time as Alyssa has been transitioning from high school to college. I recently retired my upper level horse and Alyssa has been super busy with school. She has two other horses to ride, so she was really gracious to let me have the ride on her,” explained Bowles. “We targeted this because we were qualified, so we came and I’ve show jumped the horse a lot. I like to do ‘A’ shows in Texas and I’ve done a couple of grand prix classes on the mare. I did the Wellington Eventing Showcase on the mare, so I know her very well and it’s a big atmosphere.”

The pair’s last Advanced level outing together was at The Colorado Horse Park earlier in the month, so Bowles is excited to test the track at TIEC to better gauge where their blossoming partnership stands. She added, “I’m going to go have another look around the course tomorrow. I don’t know the mare as well at this level, so our first Advanced cross-country was a month ago in Colorado. I’m going to get out there in the morning and then make a plan from there.”

Boehringer Ingelheim Open Intermediate

Jennie Brannigan has been busy gathering top finishes across multiple divisions throughout the week, and called this afternoon’s cross-county run a success. “Today was good. I ate some Mexican food, took a nap and woke up to watch Lynn and Donner ride at Burghley on the replay, and I was like, ‘All right, let’s go fast.’ And they’re both cool horses. They’re both only seven years old.

“I’ve always believed in Twilightslastgleam. He loves cross-country and is a Thoroughbred, so he’s quite natural at it. He’s got a smaller step, so there’s a lot of options for doing different strides on this course, so I actually did one set of strides on one horse and one on the other, which is different for me,” she commented.

Brannigan learned that Twilightslastgleam had risen the ranks to first place while she was already on course with FE Lifestyle. “You’re always wondering whether to go for time or not. On FE Lifestyle I knew I was tied for first, but on Twilightslastgleam I wasn’t sure, and then I decided to have a crack at it anyway,” she said. “So we’ll see how tomorrow goes. Both of these are exciting horses for the Gardiners, because we need the future, and they are the future, and it’s cool to see them stepping up to the game and into the spotlight,” she concluded.

Charlotte Collier, aboard Parker Collier’s Clifford M, an 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Cristo x Naomi IV), sits in third after finishing with 3.6 time penalties on cross-country, improving her first day rank by two.

Novice Horse

The Novice Horse division saw Booli Selmayr and Thomas Duggan’s Kildare’s MHS Tampa, a 5-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (Quintender x Lady Ligustra)remain in first place throughout all three phases of competition to finish on top of the division.

“The course today was so nice,” said Selmayr. “It flowed so nicely, made you think a little and not just gallop around. It tests the obedience and the stamina of the horse.”

Despite only working with this horse since the spring, Selmayr says that the young mare has taken to the atmosphere of Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) remarkably well.

“We got here Monday after a 15.5-hour drive from NY, so I was interested in seeing how she was going to be this weekend. It’s such a big atmosphere and she’s just five, but she’s been so calm the whole time. She’s such a competitor and she’s such a workhorse. She doesn’t really get flustered by anything,” she explained.

Next, the pair will finish off the year with Young Horse Championships at Fair Hill. “After that we will take her down to Aiken, and I definitely think she can do a 1* next year. She’s a classy mare and she has the breeding to be a top-level horse, and as long as she’s still happy doing that, that’s what we are going to do.”

Ashley Giles and her own Chayenne, a 6-year-old Trakehner mare (Elfado x Charima), also stayed consistent throughout all three phases to finish in second place. Giles explained that she qualified for this week’s competition aboard Chayenne after competing and winning their first show together with a broken back.

“I got this mare back in November and I was coming back from a three-year eventing hiatus. I started bonding with her, and then we entered our first horse trial. The day beforehand, I broke my back and didn’t figure it out until after I’d competed. She’s a fabulous horse and won that horse trial, and then we qualified, which was our goal all along.”

Coming into the course, Giles was feeling the pressure, she said, but her mount performed beautifully nonetheless. “She was fabulous yesterday, and I thought the cross-country course was super fun, and I loved [how it twisted]. It was super fun to ride. I had never been sitting in this position before going into the final phase, so I was pretty nervous going into show jumping, but she went in, and she did her job. She’s a brilliant horse. Every day that I get to sit on her, I feel lucky,” she concluded.

Jennie Brannigan rode Justine Dutton’s Arctic Tiger, a 5-year-old British Sport Horse, to a third-place finish, moving up from their previously-held fourth place rank and posting two double clear rounds.

“Unfortunately Justine is hurt, so she asked me to take the ride. I had only sat on him twice before this week, and it’s his first AEC, so I know that she was really happy. I’m happy that she trusts me enough to take him out,” said Brannigan. “He’s a great mover, and this was a lot, since it’s a big atmosphere. He was a little nervous out on cross-country, but I was really impressed with him today. He went out and stepped up to the plate,” she concluded.

Novice Amateur

Bailey Snyder and her own Corina, a 7-year-old Holsteiner mare (Acorino x Phaedre), cruised through the show jumping phase to remain at the top of the Novice Amateur division, maintaining the first-place slot they had occupied since Thursday’s dressage test.

“Going into dressage she was just being a star, despite the weather and the rain, and she put in a really good test followed by a super confident cross-country round, so today there was definitely some pressure,” she said. “It’s a great division and scores were all really high, so my goal was to just go in and do the best we could. It was awesome and she was a super star.”

The pair has been climbing the ranks in eventing since Corina came to Snyder as an unbroken four-year-old, and she’s excited to see where they go from here.

“I’m going into my senior year of college, so my goal with her is to just keep her happy and healthy. I’m up for whatever she is confident enough to do. We’ve got an easy fall planned after this, and then we will look to the spring to get to some good shows that we can travel to and see some more exciting venues. We will definitely come back to Tryon to see what she can take on. She’s still a young horse so we are trying to get her more confident and ready to move up,” she concluded.

Savannah Welch and her own Langcaster, an 8-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Languster x Galiffi), maintained her second-place status throughout the week despite a hectic effort to save her horse from the path of Hurricane Harvey. “We are from Houston, so we kind of just threw the horse in the trailer and say ‘we are leaving NOW,’ two days early,” she said.

“It takes him a while to get used to everything because he is also young and is still learning how to settle in with situations like this. With dressage, he did everything right, and I couldn’t have asked more of him,” she commented. “We bought him as a four-year-old that didn’t really know anything and my trainer and I have taken him along, improving his scores and working on his confidence. Now we are just taking his education step by step.”

As a senior in college, Welch said it’s sometimes difficult to keep a strict competition schedule, but she plans to end her fall strong, adding, “Maybe we’ll compete in more Novices and hopefully move up to Training next year,” she concluded.

Krissy Smith Shellenberger and her own Invictus, a 7-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Ibisco x Viness SH) rose from fourth place to claim the third-place slot with a four-fault show jumping round.

Novice Rider

Ryan Bell and Way Jose, a 14-year-old Thoroughbred (Jose x Riverside Charmer) owned by Karen Czarick, climbed to the top of the leaderboard in the Novice Rider division at the 2017 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Land Rover and Nutrena®. Bell, a dressage competitor that recently began eventing, won the division on his dressage score of 25.8.

“I was a dressage rider and I got bucked off a couple of dressage horses, so I got a little nervous riding my own horses and I thought ‘Okay, I really need to push myself out of my comfort zone.’ So, what’s more out of a dressage rider’s comfort zone than eventing? So here we are,” commented Bell. “It feels amazing,” he continued. “I’m a little shocked because I didn’t think it would happen. I think I got lucky, but I tried really hard and did the best I could, so I’m really happy that it all paid off.”

Lenora Evan Hollmann moved up in the standings following cross-country and rode a double clear round aboard her own Christian Grey, a 7-year-old PMU gelding. “He’s such a trier,” said Hollmann, “He’s always there for me. I want to move up to Training with him, but for now we are just having so much fun together enjoying the moment.”

Hollmann adopted the gelding as a 3-year-old from LastChance Corral in Ohio. “LastChance Corral got him at about a week old and so he was a bucket fed baby, and he was sold to me only with the description, ‘has done parades.'”

Liza Bunce and Gail Bunce’s 17-year-old Appendix Quarter Horse gelding, Chance, started out the competition in ninth and made a climb throughout the weekend to end up in third place, adding nothing to her dressage score of 27.3. Of her experience at AEC, Bunce said, “It’s been a great weekend. It’s wonderful for my horse to get this exposure. The course was incredible; the footing was amazing. We really don’t get too much of the opportunity to go from the arena to grass back to the arena. It was so different but so worth coming here to compete.”

Master Novice Amateur

Megan Northrop maintained her first-place position throughout the phases aboard her own Fleur De Lis, a 7-year-old Thoroughbred mare, to finish on top of the Master Novice Amateur division.

“Show jumping tends to be my weakest phase, and I felt a little rattled coming in on the top. My mare jumped so great yesterday,” she said. “She has grown so much this year. I knew she was brave and I knew that if I just left her alone a little bit, she would go. She got a little too forward on me a couple of times today, and I had to correct that, but for the most part, she did what I asked and I’m really proud of her for that.”

Sarah Wildasin and James Wildasin’s Totally Awesome Bosco, a 17-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, improved their third-place spot to finish in second. “I was just very happy to remember where I had to go,” she commented. “My horse is amazing and does everything. I just have to steer and go along for the ride!”

Jenny Brinkley and her own Guinness X, a 17-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, rose from fifth place after cross-country to collect third in the division final. “I have one of those once in a lifetime horses,” she said. “I did the first AEC that they ever held, and then topped out at Preliminary level with him. He was so talented that my trainer took him through Advanced, and then my daughter took him out at Intermediate and was very successful at Young Riders with him,” she continued. “[My daughter] went off to college and then I got him back, and my goal was to get back here to AEC. Now, I’m just happy to be here.”

Junior Novice

Sunny Courtwright and her 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare, Around Midnight, were crowned the final champions of the 2017 AEC. Courtwright lead the Junior Novice division from start to finish on her dressage score of 23.5.

“Marble was really good today. I just can’t believe this,” said an awe-struck Courtwright. “I loved the course. I was just worried about the distractions, but she was perfect. This whole week has been so fun. It’s gone by so fast and I’m sad it’s going to be over soon.”

Courtwright and third place finisher Suzanne Stevens both ride out of Mike Huber’s Gold Chip Stables in Fort Worth, TX. “It’s really fun to be here with Sonny and my other barn mates from Texas,” commented Stevens.

Kira Cibak and her own October Tryst had a clear round in the show jumping to move them from fourth to second. She and the 11-year-old Morgan gelding finished on their dressage score of 27.8. Cibak said, “This was my first AEC so I was really happy with my horse. We are going to try to move to Training, we are going to try to move up and see where that goes!”

Suzanne Stevens and her own Smokin’ Boots, a 7-year-old Thoroughbred mare (More Smoke x Miss Boot Scoot) ended in third on a 28.8. “This is the biggest show my horse has been to, so it’s been a great experience for the both of us. She’s come so far,” Stevens concluded.

Beginner Novice Horse

Amanda Ruane and her own Bally Lord Who, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, maintained their lead in the Beginner Novice Horse division, mastering the track and continuing on their original dressage score of 22.3 to hold top honors heading into show jumping.

“He felt so good today. Cross-country is always his favorite phase,” said Ruane. “The biggest thing with him is that he’s 17hh. He’s a big horse, so we need to work on not eating up the time so quickly. A couple of times I had to check my watch and then say ‘Okay, let’s take a breather and tone it down a notch.’ He’s bold and brave, and he’s a really fun ride.”

Beth Stelzleni and Mighty Handsome, a 5-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Mighty Magic x SPS Whitney) kept their second-place position with a score of 25.8, while Holly Payne-Caravella piloted Benjamin Button, a 4-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Classic Alliance x Lively Lady) owned by Kathleen Hall, also maintaining their 25.8 score to remained tied with Stelzeni for second place.

Beginner Novice Amateur

After moving up from third place, Leah Backus and her own Diamond of Truth, a 5-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Salute the Truth x Mainways Queen of Diamonds), have taken the lead in the Beginner Novice Amateur division heading into the show jumping phase.

Backus bred Diamond of Truth and has enjoyed bringing him along for the past few years, she said, and was excited to achieve her goal of making it to AECs this year. “I liked going up on the hill so that you could look out over the [cross-country] course,” she said about her ride.

“When we got up there, my horse kind of looked out over the field, and our course was going pretty well at that point, so it was pretty exciting. For tomorrow, he’s never been in a ring that big, so I think he’ll be excited. He’s enjoying the show scene, so I think he’ll like it, and maybe he’ll perform extra well.”

Despite two time penalties, Diane Zrimsek aboard her own Coronado Charlie, an 8-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Bwana Charlie x Pleasure Hunt), sit tied for second place with Nicole Thomas and her own Here N’ Now, an 18-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding.

Beginner Novice Rider

After two phases Kathleen Bertuna and her own Millye’s Mojave, a 12-year-old OTTB gelding (Mojave Moon x Slew the Dragoness) have moved from third to first place in the Beginner Novice Rider division following their clear cross-country round.

Bertuna was happy with her mount’s focus on the fences and said the course encompassed the many tests of horse and rider she’s seen all year. “There were a lot of tests, from the changes in terrain to riding towards and away from the warm up area, towards and away from the barn area, and the difference between the ring and the wet, sometimes muddy grass, up and down the hill-it definitely tested all those facets that we’ve been working on all year in all the different courses and put them all into one big course,” she explained.

After nineteen years away from the sport and wanting to return on a safe horse, Bertuna connected with Millye’s Mojave last November. The Seattle Slew-bred gelding is “just a prince,” she said, and the pair will likely move up to Novice.

“He is wonderful. He takes care of me and has gotten me back into the business very nicely. At the beginning of this season Beginner Novice was looking really big, but now it’s looking more manageable, so I’m hoping that there will be a nice move up in the spring.” For now, she’s just looking to put in an accurate and forward course in the show jumping phase.

Kymberly Pullen and Sara Webb’s Homer, a 15-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Golden Missile x Zaza), currently sit in second place 1.5 points behind Bertuna, while Amber Duncan and her own Renegade, a 10-year-old paint gelding (Reflecting Merle x Windy’ Rascal Dottie), hold third place.

Master Beginner Novice Amateur

Carrie Griffen continues her lead going into the show jumping round, clutching first place aboard her own Feuertanzer ES, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Nicholas x Daybreak) on their original dressage score of 23.3.

Robin Barr and her own Tout Fini, a 9-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Purge x Firehouse Waltz), maintain their second-place spot with a score of 24.8, while Cindi Moravec and her own Holloway have a new hold on third place after receiving a 27.3.

Junior Beginner Novice Fourteen and Under

Ashley Stout and her own Deo Volente, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding, remain on top of the Junior Beginner Novice Fourteen and Under division following their clear round in the cross-country phase.

Stout commented that her ride was a huge improvement from the pair’s two most recent cross-country runs, so she’s pleased with her mount’s effort. “I felt like it went really well. We were a little looky at some fences, but we managed to get over them and push through it and he was very willing with everything.”

“We were actually a little fast-we had a minute left at the third to last jump, so we ended up doing some circles and making it through with four minutes and thirty seconds. I’m super proud of him,” she explained. “My plan [for tomorrow] is to get through without knocking anything down. I’ve looked at the course, and it’s challenging, but not too bad,” she concluded.

Avery Cascarino remains in second aboard Gloria Cascarino’s Dudley Do Right, a 13-year-old gelding, with a score of 20, while Viktorija Petraitis and Our Little Secret, a 15-year-old Arabian gelding owned by the Petraitis Family, continue to hold third place with a score of 25.

Junior Beginner Novice

Brynn Hershbine and Rowan Edmonds both went around the cross-country without a hitch, so they remain tied for first in the Junior Beginner Novice division. If they both jump double clear in show jumping, it will be Hershbine who is named champion as she crossed the finish line closer to the optimum time of 5:02 with Julie Hershbine’s Cadenza Aria, an 11-year-old Oldenburg mare (Turnofthecentury x Whisper).

Edmonds, riding Liberty Bell, a 9-year-old Thoroughbred mare (Hellion x Beth) owned by Michelle Jones was eight seconds faster.

Sydney Lee accrued 1.2 time penalties with Sweet Georgia Brown, dropping her from third to fourth. Carson Birdsong moved up into third with Ballygrace Laralai, an 11-year-old Irish Draught mare (Glenlara x Significadre) owned by Brooke Birdsong.

Preliminary Horse

Jennie Brannigan moved up from second place to finish on top of the Preliminary Horse division concluding with a clear round in the show jumping phase aboard Grayson Wall’s Balmoral Oakey, a 10-year-old Australian Warmblood mare (Falchrich x Diamond Sea Road).

Brannigan explained that Balmoral Oakey is for sale, and that this horse has the potential to move past the Preliminary division. “I knew [coming into today] that she hadn’t had a rail in like two years or something like that, so I was a little bit nervous thinking ‘Wow,’ I’m going to be the one to mess that up,’ but she jumped great. She’s obviously a super horse so I just trusted her to do her job, and she obviously knows what that job is.”

Brannigan has been winning across multiple divisions this week and currently sits in second place in the competitive Adequan® USEA Advanced Gold Cup division aboard her longtime mount Cambalda.

“I was joking around [earlier] because last year I brought a bunch of horses and I think only placed 15th with one of them, so I’d say this year has gotten off to a better start. I’m really grateful for that and I just hope that I can continue to keep things going in the right direction,” she commented.

Leslie Law and Beatrice Rey-Herme’s LCC Vogue, a 6-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Kroongraaf x Clear Cavalier), rode to a second-place finish, and he said that LCC Vogue has only done a handful of Preliminary level competitions so far. “We could have gone at this at training level, but I thought that the Prelim would be a decent challenge for him, and would be much more educational,” he said. “He’s a lovely horse and he has an incredible future. I’m excited that he was second. I think that this facility is a wonderful experience for the younger horses, and I think in the end it was all done very well,” he noted.

Third place went to Alexandra Knowles aboard Katherine O’Brien’s Business Class, a 7-year-old Selle Francais gelding, moving up from sixth place after cross-country. Business Class was imported from Ireland at the beginning of this year.

“I actually haven’t done a lot with him due to an injury in March, but he’s an absolutely fantastic horse. He’s cool as a cucumber, and all of the pressure is on me to do it right because if I do it right, he’ll definitely step up to the plate. He cruised around cross-country this week, and was great. I really enjoy riding him and am looking forward to moving up to the next level with him,” she commented.

“I thought the course was very fun, and it was very different from anything that I have done before. I really enjoyed it. The facility is second to none-it’s been a great experience. I never want to leave! Everything you need is here, and it’s beautiful. It doesn’t get much better than this,” Knowles concluded.

For more information on the 2017 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Land Rover and Nutrena®, please visit www.useventing.com and to learn more about Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), please visit www.tryon.com.