Tag Archives: Marilyn Little

US Eventing Team Triumphs at 2015 Pan American Games, Qualifies US for 2016 Olympic Games

Individual Gold medal winners Marilyn little and RF Scandalous (StockImageServices.com)

Caledon, Ont. – The United States Eventing Team finished a stellar week of competition at the 2015 Pan American Games held at the Caledon Equestrian Park in Ontario, Canada. Superlative efforts by Philip Dutton, Lauren Kieffer, Marilyn Little, and Boyd Martin resulted in a Team Gold medal and a berth at the 2016 Olympic Games. Adding to their accolades, Little was awarded the Individual Gold medal.

The U.S. team began the show jumping phase in first place on a total of 133, with a narrow lead over Brazil on 136.70 and Canada on 159. First to cross the timers for the U.S. was Dutton on Thomas Tierney and Ann Jones’ Fernhill Fugitive. An unlucky rail at fence two caused the crowd to hold its breath for the remainder of Dutton’s ride. The rest of the rails stayed in the cups, adding four faults to his cumulative total, finishing on 52.40. Explaining his round, Dutton said, “I think I might have been a little bit quiet there [at fence two]; he didn’t even hit it very hard, but it did come down unfortunately. It was fortunate that we didn’t need that [score], but the rest of his round was good.”

The pressure was on the rest of the team as Kieffer entered the arena next on Marie Le Menestrel’s Meadowbrook’s Scarlett. The young mare again handled the electric atmosphere well, leaving all the poles up within the time allowed.

“I’ve had her since she was four and rode her in her first event. Every step of the way she has bumped up and just thinks it’s fun,” said Kieffer of the classy mare. “She was great out there today.”

Martin and the Pancho Villa Syndicate’s Pancho Villa completed the track handily for a score of no faults. Speaking confidently about his partner, Martin said, “I’m on a very good jumper; he felt fresh this morning, warmed up good, and jumped around pretty well. He is a three-star horse so I thought he should jump clear.”

With Brazil at the heels of the U.S team, all eyes were on Little as she entered the ring on Raylyn Farms Inc. and Phoebe and Michael Manders’ fiery mare, RF Scandalous. Little was in second place going into the stadium phase adding to the pressure to perform. With a lifelong background in show jumping, Little mastered the course perfectly. With the leading Brazilian rider dropping a rail at the last fence on course, Little was secured of an Individual Gold.

“Nothing really compares to a day like this,” said Little. “This is my first major games and this day is indescribable. It’s a great day for all of us and the people supporting us who made it happen. [RF Scandalous] was everything that I hoped she would be and that we know she can be. She’s a very special horse and a pleasure to work with. She shows up for work and really loves her job. She was exceptional this weekend and I am really proud of her.”

At the end of the team competition, the U.S. won Gold, Brazil won Silver, and Canada won Bronze. Individual medals were awarded to Little as the Gold medal winner, Jessica Phoenix of Canada as the Silver medal winner, and Ruy Fonseca of Brazil as the Bronze medal winner. Martin placed fourth individually on 44.30, Kieffer seventh on 48.40, and Dutton in 10th on 52.40.

As the first team medal for O’Connor as the U.S. Eventing Chef d’Equipe, O’Connor noted, “I have a belief in the program. We wanted to change some things when we started this program – attitude and belief; belief from the riders, from the public, and from the eventing community as a whole. I think step by step we’ve done that. To have these guys perform the way they performed this weekend, they were very professional and had great camaraderie, and with the help of everyone behind the scenes it was an exceptional effort. It showed that a system that’s built like this, with belief, belief in each other, and huge respect for each other, that you can really win in the end. We let these guys prove what they can do; we all know they can do it and believe in them as riders. We’ve seen great performances out of all of them and to put it all together in one weekend; that’s what these championships are all about. It was a joy to watch them.”

A passionate Martin said after the Team Gold win, “I’ve been in this racket for the last 20 years and have never gotten a medal. This is my first medal and we had to fight for it pretty hard. I have to say it is a rewarding feeling. I’ve been trying for this for a long time and I’ve finally got it. Team USA has the best support system with Joanie Morris as team leader, Dr. Susan Johns who is an unbelievable vet, Steve Teichman who is a genius farrier, and David O’Connor as our coach.”

Complete Results

Behind the Scenes with the U.S. Teams: USEF Sport Director Will Connell’s Blog

From the USEF Communications Department

Eventing Double-Gold for Team USA

USA’s Marilyn Little, Boyd Martin, Phillip Dutton and Lauren Kieffer celebrate team Jumping gold at the Pan-American Games in Caledon Park, Toronto, Canada today. Little also claimed the individual title. (FEI/StockImageServices.com)

Lausanne (SUI), 19 July 2015 – America scooped both the team and individual titles as Eventing came to a close today at the Pan-American Games 2015 in Caledon Park, Toronto, Canada. Always with their eyes on the target of that single qualifying spot on offer for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Philip Dutton, Lauren Kieffer, Marilyn Little and Boyd Martin forged a marginal lead over the host country in Dressage on Friday. And once out in front, they held on tight to triumph ahead of Brazil this afternoon, while Canada had to settle for bronze in the final analysis.

And Little took the individual title in fine style. Lying second, and less than a fence behind Brazil’s Ruy Fonseca who led from the outset with Tom Bombadill Too, the 33-year-old former Jumping rider kept a cool head to stay clear with her relatively inexperienced mare RF Scandalous today, while 2011 Pan-American Eventing individual champions Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti from Canada claimed silver this time around when Fonseca’s single error dropped him to bronze medal spot.

A total of 11 nations lined out in the team competition, and Ecuador, Chile and Mexico were lying fourth, fifth and sixth after the Dressage phase. The USA had only a slender 0.7 point lead over Canada going into cross-country day, and Brazil was chasing hard when only three marks further adrift at this stage.

Cross-Country track

Canadian chances took a sharp knock, however, when Kathryn Robinson was eliminated for a fall with Let It Bee at the Hayracks, the second fence on yesterday’s cross-country track. Her team-mates Waylon Roberts (Bill Owen), Colleen Loach (Qorry Blue D’Argouges) and Jessica Phoenix (Pavarotti) all completed the course without incident. But Canada dropped behind Brazil when Fonseca, Carlos Parro (Caulcourt Landline), Henrique Plombon (Land Quenotte) and Jorge Marcio Carvalho (Lissy Mac Wayer) all likewise kept a clean sheet, Robinson’s brilliant 39.80 in Dressage, which placed her individually second on the opening day, no longer being taken into account. All four American team-members cruised home, maintaining their advantage with nothing to add.

From a starting field of 43, a total of 16 returned within the time-allowed of 8 minutes 39 seconds, including all three members of the team from Ecuador who eventually finished fourth. A total of 10 horse-and-rider combinations were eliminated over the 26-fence track created by Australia’s Wayne Copping.

Jumping phase

As the final Jumping phase got underway today, Team USA had less than a fence in hand over the Brazilians, while the Canadians were more than 20 penalties further adrift. America’s Martin (Pancho Villa) and Kieffer (Meadowbrooks Scarlett) kept a clean sheet once again, but when Philip Dutton’s Fernhill Fugitive collected four faults then Little’s result might prove pivotal for the team rankings.

The individual medals were also still very much up for grabs, and for Little there was no room for error as Canada’s Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti, who were lying just 3.20 points behind, had piled on the pressure with a brilliant clear when third-last into the ring. The American didn’t falter, however, leaving all the poles in place with her 10-year-old Oldenburg mare, and placing all the weight on Fonseca’s shoulders. Even a time fault would cost the Brazilian dearly, but when his 15-year-old gelding had a fence down he dropped all the way to bronze medal position individually and his team remained in silver medal spot.

New to the sport

“My mare is new to the sport; I have her for only a year now and she’s only just moved up to 2-Star level with the goal of these Games in mind!” said newly-crowned individual gold medallist Little this evening. She explained that she was a regular on the US Jumping team between 1999 and 2011, and competed in several Nations Cups, but then suddenly decided to change her allegiance. “I became interested in Eventing when watching the World Equestrian Games in 2010 on TV. I thought, ‘I’d like to do that; it looks like a lot of fun,’ so when I came back from Spruce Meadows that year I pulled one out of the barn and it has gone from there! I did my first 4-Star in 2012,” she explained.

She has really enjoyed the Pan-American Games experience at Caledon Park this week. “The event has been beautifully organised and it has been an incredible experience from the standpoint of horsemanship; the thought and care they’ve put into everything for the horses has been amazing. The cross-country course was fair but challenging; it has to be difficult for the course designer catering for the developing riders as well as very seasoned competitors. It needed to be challenging for both, but safe enough too, and he really succeeded in that,” she said.

In the moment

Talking about the cross-country track, she said, “Riding the course you had to be ‘in the moment’… you had to stay aware of all the plans. Cross-country is designed to force you to look at all the options and to stay ready to take them if necessary. Making it easy to quickly change your plan is the mark of a good cross-country course. Fitness played a part too yesterday; the terrain took its toll in terms of technicality and some horses got tired, but it was safe and jumpable and it was really a pleasure to ride the track.”

Despite all her experience as a Jumping rider, Little said she was still feeling the heat going into the arena this afternoon with so much hanging in the balance. “I knew I was under pressure, but I also knew my horse is a clear-rounder and very careful. She’s very sensitive though, and the atmosphere was electric, especially since I was following a Canadian rider (Jessica Phoenix) into the ring! I knew I had to remain calm and focused, and take it just one jump at a time and not get caught up with the magnitude of the moment!”

Facts and Figures:

USA claimed team gold and the individual qualifying spot on offer for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with victory in the Pan-American Games Jumping at Caledon Park in Toronto, Canada today.

The individual medals went to: Gold, Marilyn Little (RF Scandalous) USA: Silver, Jessica Phoenix (Pavarotti) CAN: Bronze, Ruy Fonseca (Tom Bombadill Too) BRA.

13 nations were represented in Eventing at the 17th Pan-American Games while 11 countries fielded teams.

A total of 42 horse-and-rider combinations competed for the individual medals.

The list of teams so far qualified in Eventing for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games now includes, Brazil (automatic qualification), Germany, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Australia, Ireland and Canada (placings at Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy), and USA (Pan-American Games 2015 in Toronto, Canada).

The next major Olympic qualification opportunity is at the forthcoming Longines FEI European Eventing Championships in Blair Castle, Scotland from 10-13 September 2015 where 2 further places are on offer.

Find out more about the Pan-American Games 2015 here and check out the programme of events here. Results are available here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:
At Toronto:
Jean Llewellyn
Press Officer

US Pan Am Eventing Team Members to Ride at Virginia Horse Center This Weekend

Phillip Dutton.

Lexington, VA – May 21, 2015 – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) announced the U. S. eventing team for the 2015 Pan American Games on Wednesday, and this Friday through Sunday, three of those top eventing riders will head to the Virginia Horse Center for the Virginia Horse Trials. With free admission, local spectators have the rare opportunity to watch these Olympic-level riders right in their own backyard at no cost.

Phillip Dutton, Lauren Kieffer and Marilyn Little have all been named to the team and all are scheduled to compete at the Virginia Horse Trials, to be held at the Horse Center on Friday, May 22, through Sunday, May 24. Also competing at the Virginia Horse Trials are team alternates Will Faudree and Michael Pollard.

The Virginia Horse Trials continually attract top riders from throughout North America for the CIC1* and CIC2* level competition, in addition to welcoming riders competing at all levels starting at Beginner Novice.

Dutton, a frequent attendee to the Virginia Horse Trials, is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a former winner of the renowned Rolex Kentucky CCI****. Faudree, Kieffer, Little and Pollard all share impressive accolades, having each secured victories at top events around the world.

Spectators wishing to watch the highest levels of competition this weekend can plan to attend from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday for the cross-country phase and on Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. for the show jumping phase.

To find out more about the Virginia Horse Trials, view a full list of entries for the weekend and see the complete schedule, please visit www.vahorsetrials.com.

The Virginia Horse Center is situated on a 573-acre site with eight barns to accommodate 750 horses in permanent stabling. Indoor stabling can be increased to 1,200 horses with the use of temporary stalls. The Virginia Horse Center hosts 19 show rings, including two large arenas and a five-mile Olympic cross-country course. Four of the Virginia Horse Center barns are winterized with close access to the 4,000 seat indoor coliseum. The Virginia Horse Center is recognized for the excellent footing of its show rings and the durable construction of the concrete stalls. The Virginia Horse Center also offers camping facilities and on-site food and beverage services. Find the Horse Center online at www.horsecenter.org.

Emily Riden for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

Phelps Media Group, Inc.
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Little and Burnett Receive Karen E. Stives Endowment Fund for High Performance Eventing Grants

Marilyn Little and RF Demeter. Photos By: Shannon Brinkman.

Gladstone, NJ – August 5, 2014 – The USET Foundation is pleased to announce that this year’s recipients of the Karen E. Stives Endowment Fund for High Performance Eventing Grants are Marilyn Little with RF Demeter and Hannah Burnett with Harbour Pilot.

As the two traveling reserve riders named to the U.S. 2014 World Equestrian Games Eventing Team, Little and Burnett will each receive $25,000 toward their trip to Chantilly, France which will enable them to train and prepare as full team members in case they are needed at the Games.

Marilyn Little is a well-known competitor who has represented the United States on both Eventing and Show Jumping teams. With RF Demeter, Little has been raking in the accolades, including 2013 USEA Horse of the Year & 2013 USEA Mare of the Year. She and the 12-year-old Oldenburg Mare kicked off the year in top form with a victory in the CIC*** at Southern Pines and a second place finish at The Fork CIC***. Both of the results came after spending the fall in Europe were they represented the United States at the CCI**** in Pau, France. The pair then went on to place ninth at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event later this year as they aimed their sites on the World Equestrian Games and were named the first alternate for the U.S. team.

“I’m excited about this opportunity to travel and be ready in the event I am needed, and also because of the person giving it,” said Little. “I had the privilege to meet Karen at Great Meadow and to get to know her, and her incredible story with the USET. She continues to support our team and her generosity have improved our chances exponentially of winning a medal.”

Little added, “Being an alternate can be a difficult position, but Karen’s gift also makes it possible to make a plan if I am not needed on the team for after the Games to compete at CCI4* Blenheim or Burghley.”

Hannah Burnett and Harbour Pilot
Hannah Burnett and Harbour Pilot

The list of accomplishments for 28-year-old Burnett and Jacqueline B. Mars’ Harbour Pilot began to amass in 2011, when they placed third at the CIC2* at Red Hills International and second at Bromont International CCI2*, and they were eventually named to the Gold medal team for the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, where they also took home the Individual Silver medal. In 2012, they claimed the USEF Three-Star National Championship title, and in 2013 the pair was chosen to represent the U.S. at the Saumur CCI3*. Most recently, they competed in their first CCI4* during the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event where they placed 15th.

“I am truly honored to receive the 2014 Karen Stives Endowment Fund Grant, and look forward to representing the United States in international competition as a result of this tremendous generosity,” expressed Burnett. “These funds help both riders and owners a great deal, and I hope Harbour Pilot and I are able to emulate Karen’s success against the best riders in the world. I look forward to this experience, as it is certainly a dream come true to be an alternate for the WEG team.”

Karen Stives, who donated $1 million to create the endowment fund for high performance eventing, was a successful rider for many years and the first woman to earn an Individual Silver Olympic medal in Eventing. Her funds will hopefully help the U.S. win more medals and send more high-performance equestrian athletes to CCIO competitions around the globe.

“What’s exciting is that they get to compete in Europe and train with the team and that experience is invaluable,” explained Stives. “They may even end up competing, you never know. This will allow them be a part of the team in Europe, which is a wonderful learning opportunity.”

Should Little and Burnett not be needed at the Games, the Stives Grant will allow them to gain more experience in international competition at either the CCI**** Burghley or CCI**** Blenheim in the fall.

Bonnie B. Jenkins, USET Foundation Executive Director, said, “Karen’s generosity and interest in giving back to the sport, which has meant so much to her, is simply extraordinary.”

The United States Equestrian Team Foundation (www.uset.org) is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.

For more information on the USET Foundation, please call (908) 234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at www.uset.org.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
USET Foundation
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386

Marilyn Little and RF Demeter Make Steady Climb to the Top at the Carolina International CIC3*

Marilyn Little and RF Demeter (Allie Conrad)

Marilyn Little and RF Demeter made a steady, if unexpected, climb to the top of the leaderboard at the Carolina International CIC3* and Adequan USEA Gold Cup/PRO Tour Series.

Little and “Demi” (Rubin-Royal/Patricia) weren’t the pair to beat until they clocked one of only two double-clear rounds on Hugh Lochore’s cross-country course, where time was of the essence.

“I planned to start the course on both horses [including RF Smoke on the Water] as if I was going for time,” Little of Frederick, Md. said. “I was hoping they were fit, and depending on how they were jumping and galloping, reevaluate at three or four minutes and see how they felt.”

Little explained that the 12-year-old mare, who finished on her dressage score of 46.2, had a big of an unconventional winter this year, since Little had an extended stay in Europe to work on the jumper side of her business.

“She spent so much time in quarantine, so whereas a lot of horses can get let down, have their shoes pulled and go out in the field, she spent it in quarantine,” said Little. “It was hard on her. She lost weight and condition. She hasn’t seen a dressage saddle until a few weeks ago.”

On her decision to stay in Europe last year after a solid showing at their first CCI4* at Pau, Little explained that it was partly a financial decision, and partly a strategic one.

“I have a lot of jumpers in Europe and primarily my business is jumpers still, so it was a financial decision. The decision to keep the eventers there – I really wanted to get my eventers in front of those ground juries,” she said. “You don’t want them to think ‘here’s the letup rider,’ and they won’t give you those points unless they know you, I think. That’s why we’re trying to expose the [American] riders to those [European] competitions, and those competitions’ judges to our riders.”

Little was certainly thrilled with Demi’s performance, especially since it was her first outing this year aside from a few horse shows in Wellington, Fla. She explained that her mare is typically fast, covers the ground efficiently, and it easy to make time on.

Second-placed Buck Davidson explained that his veteran ride, Ballynoe Castle RM, also had a less-than-ideal winter season. After a bizarre bone bruise in his stifle, probably from laying down in his stall, to a bout of pneumonia, “Reggie” missed several weeks of his winter training.

Regardless, the 14-year-old gelding had the best heart rate and temperature in the vet box of the 40 cross-country starters.

Read the rest at www.useventing.com.

Dutton, Montgomery, Little and Symansky Climb the Leaderboard after Influential Cross Country Day at Pau

Phillip Dutton and Mr. Medicott (Libby Law)

Pau, France – Cross country day at the 2013 Les Étoiles de Pau CCI4* saw American combinations climb the leaderboard with efficient, clear performances. Pierre Michelet’s 33 obstacle track produced trouble throughout the day with thirty six combinations coming home without jumping penalties and of those only six were able to finish within the 11:48 time allowed. Phillip Dutton, Clark Montgomery, Marilyn Little and Lynn Symansky proved their mettle with classy efforts on a day that saw many top names in the sport fail to finish.

Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) and the Mr. Medicott Syndicate’s 14-year-old Irish Sport gelding Mr. Medicott set out on course lying in seventh place and climbed three places with a classy performance. The pair cruised effortlessly around Michelet’s track to finish one second over the optimum time and add .4 time faults to their dressage score of 44.2. They will head into the show jumping in fourth place on a score of 44.6 just 3.1 points out of the lead.

“It was good; obviously he’s a great horse. I’m still trying to get to know him and we were trying to go fast without making a silly mistake,” remarked Dutton of his ride on Saturday. “This wouldn’t be the ideal course for him but he got better and better as the course went on.”

Both Dutton and Mr. Medicott brought a wealth of experience to Pau but are contesting their first CCI4* together. Dutton has represented both the U.S. and his native Australia at numerous Olympic and FEI World Equestrian Games, including winning Olympic Team Gold with Australia in 1996 and 2000, while Mr. Medicott completed the 2008 Olympic Games and 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games with Germany’s Frank Ostholt. He was also ridden by Karen O’Connor to ninth place at the London Olympic Games.

“It gets better with each time. He’s got to get to know me and my reactions but I think this weekend is good for us,” remarked Dutton about his growing partnership with Mr. Medicott.

Dutton looks to secure Mr. Medicott’s third top-10 Pau completion on Sunday. The gelding was third in 2008 and 10th in 2011 with Ostholt.

Montgomery (Wiltshire, UK) and Jessica Montgomery, Carole Montgomery, Janet Higgins, and Elizabeth Smith’s Universe were the pathfinder for the U.S. as the first American pair on course. The Land Rover Competition Grant recipients set the tone for the U.S. camp by flying around the course faultlessly to finish two seconds inside the optimum time. The talented pair are looking for their second CCI4* completion of 2013 after having placed 27th at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials in the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding’s first attempt at the level.

Montgomery and Universe, who stood 31st after the dressage, head into the show jumping in ninth place on a score of 52.

Little (Frederick, Md.) and Raylyn Farms and Team Demeter’s 11-year-old Oldenburg mare RF Demeter were the final U.S. pair on course and cruised to a clear round finishing just four seconds over the time. The pair, which was seventh at the Luhmühlen CCI4* in June, is competing in Pau on a Land Rover Competition Grant and is poised for another top 12 CCI4* finish as it heads into the show jumping on a score of 52.8. With its quick clear round on Saturday the pair climbed 16 places after the dressage and now stand in 11th places after two phases.

Symansky (Middleburg, Va.) and her own Donner were the second U.S. combination to produce a double clear effort on Saturday. The pair, which is contesting its first European competition after having been awarded Jacqueline B. Mars Competition and Training Grant, proved its place among the top in the world with a scorching round. The 10-year-old Thoroughbred gelding utilized his classy galloping style to finish 15 seconds within the time allowed. The 2011 Pan American Games Team Gold medalists climbed 26 places with their clear round and will enter the final phase on a score of 53.3 in 12th place.

Michael Pollard (Dalton, Ga.) and Carl Bouckaert’s 15-year-old Thoroughbred gelding Mensa looked on target to produce another clear round for the U.S. until a run-out two-thirds the way around the course. The Land Rover Competition Grant recipients collected 20 jumping penalties for a run-out at 20B and added a further 24.8 time faults. They head into the show jumping in 47th place on a score of 100.

Land Rover Competition Grant recipients Hannah Sue Burnett (The Plains, Va.) and Jacqueline Mars’ Harbour Pilot set out on Saturday laying in equal 11th place. The 2011 Pan American Games Team Gold and Individual Silver medalists slipped between elements at the first water and were subsequently eliminated when Burnett came out of the tack.

Kristi Nunnink and her own 12-year-old Holsteiner mare R-Star travelled to Pau from their base in Auburn, Calif. on a Land Rover Competition Grant. The pair ran into some trouble at the first water and was eliminated after jumping the option in the wrong order.

Great Britain’s William Fox-Pitt again proved why he’s among the best in the game as he produced three double clear performances to hold the top three spots at the conclusion of the cross country. The 2012 Olympic Games Team Silver medalist leads with Seacookie TSF on 41.5, Cool Mountain stands second on 42.2, and Neuf Des Coeurs is third standing on 43.2.

By Helen Murray

To learn more about the Les Étoiles de Pau CCI4*, visit www.event-pau.fr/en/homepage/.

For start times and results, click here.

Follow the 2013 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team here.

Faudree and Little Produce Top Ten Finishes at Saumur CCI3*

Will Faudree and Andromaque (Shannon Brinkman)

Saumur, France – Clear rounds were at a premium Sunday at the Saumur CCI3* as 34 combinations went forward into the show jumping. Only three competitors, including winner Bill Levett, were able to produce faultless trips over Pierre Michelet’s demanding track. The U.S. entries of Will Faudree, Marilyn Little and Hannah Sue Burnett each incurred eight faults over the course, as all three Land Rover Competition Grant recipients dislodged two rails.

Faudree (Hoffman, NC) and Jennifer Mosing’s Andromaque entered the final phase in fourth place following a spectacular trip around the cross country on Saturday. In the show jumping, the 12-year-old Irish Thoroughbred mare faulted at fences six and 10A to move down one place. The talented pair finished in fifth on a score of 55.8.

“She tried very hard and looked great this morning. She’s naturally a very careful horse, so I’m not too concerned about it in the future,” said the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games veteran of Andromaque’s performance on Sunday. “I just need to apply what I learned this weekend going forward.”

Faudree also realizes the importance of competing in Europe and facing different challenges as the U.S. prepares for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games next year in Normandy.

“The rails are quite light and spindly over here; you can’t even breathe on them. We need to be prepared for that in the future.”

Little (Frederick, MD) and Raylyn Farms Inc. and Phoebe and Michael Manders’ eight-year-old Wurttemburger gelding RF Smoke on the Water were able to maintain their eighth place position despite incurring eight faults. The 2012 USEF National CCI3* Eventing Reserve Champions lowered the heights of fences eight and 11 to finish on a total of 60.

First to jump for the U.S. on Sunday were Burnett (The Plains, VA) and Jacqueline Mars’ 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Harbour Pilot. The 2011 Pan American Games Team Gold and Individual Silver medalists finished in 26th place on a score of 91.4 after rolling poles at the second and eighth fences.

Buck Davidson (Ocala, FL) and Sherrie Martin’s The Apprentice were also competing at the Saumur CCI3* on a Land Rover Competition Grant but were eliminated on Saturday’s cross country for not properly jumping fence 18B before continuing on course.

Australia’s Levett claimed victory at the prestigious French competition finishing on his dressage of 42.6 with Shannondale Titan.

To learn more about the Saumur CCI3*, visit: http://www.saumur.org/cci/accueil-gb.html.

Follow the 2013 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team here.

By Helen Murray

Faudree and Little Faultless at Saumur CCI3* to Hold Top 10 Placings Following the Cross Country

Will Faudree and Andromaque (Shannon Brinkman)

Saumur, France – The Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team had a mixed day Saturday at the Saumur CCI3*, as Pierre Michelet’s winding track proved influential. Land Rover Competition Grant recipients Will Faudree and Marilyn Little saw themselves climb up the leaderboard on the strength of double clear rounds. While Hannah Sue Burnett and Buck Davidson, who are also competing on Land Rover Competition Grants, experienced hiccups on course but saw their horses earn valuable experience at the prestigious French competition.

Faudree (Hoffman, NC) and Jennifer Mosing’s Andromaque produced a foot perfect round over the testing track to rise four places and head into the show jumping in fourth place. The classy 12-year-old Irish Thoroughbred mare never looked in doubt of a fast, clear trip as she effortlessly answered every question asked of her.

“She was amazing; she was just pure class the whole way around. She just left the start box and I never had to kick her once,” said Faudree. “She locked onto everything and was just fabulous. It was fun the whole way around and it was an honor to be a part of it.”

The Jersey Fresh International Horse Trials CIC3* winners maintained their dressage score of 47.8.

Marilyn Little and RF Smoke on the Water (Shannon Brinkman)
Marilyn Little and RF Smoke on the Water (Shannon Brinkman)

First on Michelet’s course for the American contingent was Little (Frederick, MD) and Raylyn Farms Inc. and Phoebe and Michael Manders’ RF Smoke on the Water. The eight-year-old Wurttemburger gelding made light work of the 28 obstacle course, jumping faultlessly to cruise through the finish nine seconds under the time. The 2012 USEF National CCI3* Eventing Reserve Champions head into Sunday’s show jumping on their dressage score of 52 in eighth place.

“Smoke was fantastic; he was totally on his game from the first fence. He was full of confidence and went out feeling like King Kong and came home well,” said Little. “I think I was far more concerned about the course than he was. He read them (the corners) beautifully. He’s only an eight-year-old but he marched around there like he was 12.”

Burnett (The Plains, VA) and Jacqueline Mars’ 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Harbour Pilot set off on course looking to improve on their 11th place following the dressage. However, a refusal early on at the corner at 6B meant the 2011 Pan American Games Team Gold and Individual Silver medalists incurred 20 penalties. Burnett now stands 30th on a score of 83.4 after also collecting 14.8 time faults.

The final U.S. entry of the day was Davidson (Ocala, FL) and Sherrie Martin’s The Apprentice. The pair was in the midst of a clear round until the nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding was deemed not to have gone through the flags jumping the corner at 18B. Davidson continued onto fence nineteen and the combination was subsequently eliminated for not correctly jumping 18B before proceeding to the next obstacle.

Australia’s Bill Levett and Shannondale Titan head into the show jumping as the overnight leaders on a score of 42.6.

The second Horse Inspection begins Sunday at 9am CEST with CCI3* show jumping getting underway at 3:45pm CEST.

To learn more about the Saumur CCI3*, visit: http://www.saumur.org/cci/accueil-gb.html.

Follow the 2013 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team here.

By Helen Murray

Burnett and Little Stand Second and Fifth Following First Day of Competition at the Saumur CCI3*

Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot (Shannon Brinkman)

Saumur, France – Competition officially kicked off Thursday at the Saumur CCI3* with 17 combinations performing their dressage tests. U.S. entries and Land Rover Competition Grant recipients Hannah Sue Burnett and Marilyn Little rose to the occasion as they propelled themselves into the top five following the first day of competition.

Burnett (The Plains, VA) and Jacqueline Mars’ Harbour Pilot were the penultimate combination of the day but proved worth the wait as they scored 48.60 to lie in second place overnight. The 2012 USEF National CCI3* Eventing Champions have repeatedly shown a proficiency in the first phase when the stakes are at their highest and once again produced high quality work on Thursday.

“He was really good. We’ve been a little inconsistent this spring, so I rode him quite a bit this morning because he has been quite exuberant at his last two competitions. But he was all business from the first ride and went right in the ring and was rideable,” said Burnett of the 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding. “In hindsight I could have gone for it a little bit more in the trot but the canter and changes were very good.”

Looking towards Saturday’s cross country, Burnett believes Course Designer Pierre Michelet has built a demanding track.

“The course is good; it’s big and pretty technical. There are six combinations of three-strides,” said the 2011 Pan American Games Team Gold and Individual Silver medalist. “I was impressed the first time I walked it but I’ve walked it a couple more times and it keeps looking better.”

Marilyn Little and RF Smoke on the Water (Shannon Brinkman)
Marilyn Little and RF Smoke on the Water (Shannon Brinkman)

Little (Frederick, MD) and RF Smoke on the Water were the first U.S. entry of the day before the Ground Jury of Sandy Phillips, Luciano Cantini and Catherine Agaesse, immediately setting a standard for the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team. Raylyn Farms Inc. and Phoebe and Michael Manders’ eight-year-old Wurttemburger gelding put in a polished effort to stand in fifth place on a score of 52. Heading into the jumping phases the 2012 USEF National CCI3* Eventing Reserve Champions will look to display the form that earned them runner-up honors in the CIC3* at the Red Hills International Horse Trials.

Leading the Saumur CCI3* field following day one is Geoffroy Soullez of France with Madiran du Liot*HN on a score of 46.80.

Fellow Land Rover Competition Grant recipients Will Faudree (Hoffman, NC) and Buck Davidson (Ocala, FL) round out the U.S. effort at the Saumur CCI3* tomorrow as they perform their dressage tests. Faudree will ride Jennifer Mosing’s Andromaque at 10:45am CEST, while Davidson and Sherrie Martin’s The Apprentice perform their test at 2:00pm CEST.

To learn more about the Saumur CCI3*, visit: http://www.saumur.org/cci/accueil-gb.html.

Follow the 2013 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team here.

By Helen Murray