Tag Archives: Southern Pines CDE

Hamilton and Makari Design Defend Their Title at Southern Pines CDE

Photo: Nifty Hamilton and Makari Design (Picsofyou.com)

Raeford, N.C. – The USEF Advanced Single Horse Combined Driving National Championship came to a conclusion on Sunday with the cones phase at the Southern Pines Combined Driving Event (CDE). The athlete-and-horse combinations had to face Barry Hunter’s tough cones course to determine the ultimate winner. Jennifer “Nifty” Hamilton and Makari Design kept their cool in the final phase to win back-to-back national champion titles.

USEF Advanced Single Horse Combined Driving National Championship

Hamilton (Alva, Fla.) and Makari Design began the national championship by winning the dressage and marathon phases with scores of 48.09 penalties and 81.92 penalties, respectively. They drove a great cones round to add 2.96 time penalties to their score and win the final phase. Hamilton and the 10-year-old KWPN gelding she owns with Milton Hamilton claimed their second national champion title after finishing on an overall score of 132.97 penalties.

“The cones course drove very well, but it was pretty technical and tough to make the time on,” Hamilton explained. “It was great because it is the kind of course that will make you better.”

Commenting on how Makari Design performed throughout the competition, Hamilton said, “He is definitely more connected than he has ever been, which allows me to ask for more. With more work and work on getting him stronger, he is going to be even better in a few years.”

Jacob Arnold (Snow Camp, N.C.) and Uminco earned the reserve national champion title due to their strong performances. They were in third place after Friday’s dressage phase with a score of 52.89 penalties and then moved up to second place after tallying 82.53 penalties in Saturday’s marathon phase. Arnold piloted Leslie Berndl’s 17-year-old Royal Dutch Warmblood gelding around the cones course to have one ball down for 3.00 penalties. In their first year competing together, Arnold and Uminco garnered an impressive finish on an overall score of 138.42 penalties.

Barbara Chapman (Metamora, Mich.) and Meara Beval were third in the national championship with an overall score of 149.25 penalties.  Chapman and her 14-year-old American Warmblood mare scored 53.96 penalties in the dressage phase to sit in fourth before rising to third place following the marathon phase that added 88.34 penalties to their score. They closed out the national championship with two balls down and time penalties for 6.95 penalties in the cones phase.

Find more information on the Southern Pines CDE.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Hamilton and Makari Design Maintain Their Lead at Southern Pines CDE

Photo: Nifty Hamilton and Makari Design (Picsofyou.com)

Raeford, N.C. – The USEF Advanced Single Horse Combined Driving National Championship continued on Saturday with the marathon phase at the Southern Pines Combined Driving Event (CDE). The athlete-and-horse combinations headed out on the Carolina Horse Park’s grounds to tackle Barry Hunter’s marathon track. Jennifer “Nifty” Hamilton and Makari Design held onto their lead to stay atop the overall leaderboard heading into the final phase on Sunday.

USEF Advanced Single Horse Combined Driving National Championship

Defending national champions Hamilton (Alva, Fla.) and Makari Design continued their quest for back-to-back titles by blazing around the marathon course. The duo won the marathon phase with a score of 81.92 penalties, having the fastest times in two of the seven obstacles. Hamilton and the 10-year-old KWPN gelding she owns with Milton Hamilton head into the cones phase with an overall score of 130.01 penalties.

“[Makari Design] was perfect,” Hamilton said. “It was a wonderful course; Barry Hunter is a great course designer. The course drove very smooth, but there were two water hazards, so it was a tough course.”

Hamilton also had high praise for the combinations in the national championship. “It is a great field of competitors. Today was a good effort on everyone’s part. We all work together studying courses and sharing routes; it is a great group to be a part of.”

Jacob Arnold (Snow Camp, N.C.) and Uminco moved up from third place to second place overall on the strength of a strong marathon round. Arnold piloted Leslie Berndl’s 17-year-old Royal Dutch Warmblood gelding to the fastest times in four obstacles and finished the phase with 82.53 penalties. The combination heads into Sunday on an overall score of 135.42 penalties.

Barbara Chapman (Metamora, Mich.) and Meara Beval climbed from fourth place on the leaderboard to third following Saturday’ phase. With her 14-year-old American Warmblood mare, Chapman finished the marathon course with 88.34 penalties. She and Meara Beval sit on an overall score of 142.30 penalties.

Find more information on the Southern Pines CDE.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Hamilton and Makari Design Lead after Day One at Southern Pines CDE

Photo: Nifty Hamilton and Makari Design (Picsofyou.com)

Raeford, N.C. – The USEF Advanced Single Horse Combined Driving National Championship at the Southern Pines Combined Driving Event (CDE) began Friday with the dressage phase. Thirteen athlete-and-horse combinations headed down centerline to perform their tests, but Jennifer “Nifty” Hamilton and Makari Design stood out to the Ground Jury. The defending national champions lead the field heading into Saturday’s marathon phase.

USEF Advanced Single Horse Combined Driving National Championship

Hamilton (Alva, Fla.) and Makari Design had a lovely test to impress the judges with well-executed movements and a nice flow. Their steady performances this year have set them up for success at the Carolina Horse Park. Hamilton piloted the 10-year-old KWPN gelding she owns with Milton Hamilton to a score of 48.09 penalties to take the early lead in the national championship.

“I thought [my test] was very good. [Makari Design] was strong and rhythmic today,” Hamilton said. “I am really happy with the way he is progressing; I wanted to bring him along slowly. He is just 10, so I think in another two years, he is going to be terrific.”

Gary Yeager (Ocala, Fla.) and Spring Brooks Galipso are in second place in the national championship after scoring 50.84 penalties in the dressage phase. Even though the duo only began competing at the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) level last fall, they have been consistent performers. Yeager and Sigrid Edwards’s seven-year-old American Dutch Harness gelding had a solid test in a strong field of competitors to position themselves well for the next phase.

Jacob Arnold (Snow Camp, N.C.) and Uminco round out the top three after receiving a score of 52.89 penalties. Arnold is coming off a win at Live Oak International with Leslie Berndl’s 17-year-old Royal Dutch Warmblood gelding and aims to continue their momentum at the national championship.

The exciting marathon phase is up next for the competitors.

“The marathon course looks great,” Hamilton explained. “It is gated really smooth, and I found really good routes. Today, [Makari Design] was really in my hand, so I hope to pick up speed and do it again tomorrow.”

Find more information on the Southern Pines CDE.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Stafford and PVF Peace of Mind Earn 2016 USEF Single Horse Driving National Championship

Suzy Stafford and PVF Peace of Mind, 2016 USEF Single Horse Driving National Champions (Picsofyou.com)

Raeford, N.C. – A field of seven talented combinations vied for top honors over the weekend in the 2016 USEF Single Horse Driving National Championship held at the Southern Pines CDE. Suzy Stafford and PVF Peace of Mind led from start to finish to claim their second consecutive National Champion title, finishing on a score of 134.17. In addition to the championship, the CAN2* Single Horse and Four-in-Hand divisions served as Selection Trials for this summer’s FEI World Driving Championships.

Stafford (Wilmington, Del.) drove a beautiful dressage test with her own PVF Peace of Mind on Friday to begin her quest for the championship title. She and the 2007 Morgan Mare displayed excellent trot work, quality canter work, and impressive halts to win the dressage phase with a score of 37.60 from the Ground Jury of Sarah Mullins (IRL), Debbie Banfield (USA), and Sem Groenewoud (USA). The pair delivered a great marathon performance over Richard Nicoll’s challenging track around the Carolina Horse Park to win the phase with a score of 87.32. Stafford and “Hunny” had some bobbles in obstacle four, the Pine Trees, but had the fastest times of the division in obstacles three, the Wood Pile, seven, A Bridge Too Far, and eight, the Gum Tree Wheel. In Sunday’s cones phase, Stafford and her 2015 USEF International Horse of the Year partner had balls down at the A element of three and four and 3.25 time penalties, totaling 9.25 penalty points. However, the combination had a significant lead going into the final phase, allowing them to win the title.

“It wasn’t as lovely looking as I had planned it to be. She was quite full of herself and had her own idea of what the course should be. She thought she walked it instead of me,” Stafford said with a smile. “Luckily I had a decent lead since we had two balls down, and that gave me a little breathing room. Certainly not what you want to rely on, but it was what I had today.”

Stafford will give PVF Peace of Mind a short break, then plans to head to Europe this summer with the aim of representing the U.S. at the FEI World Driving Championships for Singles.

Reserve Champions Leslie Berndl (Newcastle, Calif.) and Uminco performed a flowing dressage test, highlighted by powerful canter work and smooth deviations, which earned them a score of 41.87. Berndl and her own 2001 KWPN gelding had a solid marathon phase, finishing the phase in third place on a score of 90.44. The duo struggled in obstacle four, but made light work of the rest of the course, allowing them remain in second place overall. In the cones phase, Berndl and Uminco had an unlucky ball down at one but no time penalties, adding only 3.00 penalty points to their overall score and winning the phase. They finished the championship with a total score of 135.31.

Sterling Graburn (Paris, Ky.) and his and Laura Corsentino’s Mannkato had a respectable dressage test with a great rein back and wonderful deviations to receive a score of 47.38. Graburn and 2001 Dutch Harness gelding executed a brilliant marathon phase and scored 87.68 after having the fastest times of the day in obstacles one, Cool Breeze, four, the Pine Trees, five, The Bird Bath, and six, The Gates. Their marathon performance allowed them to move up from fourth to third place overall. Graburn and Mannkato had four balls down for 12.00 penalty points in the cones phase to end on a score of 147.06 for third place in the championship.

James Fairclough (Picsofyou.com)
James Fairclough (Picsofyou.com)

In the CAN2* Four-in-Hand division serving as a Selection Trial, James Fairclough (Newton, N.J.) had a nice dressage test with his team, aside from an error, to score 50.43. He had a great marathon day, winning the phase with a score of 126.12 and having the fastest time in six of the seven obstacles. Fairclough and his team ended their weekend with an excellent cones phase, having no balls down and 8.87 time penalties, winning the phase as well as the division on a score of 185.42.

“I liked starting my season here. I think starting in February can make for a very long season. Dressage was very good, except when I had a little blip there that cost me five points, but it is early in the year. The marathon went well. I had some tight turns I wanted to test. The cones course was extremely tight and it went really well; I’m really excited about that. I’m very pleased; the horses all looked great,” Fairclough said.

Josh Rector (Dyke, Va.) delivered a solid dressage test with his team to score 52.25. He had an educational marathon phase with a score of 180.38, having the fastest time in obstacle five. Rector had four balls down and 21.66 time penalties to finish second in the division in the cones phase with a final score of 266.29.

Find out more about the Southern Pines CDE and view results.

By Kathleen Landwehr

Berndl Retains USEF National Single Horse Driving Championship Title with Supreme Effort at Southern Pines CDE

Leslie Berndl (PicsofYou.com)

Raeford, N.C. – The 2014 USEF National Single Horse Driving Championship came to an exciting conclusion on Sunday in the cones phase of the Southern Pines CDE. On another beautiful day at the Carolina Horse Park, 2013 Champion, Leslie Berndl, held her nerve to drive a near flawless effort over Richard Nicoll’s cones course to retain the title.

Berndl (Newcastle, Calif.) and 13-year-old KWPN gelding Uminco were the final competitors to tackle the cones course in the championship finishing within the time allowed and only dislodging two balls to add six points to their overall score. They finished on a total of 119.67 on weekend that surpassed expectation for the World Championship veteran.

“It was amazing, just amazing,” said the back-to-back Champion of her time at the Southern Pines CDE.

Berndl spent the winter training and competing in Florida and came to the Carolina Horse Park with her sights firmly set on claiming the 2014 title.

“It doesn’t feel real,” said of Berndl of winning the USEF National Single Horse Driving Championship for the second time.

Earning Reserve Champion honors was Suzy Stafford (Wilmington, Del.) and PVF Peace of Mind on a score of 122.43. The 2011 FEI World Driving Championships for Combined Ponies Individual Silver medalist and her own seven-year-old Morgan mare added 2.8 time faults and three penalties for a single ball down on the cones course to finish less three points behind Berndl.

Finishing in overall third place were Donna Crookston (Saltsburg, Pa.) and her own 18-year-old Morgan gelding RG Cowboy’s Black Cadillac on score of 140, rising one place after the marathon as the only entry to drive double clear on the cones course in the Single Horse division.

By Helen Murray

To learn more about the Southern Pines CDE, visit: http://www.carolinahorsepark.com/events/driving/2014/4/southern-pines-combined-driving-event-national-single-horse-championship.

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Berndl Maintains Overall Lead in USEF National Single Horse Driving Championship, as Stafford Wins Marathon

Leslie Berndl (PicsofYou.com)

Raeford, N.C. – The marathon phase of the USEF National Single Horse Driving Championship, which is being held in conjunction with the Southern Pines CDE, proved to be a back-and-forth battle between two of America’s most experienced drivers. Leslie Berndl and Suzy Stafford traded quick times through Richard Nicoll’s eight-obstacle marathon course on a picturesque day at the Carolina Horse Park. While Stafford was able to capture victory on the marathon, it is Berndl who will drive last in the cones as the leader of the National Championship at the conclusion of two phases of competition.

Berndl (Newcastle, Calif.) and her own 13-year-old KWPN gelding, Uminco, headed onto the marathon with the overnight lead after winning the dressage with a score of 34.24, and a 4.65 lead over Stafford. The 2013 USEF National Single Horse Driving Champions posted competitive scores throughout each hazard including driving the fastest time in obstacle two and placing second in obstacle four. Additionally, they continued their pursuit to back-to-back titles by driving the third quickest times in obstacles one, five, six, seven, and eight on their way to finishing the marathon on a score of 79.43 in second place.

Berndl heads into the final cones phase on a total score of 113.67, giving her more than a three-point cushion over the field.

Stafford (Wilmington, Del.) and her own PVF Peace of Mind currently stand in second place in the Championship with score of 117.35. The three-time USEF Single Pony Champion, utilized her vast experience with the seven-year-old Morgan as they won the first and third obstacles, and posted second-place scores in obstacles five, six, and seven. On their way to winning Saturday’s marathon on a score of 78.76, the Live Oak International winners also placed third in obstacle four.

Kate Shields (Middleburg, Va.) held her third place overall standing with her own 13-year-old Welsh Cob gelding, Hastening Winslow, on a two-day score of 138.78, after placing seventh on the marathon with a score of 95.64.

Championship competition comes to a close on Sunday with the cones phase.

By Helen Murray

To learn more about the Southern Pines CDE, visit: http://www.carolinahorsepark.com/events/driving/2014/4/southern-pines-combined-driving-event-national-single-horse-championship.

Follow the U.S. Driving Team here.

Strong Field Lines Up for USEF National Single Horse Driving Championship at Southern Pines CDE

Leslie Berndl (Picsofyou.com)

Raeford, N.C. – A talented field of 11 drivers descends upon Raeford, N.C., this weekend as they look to lay claim on the 2014 USEF National Single Horse Driving Championship. The annual championship will be held in conjunction with the Southern Pines CDE, April 11-13, at the Carolina Horse Park. Competition gets underway Friday with the dressage, with drivers heading out on the marathon course the following day. Sunday hosts the final phase of competition as the 2014 champion will be crowned at the conclusion of the cones.

Reigning USEF National Single Horse Driving Champion Leslie Berndl (Newcastle, Calif.) and her own 13-year-old KWPN gelding Uminco head to the Carolina Horse Park with their sights firmly set on retaining their title. They come into the weekend in strong form after earning a victory at the Kingdom of the Sun CDE and second-place finishes at Sunshine State and Live Oak this winter.

Additionally, a pair of former USEF National Combined Driving Single Pony Champions looks to earn their first Single Horse National title. Suzy Stafford (Wilmington, Del.) has three Single Pony Championship titles (2004, 2008, and 2009) to her name and heads into the weekend with her own seven-year-old Morgan mare PVF Peace of Mind after having won at Live Oak three weeks ago. Sara Schmitt (Flemington, N.J.) earned the Single Pony title in 2005 and 2007 and looks to add a Single Horse Championship to her resume. She and her own eight-year-old Friesian Heritage mare Savannah enter Southern Pines after having earned seventh- and sixth-place finishes at Kingdom of the Sun and Live Oak, respectively.

Also lining up this weekend is 2011 USEF Junior Equestrian of the Year, Jacob Arnold, who has been training with Four-in-Hand National Champion Chester Weber as part of the Live Oak Combined Driving Developing Driver Program. Arnold (Snow Camp, N.C.) and IJsbrand Chardon’s 11-year-old KWPN gelding Whopper have been enjoying a 2014 season earning a fifth-place finish at Kingdom of the Sun and driving to third place at Live Oak.

This weekend will be doubly important for Single Horse drivers as it also serves as a Selection Trial for the 2014 FEI Single World Driving Championship.

By Helen Murray

To learn more about the Southern Pines CDE, visit: http://www.carolinahorsepark.com/events/driving/2014/4/southern-pines-combined-driving-event-national-single-horse-championship.

Follow the U.S. Driving Team here.

Morgan, Matheson and Stroud Earn National Titles at Southern Pines CDE

Tracey Morgan (Picsofyou.com)

Raeford, NC – The Southern Pines CDE came to a conclusion on Sunday at the picturesque Carolina Horse Park as three pony drivers were crowned 2013 National Champions. In the USEF National Combined Driving Single Pony Championship Tracey Morgan had the trip of day to claim the Single Pony Title for the first time. Jennifer Matheson claimed her third USEF National Combined Driving Pair Pony Championship, with a solid cones phase. The USEF National Combined Driving Pony Team Championship went to Lisa Stroud for the ninth time as she executed a near faultless trip.

USEF National Combined Driving Single Pony Championship

Morgan (Beallsville, MD) drove her own Fuego 88 flawlessly in the cones phase to post the only double clear in any of the Advanced divisions. The 12-year-old German Riding Pony completed on a three-day total of 130.59.

“I knew I needed to do that (drive double clear), to have a shot. That double clear is always so important; it was my first of the year,” said Morgan. “We kept fighting our way up from third after the dressage all weekend.”

Morgan is a former USEF National Combined Driving Pair Pony Championship but this is the first time topping the Single Pony Championship.

“It was fantastic to win the National Championship; it was good friends and good competition.”

Earning the Reserve Championship was the leader following the marathon, Paul Maye (Fairfield, VA) on a final score of 134.71. Maye drove Harmony Sport Horses’ Markus just a little too conservatively to incur 8.32 time faults but leave all the balls in place in the cones.

Jennifer Matheson (Picsofyou.com)
Jennifer Matheson (Picsofyou.com)

USEF National Combined Driving Pair Pony Championship

Matheson (Aiken, SC) drove the combination of Bax and Cees to a cones score of 8.90 after incurring six faults for two balls down and 2.90 time faults. The 2010 and 2011 National Champion earned her third title on a score of 145.15.

“It’s great to win (the National Championship); this makes three,” said Matheson. “It really solidifies to me that I can represent my country.”

The Southern Pines CDE proved to be a large step forward for Matheson and her ponies after a less than ideal spring campaign.

“We’re improving; I’m still trying to get my confidence back. I’ve been unsettled but I’m getting more confident.”

Finishing in second and earning Reserve Champion honors was Wendy O’Brien (Aiken, SC) on a score of 157.37. The 2012 National Champion incurred four balls down and 4.60 time faults for a cones total of 16.60.

USEF National Combined Driving Pony Team Championship

Stroud (West Grove, PA) drove with great precision to complete the weekend with a cones score of 4.24, one ball down and 1.24 time faults. She earned her record-tying eighth consecutive National Championship on a score of 170.11.

“It’s kind of cool,” said Stroud of her ninth National Title (2004 and 2006-2013).

Stroud was very pleased with her team on Sunday as they performed so well over the challenging cones course.

Lisa Stroud (Picsofyou.com)
Lisa Stroud (Picsofyou.com)

“That was a hard cones course. I felt lucky to get out of there alive,” said Stroud. “It (the time) was very tight. I’m very pleased with all these ponies.”

Heather Schneider (Palm City, FL) earned the Reserve Championship on a three-day total of 201.98, after scoring 14.74 on the cones (one ball down and 11.74 time faults).

For results, visit: http://drivingnews.us/results/results2013/SouthernPines/.

To learn more about the Southern Pines CDE, visit: http://southernpinescdedotcom.wordpress.com/.

Follow the 2013 U.S. Driving Team here.

By Helen Murray

Maye, Matheson and Stroud Dominate Marathon Phase at Southern Pines CDE as Sights Are Set on National Championships

Paul Maye (Picsofyou.com)

Raeford, NC – The marathon phase proved extremely influential at the Southern Pines CDE as the leaderboards across the competition saw great shake-ups. In the USEF National Combined Driving Single Pony Championship, Paul Maye drove a consistent and determined second phase to seize the two-day lead on a score of 126.39. While in the USEF National Combined Driving Pair Pony Championship, Jennifer Matheson will head into the cones as the leader with a score of 136.25. Lisa Stroud maintained her dressage lead in the USEF National Combined Driving Pony Team Championship and stands on a total of 165.87. All three current leaders were the marathon winners in their respective divisions.

USEF National Combined Driving Single Pony Championship

Maye (Fairfield, VA) drove like a man on a mission over the eight hazard course guiding Harmony Sport Horses’ Markus to a marathon score of 77.96. The 2012 National Championships won hazards one, four and seven to hold a four point lead going into the cones phase.

“He was wonderful, he did everything I asked him to do,” said Maye of his 12-year-old German Sport Pony stallion. “He got me out of trouble in a couple places and he finished very strong.”

Lying second heading into the cones are Tracey Morgan (Beallsville, MD) and Fuego 88 with a two-day total of 130.59.

Jennifer Matheson (Picsofyou.com)
Jennifer Matheson (Picsofyou.com)

USEF National Combined Driving Pair Pony Championship

Matheson (Aiken, SC) posted the quickest times in five of the hazards on Saturday. On the marathon the 2010 and 2011 National Champion drove Bax and Cees together for the first time with great success as she posted a score of 86.86 for the phase.

“I thought the marathon went well. It’s a new combination,” said Matheson.  “I’m really happy with how it went.”

Wendy O’Brien (Aiken, SC) the 2012 National Championship and Friday’s dressage leader currently lies second on a score of 140.77.

USEF National Combined Driving Pony Team Championship

Stroud (West Grove, PA) won the dressage phase of the USEF National Combined Driving Pony Team Championship on a score of 50.24 and lengthened her lead with a strong marathon phase. The reigning National Champion won five hazards (one, three, four, five and six) to earn a marathon score of 115.63.

“I like that there were eight hazards here; it’s very technically challenging and very tight for a Team. Overall it was very well built and so welcoming. The volunteers and committee make it a competitor friendly show. When you wake up and are excited there’s nothing better,” said Stroud of the Southern Pines CDE. “I was thrilled with the dressage; I was hoping to break 50 this spring and I did 50.24 (yesterday), so I’ll take the .24.”

Lisa Stroud (Picsofyou.com)
Lisa Stroud (Picsofyou.com)

Stroud heads into the cones phase with a nearly 22 point lead as she vies to earn her 10th National Title.

Sitting in second place overnight is Heather Schneider (Palm City, FL) with a score of 187.24.

Competition concludes for all divisions with the final cones phase on Sunday.

For Orders of Go and Results, visit: http://drivingnews.us/results/results2013/SouthernPines/.

To learn more about the Southern Pines CDE, visit: http://southernpinescdedotcom.wordpress.com/.

Follow the 2013 U.S. Driving Team here.

By Helen Murray

Stafford, O’Brien and Stroud Get the Early Jump on National Titles Following Dressage at the Southern Pines CDE

Suzy Stafford (Picsofyou.com)

Raeford, NC – The first day of competition at the Southern Pines CDE came to a close with pony drivers taking their first steps towards earning National Titles as they performed their dressage tests. National Championship competitors were fortunate to enjoy sunny skies, as CDE competitors following the lunch break were met with a deluge of rain. In the USEF National Combined Driving Single Pony Championship Suzy Stafford leads the field after scoring 45.23 in the first phase. Wendy O’Brien heads into Saturday’s marathon with a six point lead after scoring 43.31 in the USEF National Combined Driving Pair Pony Championship. The USEF National Combined Driving Pony Team Championship was the final division of the day and saw Lisa Stroud jump out to the first day lead on a score of 50.24.

USEF National Combined Driving Single Pony Championship

OBrien-dr1_1304
Wendy O’Brien (Picsofyou.com)

Stafford (Wilmington, DE) and Wendy O’Brien’s TTE Tea Time drove as the final competitors in the division and set the tone from the very start of the test. The Individual Silver medalist from the 2011 FEI World Driving Championships for Combined Ponies utilized her years of experience to produce a consistent and precise effort with the nine-year-old Morgan gelding.

Lying second are the 2012 USEF National Combined Driving Single Pony Champions, Paul Maye (Fairfield, VA) and Harmony Sport Horses’ Markus. The 12-year-old German Sport Pony stallion earned a score of 48.43.

USEF National Combined Driving Pair Pony Championship

O’Brien (Aiken, SC) drove her own Braakmoor Clowny Clark (a 15-year-old Welsh gelding) and Braakmoor Conan (a 14-year-old Welsh gelding) in the first phase as she looks to retain her National Title from 2012. The pair of ponies demonstrated powerful and expressive gaits but a few bobbles cost them valuable marks.

Heading to the marathon in second place is Jennifer Matheson on a score of 49.39. Matheson (Aiken, SC) drove Katrina Becker’s Bax and Danyloo in the first phase.

USEF National Combined Driving Pony Team Championship

In the dressage, Stroud (West Grove, PA) drove her own Sir Patrick (a 14-year-old Connemara gelding), With Flair (a 14-year-old Welsh gelding), Kilkerin Edward (a 16-year-old Welsh gelding) and Mystic (a 13-year-old New Forest Pony gelding). The nine-time National Champion had a consistent test, highlighted by relaxed walk work. She will head out onto the marathon with a six-point lead.

Lisa Stroud (Picsofyou.com)
Lisa Stroud (Picsofyou.com)

In second place in the USEF National Combined Driving Pony Team Championship is Heather Schneider (Palm City, FL) who drove her own Rambo, Patrick, Cloud 9 and Jazz to a score of 56.64.

Competition continues for all divisions with the marathon on Saturday.

For Orders of Go and Results, visit: http://drivingnews.us/results/results2013/SouthernPines/.

To learn more about the Southern Pines CDE, visit: http://southernpinescdedotcom.wordpress.com/.

Follow the 2013 U.S. Driving Team here.

By Helen Murray