Woods Baughman and C’est La Vie ©Shannon Brinkman Photography.
Mill Spring, NC – November 13, 2021 – The Dutta Corp/USEF CCI 4*-L Eventing National Championship podium has rearranged after Cross-Country, with the same trio of horse-and-rider pairs holding onto top three spots ahead of Jumping competition on Sunday. Woods Baughman (USA) and C’est La Vie are the new pair to beat, adding nothing to their Dressage score after blazing around the Cross-Country course in nine minutes and 36 seconds. Will Coleman (USA) and Chin Tonic HS added 7.6 time penalties to their 26 for a total score of 33.6 for the 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Chin Champ x Quinar) owned by Hyperion Stud LLC, while Sharon White (USA) and Claus 63, her own 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Catoo x Levisto), sit at 35.9 points for third place after adding six time penalties to their score.
Baughman and the 2008 Hanoverian gelding (Contendro I x Aarking xx) owned in partnership with James Baughman Jr. and Kim Baughman were the solo pair to navigate the Captain Mark Phillips (GBR) course design without time faults. Jumping clear was an accomplishment that only nine entries managed, with five horses picking up 20 penalties and seven competitors failing to complete the course. In short: competition was stiff, and Baughman arrived at the base of the infamous hill with four jumps to conquer and an unsure sense of his time, he reported.
“He was fantastic. I mean, he’s a total powerhouse on course. I set him up for the important combinations, and everywhere else, I just let him run. And then we got to the end of the course, we had that big hill and I wasn’t exactly sure of my time, because I had that hold on course.” Baughman chose to see what his ride had left in the tank as they powered up the hill for the last few obstacles, and “as I headed to the hill, I decided not to take any chances, and I just dropped the reins and let him run.”
Baughman and C’est La Vie have been in almost this exact scenario before heading into Show Jumping in Tryon Stadium, which Baughman thinks bodes well for their round – as long as C’est La Vie remains relaxed.
“He’s a pretty solid jumper, so that always helps you feel a little bit more comfortable. It gives us a bit of confidence knowing how he’ll react to that big ring. And the real plan is just to help him stay relaxed and easygoing into tomorrow because he can get pretty uptight pretty fast. And then,” Baughman explained, “he stops his back and can have one behind. It’s just [a matter of] keeping him relaxed through the night and happy in the morning, and we’ll give it our best shot tomorrow.”
For Baughman, the biggest difference between this year’s 4*-L championship contest and last year’s was the orientation of the Cross-Country course, which started at the top of the hill in 2020. “It was definitely interesting doing the course the other way around this year,” he concluded. “It had a much different feel than last year, because the hill going down in the beginning kind of set the pace early.” The route had a completely different feeling when topographically reversed, he revealed. “This year, knowing that it was kind of lurking over you the whole way around the course, that you’re gonna have to run [up it] at the end, really, you had to be ready, and a bit ahead of your markers with enough force to actually keep coming. It was a completely different style.”
View all results from the Dutta Corp Tryon International Three-Day Event here.
Full schedules and viewing information, including live stream links, are available at www.Tryon.com/eventing.
For more info, visit www.Tryon.com.