Jan Byyny and Inmidair (Shannon Brinkman)
Elkton, Md. – The Dutta Corp Fair Hill International came to an exciting conclusion on Sunday with two and three star competitors navigating Sally Ike’s scopey show jumping tracks. At the end of The Dutta Corp/USEF Three-Star Eventing National Championship, Jan Byyny and Inmidair proved to be deserving and popular winners as they claimed their first National Title. While in the morning session Allie Blyskal-Sacksen and Sparrow’s Nio held their nerve to rise one place and claim the USEF National Championship.
The Dutta Corp/USEF Three-Star Eventing National Championship
Two years ago Byyny (Purcellville, Va.) and Inmidair cantered into the William DuPont Jr. Arena leading the CCI3* but two rails down in the show jumping left the pair in third place. But in 2013 the Pan American Games Gold medalist and her own and her parents Dick and Jo Bynny’s 14-year-old New Zealand Thoroughbred gelding got redemption as they left the ring The Dutta Corp/USEF Three Star Eventing National Champions.
A clear round looked on tap for the pair until the influential double at fence nine, when the B element hit the floor, Byyny then held her nerve over the remaining three obstacles to finish on a score of 51.6 and claim victory in both the National Championship and CCI3* competition.
“My horse is a pretty amazing jumper; clearly the rail I had was mine,” reflected Byyny about her aggressive ride to nine. “He doesn’t want to touch anything.”
The pair has experienced highs and lows throughout the career together and Sunday’s win was particularly rewarding for Byyny.
“I’ve had some pretty bad luck with this horse. I went to Kentucky (in April of 2013) and the horse had a breathing issue and had to have surgery. I didn’t know if he would ever do another three-star,” said the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games veteran. “This is everything for me.”
Additionally, as the winner of The Dutta Corp/USEF National Three-Star Eventing Championship at Fair Hill, Byyny will receive travel provided by The Dutta Corp to be used for European competition agreed upon by the USEF.
“It’s amazing, pretty special,” said Byyny of The Dutta Corp sponsored flight.
The Dutta Corp has a longtime involvement with dressage and jumping and is excited to become more involved with eventing in the United States.
“I always felt I needed to give back to the community,” Tim Dutta explained of the companies association with the USEF National Championship and Fair Hill International.
Earning Reserve Champion honors in both National Championship and CCI3* competition were Buck Davidson (Ocala, Fla.) and Park Trader. The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games veteran and Carl and Cassandra Segal’s 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding headed into the final phase in fifth place and produced one of seven faultless efforts over Ike’s 12 obstacle track to climb three places.
Davidson has known Byyny since she worked for his father Bruce Davidson during his childhood and while he was very pleased with Park Trader’s performance on the weekend he could not think of a more deserving winner.
“It’s been a job in perseverance; he’s been a difficult horse but the Segals have really stuck with me and the horse. To put three phases together was exciting,” said Davidson about Park Trader, who then continued to talk about his longtime friend. “There’s no way I wanted anyone to win but Jan; nobody deserves it more than she does.”
Davidson and Park Trader finished on a score of 52.6.
Finishing in third place in both the National Championship and CCI3* was Will Coleman (Charlottesville, Va.) and The Conair Syndicate’s Conair. The 10-year-old Anglo-European gelding had a single rail at the first fence to finish on a score of 54.2.
Land Rover Competition Grant recipient, Ellen Doughty and Sir Oberon, added four faults to their score for a single rail down to finish in sixth on a score of 57.6. The Heartland, Texas native and her own 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding were also the winners of the USEF National Developing Rider Championship, as the highest placed pair to have never completed a CCI4*.
USEF National Two Star Championship
Blyskal-Sacksen (Landennberg, Pa.) and her own 10-year-old Connemara/ Thoroughbred gelding proved popular winners of both the USEF National Two Star Championship and CCI2* as they posted an immaculate clear over Ike’s 11 obstacle course. The pair entered the William DuPont Jr. Arena in second place and produced a polished efficient effort as the 15.3hh Sparrow’s Nio never looked in doubt of a clear round to claim their first National Title.
“It’s really cool to win here; to come here and win is really special,” said the newly minted National Champion.
Blyskal-Sacksen and Sparrow’s Nio were one of only six combinations to finish the weekend on their dressage score after jumping clear and within the time allowed on the cross country and in the show jumping. Since having seven rails down in the show jumping at the Jersey Fresh CCI2*, Blyskal-Sacksen has put a lot of focus on the final with the help of her husband.
“We spent a lot of this summer, practicing and videoing and trying to improve.”
The pair will look to step up to the three-star level in 2014 and Blyskal-Sacksen believes that Sparrow’s Nio is ready for the Advanced level.
“I’ve always known he was a special horse,” said Blyskal-Sacksen. “He has that ‘I’m all that attitude’, that all upper level horses have. Even though he’s only 15.3 he thinks he’s 17.3.”
The overnight leaders, Sharon White (Summit Point, W.V.) and Under Suspection, were poised to claim the National Title with a steady round until Mary Ann Ghadban’s nine-year-old Holsteiner mare rolled a pole in the triple combination. They added four jumping faults and two additional time faults to their overall score to finish on a total of 49.9 and earn Reserve National Championship honors and finish CCI2* competition in fourth place.
The National Young Horse Championship, which is awarded to the top-placed U.S. owned six- or seven-year-old, was awarded to the Fernhill Classic Syndicate’s seven-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Irish Sport Horse, Fernhill Classic. The talented gelding was ridden by Australia’s Ryan Wood to an overall second-place finish in the CCI2* on a score of 49.7.
Jenny Caras (Marietta, GA) and her own Fernhill Fortitude finished off their 2013 campaign by claiming the USEF National Young Riders Championship title, awarded to the top U.S. competitor aged 16-21, on a score of 63.7. Caras and the nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse finished the CCI2* in 12th place.
By Helen Murray
To learn more about The Dutta Corp Fair Hill International, visit http://www.fairhillinternational.com/fhi-cci/.
Follow the 2013 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team here.