Fair Hill, Md. - Erin Sylvester and Paddy the Caddy ended their long history of competing at The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International in style, winning The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship. Joining her in the victory circle was Woods Baughman aboard C’est La Vie 135 as The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI3*-L Eventing National Champions at Fair Hill.
Erin Sylvester (Cochranville, Pa.) and Paddy the Caddy, Frank McEntee’s 12-year-old Irish Thoroughbred gelding, rode to the win in the CCI4*-L with a final score of 34.30. In addition to the national championship title, the combination takes home the Fair Hill Bronze as the overall winner, the USEF’s Guy V. Henry Memorial Trophy and the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation Gladstone Trophy as the highest-placed U.S athlete in the CCI4*, and the Beale Wright Morris Memorial Trophy as the highest-placed lady rider.
“He felt a little bit tired, but he has endless heart to do the best he can when he’s in the ring,” said Sylvester. “It’s been my goal to get this event done and done well for a while now. We’ve hit a few bumps in the road during the season, so it was great to put that all behind us and have a good weekend.”
With the CCI5* on the horizon, Sylvester noted the history she has with Fair Hill, but is excited for the future. “It’s special to have the finish that we’ve had this year, but I’m honestly going to be really, really sad. I was thinking about that the whole weekend,” said Sylvester. “This was the first two-star that I did a long time ago. I love this event—it’s a local event for us. It pulls the whole community together. I’m excited to see what the future holds on the other side of the road.”
The Dutta Corp. is proud to sponsor the USEF and is honored that the USEF has chosen to provide a The Dutta Corp. flight to Sylvester, as the winner of The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship. “I’d love to get Paddy to Burghley at some point in time,” said Sylvester.
Mia Farley (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) riding in both CCI divisions, rode away as the Reserve Champion in The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship aboard BGS Firecracker, her nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare. The young rider scaled the leaderboard after each phase for the reserve championship to end on a 38.3 and bring home the USET Foundation’s Markham Trophy, presented to the highest-placed U.S. young rider in the CCI4*-L; the Amanda Warrington Trophy, presented to the highest-placed rider completing their first CCI4*-L; and the Edward Johnson Memorial Trophy, presented to the highest-placed adult amateur.
“Overall, I had so much fun all week. I feel incredibly lucky to be here,” said Farley. “Coming from California, it’s always been a goal of mine to come to Fair Hill and experience the track, and I never would’ve thought that I’d finish as well as I did. I’m lucky to have my horse.”
Farley also rode in the CCI3*-L and was the recipient of The John H. Fritz Trophy as the National Champion in the USEF Young Rider Eventing National Championship with Fernhill Fine Diamond, Charlotte Zovighian’s 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare, with a score of 36.80. This USEF National Championship is awarded in the CCI3*-L to the highest-placed U.S. competitor who is 16 years of age to 21 years of age during the current competition year. Reserve Champion in the young rider championship was awarded to Abigail Niles (Sherborn, Mass.) and Carrick Finest Lad, her 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding. They finished their time at Fair Hill on a score of 38.80.
Rounding out the top three in The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship, Jenny Caras (Cartersville, Ga.) piloted her and the Fernhill Fortitude Syndicate’s Fernhill Fortitude, a 15 year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, to an exciting third-place finish. The pair skyrocketed up the leaderboard after a dramatic cross-country phase and a double-clear show jumping round to end on her dressage score of 40.0.
“I love riding at Fair Hill, and I love riding around Derek di Grazia’s tracks. It’s so nice as a rider to be able to go out on cross-country and trust that the course designer has set something that you can really ride forward and bold to, and if you do your job as a rider, the horses will understand it,” said Caras. “In the past, the show jumping has been a bit tricky for us. I used to put him in a lot of hackamores and bigger bits to try and hold him, but now I’ve just taken him back to a snaffle and have really focused on getting the jumps to hold him. He was great in there, and I couldn’t be happier with how he finished.”
Woods Baughman (Lexington, Ky.) and C’est La Vie 135, the 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Woods, Kim, and Jay Baughman, were the recipients of the USEF Combined Training Trophy as they claimed the title of The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI3*-L Eventing National Champion in style, ending on their dressage score of 27.6. Along with the title, Baughman took home the Heartwood Perpetual Trophy, awarded to the overall winner of the CCI3*-L division, and The Sea Horse Farm Perpetual Trophy, which is presented to the owner of the winning horse in the CCI3*-L division.
“I was so happy when we finally made it over the last rail,” said Baughman. “I can breathe for the first time since yesterday. He was a little tired this morning but then I took him out and rode him first thing and he immediately snapped back to and gave me everything he had. When I got on him this afternoon, he was just right there with me and ready to put it down.”
Finishing her weekend as Reserve Champion in The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI3*-L Eventing National Championship and third in CCI3*-L on her dressage score of 29.8, Caitlin Silliman (Swarthmore, Pa.) and the eight-year-old Trakenher mare, Ally KGO, owned by the McCue Family and Q-Brook Stables.
“She was great. You never really know when you are bringing them up the level to their first really tough one,” said Silliman. “She was good yesterday and the weather was great, so we had that in our favor. The rain was tough today because it makes the tack a bit slippery, but it did cool off so that keeps them fresh.”
Silliman spent the week tied throughout the competition with fellow competitor Holly Payne Caravella (Oldwick, N.J.) and CharmKing, the eight year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by the CharmKing LLC, until the last jump. In the end, it came down to mere seconds as Silliman finished closest to the optimum time, 8:46, on Derek di Graza’s cross-country course. Silliman completed the course in 8:45 to break the tie.
“She finished strong yesterday and you never know how much horse you’re going to have left on Sunday morning or how they’re going to show jump,” said Silliman. “She’s a very good show jumper, but she’s never jumped after a long course like this. She felt the same to me today, which is exciting for the future.”
Second place in the CCI3*-L went to Canadian Colleen Loach (Dunham, Quebec) and Peter Barry’s Vermont, the seven-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, after they ended on their dressage score of 28.6. Loach was the recipient of The Palmaccio Trophy, which is presented to the leading foreign rider in the CCI3*-L division.
Maya Black (Clinton, Wash.) and Miks Master C, Laurie Cameron’s seven-year-old Swedish Warmblood stallion, won the USEF Young Horse Eventing National Championship and took home the Jonathan R. Burton Trophy, as the highest-placed six- or seven-year-old U.S. horse in the CCI3*-L. They ended the competition with a top-ten finish on a final score of 36.0. The Reserve Champion title went to Alyssa Peterson (Waldorf, Md.) and R-Perfect Storm, Margaret Peterson’s seven-year-old Oldenburg mare, with a top-20 finish on a score of 40.0.
“Overall, I was thrilled with [Miks Master C],” said Black. “He tries so hard and has been a consistent horse, especially in his training. He just keeps stepping up to the plate.”
Regarding their time at Fair Hill, Black noted “[Mik Master C] is so honest, straight forward and fun. Overall, we are thrilled. Winning the seven-year-old championship means a lot to me and my team.”
The Mid-Atlantic Horse Rescue Trophy was awarded to Fibber and Molly, the eight-year-old Thoroughbred mare, owned and ridden by Chris Talley (Jefferson, Va.), as the highest-placed American Thoroughbred. The combination finished on a score of 49.2.
Fair Hill is proud to partner with The Dutta Corporation, the event's title sponsor, which is an international and domestic horse shipping company founded by J. Tim Dutta. It has been expanding rapidly since its inception in 1988 and particularly so in the last twenty years. With state-of-the-art jet stalls and an expert team of grooms, The Dutta Corp. provides horse air transport solutions tailored to each individual horse.
“My family and I are very involved in the top sport of horses and I really love eventing because it’s truly a sport of horsemanship,” said J. Tim Dutta, CEO of The Dutta Corporation. “Derek is a master course designer, the ground rode well, and you had top sport and you had very worthy winners.”
As a longtime sponsor of Fair Hill, Dutta commented on the connection with the community over the last eight years. “Most important, I thank the community for supporting The Dutta Corporation, because without your support, we cannot give back. We’re really happy to be a part of the eventing community and to support Fair Hill as well as the national championships.”
Complete results are available here.
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The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOC, and USEF sponsors and members.