Temecula, Calif. – The dressage leaders in the USEF Eventing Championships delivered strong performances on cross-country day at Galway Downs to hold on to their top spots on the leaderboards. Liz Halliday and Cooley Nutcracker had solid performance in the USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship, while Sarah Ross and Fernhill Heart Throb made quick work of the course for the USEF CCI2*-L Eventing National Championship. The USEF Eventing Young Rider Championships presented by USEA displayed great riding from the youth athletes with Area VI leading in the CCI2*-L and Area VII shining in the CCI1*-Intro.
USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship
Halliday (Lexington, Ky.) and Cooley Nutcracker, The Nutcracker Syndicate and Renee Lane’s 2014 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Tolant R x Ballyshan Cleopatra), maintained their lead in the USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship with the fastest round over Clayton Fredericks’s cross-country course. They added 9.6 time penalties to their score to head into the final phase with a score of 39.5.
“He was phenomenal. He is such a wonderful horse. He is brave, he is careful, and he has scope for days and he gallops. Just every part of it makes him a world-class horse, in my opinion. He really felt so confident and answered all the questions.”
While Halliday does have several rails in hand heading into the show jumping phase, she is focused on giving Cooley Nutcracker the best possible ride.
“At the end of the day, I want to go in and give him a nice ride and have a nice clear round,” said Halliday. “It’s important to do a good job, so that’s all I am looking at now is finishing strong and well.”
Tommy Greengard (Malibu, Calif.) and Joshuay MBF, his own 2014 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Foreign Affair x Fernacchy MBF), easily tackled their first CCI4*-L track, adding 22.8 time penalties to their score of a total of 61.7 to sit in second in the National Championship and third overall in the CCI4*-L. Emilee Libby (Temecula, Calif.) and Toska, Natalia Valente’s 2009 Dutch Warmblood mare (Singapore x Tovita), had a solid round in their first CCI4*-L to move into third in the National Championship and fourth overall in the CCI4*-L after adding 34.0 time penalties to their score for a total of 73.2.
USEF CCI2*-L Eventing National Championship
For the second straight day, young riders dominated the top of the leaderboard in the USEF CCI2*-L Eventing National Championship. Sarah Ross (Reno, Nev.) and Fernhill Heart Throb, her own 2014 KWPN gelding (Biscayo x Postara), held onto their lead with a fabulous cross-country round over Clayton Fredericks’s track to add nothing to their score of 25.0.
“Sparky warmed up wonderfully, so I was pretty happy heading out of the box, and he just gave it his all,” said Ross. “He was really, really unbelievable. I definitely was going for broke a bit, so it was a cool feeling going out there and just give it everything we had and seeing it pay off.”
Hanni Sreenan (Hood River, Ore.) and Ebenholtz, a 2007 Hanoverian gelding (Ehrentusch x Levantine) owned by Amy Haugen, moved up from third to second after their double-clear round to sit on a score of 28.8. Molly Duda (Menlo Park, Calif.) and Carlingfords Hes a Clover, her own 2012 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Polanski x Fourleaf Clover), had a double-clear round to move up from 13th to third on their score of 29.8.
USEF Eventing Young Rider Championships presented by USEA
Area VI’s Molly Duda and Disco Traveler, her own 2010 Oldenburg gelding (Donatelli x Cadence), remained atop the CCI3*-L Individual Championship leaderboard with a double-clear round over Clayton Fredericks’s course and a score of 33.5.
“It was great,” said Duda. “Disco was feeling super fit. He’s definitely at his best right now. We have been working on improving his gallop a lot so that we are making the time by lengthening his step so he’s just using his body well. I think we have been really succeeding in that. He felt really good. He cooled out pretty fast, so I think the fitness is there. Fingers crossed for tomorrow.”
Area VI’s Elsa Warble (Portola Valley, Calif.) and FE Unlimited, Anna Meegan’s 2014 Holsteiner gelding (Uriko x Viona III), moved from third to second after having a solid round with 11.2 time penalties to sit on a score of 49.6. Area VII’s Kayla Dumler (Enumclaw, Wash.) and Faramir, her and Tammy Milling’s 2010 Thoroughbred gelding (Capitalimprovement x Princess Malaga), had a miscommunication on course for 20 jump penalties and 8.0 time penalties but finished well to sit in third on a score of 63.7.
In the CCI2*-L Team Championship, Area VI kept their hold on the top spot on the leaderboard with a score of 88.9. Sarah Ross and Fernhill Heart Throb led the way with their double-clear round and a score of 25.0 to lead the team. Teammates Gabriella Ringer (San Ramon, Calif.) and Get Wild, her own 2012 KWPN gelding (Plot Blue x Cantana), added 5.6 time penalties to their score for a total of 31.1. Julia Beauchamp Crandon (Redwood City, Calif.) and MGH Capa Vilou, her own 2014 Irish Sport Horse mare (Ars Vivendi x Dilou M), were double-clear to remain on their dressage score of 32.8. Lauren Crabtree (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) and Excellence, Traci Crabtree’s 2009 KWPN gelding (Vaillant x Wolinda), tallied 3.6 time penalties to sit on a score of 38.0.
Sitting behind Area VI in the Team Championship, Area VII is in second place with a score of 2051.6.
Area VI’s Ross and Fernhill Heart Throb lead the CCI2*-L Individual Championship on 25.0, followed by Area VII’s Sreenan and Ebenholtz in second on 28.8 and Area VI’s Ringer and Get Wild in third on 31.1.
Area VII stayed in the lead in the CCI1*-L Team Championship and remained on the same score following the dressage phase, a 94.6. In an impressive display of cross-country riding, each the Area VII went double-clear over Alessandra Allen-Shinn’s course. Harper Padgett (Woodinville, Wash.) and Cooley Starship, Leonie Padgett’s 2015 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Cobra x Simona), lead the way for the team with a score of 28.2. Teammates Lizzie Hoff (Gig Harbor, Wash.) and HSH Best Kept Secret, a 2017 Irish Sport horse gelding owned by Caroline Pamukcu and Sherrie Martin, are close behind with a score of 31.2. Olivia Keye (Kamas, Utah) and Chromatic Flyer, her own 2012 Thoroughbred gelding, remained on their score of 35.2. Caterina Ritson (Ridgefield, Wash.) and This Lad is Gold, her own 2008 Thoroughbred gelding (Private Gold x This Ones a Riot), sat on their score of 36.6.
Area VI sits in second place with a score of 110.1, followed by Alberta/Ontario in third with a score of 119.0.
In the CCI1*-L Individual Championship, Area V’s Scarlett Peinado (Aubrey, Texas) and Shadow Inspector, her own 2010 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Tinaranas Inspector x Caragh Roller), maintained their lead with a double-clear cross-country round to stay on their dressage score of 27.4.
“I’m really happy with my ride,” said Peinado. “I felt like all of the pieces came together. Everything that I have been working for over the past few months really came together.”
Peinado said Shadow Inspector is a brave jumper but lackadaisical when it comes to his pace on cross-country. However, he was all business on Friday.
“Today he definitely wanted to go and it was a really nice feeling,” said Peinado. “He is so honest. He is willing to jump anything from anywhere. He is a great horse and I feel really safe confident on him.”
Area VII’s Padgett and Cooley Starship stayed in second place with a score of 28.2 after a double-clear round. Area VI’s Fiona Holland (Solvang, Calif.) and Joshua Tree, her own 2014 Holsteiner gelding (Acore KF x Gijit), remained in third place on a score of 30.3.
The competition concludes with Saturday, November 4, with the show jumping phase.