Lexington, Va. – American combinations Sharon White and Kelsey Ann Quinn masterfully tackled John Michael Durr’s cross-country course on Saturday at the Virginia Horse Trials. White and Masterel pulled ahead to capture the lead in the USEF CCI1* Eventing National Championship, while Quinn and Dandy Longlegs maintained their lead in the USEF CCI1*-JR/YR Eventing National Championship.
White (Summit Point, W.V.) sat in fifth following Friday’s dressage phase with the nine-year-old Italian Thoroughbred gelding she owns with Denis Glaccum. However, she and Masterel conquered the course within the time and no penalties to stay on their dressage score of 28.80, earning them the top spot in the USEF CCI1* Eventing National Championship, awarded to the highest-placed U.S. athlete that is 22 years of age or older.
“[Masterel] is a fabulous horse,” said White. “This is the first time I have ever let him run because I basically have had 30 time penalties everywhere I’ve taken him. He is a real racehorse, and I have spent all of this time just trying to help him relax and really be with me; I rate [his speed]. He is an unbelievable horse. So it was really satisfying today to see if I could let him go and it was wonderful.”
Known as “Stallone” in the barn because of his Italian decent, White said that he cruised around the cross-country course, really owning his thoroughbred breeding. “He could have gone around another 10 times and not thought twice about it. The course was lovely. There was a combination at the end that was a really decent question – it was an angle across a table, chevron to a skinny, up a hill - I thought that was a really well done, interesting question that the horses had to tackle.”
“He is a super jumper,” continued White. “But he gets a little over-stimulated and then gets a little tight in his back, so I don’t actually know what will happen tomorrow. I hope he is relaxed enough to do the best he can…I am going to go in and give him the best ride that I can and tell him that he is a fabulous creature because he is.”
Colleen Rutledge (Frederick, Md.) and C Me Fly, her six-year-old Westphalian mare, currently sit in second place in the USEF CCI1* Eventing National Championship on a score of 30.30. Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Ringo Star, an eight-year-old Thoroughbred gelding owned by Helle Goodrich, hold the third-place position on a score of 30.70.
Meanwhile, Quinn (Finksburg, Md.) and the 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding owned by Julie Quinn, maintained their lead in the USEF CCI1*-JR/YR Eventing National Championship, awarded to the highest-placed U.S. athlete between the ages of 14 and 21.
With just 5.20 zero in time penalties over the cross-country course, Quinn and Dandy Longlegs finished out the day on a score of 32.90.
“It couldn’t have been better,” said Quinn when asked about her ride over the course. “[Dandy Longlegs] was foot perfect. He just took me around like a pro. The 7a/b, the oxer to the corner, that was a little tricky – very skinny. And the a/b/c turning, the wedge, that was a little bit tricky, but overall, everything went well. [The plan for tomorrow] is to jump clear - he is always good and always tries his hardest.”
Isabel Finemore (Clinton Corners, N.Y.) and Rutherglen currently hold the second-place position in the USEF CCI1*-JR/YR Eventing National Championship on a score of 33.20, while Dylan Philipps (Pittsboro, N.C.) and Fernhill Fierce, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare he owns with Meredith Philipps, sit in third with a score of 33.40.
CCI1* and CCI1*-JR/YR show jumping gets underway on Sunday, November 4 beginning at 11:05 a.m. ET.
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