Fair Hill, Md. – International competitors took to the dressage arena Thursday for the first day of competition at the 2017 The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day Event. Tamra Smith (Murrieta, Calif.) leads in The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI2* Eventing National Championship aboard Sunsprite Warmblood's Sunsprite Syrius, a nine-year-old Trakehner gelding, with a score of 40.8. Allison Springer (Upperville, Va.) and the Lord Willing Syndicate's Lord Willing, a nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding, are currently in second place behind Smith with a score of 48.3. Kristen Bond (Shamong, N.J.) and Liz Bond's Enough Already, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, are in third with a score of 49.7.
Smith returns to Fair Hill as a past CCI3* winner, this year with a string of new talent which includes CCI2* leader, Sunsprite Syrius.
"It's cold and the wind was kind of up when I was going, but he's always been a very consistent, workmanlike horse. I just can't break into the thirties," Smith lamented. "I was really hoping, 'Can't I just get a 39!' But he was super. He just went in and did everything. I had a few things that could've been better, but overall I thought the test was very consistent."
As she looks ahead to the cross country phase, Smith expects a confident and educational round. "That's why we brought him here. Because you can't replicate Fair Hill anywhere in the country when you are dealing with two- and three-stars, so we're going to find out what he's made of. I think he's up for the challenge," she said.
Top eventing prospects also kicked off their competition with the dressage and conformation portions of the USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Championship. Kristen Bond and the four-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, Bea Ready, cemented themselves in the lead of the four-year-old division with a score of 41.45% out of 50%.
Bea Ready managed well despite the morning's blustery conditions. "It was 15 degrees colder. It was super windy. The tents were flying, and I thought she held it together because there's a ton of atmosphere in there. But she's a cool customer," Bond commented.
Dressage continues on Friday, October 13, in The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI2* Eventing National Championship. The CCI3* division gets underway with the dressage phase.
The USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Championship will conclude with a jumping evaluation. Cross-country begins Saturday, October 14, and the show jumping finale will be held on Sunday, October 15.
For further information on The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International, visit www.fairhillinternational.com.
The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOC, and USEF Sponsors and Members.