With just three competitions left to go in the Adequan USEA Gold Cup CIC3* Series, the competition is heating up. During the dressage phase on Thursday at the Richland Park CIC and Horse Trials in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Becky Holder piloted her husband Tom Holder's two lovely grey geldings Can’t Fire Me and Courageous Comet to first and third respectively in the Adequan USEA Gold Cup CIC3* division.
Can’t Fire Me performed a gorgeous test for which Becky was thrilled. “I am so excited about him and so happy about his test and the way he went today,” Becky said. “We have been working a long time on taking the relaxation into the arena. I was hoping when I left the ring that he broke a 40, and I did not expect that he would by a couple marks.”
Can’t Fire Me was in fact the only horse in the division to break into the 30s with a 36.3. With a solid run in the next two phases, he stands to move up the Gold Cup leaderboard from 14th place and be well in the running for the $20,000 series award.
Courageous Comet is currently tied for sixth place on the Gold Cup leaderboard, and Becky was very proud of her longtime partner after today’s dressage competition. “Comet was super. He is himself. He is starting to feel his age just a little bit, but his movement is still just as flashy, and he laid down a beautiful, solid test. I was thrilled with him. I am excited to have them both sitting up there at the top, and I just have to go out and do my job in a couple days [on cross-country].”
The upper level divisions get a break on Friday before the cross-country competition on Saturday. For all levels, Ian Stark has designed formidable courses that require trust and confidence between horse and rider. “I love the way Ian designs his courses. Everything is big and rewards forward riding. This is no exception,” Becky said. “There are a couple places out there that you have to keep on your toes. I am excited to get the horses out there and have a go.”
In the 34-strong CIC2* division, Boyd Martin and Crackerjack lead after dressage on a score of 45.6. Mara DePuy and Chequers Macon are not far behind on a 46.4. In the Advanced division-A, Michael Pollard and the elegant mare Shoensgreen Hanni performed their best for the judges, scoring just 26.3 penalty points to carry forward to cross-country. Mara DePuy is once again in the running for a win, this time in the Advanced division-B with Fun Maker. They lie first on an even 30.0
Complete scores are available here.
Check USEventing.com throughout the weekend for comprehensive course walks and more photo galleries!
About The Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series
Now in its ninth year, the is an exciting format of competition and entertainment for U.S. Eventing, encompassing seven of the top eventing competitions from around the U.S. where the best of the best vie for prize money, trophies, and the title of Gold Cup Champion.
Winners of each of the seven Gold Cup events across the country take home a trailer-load of prizes for their achievements. Winners receive an Adequan USEA Gold Cup Trophy, $500 in prize money, 7-dose box of Adequan, $200 Point Two Gift Certificate, and $500 worth of Nunn Finer Products. Second place finishers also take home a 7-dose box of Adequan and a $100 Point Two Gift Certificate.
The overall Adequan USEA Gold Cup winner will receive a hefty check for $20,000, an official Gold Cup Champion Jacket, and a huge trophy at the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention. The Reserve Champion receives $1,500 worth of Nunn Finer Products and a Gold Cup Reserve Champion Jacket.