KALISPELL, Mont. - Show jumping wrapped up a great weekend of competition at The Event at Rebecca Farm. International levels navigated Chris Barnard's track with spectators lining the arena for the exciting finale.
Mackenna Shea had just one rail, finishing on a score of 58.4 aboard her own Landioso to take the blue ribbon in this Adequan USEA Gold Cup CIC3*. She beat her coach and friend, Tamra Smith who took second. Smith and her mount, Dempsey, an 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood, had a flawless clear show jumping round, finishing on 58.6. The only other double clear round in the division vaulted Bunnie Sexton and her own Rise Again from eighth place to third to finish on 61.0.
Shea credited her mount, "He's an honest trier and has taken care of me for a long time. I wasn't pleased with my ride but he took care of me today."
CCI3* winner, Buck Davidson and Copper Beach. Shannon Brinkman Photo.
In the CCI3*, Buck Davidson finally broke his string of prior second place finishes at The Event at Rebecca Farm with dual victories. He piloted Carl Siegel and Sherrie Martin's 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse, Copper Beach, to a flowing clear round over Chris Barnard's iconic course.
Going into the arena, Davidson stood second behind Hannah Sue Burnett on Under Suspection, a Holsteiner owned by Mary Ann Ghadban. Davidson finished the competition with an overall score of 48.7. Overnight leader, Burnett, had one unlucky rail down, dropping her behind Davidson to a score of 49.6.
The two Pan American Games teammates congratulated each other heartily at the round's end.
"I'd never want anything bad happen to anyone else but I am really happy not to be second," Davidson grinned. "And it's great to have my friends here next to me," pointing to Burnett and CCI3* third place finisher, Hawley Bennett-Awad.
It was an emotional return to the three-star level for Bennett-Awad aboard her new mount, Jollybo, on whom she's had the ride only two months.
"I have unbelievable people behind me and one of them is Buck. To put my red coat on again is very special," said Bennett-Awad. Jollybo and Bennett-Awad finished in third place overall with a score of 57.9.
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About the Adequan USEA Gold Cup
Qualifying for the 2016 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Championship began last fall with the Richland Park Advanced & CIC3* (MI), Aspen Farms Advanced (WA), Plantation Field Advanced & CIC3* (PA) and the Woodside International Advanced & CIC3* (CA) and features 11 qualifying competitions throughout the United States at the Advanced Horse Trials and CIC3* levels. The final will take place at the Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships, September 1-4 in Tryon, North Carolina. Riders who complete a qualifier earn the chance to vie for $40,000 in prize money and thousands of dollars in prizes in the Adequan Advanced Division and the title of Adequan USEA Gold Cup Champion.
The 2016 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series is made possible through the support of its many loyal sponsors: Adequan, Standlee Forage, Nunn Finer, Nutrena, Merck, Broadstone Equine Insurance Agency, and FITS.
About The Event at Rebecca Farm
The Event at Rebecca Farm presented by Montana Equestrian Events is held every July in Kalispell, Montana. The largest equestrian triathlon in the United States, The Event is also considered to have some of the world's finest scenery. Each year it draws hundreds of riders of all levels, from amateur to Olympians.
Rebecca Farm features ten courses ranging from novice to Olympian qualifier, which were originally developed by world-renowned course designer, Mark Phillips. In 2012, Scottish equestrian Ian Stark redesigned the Rebecca Farm courses. Known for his immense contributions to Eventing, Stark has won multiple Olympic medals and was inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.
For more information, visit www.rebeccafarm.org.