International competitors took to the dressage arena Thursday at the 2017 Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day Event. Leading the charge in The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI2* Eventing National Championship is Tamra Smith aboard Sunsprite Syrius, followed by Allison Springer and Lord Willing in second place and Kristen Bond and Enough Already in third.
Hailing from California, Smith returns to Fair Hill as a past CCI3* winner, this year with a string of new talent which includes CCI2* leader Sunsprite Syrius. Though Smith was disappointed to barely miss scoring in the 30s, the 9-year-old Trakhener gelding owned by Sunsprite Warmbloods still boasts a result of 40.8 in the first phase.
"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 a 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.
Allison Springer and Lord Willing, a 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by the Lord Willing Syndicate, earned a second place position on a score of 48.3. Kristen Bond and Liz Bond's Enough Already take third place. The 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood sits on a score of 49.7.
Dressage continues on Friday, October 13 with CCI2* and CCI3*. Cross-country begins Saturday, October 14, and the show jumping finale will be held on Sunday, October 15.