Friday morning dawned cold and rainy as the CIC3* and Advanced Division A both got underway at 8:00 AM at The Fork Horse Trials in Norwood, North Carolina. The 60 competitor strong CIC3*, which is running as part of the PRO Tour Series, had split dressage days with half running on Thursday afternoon and the remaining this morning. Michael Pollard and Jude’s Law held the overnight lead on a 41.1, but the very first rider of the morning, Will Faudree, upset that lead by scoring a 39.6 with Jennifer Mosing’s 13-year-old Irish Thoroughbred gelding, Pawlow. A few rides later Phillip Dutton joined Will on the top of the leaderboard with the Wildasin Family’s Mystery Whisper. The 12-year-old Warmblood gelding (Richmeed Medallion x Socialite) also scored a 39.6.
“[Pawlow] was really, really good,” said Will Faudree. “He came out in the warm-up and was a bit quiet. He is the type of horse that thrives on a bit of atmosphere, and early in the morning with the rain there wasn’t anyone there, so I had to get after him a bit in the warm-up. I didn’t feel that he had a very expressive trot, which he really does have. However, having said that I was really able to ride him through the lateral work as well as his canter work. I was really happy with him; he was very good.”
As for the cross-country phase tomorrow, Will is going to give Pawlow his all. “He is not headed to Rolex so I am going to go quickly on him – as quick as I can. We will see as it is a big challenging course with a lot of accuracy questions, so we will take it jump by jump.”
Phillip Dutton and Mystery Whisper are coming off of a CIC3* win at Red Hills only a month ago, where the pair scored an extremely impressive 27.9 to blow away the rest of the field. Mystery Whisper put in an equally obedient and flashy test today.
“I was really pleased,” said Phillip Dutton. “He did a really good test, and I thought it improved a little bit since Red Hills. Overall I thought he worked well; his walk was a little better here, but it is everybody’s interpretation. I will have to read the test and see what the judges thought.”
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Advanced Slideshow. View complete gallery here.
“His best attribute is his attitude,” continued Phillip. “He is a real workman. I just start him off and let him stretch and you don’t get a great feel and then after 10 or 15 minutes he says okay lets go and clicks into gear; gives suspension and collection, and it’s pretty cool to be a part of that.”
Phillip plans to run Mystery Whisper quietly tomorrow as he went for time at Red Hills without trouble, and he is looking for a good last run before heading to Jersey Fresh CCI3* in May.
Michael Pollard and Jude’s Law settled into third place on a 41.1.
Advanced A Division
The 25 riders who chose to ride Advanced Test A got their chance in the dressage arena this morning, and at the end of the session Will Coleman and Plain Dealing Farm’s Ideal Contini came out in the lead on a 25.9. The nine-year-old Westphalian gelding (Contini x Hauptstutbuch Reviera Wonder) was imported from England in 2010 by Plain Dealing Farm for Lucia Strini who competed him through the Intermediate level before Will took over the ride last year.
“The horse is relatively new to the Advanced level,” said Will Coleman. “He only has done one other one at Pine Top about a month ago, but he is a nice type – an attractive horse, and he really did do a nice test today. He was obedient considering he is pretty green at the Advanced level, so I was happy.”
Although he shined in the dressage ring today, Will believes that Ideal Contini is a very well-rounded horse. “I don’t know if I can say he has a strongest phase yet. He is good at all of them, which is what I kind of think you need now with an event horse. He is a good athlete which I think is probably the best thing he has going for him. In a lot of ways he is still learning the sport, he is doing a good enough job at each phase for the moment, so we are happy with him.”
“It is always a big gallopy course here,” continued Will. “A few influential corners and a big water jump, but it looks like we will have really nice conditions so hopefully he is up to the test.”
Ties seem to be the theme of the day as Jan Byyny and Why Not tied with Michael Pollard and Schoensgreen Hanni for second position in Advanced A with both scoring a 28.1.
About The Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series
Now in its ninth year, the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series 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.