Day two of the Bit of Britain/USEA American Eventing Championships dawned clear at Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Illinois with half of the riders competing in the dressage arenas while the upper levels headed across the street to enjoy the cross-country course.
Cross-Country Shakes Up Upper Level Placings
Ritch Temple's cross-country course proved that this year's AEC is not just a dressage show. Nate Chambers and Rolling Stone II, who were tied for second after yesterday's dressage phase, were the only pair to put in a double clear round at the Pratt's Wayne Woods Forest Preserve.
This is Chambers' fourth trip to the AEC and he has already won the Preliminary in 2005 and Intermediate in 2007 on his longtime partner, Rolly. The pair had a little trouble last year and backed down to Preliminary level for the beginning of the season, but Chambers said that Rolly has stepped back up to the challenge, and they are planning on aiming for the Fair Hill CCI3*.
"Everything presented itself well on the cross-country course and all the striding worked out nicely," Chambers said. "I was quite happy with it. I love coming to the AEC because they are always in a great location with such nice facilities."
Unfortunately time penalties dropped the overnight leader, Leslie Law and Peter Green's Evening Shade, into fourth place. Evening Shade's stablemate, Fleeceworks Mystere Du Val, was able to prove that he was not happy playing second fiddle and put in a clear round with only 1.6 time penalties to move into the second place position.
Rounding out the top three is Phillip Dutton and Acorn Hill Farm's Woodburn. The chestnut gelding put in a flawless round adding only time penalties to his dressage score. Kelly List and Minstral also jumped clean with a handful of time to settle them in fifth. Jennie Brannigan and Cooper dropped to the bottom of the division after an unfortunate run-out at the Maui Jim water complex.
In the Intermediate division time penalties made all the difference. With no riders making it to the finish flags under optimum time, Phillip Dutton was able to grab the top standing by adding only two time penalties to his dressage score with Bruce Duchossois's Wild Tiger. Dutton has only one rail in hand as Jennie Brannigan, who trains at Dutton's farm, is in second with Cambalda. Chrissy Hollnagel rose nine placings with Harlan's Flight to round out the top three.
Trio of Talent Leads Preliminary Divisions
Lynne Partridge and her talented youngster, El Cid, held onto their lead with a double clear round in the Preliminary Amateur division. The Oldenburg gelding has been collecting wins all across the country this season and with a rail in hand, the pair looks to be on their way to another victory tomorrow. Kaitlynn Chambers riding Joe Chambers' Enchanted also maintained their placing adding nothing to their dressage score to keep ahold of second. Finishing up the top three is Meghan Moore and Tucker's Blackstone who flip-flopped placings with yesterday's third place finisher, Dick Bayly and Lauderdale.
In the Preliminary Jr/YR division, Elinor MacPhail took over the lead on Woodstock II by putting in a double clear cross-country round. The pair rose up from second after the overnight leader, Alison Wilaby, had an unfortunate stop on today's course.
"The cross-country course rode really well," MacPhail explained. "It was similar to the one-star course that I just rode at Maui Jim. I just love coming to the AEC, and I love having it in Chicago - we come here a lot."
MacPhail, who was named to the USEF Developing Riders List, said that she is planning on easing Woodstock II into retirement as the gelding is getting older, and she has some younger horses in the wings.
Jaclyn Burke and Chance of Flurries are in second and Cora Katz-Samuels and All or Nothing stayed strong in third place with only a handful of time penalties in the Preliminary Jr./Yr division.
Phillip Dutton and Nina Gardner's Vidalia are atop the Preliminary Horse division with a solid score of 28.3. Nipping at their heels are Kristen Rozycki and Full Circle less than a point away with a 29.2. A double clear round earned Jennifer O'Neill and That'll Do II the third place position with a solid 30.4.
The Preliminary divisions got off to a shaky start today as the first horse of the morning, Out to Sea, owned and ridden by Pam Fisher, slipped on a turn between fences during the Preliminary Horse division. Sadly, he incurred an irreparable injury resulting in his being euthanized at the Kendall Road Equine Hospital.
Training Divisions Take the Cake
The Training Horse and Amateur divisions trekked to cross-country today while the Training Junior riders were given their chance to shine in the dressage arena.
Kerry Torrey and Wellfleet managed to emerge victorious out of the first place tie when Phillip Dutton and Ann Jones' Young Man added 1.2 time penalties to their dressage score in the Training Horse division. Dutton needs to put in a double clear show jump round tomorrow to maintain his second place position as the third place pair, Carol Kozlowski and Fuzzie's Hero, are only .4 penalty points behind.
In the Training Amateur division, Tracey Corey and Tera MacDonald maintained their one-two placings with their respective partners, SuperNova and La Tee Da. However, Corey now has a rail in hand heading into tomorrow's show jumping as MacDonald accrued a handful of time penalties on course. Kelly Beaver and Legacy moved up from sixth to third with a double clear round.
The Training Junior riders waited patiently for their turn to begin the competition, and they didn't prove disappointing in the dressage phase today. Erin Strader and J.M. Yukon are standing atop the leaderboard with an impressive 27.9. Devon Gaines riding Ginger Spice scored an even 30 to land in second place. The top placings end with a tie as Michelle Mercier and Prufrock and Julia Spatt and Tazzmania both earned a 31.1.
Novice Divisions Earn Impressive Scores in Today's Dressage Competition
Competition was tight in the Novice Amateur division with tied placings abundant on the scoreboard, but Jacqueline Carrick's Premo lived up to his name by easily taking first place in the division with a 26.3. Cindy Bonamarte and Eva earned the second place standing with an even 29 and Kathy Madsen and Oreo finished up the top three with a 30.5.
Only three points separate the top placings of the Novice Horse division. The Rheinland stallion, Satin Art ridden by Susan Moessner, is leading the division with a superb score of 25.8. Hot on their heels is Chrissy Hollnagel riding Sherry Hohn's Saki who received a 26.3 from the judge. Lee Lee Jones and Model Cadet earned a 27.4 to land them in third place.
Nicholas Hansen and Evelyn Bulkeley are sharing top honors in the gigantic Novice Junior division. Hansen riding Grand Cru and Bulkely on Freya II both earned a 28.4 from the judge. Amy White and Vermillion's Hero are only .6 points behind the leaders while a single point separates them from fourth placed pair Audrey Blodger and Amirra.
"I thought my dressage ride went really well," Hansen said. "It could have been better, but I was happy with it. The cross-country course looks like fun, and I am really going to like it. I love competing at Lamplight, and I definitely want to come back." This is the second AEC for Hansen, who competed here last year with his 14.2 hand Connemara pony.
Beginner Novice Divisions Shine in the Dressage Arenas
Susannah Lansdale riding Melanie Helms' Sammy D and Elissa Goad riding My High Stakes Ante are tied for first with an even 29 in the Beginner Novice Horse division after this afternoon's dressage phase. Jenna Brown and Replika in third place and Jennifer Ravalico with SBF Dash and Mary Jordan with P. Sparrow Socks, tied for fourth, are hot on the leaders' heels earning 30.0 and 30.5 respectively.
The force was with Geri Washausen and Darth Vader today as the pair lead the Beginner Novice Amateur division with a spectacular score of 25.0. Not far behind are Ellen Guthrie and Ideal Life with a 26.5 and rounding out the top three are Victoria Bennett with Dunlavin No Pajamas who earned a 28.0.
The highly competitive Junior Beginner Novice division is currently being led by Katherine Hauck and California Girl who brought some West Coast flair to today's Midwestern competition and earned a 25.5. Only a point behind are Margot Popecki and Carolyn Singer's Imagineer. Christi Pope's Scully ridden by Michaela Holcomb earned a 27.0 to settle them comfortably in third place.
The Training Junior division, all of the Novice, and all of the Beginner Novice divisions will be crossing the road to the Pratt's Wayne Woods Forest Preserve for their chance on the cross-country course. Today's cross-country competitors will be duking it out in the final phase of show jumping each hoping to win their chunk of the money and amazing prizes.
Check out today's video to get a full recap of the day, and don't forget to check out the interactive course maps!
Cross-Country begins bright and early at 8:00AM tomorrow morning, while the first horse enters the show jump arena at 10:00AM.
Thank you to all our wonderful sponsors who make the AEC truly a destination event: Title Sponsor: Bit of Britain; Legacy Sponsors: Amerigo, Nutrena, Sponsor Saratoga Horseworks, Contributing Sponsors: Adequan, Cover-All Building Systems; Platinum Sponsors: Broadstone Equine Insurance Agency, Charles Owen; Gold Level Sponsors: Fleeceworks; and Silver Level Sponsors: SmartPak Canine, Auburn Laboratories Inc., FITS, Revitavet, Mackinnon Ice Horse, Dubarry of Ireland, Horse Quencher, SSG Gloves, Spalding Labs, and SUCCEED; and Supporting Sponsors: ThinLine.