Canadian Eventers Ride Against Strong International Field

Canadian eventers contested titles in three international competitions held in three separate countries over the weekend of Aug. 22-25, 2013.

Competing in Normandy, France , at the venue for the 2014 World Equestrian Games – Eventing Championship , Canadian Olympian Rebecca Howard took fourth place against a strong international field at the CIC3* in Le Grand Complet , Haras du Pin.

Howard, of Salmon Arm, BC, who currently lives and trains near Marlborough, GBR, was competing with her 2012 Olympic Games and 2010 World Equestrian Games partner Riddle Master, the 12-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding sired by Rodero, owned and bred by Blithe Hill Farm of Orangeville, ON.

Howard and Riddle Master completed the three days of competition adding just six cross country time penalties to their dressage score of 47.9 to give them a final score of 53.9 penalty points.

“My goal at Haras was to have a good prep for CCI 4* Burghley Three Day Event, GBR September 5-8. I wanted to have a slightly different preparation then the one before Badminton,” said Howard. “I continue to focus on improving his dressage and his ability to deal with the electric atmospheres. My thought going to Haras was to put him a higher pressure environment closer to Burghley, so we made the trip to France. Of course I was keen to go and preview the venue for next year and practice on some French soil.

“We did have a few mistakes in the Dressage, but he felt the same in the practice arena as the competition ring, so I was very pleased with that aspect.

Both jumping phases proved to be very influential, he could not have jumped any better in the show jumping, lending to one of our softest rounds to date. Cross country was a very stiff track, and once again he proved to be able to handle a style of track that we have not seen before with confidence … I think the both of us are feeling good and prepared going into Burghley!”

2012 Olympic teammate, Jessica Phoenix of Cannington, ON rode Pavarotti, her individual gold medalist partner at the 2011 Pan American Games, Don Good’s 11-year-old Westphalian gelding sired by Pavarotti V.D. Helle, to a 17th place finish on 79.0 penalties.

In the United States, Peter Barry Dunham, QC and Kilrodan Abbott, faced a challenging course and a large field of competitors to finish eighth in the CIC3* at the Richland Park Horse Trials held in Michigan, USA.

Barry and Kilrodan Abbott, his own and Susan and Dylan Barry’s 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding sired by Clover Brigade, started the competition in 32nd place after dressage on a score of 56.0 penalties. Clear show jumping and cross country rounds in which the pair incurred only time penalties moved them up the leaderboard to finish in eighth place on a final score of 66.6.

Selena O’Hanlon of Kingston, ON finished twelfth on Bellaney Rock, a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, with 66.8 penalties and 19th with 74.5 on her second mount, A First Romance, an 11-year-old Canadian Thoroughbred sired by A Fine Romance; owners Morag O’Hanlon and Selena O’Hanlon.

In the CIC 2* division, Colleen Loach of Duham, QC rode to second place in the CIC 2* on Peter Barry’s Qorry Blue D’Argouges, a nine year-old Selle Francaise gelding sired by Mr. Blue, with a final score of 51.9. Loach rode clear adding no faults to her show jumping round and was sitting in third place for cross country where her second clear ride with only 2.8 time faults moved her and Qorry Blue D’Argouges into second place on their final score of 51.9 penalties.

Also competing in the CIC 2* division was Karl Slezak of Tottenham, ON and Yoshi, his seven year-old gelding, Dasha Ivandaeva and Autorytet, her 11-year-old Thoroughbred cross gelding sired by Banita, Matthew Kidney of Woodlawn, ON and his horse, Iceman, a seven year old Canadian Thoroughbred gelding sired by Action This Day and Rae Becke of Luskville, OC on Tyne Be Merry, her 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding sired by Maltstriker.

In Scotland, Canada’s lone entry into the prestigious CCI 3* Blair Castle Three Day Event, Kathryn Robinson and Let it Bee finished eleventh overall.

Robinson, who currently residing in Ketterling, ENG and her own, Let it Bee, the 12-year-old German bred gelding, completed the dressage in ninth place on a score of 55.8. Saturday’s cross country performance earned the pair 17.2 time penalties putting them in 11th position which they held to the finish by dropping two rails for eight jump faults in Sunday’s show jumping. They completed the competition with a final score of 81.0.

“I knew that it would be a hard competition for Let It Bee because of his breeding, I was very happy that he was able to cope with the very steep highland hills he faced on the cross country course,” commented Robinson. “He made a mistake at the approach to one of the combinations in the cross country course, so I had to take a long route which cost us time. I am happy though that quick thinking allowed me to change my plan and take the longer route through the combination. I was really happy we didn’t get any time penalties in the show jumping, it’s been our struggle the past year to make the round in the time allowed.” As to her future plans for competition, Robinson is aiming for a 4*.

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