In her first appearance in Great Britain since representing her country at the London Olympics in 2012, Jessica Phoenix finished top ten in a field of 84 international athletes at the renowned Fidelity Blenheim International Horse trials, held September 12 – 15 near Oxford, GBR.
Phoenix of Cannington, ON and 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, opened their event earning 48.1 penalties in the dressage test for 20th place heading into Saturday’s cross-county.
“Pavarotti handled the atmosphere here. I was extremely happy with him, he went very well. Just his first medium trot got a little unbalanced but other than that I couldn’t have been happier with his performance,” commented Phoenix
Tackling course designer Eric Winter’s demanding cross-country course, the pair jumped clear taking on 17.6 time penalties moving them up the scoreboard into 16th place on 65.7. Sunday’s show jumping round saw a single rail for four faults giving them a final score of 69.7, rocketing them up the leaderboard to a 10th place finish overall for their three day performance.
“This was Pavarotti’s first appearance at a CCI3* and I just couldn’t be happier, he was amazing,” said Phoenix. “The track was hard, we took on time faults but I felt a clear ride over cross-country was more important than a fast round. In show jumping he’s so careful and did a really great job of it. He’s such a competitor and definitely knows the difference between the three days. I was really pleased with Pavarotti all week. He put in an excellent show jumping round and we couldn’t be happier with him. Thank you to everyone that made this trip possible especially, Pavarotti’s owner Don Good!”