Monday, April 9, 2012

Dutton Makes It A Double With Two CIC3* Wins In A Month

Phillip Dutton and Mystery Whisper continued their magical spring run by winning the PRO Tour Series CIC3* at The Fork with a clear show jumping round that left little doubt that this horse should make the U.S. selectors very excited about the summer ahead. Arden Wildasin's lovely dark bay gelding has the movement, scope and jump to make him very competitive in London. Rebecca Howard and Riddle Master capped off a fantastic weekend with a clear jumping round, which saw them move into second place when Marilyn Little-Meredith and RF Demeter dropped a rail to finish third.

Allison Springer and Arthur put in a very solid show jumping round to take the Adequan Gold Cup Series title in the Advanced-B Division, which should make them very pleased as they head to Kentucky in just a few weeks time. Sinead Halpin and Manoir De Carneville continued their fine form to finish second. Michael Pollard also continued his winning ways, this time with Schoensgreen Hanni in the Advanced-A Division and Danille Dichting and Tops showed fine form to move up into second place.
Karen O'Connor never left any doubt that Mandiba and RF Amber Eyes deserved their first and second overnight placings and the leader board remained unchanged with Marilyn Little-Meredith also jumping a clear round on RF Smoke On The Water.

As is often the case at The Fork Horse Trials, Captain Mark Phillip's course proved to be a real test of preparation and fitness for rider's aiming horses at Rolex and Jersey Fresh. The PRO Tour Series CIC3* saw a fair number of changes in the standings after cross country as three areas proved very influential. The main water complex saw many horses jumping boldly into the water making it difficult for some to make the related distance to the corner. Riders opted to take the long route at the corner when left with little time to reorganize and make the distance. Trouble also awaited at the sunken road, especially for horses that jumped in bold, and more than a few pairs had glance-offs at the double corners alongside the water complex on the way home.

After the leaderboard shake up, Phillip Dutton and Mystery Whisper continued their phenomenal showing this spring and maintained their lead going into Sunday's show jumping. Marilyn Little-Meredith and RF Demeter showed their determination to get things just right and moved into second place, followed by Rebecca Howard and Riddle Master who continued to show their strength with a lovely, fast round. As the rider with one of only five double clear rounds in the CIC3*, Rebecca took home the SSG "Go Low With The Dough" contingency bonus award money of $500 today. No Winner of the award in the CIC2* allows for a roll over in tomorrow's show jumping valued at $2,000 for the lucky young rider, or adult amateur wearing SSG Digital or Eventer gloves.

In Saturday's Adequan USEA Gold Cup Advanced-B Division, Allison Springer gave Arthur a fast and positive ride to maintain the lead over Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville who simply ate up the course. Becky Holder and Courageous Comet lie in third, and Becky looks to be riding at the top of her game with Comet who is always a crowd favorite. In the Advanced-A Division Michael Pollard and his beautiful mare, Schoengreen Hanni showed their grace and class as they navigated the course with ease. Kate Sameuls and Nyls Du Terroir and Danielle Dichting and Tops lie second and third respectively in that division. The CIC2* was the first division to go in the early morning sunshine and Karen O'Connor didn't let go of her first and second placings with Mandiba and RF Amber Eyes. Marilyn Little-Meredith and RF Smoke On The Water also maintained third place going into the final phase.

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