Record Entries for Pinehurst Horse Trials
The Pinehurst Horse Trials drew the largest field (150) in its 12-year history last weekend, splitting venues between home base at the Harness Track and the cross country phase at Denny and May Emerson's lovely Tamarack Hill Farm in Southern Pines.
Caroline Dowd and Raw Deal jumped from third to first in the open intermediate two-phase, posting the only double clear on Cindy DePorter's show jumping course. The open, flowing track had no related distances other than combinations, and Dowd was the only rider to take a left-handed turn to the early combination.
"For me it was the best way to keep him moving through the turns," Dowd said. "He goes best with his hair on fire at mach two. If I get too picky, he says 'Nah, you go first!'"
Raw Deal, a 13-year-old Irish cross gelding, is co-owned by Dowd and Mary and Neil Rice.
In the open preliminary two-phase, Gina Kelly and Feral Errol broke the 70-percent marker with an excellent dressage test and held on to the lead with a solid jumping round.
Linda Dreher and her 8-year-old Quarter Horse gelding Remington had a rail in show jumping but still moved from third to first in the preliminary training division. This class uses the preliminary dressage and show jumping, and the training cross country.
"We won by default," Dreher said. "(The knockdown) was totally my fault, we are just moving up to preliminary. I was very pleased with him."
The open training class, all professional riders on talented youngsters, was dominated by John Williams and Emma. Williams, a World Games and Olympic rider, has worked to master the white rectangle. He rode his event horses at a recognized dressage show over the summer, beating the dressage queens at their own game. Emma earned a top dressage score (27.9), and stayed at the head of the class all weekend.
Nanci Lindroth and Kathy Gurley's Rebel's Last Yell also impressed the dressage judges, claiming a five-point margin from a star-studded class of pros in the open novice.
"He was great and I was very pleased with the test," Lindroth said. "But he's lazy, he has to be inspired."
The 6-year-old gelding is one of two horses sired by Lindroth's Irish Draught stallion Rebel Yell (deceased) that she qualified to ride at the American Eventing Championships here next week.
The big, colorful show jumping course took a toll on the beginner novice group.
Stephanie Gibson of Vass and Vega jumped into first place, posting one of only three double clears of 13 starters in the junior division.
In the senior group, the cross country had more influence, especially the little open ditch obstacle.
For event results, visit www.PinehurstHorseTrials.com.
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