S.P. II Gets Rave Reviews
The landscape may have changed, but the result was nothing new for Will Faudree and Pawlow, who won an advanced division of the Southern Pines II Horse Trials last weekend at the Carolina Horse Park.
In third place after their dressage test, Faudree, 29, of Raeford, and the 11-year-old Irish thoroughbred gelding had a clear jumping round on cross-country to move into the lead going into Sunday’s stadium jumping round. Pawlow jumped flawlessly to hold the lead and win the event with a final score of 34.60.
This was the second win this year for the pair, who scored an intermediate victory at the Rocking Horse Winter Horse Trials in February.
In the other advanced division, 2008 Olympian Becky Holder and Courageous Comet benefitted from fellow Olympian Kim Severson’s unfortunate three rails down on Tipperary Liadhnan, moving up from second to first while dropping one rail.
Holder, 40, and Comet, a 14-year-old off-the-track thoroughbred, finished with a score of 42.90.
Both Pawlow and Faudree’s other winning ride of the weekend, Andromaque, who captured an open intermediate division, are owned by Jennifer Mosing, of Maurice, La.
An Irish-bred thoroughbred mare, Andromaque won for the second time in as many weeks, taking home first-place honors in the open preliminary division one week prior at Southern Pines I.
Jane Murray, executive director of the Carolina Horse Park, said the new upper level cross-country course designed by Tremaine Cooper was a big hit with riders.
“The hallmark of his design is when you walk the courses, they look big and a little bit daunting, but they always ride beautifully,” Murray said.
Gina Fiore, of Southern Pines, was delighted with her Feral Errol’s 11th-place finish in an intermediate division. The Irish sport horse gelding popped an abscess while competing at the Pine Top Advanced Horse Trials last month, forcing Fiore to lay him up for several days before S.P. II.
“He basically was back to work for about a week before the event,” said Fiore, 31, who was the 1995 Young Rider champion. “I was really behind the eight ball with fitness and schooling.”
Fiore had rave reviews for the new cross-country course.
“I had a happy horse at the end of the course,” she said. “I thought it flowed nicely, and I think the new paths are really wonderful ... for spectators it’s fabulous because you can see everything now.”
Another new feature at the horse park was the placement of upper level show jumping to a grass field adjoining the cross-country course.
“That’s what I loved the most,” Fiore said. “It’s so much more spectator-friendly, and so awesome to jump in a different place on grass.”
Andrew McConnon, of Aberdeen, won a division of open preliminary on Quiet Council, a 10-year-old thoroughbred gelding he has owned for a year. McConnon, 23, moved to the area five years ago from Massachusetts to work with trainer Marc Donovan.
“We’re pretty good friends,” McConnon said of the horse he calls “Ike.” “He’s really steady and obedient on the flat, and just a blast to ride cross-country. He’s really bold; he just goes for the fences.”
McConnon and Ike had familiarized themselves with the new cross-country course at S.P. I. “The first week I think some people had a few problems at the corner and at the water, but that could have been because it’s still early in the season,” he said. “Tremaine did a really good job with it. It rode well.”
Lizzie Snow, a senior at The ONeal School who moved to Southern Pines three years ago to train with Olympic rider John Williams, finished sixth in open intermediate with her 13-year-old thoroughbred gelding, Pop Star. Snow, 17, says she felt a “real sense of accomplishment” after completing the course, which was only Pop’s second trip around intermediate.
“I personally thought the course was tough,” said Snow, who was named the United States Eventing Association’s top junior preliminary rider of 2009. “It was very big, and I felt it was relentless. The palisades corner combination was very challenging and did not seem to ride as designed for most people.”
Snow also rode her new mount, Franklin Square, in an open training division, finishing fifth on her dressage score of 33.60.
“I felt the training course had some good questions,” she said. “There were some fences of size but they rode well. It was a good outing for ‘Frankie.’”
Pawlow and Courageous Comet are both headed for The Fork Advanced Horse Trials next weekend in Norwood, and then on to the Rolex Three Day Event in Lexington, Ky., which begins April 22.
Full results can be found at www.carolinahorsepark.com.
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