Controversial press conference and recap after cross-country at Fair Hill
The sun shone for a change on cross-country day at the Fair Hill International in Elkton, Maryland. But despite the great weather, the CCI3* and CCI2* courses did not ride like leisurely walks in the park. Mares dominated the day, making up the entire CCI3* top three and occupying the top two spots in the CCI2*.
Marilyn Little stays on top and faces controversy in the press conference
Marilyn Little (USA) has remained in 1st and 2nd with RF Demeter and RF Scandalous, respectively. Her mounts did switch placings today, she took her time with the lesser experienced, RF Scandalous picking up 4.8 time penalties but RF Demeter easily made the time. Blood was spotted on RF Scandalous’ mouth during the course at fence 20 and was radioed into the officials. The Technical Delegates and Ground Jury members kept an eye on the mare around the course but since she was obviously bleeding lightly they did not pull her up. The vets inspected her immediately when she finished cross-country and found no wounds or fresh blood. Many of the media were particularly interested in this situation and pressed on Marilyn and the ground jury. The President of the Ground Jury, Christian Landolt clarified what happened and Marilyn spoke on her own behalf. Watch the press conference video at the end of the article to hear the witch hunt-like conversation that ensued.
Emily Beshear (USA) and Shame On The Moon added only 1.2 time penalties to their score to climb from 6th place into 3rd. She talks about her CCI3* round in the CCI2* press conference because she is also in the top three in this division. Talk about a banner day for Emily!
There were an impressive 12 double clear cross-country rounds in the CCI3* today, which may almost be a Fair Hill record. The problems were spread out around the course and we are happy to report that no riders or horses left in an emergency vehicle.
CCI2* leaderboard shuffle
Jennie Brannigan (USA) and Stella Artois made short work of the course, finishing with a double clear to move up one spot into the lead.
Emily Beshear (USA) and Silver Night Lady were clear over the jumps but picked up 2.0 time penalties, dropping them one placing into 2nd.
Lauren Kieffer and Landmark’s Monaco sped around to jump up from 4th into 3rd.
The one-stride angle at the fence 17AB, the Elk Chapel Crossing caused numerous refusals and one fall. Other than this particular combination, the problems were spread across the course. Only nine duos finished with double clear rounds, which is oddly less than there were in the CCI3*.
CCI2* and CCI3* press conference