Rider alert: Pairs to watch at the Fair Hill International H.T.

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Rider alert: Pairs to watch at the Fair Hill International H.T.

This weekend, many of the top eventers from the Northeastern United States will be competing at the Fair Hill International H.T. in Elkton, Maryland. There is a CIC3*, CIC2*, CIC1* and national divisions ranging from Training to Advanced taking place at Fair Hill. Dressage for all of the CIC divisions is happening on Friday. Show jumping is on Saturday morning and cross-country for all three of the CIC divisions will be in the afternoon.

The renowned four-star Course Designer, Derek di Grazia has once again created the CIC3* track. Meanwhile, Trish Gilbert designed the other cross-country courses. The weather is forecasted to be a warm 26 degrees Celsius and rain-free on Saturday, which will be a nice treat for horses and riders. Although, even with the beautiful weather, pairs will have to be on form if they want to bring home a double clear cross-country because Fair Hill is always a true challenge.

It is hard to predict the winners at CIC events because it is not everyone’s plan to ride for the optimum time on cross-country. No matter how these duos finish this weekend, they are talented pairs that you should be keeping your eye on at upcoming spring CCI events…

Felix Vogg (SUI) & Colero – CIC3*: Felix made the trip from Europe to compete in the United States on the lead up to this year’s Tryon World Equestrian Games. Felix and Colero, a 10-year-old Westphalian gelding, have been tearing up the North American Eventing scene this spring. Most notably, they finished in 3rd place at the ultra-competitive Carolina International CIC3*. Colero is a seriously athletic young horse and Felix has been producing him through the levels since 2o15 when this horse competed in his first one-star. Felix represented Switzerland at the 2014 WEG and the 2016 Olympics on a different mount. Felix and Colero are a shaping into a world-class pair and could easily clinch the win this weekend and deliver a solid result at this year’s WEG.

Felix & Colero on their way to winning the Open Intermediate at Rocking Horse Winter II H.T.

 

Daniel Clasing (USA) & MW Gangster’s Game – CIC2*: MW Gangster’s Game, an 8-year-old Anglo European gelding, is a young horse with heaps of promise. Daniel began competing MW Gangster’s Game in 2016 and in two years he has produced him into a consistent two-star mount. At the 2016 Fair Hill International CCI2*, they finished in 27th place adding only 8.8-time penalties to their 56.6 dressage score. Most recently, they finished in 4th place in the Open Intermediate at the Carolina International. This pair has an excellent partnership and a top-five placing should be a breeze for them this weekend. In the future, this will be an exciting pair to watch at the Advanced and three-star level.


Stephanie Cauffman (USA) & Woodstock’s Little Nev – CIC1*: Stephanie and Woodstock’s Little Nev competed in their first event together this February. Woodstock’s Little Nev, an 11-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, competed successfully up to the two-star level with Jennie Brannigan (USA) before Stephanie took over the reins. Although Stephanie and Woodstock’s Little Nev have only competed at one Preliminary event together, they added only cross-country time penalties to their stellar 24.2 dressage score to finish in 3rd place in the Open Preliminary at Rocking Horse Winter III H.T. With Stephanie’s past experience competing at the one-star level and Woodstock’s Little Nev’s two-star mileage this pair should be able to finish in the top five this weekend.

Jennie Brannigan & Woodstock’s Little Nev on cross-country.

 

Jenny Caras (USA) & Fernhill Full Throttle – Advanced: Jenny is only 22-years-old but already has heaps of mileage at the three-star level aboard her other mount, Fernhill Fortitude. This weekend will be Fernhill Full Throttle’s Advanced debut. Fernhill Full Throttle is a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse with endless potential. He did his first one-star in 2015, in Ireland, with Fraser Duffy (IRL) before Jenny imported him. Since Jenny has taken over the ride, they have earned numerous top finishes at the one and two-star level. Last year, they were 4th at the Fair Hill International CCI2* and they won this year’s Red Hills CIC2* on a stellar final score of 28.5. Jenny is a rider who has team potential and Fernhill Full Throttle could be her first senior team horse.

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