Rider alert: Pairs to watch at Morven Park this weekend

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Rider alert: Pairs to watch at Morven Park this weekend

This weekend, many of the top North American eventers are competing at the Morven Park International H.T. in Leesburg, VA. This event is running three FEI divisions along with national divisions ranging from Beginner Novice all the up to Advanced. For many of these duos, this will be their final run in preparation for a fall CCI event. The cross-country tracks have been designed by Tremaine Cooper so you can guarantee this weekend won’t be any ride in the park. Fall three-days are just weeks away, making it hard to predict what riders’ goals will be at this particular event; not everyone will be riding cross-country to finish under optimum time. Regardless of what the leaderboard looks like at the end of this weekend, keep your eye on these pairs because they could deliver stellar results at bigger events in the future:

 

Ariel Grald (USA) and Leamore Master Plan – CIC3*: Ariel and Leamore Master Plan, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, moved up to the three-star level this April but their record is impeccable. They have successfully completed four three-star events and they’ve never had a jumping penalty on cross-country and only one rail down in show jumping. Most recently, they finished 2nd at the Plantation Field International CIC3*. This pair could challenge for the win this weekend and have the capability to deliver a top fall CCI3* finish to end their 2018 season.

Ariel and Leamore Master Plan at 2018 Plantation Field International CIC3*

 

Brittany Hebets (USA) and MTF Bugatti – CIC1*: This pair has had a very consistent 2018 season so far finishing in the top-ten at five out of the eight events they have competed at. Brittany has been competing MTF Bugatti, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding, since early 2017 and they completed their first Preliminary event last summer. They already have one successful one-star result on their record – they finished 7th at The Maryland H.T. at Loch Moy Farm II CIC1*. Their last outing was at the Seneca Valley Pony Club H.T. where they finished in an impressive 2nd place in the Preliminary Rider division. This weekend a top-five finish is well within their reach.

 


 

Rachel Wilks (USA) and Truly Wiley – CIC2*: Rachel took the ride over on Truly Wiley, an 11-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, this summer. Previously Truly Wiley was campaigned successfully up to the CCI4* level by Kelly Prather (USA). So far, Rachel and Truly Wiley have competed at five events together and placed in the top-10 at two. They were 2nd at their first Intermediate together at Waredaca Farm H.T. Rachel has experience competing up to the three-star level on another horse so she is no stranger to the upper levels. Although this pair is still getting to know one another, they could pull off a top-10 finish this weekend and it will be exciting to watch their partnership grow as they continue to move up the levels.

Kelly Prather and Truly Wiley

 

Lynn Symansky (USA) and RF Cool Play – Advanced: RF Cool Play, a 10-year-old German Sport Horse gelding, is one of the most talented horses in North America. Lynn needs no introduction having represented America at two WEG and two Pan Ams, not to mention her impressive CCI4* record. Lynn took over the ride on RF Cool Play in 2016 and he moved up to the Advanced/three-star level this year. They finished 3rd at RF Cool Play’s first CCI3* at the 2018 Jersey Fresh International. This pair is hot off of winning the Plantation Field CIC2* and they should continue their winning streak by claiming the victory this weekend. RF Cool Play is certainly team horse material for Lynn so keep your eye on this duo on the lead up to the 2020 Olympics.

Lynn Symansky & RF Cool Play.

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