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 North America’s top eventers will be competing at the CCI2* and CCI3* Fair Hill International in Elkton, Maryland. The event kicks off tomorrow with the first horse inspection. Dressage for the CCI2* is taking place on Thursday and Friday; the CCI3* dressage will be held on Friday.

Saturday will be cross-country day and once again the renowned four-star Course Designer, Derek di Grazia has designed the CCI2* and CCI3* tracks. Fair Hill cross-country is always a true challenge; the terrain is hilly and the final few combinations on course tend to cause plenty of problems. There is rain in the forecast for Saturday, so time on cross-country will likely be influential.

The winners will be crowned on Sunday after show jumping. This year, the show jumping track will be designed by Sally Ike. No matter how these duos finish this weekend, they are talented pairs that you should be keeping your eye on next season…

Anna Loschiavo (USA) and Spartacus Q – CCI2*: Anna and Spartacus Q, a 9-year-old American Hanovarian gelding, are hot off of winning the ultra-competitive 2018 Plantation Field CIC2* on their 28.0 dressage score. Earlier this year, they finished 6th at the Bromont CCI2* adding only one rail to their 34.0 dressage score. Although this duo just moved up to the Intermediate/two-star level this year, they have finished inside the top 10 at five out of the six events they’ve competed at. Spartacus Q is a big and bold horse with tons of potential and Anna has heaps of experience at the two-star level. This weekend, they could clinch the win and a top-five finish should be a breeze.

Anna and Spartacus Q at the 2018 Plantation Field CIC2*.

 
Caroline Martin (USA) and The Apprentice – CCI3*: Caroline and The Apprentice, a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse, already have two CIC3* wins together and will be looking to claim the win this weekend. Most recently, they won the Morven Park CIC3* and in July, they won the New Jersey H.T. CIC2*. The Apprentice was produced up to the CCI4* level by Buck Davidson (USA) until Caroline took over the ride in 2017. Caroline has near countless three-star runs on her record on a large variety of horses. Caroline and The Apprentice will certainly be challenging for the win this weekend and it will be exciting to watch them tackle CCI4* events next season.

Caroline and The Apprentice at the 2018 Plantation Field CIC2*.

 
Emily Beshear (USA) and Olney Uncle Sam – CCI2*: Emily took over the ride on Olney Uncle Sam, an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, in 2017 from Jennifer Ward (USA) who competed him up to the one-star level. Together, Emily and Olney Uncle Sam have quickly formed a solid partnership. This fall, they won the Advance division at Five Points H.T. and the Advanced at Millbrook H.T. The two-star this weekend for them should be fairly effortless given their solid Advanced mileage and you can expect to see them in the top-three. It will be exciting to watch this pair campaigning at the three-star level next spring.

Emily and Olney Uncle Sam at the 2018 Millbrook H.T. in the Advanced.

 
Allison Springer (USA) and Business Ben – CCI3*: Business Ben, an 8-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, is one of the most promising young three-star horses in North America. Allison is no stranger to the upper levels having numerous top CCI4* finishes on her record. She has been masterfully producing Business Ben through the levels since 2016 when he did his first Training level event. This pair finished 10th at the challenging Plantation Field CIC3* this fall, which was Business Ben’s first three-star. Show jumping isn’t Business Ben’s strongest phase but he has 10 FEI event starts under his girth and has never had a cross-country jumping penalty. This pair has the potential to land a top-10 finish this weekend and this could be a team horse for Allison in the future.

Allison and Business Ben at the 2018 Plantation Field CIC3*.

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