2019 Ocala Jockey Club 3-Day Event dressage report: Mara DePuy and Congo Brazzaville C dance into the lead

Mara DePuy & Congo Brazzaville C. Photo credit: Shannon Brinkman Photo Team.

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2019 Ocala Jockey Club 3-Day Event dressage report: Mara DePuy and Congo Brazzaville C dance into the lead

Off to a late start with a rain delay, the final day of dressage at the Ocala Jockey Club 3-Day Event began after a two-hour delay this morning. That didn’t stop the Eventers and Organizers and the show still went on. Luckily, once today’s competition began, no torrential downpours erupted from the cloud-covered sky. The weather definitely did not put a damper on Mara DePuy’s (USA) ride aboard Congo Brazzaville C as they are leading the CCI4*-L on an impressive 28.5. This pair also led the dressage this fall at the Fair Hill International CCI4*-L. However, after a fall off on cross-country Mara made the decision to reroute to the OJC3DE.

“My horse had 10 days completely off after Fair Hill and what made the decision to come here is he was squealing and running around his field and normally Congo would be having naps after a hard event. So he was definitely not ready to be done so I put him back into light hacking and flatting for a week. He did one cross-country school and one gallop and here we are. The dressage was the one thing lacking because I did not want to drill on him. He has done the most flatwork since he’s been here.”

Mara went on to explain about the cross-country course:
“First of all, this venue is amazing. I have never been to this event before and it is so not typical of what you think of Florida. The land is amazing. It is a proper four-star there is certainly enough to do. It is a good course; there are fair questions, a lot to do out there and it is even a little bit longer than Fair Hill. The ground is perfect.”

Phillip Dutton (USA) is sitting in 2nd place on a 29.0 aboard Long Island T, a horse he is riding for Boyd Martin (USA) this weekend.

“I was ecstatic with Ludwig [Long Island T] this morning, he went really well. Silva and Boyd have done a great job with him, he just gets in the arena and understands what he has to do and goes about it in a pretty matter-of-fact way. There’s obviously a bit of improvement there but overall we haven’t been together too long so I was really pleased. It was helpful having Boyd here for my final warm-up: he told me Ludwig sometimes gets a little nervous in the halts, and that he thought he would come down a little lower in front once he got in the ring so that was useful to know as every horse reacts differently.”

Lynn Symansky (USA) and RF Cool Play are rounding out the top three on a 31.0. This pair won individual silver and were members of the USA gold medal winning team at the Lima Pan American Games in the summer. When asked about her thoughts on tomorrow’s cross-country course Lynn explained:

“It is twistier than it has been in years past so I think that will have a cumulative effect on them. I think time would be harder to make than it has been in the past because there is a little less galloping. He has been clever about what he has done with some of the galloping lanes to ask some of the same questions but he has changed it on how he gets you there. The ground should be good, the rain did nothing but help it. It looks like a good track; it doesn’t feel soft for sure there are questions all the way up until the end. He is a good cross-country horse, he is an honest horse. He is a little bit light on runs leading up onto a CCI4*-L because I aimed him at the Pan Ams instead and I missed his final run which was supposed to be Virginia. But I just have to rely on the fact he is a good cross-country horse and loves his job.”

CCI3*-L dressage results
Phillip Dutton (USA) and Fernhill PickPocket are leading the way in the CCI3*-L on a 28.9; they were the only pair to crack into the twenties in this division. Fernhill PickPocket was bought and owned by his stepdaughter, Lee Lee Jones who produced him from a 4-year-old up to Training level. Phillip took over the ride in the spring of 2017 after Lee Lee’s accident at the end of 2016. Now her grandmother, Annie Jones and Caroline Moran are also part-owners on the horse. When asked about his partnership with Fernhill PickPocket he said:

“Well it is a little bit of an emotional relationship because it is actually Lee Lee’s horse and she bought him originally from Ireland. It is sad but also exciting to have him. We are really excited about his future. He is a little bit of a volatile horse; he is not the most laidback horse you’d ever see. So everyone is in agreement we are going to take our time with him and slowly produce him. But he has the makings of a really top horse, he can obviously move and operate on the flat but he is also a good jumper as well.”

Phillip Dutton & Fernhill PickPocket. Photo credit: Shannon Brinkman Photo Team.

Clarifying his plans for cross-country tomorrow, Phillip says:
“It will be the longest course he’s done but it should be well within his capabilities at this stage of his career. There are some quite decent, proper jumping efforts there and there is also some jumps that are a bit smaller compared to some of the course; the course varies a lot. He can be a bit of an aggressive jumper so I have to make sure he doesn’t get too flat and low at the smaller stuff so that he is at his best when the harder stuff comes.”

Leslie Law (GBR) delivered a polished test aboard Zick Zack yesterday that scored a 30.9. They sat on top of the leader board for most of the dressage competition until Phillip edged them out. Leslie is riding Zick Zack for Ellie O’Neal (USA) who taking time out of the saddle because she is pregnant with her first baby and due in January.

Detailing his thoughts on cross-country, Leslie explains:
“It is a great course the terrain is so good here, the setting is so good and the ground will be really good after last night’s rain. It will be a good competition. There are a few lines that will be questions as to whether we are leaving a stride out or adding a stride here and there. I will have to feel my way a little bit because I don’t know the horse inside out. So we will go out there and see where we are by about fence five or six and hopefully get the job done.”

There is a tie for 3rd place between Jonathan Holling (USA) with Prophet and Katherine Brown aboard Carnaby; both pairs scored a 33. Interestingly both Jonathan and Katherine produced their mounts from three-year-olds and both horses are making their CCI3*-L debut this weekend.

Jonathan makes clear his game plan for tomorrow:
“This is only his fourth Intermediate so while I know the horse really well and feel confident going out he is still quite green at the level. There are some questions out there where I know in another twelve months time he will be ready to attack it, I’d say tomorrow I am just going to have to see how he feels when he leaves the box. He is a pretty brave, bold, confident cross-country horse so fingers crossed he is up to the challenge we will just have to see.

I can’t think of a better venue that I have been to it is beautiful here. It is the perfect time of year and setting for the autumn four-star. I am a obviously a bit partial to it because I live 30 minutes away but I would travel to come to this event to me it is on par with the best venues I have ever seen. The courses are built really well and there is a good team in place for sure.”

Katherine on her thoughts about her test and the cross-country course:
“He was awesome today. He was really, really great in the warm-up and got a little bit distracted in the ring. He is young so I am okay with that for now.

I think the course looks very appropriate, really good, a little bit long. I will see how he feels and just take it one jump at a time.”

CCI2*-L dressage results
Will Coleman (USA) and Chin Tonic HS are way out in front of the pack in the CCI2*-L on a score of a 24.2. Will is also tied for 2nd place on his other ride, Stem Engine with Buck Davidson and Cooley Candyman; both pairs are sitting on a 27.9. Both Will and Buck will be looking at their watches towards the end of the cross-country course tomorrow in efforts to be the closest to optimum time to win the tie break.

Will Coleman & Chin Tonic HS. Photo credit: Shannon Brinkman Photo Team.

Saturday Schedule:
Cross-country starts off tomorrow with the CCI2*-L division at 8:00 AM (EST), followed by the CCI4*-L at 11:35 AM and then the CCI3*-L at 2:25 PM. The CCI4*-S is show jumping in the main arena tomorrow starting at 10:30 AM.
Saturday will be a busy day with Hat Day spectator competition, demonstrations such as Elisa Wallace with her Mustangs, beer garden and Family Fall Festival games.

Sunday Schedule:
The competition will wind down with the end of the 2019 OJC3DE with the CCI-L divisions show jumping and the CCI4*-S running cross-country.

At this year’s 4th annual OJC3DE there will be plenty of other spectator attractions with demonstrations, Kid Zone, vendor village and food vendors. General admission is $10 per day, or $25 for weekend admission and the event program. Parking is free. Tailgating is available on Saturday’s cross-country day for $95. VIP access in the picturesque Fireside Room of the OJC Clubhouse starts at $250. Tickets and event information are available on the Event website.

The Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event at the picturesque 950-acre OJC facility has established itself as a premier fall FEI event in the Southeast, with riders praising the venue’s footing, galloping tracks, viewing opportunities and rolling hills reminiscent of the English countryside.

Ocala Jockey Club Press Release

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