June 9—Bromont, Quebec
Will Coleman came into show jumping with a rail in-hand on Obos O’Reilly, but he didn’t need it. It wasn’t the smoothest show jumping round for "Oboe," but the CCI*** first-timer proved he was all class by jumping a double clear to finish on 58.2 ahead of Selena O’Hanlon on Foxwood High (65.6) and Sally Cousins on Tsunami (68.2).
“I think the horse was just a bit over it, to be honest. About 10 minutes into the warm-up, I could just tell he didn’t want me on him anymore,” admitted Coleman. “This has been a big, big weekend for him. I don’t think you can appreciate just how big a step up this was for him in his progression as an event horse. I was really proud of him.”
Coleman, Gordonsville, Va., said Oboe started to lose his cool toward the end of his show jumping round. “But he’s a quality horse, and he kept leaving them up. That’s kind of all you can ask for.”
This is Coleman's second Bromont CCI*** win. He took the title in 2010 with Nevada Bay. "I’ve won two one-stars here and two three-stars. I’ve been placed in a bunch of two-stars," he said. "I do love the event. I love the way it’s run, and I love the people who run it. We always have a good time here. I’m not sure if there’s a great explanation. Some people have events that they tend to do well at, and this is one for me."
Watch video of Coleman's round:
Of the 18 CCI*** finishers, only O’Hanlon and Coleman jumped clean over Mauricio Garcia’s course. “Woody” moved up from fifth to second, one of three of O’Hanlon’s three-star mounts. She also placed fourth on Bellaney Rock (69.5) and 12th on A First Romance (106.3).
Allison Springer slotted into fifth place with one rail down aboard Copycat Chloe (77.0). She also took home the award for best conditioned.
In the CIC***, Phillip Dutton maintained the lead with Ben from start to finish as well as finishing seventh in the CCI*** with Fernhill Fugitive. Ben had one rail down at fence 5, a jump that caused a fair amount of trouble for both three-star divisions. It was a narrow vertical at the end of the ring that came in an open six or quiet seven strides after the triple combination.
“I don’t think horses were paying that much respect or picking up on it too much. It worked on my other horse to add in seven [strides], but it didn’t work on Ben. I thought the rest of it rode well,” said Dutton, West Grove, Pa.
He said the Holsteiner gelding (Mr. Wizard—Baroque, Latino) is on a good trajectory for a fall three-star. “His work is getting better and higher quality,” he said. “I was pleased with the dressage, but there’s a lot of improvement there. His cross-country was good without trying to go too fast. There are a few things I can work on with the show jumping, but I was really pleased with that as well.”
Canada's Jessica Phoenix took second place with Pavarotti after jumping the only clean round of the five-horse division, although they did incur 1 time penalty. She tried a tack adjustment on the advice of Canadian team coach Clayton Fredericks. “At the first clinic that we did with him back in November, he took 50 percent of the horses’ nosebands off,” Phoenix explained. “With Pavarotti, if his nose is tied shut with a noseband, he almost tries to pull through it. With the freedom, he’s a lot more relaxed.”
A Bit Wild In The Ring
Rails were flying in the two-star, and Erin Sylvester had plenty of breathing room by the time she entered the ring in first place aboard Mettraise. The horses in fourth through second had no less than 12 penalties apiece. Still, Sylvester took nothing for granted with “Missy.”
“The course rode hard for Missy mainly because she is a tough show jumper,” she said. “She gets a bit wild in the ring, and that’s a very tight course. I was a bit ready for it going in. She did the best she could.”
Missy had the first fence down as well as the liverpool at 7. “She jumps tight behind at times, and that’s where we had the two rails,” said Sylvester, Kennett Square, Pa. “Overall, I was happy with her because she got a little excited in there and still really tried hard to jump. Earlier in the season she’d get wild in the ring and pull four or five rails at prelim. It’s a big improvement.”
Even with her rails, Sylvester’s final score of 70.4 was still more then 8 points ahead of the second-placed finisher, Buck Davidson on Santa’s Keeper (78.8). He moved up from seventh place with a double-clear round despite a stop on cross-country. Davidson also placed third with Knight Lion (82.4). Erin Brooke Freedman went into show jumping in fifth place, but her horse Viola had to scramble to jump the plank at fence 8 and landed lame, so Freedman retired.
Sylvester also placed second in the one-star on Paddy The Caddy behind Canada's Waylon Roberts on Yarrow. She jumped a clean round but incurred 1 time fault, which left her .4 points behind Roberts when he had one down.
Despite his excitement over topping the CCI*, Roberts was disappointed his father, Ian, couldn’t witness the win. Ian is still hospitalized after yesterday’s fall on cross-country in the CIC***, which left him with a broken pelvis and a concussion.
“I haven’t spoken to him yet [after winning],” said Waylon. “I’m sure my mom’s told him though.”
Waylon's mom, Kelly Plitz, bred Yarrow, and Waylon helped break the 6-year-old Canadian Warmblood (Yavari—Amelia, Ali Baba).
“I remember having to carry him out to the field as a youngster because he wouldn’t follow his mom,” he said. “It’s been two years now of getting him where I want him. He’s really come a long way. I’m really excited about him.”
Only seven out of 35 show jumpers had double-clear trips, with several riders incurring time penalties as well as faults over the jumps.
“I thought it was of the level, and it was challenging for the level,” said Waylon.
Caroline Martin, seventh aboard Center Stage, was the top-placed young rider.