Equestrian Life
Oliver Townend tops the leaderboard following Thursday’s dressage at the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill

Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class. © Shannon Brinkman

Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class.

© Shannon Brinkman

Oliver Townend tops the leaderboard following Thursday’s dressage at the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill

The Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill opened Thursday with the first half of the dressage phase taking place in the Main Arena, where World #1 ranked rider Oliver Townend (GBR) and Cooley Master Class topped the leaderboard in the CCI5*-L.

Townend piloted Angela Hislop’s 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding to a comfortable lead over the other competitors, earning a score of 21.1 for their magnificent ride. American riders Hannah Sue Burnett and Lynn Symansky are currently tied for second with scores of 28.0.
“We’ve regrouped since Kentucky this spring,” said Townend, 2021 Olympic Team Gold medalist. “We don’t really run him that often, as he’s an old pro. He’s a big character and the horse that we love to have at these occasions. He seems to love the trip over to America for some reason; he seems to thrive in America. We’ve just quietly prepared him for this all summer. I know he’s older, but he’s never felt as good or as happy. We couldn’t be happier with him.”
While Townend was one of the last to go, Symansky rode early in the order with RF Cool Play, The Donner Syndicate LLC’s 13-year-old German gelding. It was the gelding’s first time competing at this level, and she felt that he rose to the occasion.
“I’m really proud of him,” Symansky said. “Riding into that arena, you just can’t wait for Sunday, and you can’t wait to come back over and over. The arena has a more intimate feel, and it’s a little more like Burghley where the crowd is up there with you.”

Burnett felt some added pressure going into the arena because her mount, Harbour Pilot, was very relaxed in the warm-up and seemed ready to put in a good test. “My horse has been around for a long time and been to a lot of places,” she said of the 18-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Jacqueline Mars. “Coming here, he was like, ‘Oh, you’ve brought me somewhere worthy of me!’ He was so relaxed, impressed, and excited.”
These top three riders believe Fair Hill’s terrain will play the biggest part in determining the results of Saturday’s cross-country phase.
“When you look at the fences individually, it’s a bit like the other 5 Star courses,” Townend said. “The fences are fair; the fences are big; the fences are obviously what we expect from a 5 Star. But then you add the terrain, you add the 5 Star, you add the pressure, and it’s going to be a very, very tough day on Saturday.”

Australia’s Clayton Fredericks rode Stormtrooper FE into 15th place on a score of 33.4. Fellow Aussies Dominic Schramm with Bolytair B and Ema Klugman with Bendigo will ride their tests in the second half of the draw today.


Kurt Martin and D.A. Lifetime. © Shannon Brinkman

Kurt Martin and D.A. Lifetime.

© Shannon Brinkman

After Thursday morning’s USEF CCI3*-L Eventing National Championship dressage phase, Kurt Martin (USA) leads with D.A. Lifetime, a 9-year-old mare owned by Debbie Adams. The pair earned a score of 23.5 for their beautiful test in the Main Arena.
“Clarence was brilliant this morning,” Martin said. “We were a little bit unsure coming into this event because we’ve never competed here on this side. We didn’t know how the horses would act with a larger atmosphere, but she was brilliant at the start when we got here. She was no different when we went into the arena, which was also quite unique for her. She’s hot and usually a lot of horse, but today she was right underneath me the whole test. I couldn’t be happier.”

When asked about his first impression of the Maryland 5 Star, Martin said, “It looks like an unbelievable undertaking to put this event on. From the rings to the cross-country course, to the stands to shopping and everything else, I know a lot of people have put in a lot of time here. As a rider, I appreciate that. Fair Hill has always been beautiful and a great venue, and it’s been upgraded now.”
Sitting in second place for the CCI3*-L is Kate Brown (USA) and Carnaby, her 8-year-old Oldenburg gelding, with a score of 24.8. Caroline Martin (USA) and HSH Vamonos, her and Sherrie Martin’s 8-year-old Zangersheide gelding, are in third with a score of 25.5.

Australian Ryan Wood is due to ride Cooley Flight in the second half of the CCI3*L draw today.

The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) East Coast Championships Presented by Dubarry of Ireland opened Arena C in the morning with dressage and conformation for the 4- and 5-year-old divisions.
After their jumping and galloping test in the Sawmill Field, Caroline Martin and HSH Best Kept Secret took home the victory for the Dutta Corp. USEA YEH East Coast Championship 4-year-olds with a score of 90.20. Martin also tops the 5-year-old leaderboard aboard HSH Crypto with a dressage and conformation score of 25.84 going into Friday’s jumping and galloping test.

For full results, visit results.hippodata.de.

Source: Event press release with edits from Equestrian Life






© copyright. Equestrian Life. Wednesday, 26 January 2022