Raeford, NC — The Carolina International Horse Trails kicked off the CCI4* level at 9:20 a.m. on Thursday, March 18, with an exciting day of dressage. Phillip Dutton (USA) rode two mounts in the class, and came out on top after a stellar trip aboard Caroline Moran's 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding, Carlchen.
Dutton and Carlchen earned first place with a score of 22.60, followed closely in second by Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (USA) and Fernhill By Night with a score of 23.00, and Colleen Rutledge (USA) aboard Covert Rights with a score of 27.00, which secured them the third place spot.
"Carlchen is kind of a new ride for me," said Dutton about his winning mount. But that didn't stop the pair from climbing to the top of the pack on day one. "I’ve had Carlchen for a year and a half. This is our third or fourth competition together and he's a very special horse. I think he has some big things ahead of him in the next three or four years. He went well and the exciting thing is there are some more points to get."
Dutton plans to ride Carlchen in the CCI4*-S at the 2021 Land Rover Kentucky Three Day Event in April. "He shows well. Obviously, he's a beautiful mover. He keeps a nice outline and he stays in a nice soft frame," continued Dutton. "He's such a nice, balanced horse and he's really fun to ride, so you get in the test and actually enjoy it a little bit."
As riders prepare for show jumping on day two, Dutton commented on the course saying, "It's pretty compact. It's probably not that big, but it's a lot to look at and it's quite technical, so I think it will cause it's share of trouble."
Dutton also put in a solid round in the CCI4* on his 2011 Thoroughbred gelding, Sea Of Clouds. The duo earned a score of 30.7 which landed them in the seventh place position following the conclusion of day one.
Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night, an 18-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Deborah Halliday, hold the second place position right on the heels of Dutton and Carlchen. “He was a good boy and he knows his job by now. He tried really hard and did probably the best changes he has ever done," said Halliday-Sharp of her mount. "I'm thrilled he got the score he did and it's great he still enjoys being at the party. He loves going to the shows and I was really pleased with him today."
Rounding out the top three in the CCI4* were Colleen Rutledge and her own Covert Rights, a 15-year-old Clydesdale-Thoroughbred cross. "Covert Rights was just fabulous. He felt really good and his bobbles were mine, not his. The test is different from what I’ve been riding because it is a bit broken up, but I was quite pleased with how he went in and acted," said Rutledge.
CCI4*-S competition at the Carolina International Horse Trials will resume Friday, March 18, at 12:00 p.m. with the show jumping phase.
For more information, carolinainternationalcci.com.
1. Phillip Dutton / USA / Carlchen / 22.60
2. Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp / USA / Fernhill By Night / 23.00
3. Colleen Rutledge / USA / Covert Rights / 27.00
4. Matthew Flynn / USA / Wizzerd / 27.30
5. William Coleman / USA / Off The Record / 27.50
6. Doug Payne / USA / Vandiver / 28.00
7. Woods Baughman / USA / C'est La Vie 135 / 28.60
8. Clayton Fredericks / AUS / FE Ophelia / 28.70
9. Sydney Elliott / USA / QC Diamantaire / 29.50
10. Doug Payne / USA / Star Witness / 29.90