Coleman Claims Cosequin Lexington CCI4*-S

Will Coleman and Diabolo steadily moved up the leaderboard over four days in the Cosequin Lexington CCI4*-S to end up on top.
Will Coleman claims Cosequin Lexington CCI4*-S with Diabolo at the 2024 Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event. ©Amy K. Dragoo

Will Coleman said he’s pleasantly surprised that Diabolo won a big event such as the 2024 Cosequin® Lexington CCI4*-S. But he’s not totally shocked. “The horse was starting to give me the feeling that he was on the verge of doing something competitive at a big event,” he said after the horse won the competition at the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event Sunday.

“We kind of have just been patiently plotting our time until he was ready to sort of show it to the rest of the world,” Coleman added. “I think he still has a long way to go, but I’m really keen on him, and I’m excited about his future.”

Coleman and Diabolo went into the show-jumping phase in second place behind Liz Halliday and Miks Master C. They set themselves up for the win by riding a clear show-jumping round. Then Halliday and Mikki knocked down the second-to-last fence, leaving the victory to Coleman.

Boyd Martin came in second on Commando 3. Coleman and Off The Record, his U.S. team silver-medal partner for the 2022 FEI World Eventing Championships. Martin came in fourth on Fedarman B. Caroline Pamukcu placed fifth on HSH Blake, her individual gold and team silver medal at the 2023 Pan American Games.

The total number of horses competing in show-jumping phase was 40. Of those, 13 jumped double-clear. “It was great course,” Martin said of the Steve Stephens designed course. “The top jumpers all jumped well, the time was a little bit tight, you had to sort of scoot around the corners.”

“Steve builds some of the best courses we jump, I mean, they’re great,” Coleman agreed. “And we don’t get to jump in very often. It’s really only here that we see Steve Stevens, but he’s a legend in course design.”

Coleman and Diabolo

Coleman and Diabolo finished the event on their dressage score of 29.9. They were in sixth place after dressage. Then they jumped a fault-free cross-country round to move into second. And their double-clear show-jumping clinched the win.

Diabolo originally came from Australia. Coleman said the horse’s transition to the Northern Hemisphere was difficult. The horse had equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, gastrointestinal issues, ulcers and more. “I think his system was in a state of shock. … There’s all sorts of things that can kind of very subtly affect horses. And you could just tell he was struggling a little bit,” he said.

“So we were just really patient. We couldn’t really do a whole lot with him last year. And we sort of just waited for him to tell us when he was feeling like he was ready to go and start competing again. And for much of last year, we kind of laid low and were pretty quiet and just got to know him. But I actually think that served us well,” Coleman said.

“He’s been quietly getting better this spring,” he added. “And we did feel like there were some good results maybe around the corner.”

Coleman said a woman who sources horses from Australia sent him videos of Diabolo, and his wife, Katie, suggested he take a closer look. Coleman and his father traveled to Australia to try out the horse.

In addition to Diabolo’s move up the leaderboard, Coleman’s Off The Record moved up a spot from cross-country to finish in third place with a score of 30.9.

Coleman Claims Cosequin Lexington CCI4*-S
Will Coleman and Off The Record placed third in the Cosequin Lexington CCI4*-S at the 2024 Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event. ©Amy K. Dragoo

Martin and Commando 3 and Fedarman B

Martin was pleased with both of his horses. After dressage, he was in fourth place with Commando (“Connor”) and 13th with Fedarman B (“Bruno”). And after cross-country, he moved up to third with Connor and fifth with Bruno. Then each horse moved up a spot after the show-jumping where both horses jumped double-clear. Connor’s final score was 30.1 and Bruno’s was 32.5.

“They both felt very fresh and pranced out of the stable this morning. And they’re both just superb show jumpers,” Martin said. “So I’m very confident in the show-jumping phase with both these horses. … With these two, I’m praying for as big a course as possible with the tightest time there.”

Martin has been working with show jumper Peter Wylde. “Peter’s been coaching me for a couple of years now. We’re just very, very fortunate that someone of that caliber would help us. He’s just a perfect mix of show-jumping for eventers because he likes a quite loose ride and a bit of a soft ride, like how we like to go cross country, so it sort of blends in well.”

On the Kentucky show-jumping course, Wylde recommended Martin do one less stride than everyone else from Fence 1 to 2. “ And it worked easy. It just saved a second or two there,” Martin said.

Coleman Claims Cosequin Lexington CCI4*-S
Boyd Martin and Commando 3 placed second in the Cosequin Lexington CCI4*-S at the 2024 Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event. ©Amy K. Dragoo

For complete results, click here.

Read more about the CCI4*-S here:

  1. Dressage Day 1 Report
  2. Dressage Day 1 Photo Gallery
  3. Dressage Day 2 Report
  4. Dressage Day 2 Photo Gallery
  5. Cross Country Report
  6. Cross-Country Photo Gallery

Thanks to Cosequin for our coverage of the 2024 Cosequin Lexington CCI4*-S. It includes rider interviews, competition reports, horse spotlights, photos, videos and more.

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