Derek di Grazia’s CCI4*-S cross-country course at the 2022 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event proved challenging this morning and resulted in a big shake up on the leaderboard. Dan Kreitl and Carmango made the leap from 11th place to first place when they crossed the finish line in six minutes and 56 seconds. “He wastes zero energy being nervous or anxious,” said Kreitl. “Even though it was a hard course and we were tired, he felt like he could have definitely kept going.” Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Quicksilver maintained their podium position moving up from third to second place while Phillip Dutton and Quasi Cool made a big jump up the leaderboard from 15th to third.
Kreitl preserved his dressage score of 29.0 to move into the top position. New to the four-star level, Kreitl admitted that he sometimes worries if Carmango is fit enough or if he’ll have to push him all the way around the course, but “he had plenty left in the tank” today. “I feel really happy and confident about that because it was the first time at this level that I’ve come out trying to make the time.” As for himself though, Kreitl said the course was more of a workout that usual. “Maybe the people and the atmosphere made me just a little more excited.” But nonetheless, it was “the most fun cross-country course” Kreitl says he’s ever done.
Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Quicksilver added just 4 time penalties to their overnight score to finish on a 29.7 following cross-country. First out of the start box, Halliday-Sharp paved the way through di Grazia’s “championship level” course. “I’ve ridden a lot of four-stars around the world and I thought this was one of the tougher ones I’ve done,” said Halliday-Sharp.
Question 6ABC—the Park Question—was especially challenging for many horse and rider combinations, including overnight leaders Doug Payne and Colleen Loach, who were first and second, respectively. Payne took a spill over Starr Witness’ head at the B element of the question and took the bridle with him. Starr Witness was uninjured and Payne was right back up on his feet as well. Also at 6B, Loach had her second refusal of the day and retired Vermont from competition.
“If I’m being honest, I think perhaps the back question (of 6ABC) would have been more fair for a four-star horse if there were two strides coming out rather than one,” commented Halliday-Sharp, who made it through the question unscathed with Cooley Quicksilver, but fell off her second ride, Cooley Moonshine, at 6C. “But that’s part of the process and this should be a tough track. …it should be a championship style track.”
Third place Dutton wasn’t sure Quasi Cool was going to make it to Kentucky this year. “[He] has had a pretty interrupted spring. He broke his eye socket. …It looked like it could have been a really bad, tragic event. But, the [vets] down in Wellington put it back together and he’s got full sight again.”
Dutton ran Quasi Cool at Fair Hill International two weeks ago in preparation for Kentucky and to catch up on his mount’s time off. Fortunate for him, di Grazia was the course designer there as well, so Dutton already answered a similar question to today’s 6ABC. “Well, I guess I was really lucky because two weeks ago, Derek built a similar question at Fair Hill, so we went through it there. It was two strides though,” he laughed.
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CCI4*-S competition at the 2022 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event will resume tomorrow, May 1, at 11:00 a.m. EST with the show-jumping phase.
Thanks to Kent Nutrition Group, Mane ‘n Tail, and Cosequin® for our coverage of the 2022 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, including rider interviews, competition reports, horse spotlights, photos, videos and more.