In memory of Rebecca Broussard, The Event at Rebecca Farm’s founder, her daughter Sarah launched the “Halt Cancer at X” charitable initiative in 2012 to raise funds for breast cancer research. It seems appropriate then that the first through third place finishers in the CCI4*-L were mares. And in the CCI4*-S, the first and third place horses were mares, too.
CCI4*L Stadium Round
Prior to the stadium jumping phase, two horses withdrew, including Liz Halliday-Sharp’s mount Cooley Moonshine. While the combination led the field following cross country, the horse pulled both front shoes on course. Once he cooled out, it became apparent that he was foot sore so Halliday-Sharp decided to save him for another day. She did, however, report on stadium day that Cooley Moonshine was “very comfortable and happy today and actually quite fresh.”
Of the 14 original starters, eight went forward to the stadium jumping round. Course designer Chris Barnard put together a track that riders said had a good flow to it.
James Alliston Finishes on Dressage Score
James Alliston and his own Karma were one of two combinations to go clear within the time allowed of 84 seconds. As a result, they were the only pair that finished on their dressage score, which was 32.6.
Karma is a 2014 Oldenburg mare bred in the U.S. by Patricia Crowley. “She was sort of her normal self to be honest,” Alliston said of how his horse came out today. “You wouldn’t have known she’d done what she did yesterday, really. She’s full of energy and really jumping up in the air high and very careful. It felt really good.”
He admits being amazed at her stamina. “She’s sort of just an energetic horse. And I don’t know where it all comes from, but she just has so much energy.”
Mares Also in Second and Third
Second-place finisher Madison Temkin had similar things to say about her mount, the 10-year-old Thoroughbred mare MVP Madbum. “She always likes to go fast. Kind of similar to what James said. I don’t know where she gets all her energy. But she always has the energy. She was absolutely phenomenal this week.”
The pair had one rail down which added four points to their dressage score since they went double-clear on cross country. They finished with 42.4 points. The mare, owned by Temkin, was also bred in the U.S. making it a one-two finish for U.S. bred and owner/rider horses.
Quite possibly the most striking horse in the field, the flashy mare Fluorescent Adolescent, went clean cross country with just 3.6 time penalties. Canadian Jessica Phoenix piloted the 15-year-old mare for owner Makayla Rydzik. In the stadium round, they added two rails to bring their final score to 47.3 and a third-place finish.
“She’s a really awesome horse,” Phoenix said. “She wakes up in the morning wanting to go to work and she’s like, what are we doing today? And she came out of yesterday really, really well.”
Phoenix explained her two rails down by saying that the horse “lacks a little bit of length to her step in the show jumping. So, I just have to really make sure I get her into the combinations and because she is so new at the level, it sometimes results in a rail on day three.”
Wakita 54 Jumps Clear
Admittedly, Andrew McConnon and Wakita 54 did not have a strong dressage test on the first day of The Event at Rebecca Farm. They finished fourth out of five entries with a score of 37.7. The next day they added only 1.2 time penalties, bringing them to 38.9. By going clean and within the time allowed in the stadium round, they won the CCI4*-S.
As both owner and rider, McConnon said he was “just proud of my horse. She was a little unassuming to be honest because she’s built slightly downhill. She’s very sound, but she has a few little lumps and bumps, and I bought her and started her off from the beginning. And it’s really nice to have her here at the Advanced and four-star level. This is her second time jumping clear in the show jumping.”
He went on to share how she has improved in the final phase. “And she definitely has the capability. But we’ve had quite a few [who] just tapped rails here and there, not because of lack of ability. But it’s just nice to go in there after a long journey and at elevation and in heat, even though it’s dry, and have her jump clear around. So, I’m just really proud of her.”
Second and third stayed the same after cross country. Tamie Smith and Kynan added 0.4 time faults to finish on 46.8. Emilee Libby and Toska went double clear to finish at 56.5.
Halt Cancer at X
In addition to promoting equestrian sports, bringing people together and philanthropy are two additional priorities of the Broussard family. This event also supports numerous local charities and organizations, further strengthening the bond between the equestrian community and the residents of Kalispell, Montana.
It was announced during the stadium jumping that through the amazing generosity of local and equestrian communities of support, Montana Equestrian Events, through Halt Cancer at X, has now awarded over $1,000,000 in cumulative grants to local organizations and medical researchers since 2012.
And so, the sun sets on another Event at Rebecca Farm. Because of its proximity to Glacier National Park, many competitors also make it a destination vacation. Before they make the long trek home, they take some time to enjoy more of the beauty that Montana has to offer.
Coverage of the 2023 Event at Rebecca Farm is brought to you by Cosequin®.