Clayton Fredericks’ April Fools Day international cross-country track left no place for foolin’ around today in the final phase of the Galway Downs International’s CCI divisions.
Tamie Smith retained her two spots atop the leaderboard — with the seasoned veteran Mai Baum edging Danito out of a lead he’d carried from dressage and after both show jumped double clear last night. While both horses made it look easy, it was not, Tamie asserted. “The course rode very difficult and technical and very reactive. There wasn’t any part where you could count on something riding like you’d planned it.”
The Bank and Double Houses at 13ABC, the Land Rover Mission Viejo Water Complex at 18 ABCD and the Brush Ditch-Pig Hut-Angle Brush at 21ABC were especially challenging.
Even with her “old, trusted partner,” Tamie admitted she was a bit nervous because Alexandra Ahearn’s 17-year-old German Sport Horse had not run since their World Equestrian Games Team Silver outing in September and the course “was riding way harder than I anticipated.”
Tamie considered the 6:19 optimal time “unmakeable” and, indeed, she and Mai Baum were the closest to it. Their 9.2 time penalties bumped up their 22.2 dressage score and they won on a 31.4, ahead of Danito’s 34.8, which included 14 time penalties.
“I went for it with both horses and I really tried to go faster with Danito,” Tamie reported. “He’s more of a long format horse. I can ride Mai Baum a little faster because he sets himself up for the jumps so well. Danito is not quite as careful and he’s a bit strong, so that’s part of it. But, both were awesome and I’m thrilled.”
Tamie’s roster of four horses in the 4* required schedule adjustments that interspersed Advanced rounds with her last two rides. Her third round, on the Elliot V Partnership’s 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood, ended badly coming out of the Land Rover Mission Viejo Water Complex. Elliot missed the 2nd angled roll-top, dumping Tamie in the dirt to her own and the crowd’s dismay. Horse and rider were unhurt, Tamie popped up and helped the fence judge replant the flag and headed back to ready Danito for his run.
Today’s 4* cross-country was ideal prep for Mai Baum and Danito going into the Kentucky 5* later this month, Tamie said. Whereas for Elliot V, it showed that the Kentucky 4*-S may be the better option for this stage in his development.
Marc Grandia and Team Rebecca’s 13-year-old Holsteiner, Campari FFF, moved up into 3rd with 19.2 time penalties to end on a 53.5. Katy Robinson and her own Thoroughbred Outrageous Dance had the biggest jump up the standings — their 12.8 time penalties boosted them from 9th into 4th.
For full results, click here.
Thanks to Cosequin for our coverage of the 2023 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, including rider interviews, competition reports, horse spotlights, photos, videos and more!