Unionville, PA – Phillip Dutton and Quasi Cool added only 3.2 time faults to their dressage score of 25.7 to claim the CCI4*S title at the Plantation Field International Three-Day Event. Dutton and the 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Caroline Moran stood third after dressage, jumped clear in yesterday’s show jumping, and kept their cool around Derek diGrazia’s challenging cross country course. Overnight leader Allie Knowles and Ms. Poppins, owned by Kathleen O'Brien, jumped around clear, but 7.2 time faults dropped them into a final fourth place. She also finished 5th overall with Morswood, also owned by O'Brien.
Buck Davidson and Erroll Gobey also show jumped clear and were only two seconds over the time on cross country, moving up from 5th after dressage to second place overall. Only Fylicia Barr and Galloway Sunrise finished the cross country course within the time allowed.
“Knowing the position I was in after the show jumping I definitely intended to go out quickly on the cross country,” said Barr, who recently started training with Lillian Heard in the jumping. “The cross country is where my mare shines. She’s pretty quick-thinking and efficient in the turns, she’s got a big step, and we’ve known each other so long that I trust her. We’ve competed here five years in a row and I know the course, I know the terrain, and I thought today was the day to go for it.”
Megan O’Donohue and Palm Crescent, who finished 18th, earned the top placing off the track Thoroughbred award.
Dutton, who represented the US at the Tokyo Olympics this past summer, said that Quasi Cool was imported from Germany about two years ago from Dirk Schrade. “He’s shaping up nicely and turning out to be a nice horse,” said Dutton. “This is the first time he’s been at the four-star level. Coming into it I didn’t plan to go as quick as I did cross country, but he was in a good position after dressage and show jumping so I set out to go as quick as I could without scaring him and he handled it pretty well.”
Olympic course designer Derek diGrazia started designing the courses at Plantation Field this year and Dutton said, “It wasn’t completely different, but I liked the changes. It’s very hilly terrain here and it can be hard on the horses if you have too much downhill, and I think Derek did a good job of making us go across the hills instead of up and down the hills. I thought that was very fair for the horses.”
With Quasi Cool now qualified for the four-star long, Dutton said his next event will be at either Morven Park or Tryon, NC.
Last year the future of Plantation Field was uncertain. Property owner Cuyler Walker commented, “We resolved all the issues with the governing bodies and we expect that this event, Plantation Field, will continue here for many years to come.”
Dutton, whose True Prospect Farm is located in nearby West Grove, PA has been involved in the event from the start and said, “It’s a very unique venue and it would be terrible for our sport to lose it. It’s such a good viewing venue and has its own unique atmosphere and style, and it’s great for our local community. [My wife Evie and I] joined forces with Denis when we wanted to step it from doing the national classes; we’ve stepped back bit [from organizing things] but it’s rewarding to see where it is today.”
Dutton also had two horses in the CCI2*S and finished second on Clueso and tenth on Hatchi in the A division.
Follow along with Practical Horseman's coverage leading up to and during the inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Special thanks to our sponsor Straight Arrow (Cowboy Magic/Exhibitor's/Mane 'n Tail) for their support!