Following a record-breaking dressage ride on day one of the 2022 Carolina International, Tamie Smith and Mai Baum went clear in show jumping, adding less than one time fault to their score to maintain the lead. Smith and Mai Baum laid down the best-ever dressage test in Carolina International CCI4*-S history, earning a 20.7, now followed by .8 faults in show jumping, totaling a score of 21.5 going into cross-country.
“I had a beautiful round on [Mai Baum], I was really proud of him. He felt super,” said Smith of her 16-year-old German Sport Horse gelding. “I’m glad to practice jumping on the grass. The ring is quite electric in there with the big jumbotron.”
Initially, Smith had nixed the idea of running cross-country with Mai Baum because she wanted to run closer to Badminton in May. But keeping the top spot on the leaderboard may have changed her mind. “The wheels are spinning,” said Smith. After walking Ian Stark’s 34-effort cross-country course, Smith commented “I’m sure getting tempted [to run it]. The course looks amazing.”
Update: Later in the day, Smith commented to Practical Horseman that she will not be running Mai Baum on cross-country tomorrow.
Will Coleman and his 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Dondante, left all the rails up and went under the time to maintain their second place score of 27.4. “[Dondante] jumped well today. I’d say it was our best round,” said Coleman. “We tried some different things, we’re still experimenting with set-ups and things for [the Kentucky Three-Day Event].” When asked what experiments he was trying with Dondante, Coleman replied, “Different warm up ideas and different tack. Small things, very detailed things.”
“Tomorrow is a big test,” Coleman said of the cross-country course. “Ian has laid out a different course this year, but it’s big and it’s a real five-star prep.” Coleman credited his dressage coach, Ian Woodhead, and his jumping coach, Brian Murphy, for his success at Carolina thus far.
Also maintaining their overnight score was Doug Payne and Starr Witness. Payne had a double-clear round aboard the 11-year-old KWPN mare to remain in third place. “She came out this year super confident,” said Payne. “This would have been a place that would be hard for her because there’s so much going on, so much atmosphere, but I think she handled it all really well. She’s super nimble and careful and a whole lot of fun to ride.”
Payne and Starr Witness appeared in last years Carolina International CCI4*-S as well, but he said that Stark’s cross-country track this year looks welcomingly different. “The last couple of years it’s been a very similar path and it’s nice that he’s changed it up. There’s some different things presented to us, but it looks super fair.”
CCI4*-S competition at the Carolina International will resume Saturday, March 26, at 11:20 a.m. with the cross-country phase.
For more information, carolinainternationalcci.com.
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