The horse show hiatus is over. At least, for the FEI events that survived COVID-19’s truncated 2020 calendar.
But three months out of the show ring is bound to make any rider rusty. This week’s winners included.
Take the CSI 3* at Tryon International Equestrian Center.
Europeans team gold medalist Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Indra Van De Oude Heihoef topped a 60-horse field in the $37,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 3* on Thursday—with some “unintentional distances” in the jump off.
“Things came up a little awkward, especially to the last jump,” said Sweetnam of the “tricky” Ken Chrome course. “I didn’t get what I wanted there, but it still worked out well for me. She is a quick horse and she really wants to leave the jumps up. I really just had to try to get her there as quickly as I could, and she did her best.”
Come Saturday, world #11 Kent Farrington (USA) had an “awkward” moment of his own with Kaprice in the 10-horse jump off for the $137,000 EquiSafe Global Grand Prix CSI 3*.
“There were a bunch of rollbacks in there, and she actually got lost coming to the vertical. She didn’t put her eye on it, so I had to sit back and hope that she cleared it from a very awkward distance. She’s such an athlete, though, so she got away with it. I’m very proud,” said Farrington.
Meanwhile at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival in Michigan, the only other international show in North America last week, Catherine Tyree (USA) kicked the rust off in her first FEI performance since March.
Riding BEC Lorenzo, she topped Friday’s 16-horse jump off in the $36,600 1.45m Welcome Stake CSI2*.
“I felt a little bit rusty because I haven’t competed at bigger heights since the beginning of March, so I’m coming off a little bit of a break. Lorenzo was amazing.”
Last but not least, Sunday’s $72,900 North Face Farm Grand Prix CSI2* win went to Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire and Luibanta BH. The final pair to contest the 14-horse jump off, they shaved almost two seconds off Capt Briane Cournane and Penelope Cruz’s time (38.80 to 40.69) to log their third CSI 2* victory as many weeks.