Wednesday, February 2, 2011
The first American CEI of 2011 took place at the Dupuis Equestrian Center near Indiantown, Florida January 28-29. The event featured two days of Endurance competition.
In the CEIJY 1* (80km), Forest Green and PL Nino took top honors in a time of 3:55:30 beating Kelsey Russell and Tryssta by 30 seconds to the wire. In the CEI 1* (80km) Amy Atkins crossed the finish line in 5:03:40 on SA Zacks Comet, one second ahead of Daryl Downs and Blaze Star. In another desperately close race, Kathy Brunjes won the CEI 2* (120 km) on Theatric in a time of 7:19:58, one second clear of Melody Blittersdorf on Tektonic.
In the CEI 3* (160km), veteran Valerie Kanavy took top honors on Gold Raven by a wide margin. Her winning time of 8:42:44 was more than 50 minutes clear of Margaret Sleeper, who finished in 9:54:49 with Syrocco Reveille, one second ahead of Nicki Meuten and Not tonight. After a third place finish in the CEIJY 1* on Friday, Kyle Gibbon won the CEIY3* the following day in a time of 13:12:51 on Julio.
At CSI Nakon Nayok in Thailand, American rider Mary Kate Hassett stormed to a one-two finish In the 1.20 class. Riding Lola and American Beauty, Hassett jumped two of the six first-round clears. She then was the only rider to break the 40 second mark in the jump-off; Lola bested her stablemate by nearly one second to take the top spot. Complete results are available here: www.equestrianparadice.com
There was an evaluation of U.S. drivers at Maureen and Alan Aulson's Black Prong Equestrian Center in Bronson, FL January 25-30. U.S. Driving Coach Michael Freund drove all the horses or ponies over the first two days to evaluate them. Then the drivers drove their own horses or ponies in a simulated competition. On Saturday they performed a dressage test which Freund judged and then they drove a cones course. The following day, the drivers did an improvised marathon which included a timed walk section and then three hazards. Following the three phases Freund met with each driver and evaluated their performance and discussed their plans for 2011. After the first competition of the 2011 season (Sunshine State CAI February 4-6) Freund will assign drivers to A and B groups.