Fairburn, GA - Competition at the Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Bit of Britain (AEC) got underway today. With the Advanced division at the AEC also playing host to the USEF National Advanced Horse Trials Championship, stakes were running high. Becky Holder (Palmetto, GA) and her longtime partner Courageous Comet lead the field after scoring an impressive 23.7 on their dressage test, 5.6 points ahead of the rest of the field.
"Comet," a 16-year-old Thoroughbred gelding owned by Becky & her husband Tom Holder, is nearing the end of his upper level career so a top performance here would be a wonderful way to cap off his outstanding record. Holder is also in fifth place in the USEF National Advanced Horse Trials Championship on Can't Fire Me, a 13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding owned by Phil & Melissa Town & Tom Holder, with a score of 30.7.
Sitting in second place are Jonathan Holling (Ocala, FL) and Downtown Harrison, an 8-year-old Trakehner/Thoroughbred gelding owned by Constance Holling. The pair earned a 29.3 for their nice, flowing dressage test. Holling won the Bromont CCI3* earlier this summer with Downtown Harrison and hopes to find that top form again here. The pair will head to the Boekelo CCI3* this fall with the help of a Land Rover Competition and Training Grant.
Michael Pollard (Dalton, GA) is in third place with Schoensgreen Hanni, a 9-year-old German Sporthorse mare owned by his wife Nathalie Pollard. The pair performed a solid test earning a 29.5. Pollard and Schoensgreen Hanni are coming off of an Advanced win at Richland Park and are looking to continue their winning ways this weekend.
The competition continues tomorrow with the Cross Country phase. The first horse will be on course at 11:08am ET. Hugh Lochore's championship Advanced course, with 38 jumping efforts, requires riders to be bold and attack several fences while also being careful at the combinations.
Follow the live scoring here.
For more information about the event, click here.
Photo: Becky Holder and Courageous Comet (Leslie Threlkeld/USEA Photo)