Raeford, NC -Thirteen of the best U.S. drivers in the Single Horse division went to task Friday afternoon on the Twin Gates Farm Derby Field at the Carolina Horse Park. The USEF National Single Horse Championship got underway with the dressage phase under sunny skies. At the end of the first day Sterling Graburn holds a six point lead in the division.
Graburn (Georgetown, KY) drove a flashy and accurate test to score a 37.97. Graburn's KWPN gelding, Ulano, impressed the Ground Jury with his presence and stunning gaits. Their attractive and powerful test was only marred by a few bobbles.
"I have a really, really good horse. He was very good today and really steady. We had a little impulsion problem at Live Oak but his impulsion was good today." Said Grabun; "He is a good mover and was rewarded for that. It (the test) was steady and even without too many technical errors." Looking towards tomorrow's marathon Graburn reflected, "I want to be steady. I'm not planning on winning the marathon, I just want to keep it steady."
Kate Shields lies in second on her own Hastening Winslow on a score of 43.85. Leslie Brendl drove Fritz Grupe's Uminco to a 44.16 for third place.
The USEF National Single Horse Championship is being run in conjunction with the Southern Pines CDE and the marathon gets underway Saturday at 9:00am ET with the Preliminary Single Pony division. Nifty Hamilton is the first competitor in the National Championship and starts the Marathon at 12:15pm ET.
For competitor information, times and results visit: http://drivingnewsusa.com/results/results2012/SouthernPines/
Follow the 2012 U.S. Driving Time here: http://www.usefnetwork.com/featured/2012Driving/
Photo: Chester Weber-Live Oak 2012