As the second to last pair to ride in the CCI3* division at Jersey Fresh, Jessica Phoenix and Exponential dropped a rail to give overnight leaders Buck Davidson and D.A. Adirmo some breathing room. While D.A. Adirmo jumped incredibly well with his knees cranked up to his eyeballs, he pulled two unlucky rails to give Jessica and Exponential the win.
Jessica rerouted here to Jersey Fresh after withdrawing before cross country at Rolex last month, and she told me after her ride that she was thrilled she ultimately made that call, which was a very tough decision at the time. Tucker looked fantastic all weekend, and this pair had one of the nicest trips through the water complex on cross country that I saw all day yesterday.
Tucker has earned a nice break and will gear up for his next major outing in 2014. While I’m sure Buck is disappointed in this outcome, I think we really saw D.A. Adirmo mature and grow immensely this weekend, and I’m excited to see what this pair accomplish in the future.
Courtney Cooper looked elated after jumping just one of two double clear show jumping trips in the whole division with Who’s A Star to finish in third place. Courtney and Tag were sitting in ninth place after dressage and moved up to fourth place after a clear cross country trip and six time penalties yesterday. Lillian Heard and Share Option pulled one rail to finish in fourth place.
Katie Ruppel and Houdini pulled one rail and picked up four time penalties to round out your top five. Rails fell all throughout the division — with five rails dropped between the top five — and time also proved to be a bit tricky, with three riders picking up faults there.
I have to send a huge shoutout to West Coasters Zach Brandt and Cavallino Cocktail, who jumped the only other double clear round and should be thrilled with their performance here this weekend.
The organizers, designers, and officials who made Jersey Fresh such a success this year deserve major kudos. We had almost perfect weather all weekend, and it was a very safe competition for horses and riders alike. In addition, Brendan Furlong has renewed his commitment to award $25,000 to the horse and rider combination that wins the CCI2* and returns the following year to win the CCI3*. It wasn’t possible for someone to win the $25,000 prize this year — Boyd Martin and Crackerjack won the CCI2* last year, and Boyd is currently grounded due to recovering from ankle surgery — so we’ll have to wait one more year to see if Caitlin Silliman and Remington XXV can take home the very generous cash prize. It’s just one more example of what makes Jersey Fresh such a fantastic event every year. Thanks so much to everyone who followed along with EN’s coverage this weekend. Go Jersey Fresh, and go eventing.