Unionville, PA - Kelly Prather and Blackfoot Mystery snuck in to take the lead in the 50-strong CIC3* division at Plantation Field International Horse Trials today, scoring 45.0 in the final group of the day. A native of California, Prather came east last year to further her career as a professional event rider. She brought Blackfoot Mystery with her across the country after purchasing him from Lisa Peacook. An off-track Thoroughbred bred in Kentucky, the horse raced three times in 2007 before retiring to a career in eventing.
"I was really happy with the test," Prather said. "He's a great horse and just learning the level. He's done two Advanced and did the CIC3* at Richland, so he's green enough, but he wants to do whatever I ask. He stayed really relaxed and rideable today."
Buck Davidson and Ballynoe Castle RM held the lead for much of the day on a score of 47.7. Davidson and fan favorite "Reggie" are making a comeback after retiring on cross country at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France, earlier this month.
"I have done any dressage with him since returning home from the World Equestrian Games," Davidson said. "I gave him a little cross-country school, and he about took off with me. I jumped him the other day, and he had a great time jumping; he feels awesome."
It was a good day for Davidson, who also sits tied for third place with Copper Beech and The Apprentice on a score of 48.9, with Pacific Northwest rising star Maya Black and Doesn't Play Fair also sharing the same score.
The CIC2* division also features a tightly packed leaderboard, with Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border, Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous, and Buck Davidson and Be Mine sharing first place on a score of 42.4.
The CIC* also wrapped up dressage today, with Paige Crotty and Cooley Dawn Raid leading on 42.2, followed by Martin Douzant and Uno de Moulinet in second on 45.3 and Ryan Wood and Powell in third on 45.6.
In addition to the exciting conclusion of dressage in the international decision, teams of eventers, foxhunters and jockeys faced off in the PRO Bull Rider Challenge, with the eventers once again taking home the $1,000 team prize.
An individual bull riding prize was also awarded this year, with Nate Chambers clinging to the bull for more than a minute to clinch the win.
The fun continues tomorrow with the much-anticipated Dancing With the Stars party, when real cast members from the TV show will pair up with professional riders for a dance off.
Full results, a schedule and ride times for the weekend are available at www.plantationfieldhorsetrials.com. Be sure to "like" Plantation Field on Facebook and follow the event on Twitter @PlantationField.