Lexington, VA. - Over 500 horses across 30 divisions competed at the Virginia CCI/CIC and Horse Trials yesterday at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington and the first winners of the week emerged.
Rio Olympics individual bronze medalist Phillip Dutton piloted both the Revelation Group's Fernhill Revelation and David Garrett's Corazon to double-clear rounds on cross country to finish in first and second place in the CIC2* out of 38 starters. The two horses were second and fifth after dressage, added no penalties in show jumping to move up to first and third and produced two of only nine fault-free cross country rounds.
"This is Fernhill Revelation's first FEI competition in the U.S. since importing him from Ireland, so we are thrilled for his owners to take home the win this weekend," Dutton said. "He already has a lot of experience at the three-star level with his previous rider Fraser Duffy, and we're looking forward to bringing him out at that level in the spring. He has an incredible amount of talent and is definitely a horse for the future."
Hannah Sue Burnett and Cooley Dream jumped clear in show jumping but added four time penalties on cross country to drop from second to a third place finish overall. Boyd Martin and Kyra finished on their dressage score of 43.5 to move up from 11th place to fourth overall. Mara DePuy and Congo Brazzaville C, leaders after dressage, added one rail in show jumping and four time penalties on cross country for a fifth place finish.
Sydney Solomon and Early Review C, owned and bred by Laurie Cameron, led the Area II Intermediate Championship from start to finish, adding only 9.6 cross country time penalties for a final score of 50.9. Sydney, 19, is a working student for Dutton and says she finds herself constantly improving under his watchful eye.
"[Early Review C] is a fiery little thing. She can definitely get hot and excited easily but she really wants to do it. She's willing and honest," Solomon said. "Show jumping was amazing; she did not touch a rail. Sometimes we have trouble making the stride when she gets spooky [on cross country] but today she was forward and good the whole time."
Early Review C, also known as "Coco" is a graduate of the USEA Young Event Horse Program. She competed at the East Coast Championships as a 4- and 5-year-old with Lillian Heard and won the Safe Harbor Award two years in a row, which is given to the most amateur friendly and rideable horse in at the championships. Sydney has been riding Coco for the last year and is hoping to compete her at the Bromont CCI2* next year.
Tracey Bienemann and Geoni finished second in the Intermediate Championship, adding 23 penalties in show jumping but completing cross country yesterday fault free.
Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg were the ultimate winners of the Open Intermediate division. Placed second after yesterday's show jumping on 30.8, they produced one of only three double-clear cross country rounds to move into the top spot. Martin also finished third on Santos after finishing only one second over optimum time on cross country for a final score of 45.1.
Jennie Brannigan and As Cool As Ice moved up from third after dressage and show jumping to finish second in Open Intermediate on a 38.4, adding 3.2 penalties on cross country.