Challenging Cross-Country Course Takes Its Toll at Millbrook Horse Trials
By Lynndee Kemmet
Millbrook, New York August 12, 2006 A challenging cross-country course took its toll on competitors Saturday at the Millbrook Horse Trials.
In the two Advanced Divisions, of 52 starters, eight failed to finish and most who did had time penalties. Only two riders James Alliston on Little Tricky and Kristen Bond on Are You Ready went clear with no time penalties. Three horses withdrew before starting the course.
It was a very challenging course, said Darren Chiacchia. Ive been here before, but I think the addition to the question at five the corner to the skinny that was a very serious question, especially early in the course. And then you had a couple of jumps and then faced the second most serious question of the course at 8a and 8b. So you really needed to come out of the box right on your game and get it down early.
Despite the challenging course, Chiachhia managed to hold onto his first place position in Advanced Division A with the 13-year-old stallion Windfall. The pair finished the course with no jumping faults and only 14.4 time faults for a total of 40.70 faults as they head into the final day of competition.
Right behind them, are Mara Dean and Nicki Henley. That pair was in second after Fridays dressage phase and managed to stay in second after cross country by adding only 16.4 time penalties for a total of 46.40 penalties. Dean said Saturdays course, designed by Chris Barnard, was much more what one expects in an Advanced Division than in previous years.
I think theyve made some good changes out there that made it more difficult than in years past. It was almost a little too easy last year. The course this year definitely made you set your horse up and think. And my horse answered every question, she said.
While there was little change at the very top of Advanced Division A, it was not so in Advanced Division B where the challenging course really took its toll. Leaders Corinne Ashton and Dobbin racked up 20 jumping faults and 6 time faults for a total of 53.90 faults, which dropped them into ninth place. William Coleman and Twizzel, who were second after Fridays dressage phase, were eliminated after several refusals on course. Loreen Kay and Russian, who stood in third place coming into the cross-country phase, never made it onto the course. They withdrew ahead of time.
It was their faultless cross-country round that allowed Alliston and Little Tricky to move from 12th place into first. Second place was taken over by Emilee Libby and Cahir.
Little Tricky is a veteran cross-country horse and Alliston, who is British and rides with Bruce Davidson Sr., is doing his first advanced with the horse that had been competed by Davidson.
Im hopeful for the final day. The horse has jumped clear before but that was with Bruce on board, Alliston said.
Dean said the 11-year-old Nicki Henley has a good chance of doing well in the final show jumping phase if I ride him as well as I know I can. But, she admits that Chiacchia and Windfall will be hard to beat. Chiacchia is also optimistic.
Knock on wood, hes pretty dependable in show jumping so lets hope we keep it together tomorrow, he said.
Advanced Placings after Cross Country:
1 32 WINDFALL Darren Chiacchia 40.7
2 18 NICKI HENLEY Mara Dean 46.40
3 34 PRIVATE TREATY Buck Davidson 48.90
4 33 DUCHESS Colin Davidson 55.40
5 37 NAUGHTY BY NATURE Jessica Ruppel 55.90
6 38 LUCINDA Samantha Taylor 56.70
Advanced Division B
1 66 LITTLE TRICKY James Alliston 37.90
2 55 CAHIR Emilee Libby 45.40
3 51 FIGJAM Peter Atkins 46.70
4 225 ARE YOU READY Kristen Bond 47.50
5 60 NEW MOON Jane Sleeper 48.70
6 45 DISCOVER THE POWER Danny Warrington 49.00