The Plantation Field International three-day event this weekend promises to be a very exciting event. It looks bigger and better than ever. With the new course designer, Mike E-S, on board, I’m sure the riders will see a big, bold and intimidating track on Sunday’s cross-country. I am personally riding a very classy group of intermediate and advanced horses in the CIC divisions. For the majority of these horses it will be their first attempt at this level and my main objective will be completion, so that they are qualified for their fall three-day events.
In its sixth year, the event is going from strength to strength. It’s one of the most picturesque venues on the eventing circuit and the arenas are world-class with synthetic footing. Katie Walker has also put in a detailed social schedule for the riders, owners and sponsors to be involved every evening.
For me personally I’m trying to get all the horses prepared and experienced at this level. Depending on how green they are and how they’re traveling I’ll decide whether to try to have a crack at winning their classes. Obviously it’s one of my favorite events of the year and I look forward to seeing all the spectators out there cheering us on.
SBF Cortez, owned by Denise Lahey and Pierre Colin
Cortez is a homebred and this is his first attempt at the two-star. He’s a green 7-year-old and oozes class. I’m hoping to give him a nice round to build his confidence as he’s new to this level.
Welcome Shadow, owned by Craig and Gloria Callen
|Welcome Shadow at the Carolina International. Cindy Lawler photo|
Shadow is a beautiful imported Irish Sport Horse; she's a fancy mover and has got a cracking jump. Like Cortez this is her first attempt at this level so I’ll be looking to get her around successfully.
Trading Aces, owned by the Trading Aces Syndicate
|Trading Aces and Phillip Dutton at Rolex KY. Photo by Mike McNally|
Oscar is looking great after returning home from a disappointing WEG outing. He looks fit as a fiddle and well as a bell and I’m looking forward to hopping on him again and giving him a nice ride and getting him back on track. This is our first competition together since we won Red Hills this spring.
Crackerjack, owned by Lucy Boynton
This will be my first CIC*** on Crackers. (Phillip rode him in one while I had a broken leg). He’s a cross-country machine so I’m confident he will jump around this course with ease as long as I can contain his enthusiasm.
Pancho Villa, owned by the Pancho Villa Syndicate
|Pancho Villa at Fair Hill. Amber Heintzberger Photo|
Pancho is currently for sale. He’s a top quality horse who should do an outstanding dressage test and rocket around the cross-country and show jumping. I believe this is his first CIC***.
Steady Eddie, owned by George and Gretchen Wintersteen and Denise Lahey and Pierre Colin.
|Steady Eddie at Carolina International. Allie Conrad photo|
"The Eagle" was sensational at Five Points, winning his division, but this will be a much more difficult and technical question for him. He’s a wonderful galloper, so I hope the terrain will suit him well. Again it’s his first time at the CIC*** level.
Master Frisky, owned by Stephen Blauner
|Master Frisky, Photo Stephen Blauner|
Mikey is the most laid-back of the crew. He should put in a great dressage test and dance around the cross-country. His greenness will probably show up a little bit in the show jumping, but he’s a class horse and should finish in the top group.