Articles: Press Release
Dutton Defends Lead with The Foreman in the USEF National CCI***
Championship, Schmitt, Groves, Wright and Poulin Lead National Driving
Championships at Dansko Fair Hill International
United States Equestrian Federation, Inc.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 20, 2007
By Joanie Morris
Elkton, MD - The weather blew through the Mid-Atlantic region on Friday
night and cross country/ marathon day at the USEF National Championships
at the Dansko Fair Hill International boasted perfect conditions and
Phillip Dutton, the overnight leader in the CCI*** Championships had to
wait until the very end of the day to maintain his lead with Ann Jones'
The Foreman and put on a cross country clinic with the 11-year-old
Thoroughbred gelding. The Foreman, who won the event in 2004, has had a
somewhat quiet year struggling to overcome a minor injury to a splint,
but Dutton from West Grove, PA is happy to have the veteran back on good
"He started out and he wasn't quite as forward as I am used to with
him," said Dutton, who won two Olympic Gold medals. "He hasn't run in
quite awhile but as the course went on he got more confident. I was down
on the clock for most of the course but I was able make up probably
about 8 to ten seconds over the last part of the course. It's nice to
have Thoroughbred horse that can do that. I think he needed the run."
Dutton and The Foreman have one rail in hand over student Boyd Martin,
finishing the cross country portion on their dressage score of 42.4.
Dutton is third with Acorn Hill Farm's Woodburn, who also was clear and
under time, one of only six on the day, on 50.9.
"I have a lot of respect for Woodburn," said Dutton about the
11-year-old New Zealand Thoroughbred. "He galloped really well and did
the course pretty easily. He was maybe a little bit aggressive at the
jumps which is something I'll have to be working on. Overall I am really
pleased with him. Hopefully they will trot up well and I'm looking
forward to tomorrow."
Going every other with Dutton was his student/assistant Martin. Third
out on course, Martin and his own 10-year-old Australian Thoroughbred
gelding Ying Yang Yo romped around the track picking up .4 of a time
fault to finish on a two day score of 46.5.
"He hasn't done a big course like that in awhile," said Martin about
Ying Yang Yo. "He felt quite comfortable out there. The only hairy
moment was at the first narrow (fence 5) and he was a bit spooky. Other
than that he was a champion. He got bit tired at the end and I had to
look after him a bit and back off a little bit and unfortunately he
picked up a time penalty."
Martin also sits in fourth with another Australian Thoroughbred, Neville
Bardos. With the less experienced 8-year-old chestnut gelding, Martin
added nothing to his dressage score and moved from 11th after the first
phase to fourth after cross country.
"He was a little bit rank early on but after that he flew round," said
Martin. "He's a very fast horse. He's starting to feel more mature cross
country and he's definitely a galloping machine and he comfortably made
the time. I never felt like I was pushing him or riding him hard through
Dutton's Gold Medal teammate from this summer's Pan American Games,
veteran Karen O'Connor, jumped up from 15th after the dressage to fifth
with Joan Goswell's Irish Thoroughbred Mandiba on the strength of a
double clear cross country round. She also lies seventh with Hugh Knows.
Young Rider Cayla Kityama splits O'Connor's pair.
"He has been such a special horse to me and my whole team because he
came from Ireland as an unbroken 4-year-old and was bred by a very, very
close friend of ours in Ireland," said O'Connor about Mandiba after he
completed the cross country at his first three-star. "So it's been a
very special day for him. He stepped up to the plate, he's only eight
years old and he got tired at the end of the course, I don't think he's
ever been tired before but when I asked him he kicked right in and
finished inside the time and I'm just over the moon with how well he
O'Connor started riding 11-year-old Hugh Knows in February, and this is
the Irish breds first CCI*** as well. O'Connor broke her collarbone in
September and missed a couple of events as a result.
"I don't know him at this level and he's only done two advanced for me
but he really is a horse that is going to shine over the bigger
courses," said O'Connor. "He has a huge engine and an enormous gallop
and tons of scope and as long I learn to stay out of his way I think he
has a really great future ahead of him. And by staying out of his way I
mean to not ride him like he is smaller than he is, he's a nice big
O'Connor jumped around on four horses, she picked up run outs on Allstar
and Upstage but feels fortunate to have a very strong group of horses in
"How fun for me that I have such a range of horses," she said. "I feel
good about tomorrow. I look forward to seeing how they are. They are
good showjumpers so I will keep my fingers crossed that they are not
tired and jump the jumps and keep the rails in the cups. I'm
Leaderboards Shuffle after Driving Marathons
The driving marathon got underway in the morning and Lana DuPont
Wright's course hosted plenty of action and excitement.
Yesterday's leaders after the dressage didn't fair well in the first
marathon classe. Single Pony dressage winner, Shelly Temple was
eliminated for going off course which meant that Sara Schmitt's opening
score of 95.59 was good enough to hold on for the win.
Driving Batman, she blazed around the difficult course and finished on a
two day total of 147.99 which left her with a commanding lead going into
the third and final phase, the cones. She has been driving the pony for
three years and says that her navigator, Keith Haskell is a large part
of her success.
"He was awesome today," said Schmitt about Batman. "I think the most
difficult on the whole course was that there were a lot of tricks, like
making sure you didn't go through the gates backwards. When you are
going fast it is pretty hard to remember where you're going. I wouldn't
say he was spot on but because he's fast even making a few minor errors
he is fine. I'm quite a bit ahead and I've never actually gone into the
cones with such a lead so it's going to be fun tomorrow. When you go
into the cones with two points in hand it is a lot of pressure, when you
go into the cones with 17 points in hand you can actually have some
In the Single Horse Championship division, Robin Groves has a much
smaller lead but sits atop the standings nonetheless. In second place
after the dressage, she actually finished third in the marathon with a
score of 100.92, but her two day total of 157.37 was good enough to bump
her ahead of dressage winner Bill Peacock.
"My first hazard was lousy with my bad choice of route but the rest of
it was wonderful," said Groves. "This is his first time around this
course with me and I have no complaints other than I drove the first
hazard abominably. He gave me all he had and was still running at the
end which I really appreciate."
The 12-year-old Connemara gelding cruised around the course with
relative ease defying his size and although Groves appreciates her
position after the two days knows that Sunday's cones will be
"I have, maybe, one point in hand and I have to say that my two
strongest phases have already happened," she said. "I have no leeway but
my groom is very good at keeping me an my horse relaxed"
In the Pony Team Championship, Boots Wright held onto her lead with
another convincing performance with her team. Sitting five points ahead
of Lisa Stroud on a score of 166.55, Wright will bring her Ocala based
team into the cones tomorrow hoping to go three for three of days of
In the Pair Horse championship, Larry Poulin snuck ahead of dressage
winner Lisa Singer by less than two points. Poulin, who is based in
Massachusetts, scored 108.34 in the marathon to finish on a two day
score of 160.56.
Sunday's activities get underway at 8 a.m. with the Final Horse
Inspection and then the cones portion of the USEF National Driving
Championships. Show jumping for the National Eventing Championships
begins at 2 p.m.
For more information please contact USEF High Performance Communications
Manager Joanie Morris at email@example.com.
The vision of the United States Equestrian Federation(r) is to provide
equestrian sport in the United States of America by promoting the
excellence from the grassroots to the Olympic Games. This is based on a
foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare of horses.
this vision, the USEF strives to be the best national equestrian
federation in the world.