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Julie Wolfert Atop Leaderboards After Cross-Country at Colorado Horse Park CCI*

RELEASE: June 2, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Mary Adelaide Brakenridge and Sue Weakley for Phelps Media Group, Inc. Inte

Julie Wolfert and Buenos Dias
Julie Wolfert and Buenos Dias
Parker, CO
- Many competitors had rave reviews for cross-country day at the Colorado Horse Park's CCI*/Training Three-Day/Horse Trials, but Julie Wolfert had more reasons than most to be happy. Wolfert turned in three double-clear cross-country rounds to cement her lead in the CCI* with Buenos Dias, taking over the lead in Open Intermediate with Buenos Aires, and moving up a notch from fifth to fourth in Novice Horse with Vindicated.

"She was fantastic," Wolfert said of CCI* mount Buenos Dias. "It was really fun! I liked the last water because she jumped it so big and so fun. The course rode great and was very open. It was perfect for where I'm at and for my horse's training."

Wolfert was also happy with Buenos Aires' performance in the Intermediate-level water complexes and said the best part of the ride was the bounce into water. "He had never done one before, and I thought he handled it pretty well," she said.

She noted that Buenos Aires needed a bit of a push to get going at first. "He was a little picky and a little strong and then he finally settled in toward the end in our groove," she said. "The course was great and it was reversed (from previous years) and I like how it rode better in this direction. (Course designer James Atkinson) gave us a lot of nice, inviting jumps, and then it got technical, and then there were some breaks again."

Atkinson's course design philosophy fits with Wolfert's observations. He describes the process of building a course as one that begins with setting a track, keeping in mind the natural features of the land as well as existing complexes, and progresses to adding combinations while using the spaces in between as a way to rebuild confidence between tests.

"Once you have the track, you start filling in the combinations and trying to ask a different question at each one, whether it's an accuracy question or a boldness question or a turning question, and trying to make them somewhat progressive through the course," Atkinson said. "For all levels, the first water jump is quite easy, the second one is slightly harder, and then the third one is probably the most challenging." As an example, he mentioned the Training course he'd set for this event, where several horses who hesitated at entering the initial, straightforward water complex balked later on in the course when asked to jump down into water.

"And then a pretty important part is what you do in between those combinations," Atkinson continued. "Maybe you asked a question that was quite hard, and the horse did it, but then he's maybe a little bit suspicious. So you have a fence or a couple of fences that the riders can just kick at, just straightforward gallop fences, where they can rebuild that little bit of confidence in the horse before that next combination."

"My job really is to get the horse at whatever level to actually finish the course more confident than they started, and leave the rider feeling like they did some stuff that was pretty hard by the end, and succeeded."

CCI* - Maintaining their second-place position behind Wolfert and Buenos Dias in the CCI* were Sydney Conley Elliott and SaffariO, who also went double-clear around the course. "He was fabulous," Elliott said of SaffariO. "He is all warmblood so I was worried about him making the distance and having enough stamina to finish the course, but he surprised me."

Elliott, who traveled from Louisiana to compete at the Colorado Horse Park, added that the course was a good place for SafarriO to make his CCI* debut. "He did really well and the course was fabulous - a great one-star course," she said. "From start to finish, he was very confident, and I like it when a horse finishes almost better than they started. It was a perfect place for us to come for our one-star. Worth the 16-hour drive? You bet! It was wonderful."

Third-placed Julianne Van Halst and Tristan were also making their one-star debut. "All the jumps rode really well and they were pretty straightforward," she noted. "It was fabulous. It's a great confidence builder and it's lovely and a first-class facility."

She said she was grateful to her horse for helping her out throughout the course. "There were a couple spots where he really saved my butt. He knows his job and he always takes care of me. I'm very lucky to have a horse like him."

Caroline Smith, who rode Lucas to a double-clear cross-country round to stay within striking range of the leaders, said she trusted her horse's athleticism to carry them through the course. "He's very clever and very athletic," she said. "I just try to stay out of his way as much as possible and let him do what he does best.  And isn't that what we are supposed to do?"

"The footing was fabulous and the fences are well-built and the course was well-designed," she added. "I loved it. On top of a pretty decent dressage, we'll see what happens. I can't wait until tomorrow."

Training Three-Day - The Training Three-Day division continued to be a close battle between Summer Peterson, on Jake the Fish, and Arden Stephens, on All That Matters. Peterson held a 1.6-point lead after dressage, and it looked like she might extend that lead when Stephens had a refusal on course. But Peterson, riding just after Stephens, also incurred a refusal, allowing Stephens to move back within range of the lead.

Peterson said the refusal was disappointing but a good learning experience. "I made a stupid mistake at the corner, but as soon as I got myself organized, he was fine and went back over it and he was really good the rest of the time," she said. "It got me a little sharper. I'm kicking myself because it was my mistake completely. He was better afterward too, because I got a little more aggressive. It was a good lesson for me."

Peterson enjoyed her ride over the course and thought the reversal of direction from previous years helped it flow well. "I think James did an awesome job," she said. "It really builds on itself. This course was really fun. I wish I could go do it again, right now, and do it better this time!"

Jake the Fish has particular reason to relish the cross-country course at the Colorado Horse Park, which features three water complexes: Peterson said his name was inspired by his love for water and resemblance to a sea creature. "He really likes water," she explained. "In the winter he grows a big mustache and he looks like a big catfish."

Open Intermediate - Hailey Rich and Kingfisher II will have a lot of ground to make up on show jumping day if they hope to catch Wolfert and Buenos Aires, who lead by over 10 points. Wolfert inherited the first-place position from overnight leaders Julie Norman and Consensus, who were eliminated after a fall at the first water complex.

Like Wolfert, Rich enjoyed tackling the challenges of the course. "I thought the new bank up to the angled brush was actually really clever," she said. "It was an interesting question that I hadn't seen before. I also liked the first water, where you go over barrels and then go over the table and then drop down - that was really challenging. There were definitely some different questions I hadn't seen before."

The final day of the CCI*, Training Three-Day and Horse Trials will offer new questions to challenge competitors. The show jumping phase will demand accuracy and precision after the arduous cross-country run of the day before. While some divisions have a clear leader after cross-country, anything can happen on show jumping day, and several divisions will be won or lost depending on how the rails fall.

The Colorado Horse Park's CCI*, Training Three-Day and Horse Trials
Standings After Cross-Country: Total Score (Dressage Score, Cross-Country Jump Penalties/Time Penalties)

CCI*
1. Julie Wolfert (USA) - Buenos Dias - 44 (44, 0/0)
2. Sydney Conley Elliott (USA) - SaffariO - 48.6 (48.6, 0/0)
3. Julianne Van Halst (CAN) - Tristan - 50.5 (50.5, 0/0)
4. Caroline Smith (CAN) - Lucas - 52.5, (52.5, 0/0)
5. Grayson Wall (USA) - Stryker - 55.1 (55.1, 0/0)
6. Wendy Webb (USA) - T.H. Royal Flush - 56.9 (54.5, 0/2.4)
7. Nicole Hatley (USA) - ACE - 60.3 (60.3, 0/0)
RF. Anna Gilbertson (USA) - Model Image - Rider fall

Training Three-Day
1. Summer Peterson - Jake the Fish - 56.1 (36.1, 20/0)
2. Arden Stephens - All That Matters - 57.7 (37.7, 20/0)

Open Intermediate
1. Julie Wolfert - Buenos Aires - 38.2 (35.4, 0/2.8)
2. Hailey Rich - Kingfisher II - 48.6 (44.2, 0/4.4)
3. Erin Hofmann - Macchiato - 62.4 (44.8, 0/17.6)
4. Martha McDowell - Nabouco de Lessay - 75.4 (37, 20/18.4)
W. Julie Wolfert - Vote Yes - Withdrew after dressage
RF. Julie Norman - Consensus - Rider fall

Open Preliminary
1. Rochelle Costanza - Lionhart - 30 (30, 0/0)
2. Amy Gilbertson - One Honest Man - 37.5 (35.9, 0/1.6)
3. Summer Peterson - Tim - 37.6 (36.4, 0/1.2)
4. Darlene McInnes - Warlord - 38.4 (33.2, 0/5.2)
5. Christian Eagles - Bugatti - 40.5 (40.5, 0/0)
6. Angelika Beutel - Classic Touch - 54.6 (38.2, 0/16.4)
7. Katie Cummings - Forstino - 61.2 (29.6, 20/11.6)

Open Training
1. Nicole Musmanno - Cobblehill JHN Imogen - 22.7 (22.7, 0/0)
2-T. Kari Crawford-Clay - Super Noah - 34.6 (34.6, 0/0)
2-T. Nancy Carr - Wedgewood - 34.6 (25, 0/9.6)
4. Martina Elworthy - King George II - 36.4 (36.4, 0/0)
5. Jennifer Lantz - Kingsman - 42.9 (40.9, 0/2)
6. Lorraine Barrows - Space Cowboy - 59.1 (39.1, 20/0)
E. Gail Simon - Stella Artois - Eliminated on cross-country
E. John Thurman - Timmy - Eliminated on cross-country

Training Horse
1. Christina Henriksen - Princess Pavan - 26.8 (26.8, 0/0)
2. Madeline Backus - P.S. King of Hearts - 29.1 (29.1, 0/0)
3. Dani Sussman - Folsum - 31.4 (31.4, 0/0)
4. Wanda Webb - Gemini Ivy - 38.6 (38.6, 0/0)
5. Jamie Gilbert - Magic Hat - 40 (40, 0/0)
6. Martha Deeds - Fly Bye - 34.6 (34.6, 20/0)
R. Alison Spurlin - Abstract - Retired on cross-country
RF. Tammy Yost-Wildin - Carioco - Rider fall
RF. Claire Gordon - Rigaudon - Rider fall

Training Rider
1. Ella Algermissen - Balius - 25.5 (25.5, 0/0)
2. Emily McDonie - Southern Vintage - 29.1 (29.1, 0/0)
3. Dan Michaels - Landonn II OHF - 30.9 (30.9, 0/0)
4. Kitren Nickerson - La Paloma II - 31.8 (31.8, 0/0)
5. Anne Ladd - Proper Gent - 35 (35, 0/0)
6-T. Britany Crown - Get Tricky - 35.5 (35.5, 0/0)
6-T. Maddie McElduff - Gibson on the Rocks - 35.5 (35.5, 0/0)
8. Jake Ciafone - Act with Pride - 36.4 (36.4, 0/0)
9-T. Suzanna Curtis - Amazing Grace - 37.3 (37.3, 0/0)
9-T. Michaela Holcomb - Cloud Nine - 37.3 (37.3, 0/0)

Novice Horse
1. Martha Deeds - CF Rock Star - 31.7 (31.7, 0/0)
2. Martha Deeds - Maria Maria - 32.6 (32.6, 0/0)
3. Ronald Stephens - Beretta - 33.9 (33.9, 0/0)
4-T Allison Murphy - Sendero - 34.8 (34.8, 0/0)
4-T Julie Wolfert - Vindicated - 34.8 (34.8, 0/0)
6. Brooks Alderson - Houlihan - 35.7 (35.7, 0/0)
7. Rochelle Costanza - Miss Royal Rose - 37.4 (37.4, 0/0)
8. Pat Parkhill - Bold Stuff - 38.7 (38.7, 0/0)
9. Jessica Prescott - Rocketman - 57.4 (37.4, 20/0)
10. Kim Anderson - Black Ty Affair - 62.6 (47, 0/15.6)

Novice Rider - A
1. Amy Dalrymple - Tritons Echo - 28.7 (28.7, 0/0)
2. Heather Haubrich - Jasmine - 30.4 (30.4, 0/0)
3. Gail Deal - O'Win Fletcher - 31.7 (31.7, 0/0)
4. Janet Gordon - Slick in Spots- 33.5 (33.5, 0/0)
5. Jayne Copland - OKAY GO - 35.2 (35.2, 0/0)
6. Jane Worrall - West Wind Sevan - 36.5 (36.5, 0/0)
7. Dana Sitzman - Desert Wyn - 38.3 (38.3, 0/0)
8. A. Greg Smith - Jonas - 38.7 (38.7, 0/0)
9. Rhiannon Johnson - TNT - 39.6 (39.6, 0/0)
10. Lora Heller - Counselor - 41.3 (41.3, 0/0)

Novice Rider - B
1. Grace Simpson - Rapport - 22.6 (22.6, 0/0)
2. Hannah Yells - A Horse of a Different Color - 29.1 (29.1, 0/0)
3. Sophie Slade - KC Mulan - 31.7 (31.7, 0/0)
4. Blair McGehee - Red Comet - 35.2 (35.2, 0/0)
5. Josey Thompson - Pistol Annie - 35.7 (35.7, 0/0)
6. Jillian Blurton - Maximum Aftershock - 40.9 (40.9, 0/0)
7. Natalie Ledgerwood - Sugar Magnolia - 44.4 (44.4, 0/0)
8. Hannah Slade - For Pete Sake - 46.1 (46.1, 0/0)
9. Katie Ryan - K.R.'s American Dream - 47 (47, 0/0)
10. Regan Shelton - Be A Rebel - 58.3 (38.3, 20/0)

Open Novice
1. Angelika Beutel - Sidney Rose Bell - 28.7 (28.7, 0/0)
2. Shannon Lewis - Best Blend - 31.3 (31.3, 0/0)
3. Jennifer Boggs - Leo Davinci - 33.5 (33.5, 0/0)
4. Kelly Brown - Cambridge Silver Baron - 35.2 (35.2, 0/0)
5-T. Nikoline Burke - Sparkle Miss. Flash - 39.1 (39.1, 0/0)
5-T. Diana Rothman Norris - Destinys Star - 39.1 (39.1, 0/0)
7. Kari Crawford-Clay - Barefoot Jovial - 40.4 (40.4, 0/0)
8. Marley Lebrecht - Celtic Cross - 44.8 (44.8, 0/0)
9. Ashley Demander - BeBe LaRue - 51.3 (31.3, 20/0)
10. Kristen Singleton - Last Chance Bay - 59.6 (39.6, 20/0)

Beginner Novice Rider
1-T. Jessica Hernandez - So Lucky Me - 36 (36, 0/0)
1-T. Linda Millisor - Feriante Al - 36 (36, 0/0)
3. Vicki Dudasch - Gracefully Dun - 39 (39, 0/0)
4. Jeanne McNamara - Ruby's Joy - 39.5 (39.5, 0/0)
5. Katie Van Alstyne - HooDoo IC - 55.5 (39.5, 0/16)
6. Linda Millisor - Oh!Domino! - 59.5 (39.5, 20/0)
7. Gayle Udall - Noble Prize - 69.5 (35.5, 20/14)
8. Jennifer Pifer - Grand Total - 70.9 (40.5, 20/10.4)
9. Randi Martinsen - Spencer - 119.4 (39, 60/20.4)
10. Deborah Wiltse - Lane's Rocket - 126.7 (41.5, 40/45.2)

Jr. Beginner Novice Rider
1. Lauren Jost - Wink at the Judge - 30.5 (30.5, 0/0)
2. Emma Ciafone - CadyO'Daly Gabriele - 31.6 (26, 0/5.6)
3-T. Sidney Hand - Red Ruby Slippers - 34 (34, 0/0)
3-T. Kris Bohnenstiehl - Silver Jack - 34 (34, 0/0)
5. Lily Seymour - Phoenix Rising - 35.5 (35.5, 0/0)
6. Rachel Clemens - Pudge - 36 (36, 0/0)
7. Jessica Brown - Strike A Pose - 37 (37, 0/0)
8. Darby Murphy - Just Walter - 38.5 (38.5, 0/0)
9. Emily Olivier - One Royal Bay - 43 (23, 20/0)
10. Presley Batchelor - According to Morgan - 56 (36, 20/0)

Open Beginner Novice
1. Karen Paul - Lyrical - 34 (34, 0/0)
2-T. Lee Anne Thomas - Orion's Dunaire - 39.5 (39.5, 0/0)
2-T. Angelika Beutel - Coalminer's Daughter - 39.5 (39.5, 0/0)
4. Sophie Mueller - Smooth Action - 42.3 (35.5, 0/6.8)
5. Bonne Madine - Skyline High - 46.3 (45.5, 0/.8)
6. Lorraine Barrows - Plaid Jacket - 52.4 (38, 0/14.4)
7. Wendy Chase - Laughing Brook - 54 (34, 20/0)
8. Leslie Harrison - Sponge - 73.5 (29.5, 40/4)
9. Rhonda Roberts - Dan's Bravado - 90.2 (39, 20/31.2)
10. Cassie Boehm - Tulkas - 104.5 (38.5, 40/26)

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