Adequan USEA Gold Cup CIC3* and PRO Tour Series Event Gets Underway at The Event at Rebecca Farm
RELEASE: July 26, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: United States Eventing Association (USEA)
Katie Ruppel and Houdini (USEA)
The Adequan USEA Gold Cup CIC3* kicked off Friday at The Event at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana with some beautiful tests ridden in perfect weather conditions. Warm sunshine, little to no humidity, and gentle breezes allowed the riders to coax the very best out of their horses. The Event at Rebecca Farm is also one of the PRO Tour Series events with riders and horses competing for points on the PRO leaderboards.
Katherine Groesbeck and Oz Proof of Purchase was the first in the arena and put in a solid test to score 52.4. Katie has owned this 18-year-old Anglo Arab and his 17-year-old brother, Oz The Tin Man, for many years and during that time they have participated successfully in many equestrian disciplines, including endurance. Katie had the honor of taking both first and second place in the Classic Preliminary Three-day at Galway Downs in 2010 with Oz the Tin Man and Oz Proof of Purchase and since then both have moved steadily up to now compete at the three-star level together.
Another Katie, Katie Ruppel and her new ride Houdini (Hot Rock/Nancy’s Star) impressed judges Sue Baxter (GBR), Loris Henry (USA) and Janis Linnan (USA) and took over the lead with a 49.2 holding that lead until Team Rebecca’s Ben came into the ring with Phillip Dutton.
“I was really enjoying being in the lead and then I saw Phillip warming up and I knew that it wasn’t going to last,” said Katie. “I came to Rebecca Farm two years ago with my four-star horse Sir Donovan. We drove all the way from Florida and had nine blowouts but it was more than worth the trip to be here. I had a fantastic time and always wanted to come back, and this time we only had two blowouts and a wheel bearing go.”
Team Rebecca’s Ben, a Holsteiner, was found by Julie Richards who started him in his eventing career. Jerome and Sarah Broussard saw the horse at Red Hills when he was competing in his first CIC2* in 2011 and bought him shortly after for Phillip to ride. Ben was driven out to Kalispell from Pennsylvania by Frankie Theriot who was making the trip with Uphoria to compete in the CCI2*. Phillip was worried that the horse might be a little tired after the long trip but was more than surprised by Ben’s exuberance when hacking him out around Rebecca Farm when he first got here. “He’s not tired at all,” said Phillip as Ben performed some half passes as they headed back to the stables. “I thought I was going to get run away with.” Ben had most of 2012 off with a minor injury and has come back fighting fit and ready to take on the world. The pair won the Bromont CIC3* with a 46.9 in dressage and Friday Ben shaved more than six points off that score to earn a 40.8 giving them an eight point lead over last year’s winners R-Star and Kristi Nunnink.
The beautiful gray mare R-Star, is a huge crowd favorite everywhere she goes, but especially so here at Rebecca Farm. She and Kristi have formed an amazing partnership and are now enjoying the rewards of all the hard work they have put in together. Kristi’s husband Randy is also a major factor in R-Star’s success. “She won’t jog for me,” says Kristi, “and only jogs for Randy. That may be because I am not a runner, but she loves Randy and lights up when it’s their time to go.” Randy is as crazy about the mare as Kristi leaving no doubt who is the queen of the barn at home and the mare has responded by giving her all for Kristi. R-Star is also a Holsteiner, by Riverman out of Marisol. She was a little tight and on the muscle this afternoon and made a few minor mistakes but still scored a 48.8.
Gina Miles and her Danish Warmblood mare Chanel, co-owned with Gina by Liza Jane MacNaughton, is by Come Back II out of Larona AF Hvernum. Chanel also had some time off last year and is now back in fine fettle scoring a 49.4 to stand in fourth behind Houdini and Katie Ruppel. Chanel’s former stable mate in Denmark, Cavallino Cocktail, is just one point behind on 50.4. Owned and ridden by Zachary Brandt, Cavallino Cocktail was one of the horses Gina tried when she was horse hunting. She liked her so much she decided the horse had to come to the U.S. as well and went about finding someone to buy her. That lucky person was Zachary Brandt who is definitely one of the future stars of the sport and who has possibly found the horse to help him achieve that goal in Cavallino Cocktail.
Rounding out the top six places is Ellen Doughty’s Sir Oberon, (HQ Outrigger HO x Cher XX), Ellen, who made the trip from Texas to Montana, placed second in the Advanced at Texas Rose Horse Park in March in some pretty tough weather, and followed it up with another second in the CIC3* at CHC International at Chattahoochee Hills in May. She is sitting in sixth place on a score of 52.2.
All the riders are eagerly looking forward to attacking Ian Stark’s cross country course Saturday. The first horse on course will be Oz Proof of Purchase at 11:30 am and the hillside overlooking the second water jump will be packed with spectators who flock to attend The Event at Rebecca Farm. With hospitality unparalleled anywhere in the world, Rebecca Farm is an absolute must on the calendar of any horse lover and people travel hundreds of miles to attend. The Trade Fair alone is worth the trip and poses a danger to all check books with an array of products just waiting to be taken home.