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Alexandra Knowles Tops the Dressage with Last Call at the Adequan USEA Gold Cup/Pro Tour Series at Red Hills International CIC3*

RELEASE: March 7, 2014

from www.useventing.com

Hannah Sue Burnett (USA) and Harbour Pilot at the Red Hills Horse Trials in Tallahassee, FL. (StockImageServices.com)
Hannah Sue Burnett (USA) and Harbour Pilot at the Red Hills Horse Trials in Tallahassee, FL. (StockImageServices.com)
Dressage day dawned cold, wet, and windy. The weather in Tallahassee, Florida was the kind that instills dread into the hearts of organizers. After weeks of intense preparation, the Red Hills International dressage arenas were dressed and ready to receive a large entry of CIC and horse trials competitors eager to earn the qualifications needed to achieve their 2014 goals.

Aside from the typical nerves that come from riding in front of some of the best judges in the world, they had to battle horizontal rain, pools of water, and rivers flowing between the warm up rings as a major weather pattern made its way across northern Florida.

Alexandra Knowles and her lovely mare Last Call have gained a reputation for putting in superb performances in the dressage arena, but their 8:52 a.m. ride time would put them in the worst of the storm. However, Last Call rose to the occasion and put in another accurate and submissive ride to pin a 40.8.

Boyd Martin and the ten-year-old Irish Sport Horse Trading Aces benefited from a drier mid-afternoon ride to score 41.4, with Jan Byyny and Inmidair on 43.2, and Hannah Sue Burnett just 0.6 behind on Harbor Pilot. 2013 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Champions Laine Ashker and Anthony Patch are handily placed in 5th tied with Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice.

The Red Hills organizers, Jane Barron and Marvin Meyer, are to be lauded for holding everything together in spite of what Mother Nature threw at them today. And what can we say about the volunteers? These warriors manned their posts from seven-dark-something until the end of competition this afternoon. They are the heroes of the sport .

The site of the Red Hills International Horse Trials has undergone some changes this year with a new cross-country course designed by Great Britain’s Hugh Lochore. Lochore, who lives in the U.S. with his wife and two young sons, took over the design of Red Hills, the first FEI CIC3* of the year, from Mark Phillips five years ago...read the rest at www.useventing.com/news/alexandra-knowles-tops-dressage-last-call-adequan-usea-gold-cuppro-tour-series-red-hills.