Mosser Doubles Up at Jersey Fresh Three-Day Event
RELEASE: June 4, 2007
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Joanie Morris
Amy Dragoo (Bonnie Mosser on Merloch winning the Jersey Fresh Three-Day Event CCI***. )
The rain held off for most of the day for the finale of the Jersey Fresh Three Day Event, but everyone appreciated the break in the weather. Sally Ike’s show jumping tracks proved challenging yet fair and major changes in the standing of each division would unfold as the day went on.
There were plenty of surprises in the Advanced Horse Trials division which was serving as a selection division for the Pan American Games for both the US and Canadian riders. 17 horses showjumped but only nine were jumping for awards, as more than half the field opted to not run cross country.
Of the remaining horses in the division, clear rounds were very difficult to find. Bonnie Mosser had jumped cleaned with Jenga (who didn’t run cross country) but almost came unseated at the final fence in the process. She just picked up a rail on her second horse Close the Deal to end up winning the class.
Overnight leader, Jonathan Holling and Lion King II had three rails and dropped to second, and Darren Chiacchia who was in second with Better I Do It, picked up a refusal at fence three but jumped clean around the rest of the course.
Owned by Rebecca Polan, Close The Deal, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood/ Thoroughbred cross gelding, looked professional all weekend and made Mosser’s bid for a pinque coat closer to a reality. Polan competed the horse through the two-star level herself.
“I literally can’t even talk,” said Polan after Close the Deal returned to the barn from the show jumping. “I’m so excited. I’ve had this horse since he was a baby and this is the culmination of a really, really exciting time with Bonnie.”
Mosser took responsibility for having the rail at the first part of the triple combination, but over all was pleased with the performance of both of her horses in the division.
“Bob’s always great, I rode too forward into the triple,” said Mosser of her round on Close the Deal. “Aside from that mistake, today, yesterday and the day before ¬– he was great. He’s really dependable. To come here and do what I was supposed to do, on both horses, that’s important. Jenga I thought was a little rusty, but he’s still always there for me.”
The US selection process for the Pan American Games continues as the veterinarians will evaluate the horses Sunday night and all day on Monday. There were also horses in the CCI*** in consideration for the Pan American Games which affords for many possibilities over the next few weeks. And as it turns out, no one has more possibilities than Mosser. After winning the Advanced she returned to the show jumping ring and served notice with another star.
She won the three-star on the strength of a double clean show jumping round (one of only six in the division) on the attractive grey, Merloch. The 9-year-old New Zealand bred jumped handily around the course and then watched the rails fall under the feet of the three horses in front of him.
“When I got back from Kentucky I went up to (show jumper) Anne Kursinski to get some help after what happened at Rolex,” said Mosser referring to a stop with Jenga in the show jumping. “And also with this horse – I had four rails down at The Fork, which was unusual and I had not expected ¬– usually he only has one or none. I went up to Anne’s and she got me riding forward again and I’ve been working on that aspect and hoping that it would show up today. I worked hard at it.”
Mosser’s summer plans are now in the hands of the US selectors but she is the only rider with three horses eligible and qualified.
“I came into this event hoping that Merloch would do what he did, be anywhere in the top five,” said Mosser of the horse’s first CCI***. “Having the other two in the Pan Am selection process with Merloch, it’s a go. I don’t know what the fall is going to bring me. I have to get through this summer first.”
Overnight leader Will Coleman had two rails with Icarus, but looks to have a horse for the future for owner Nathalie Pollard. The flashy grey ended up fourth in his first three-star. Stephen Bradley (From) and Mara Dean (Nicki Henley) held their second and third spots respectively after each dropping a rail. Both of these horses are enrolled in the Pan Am selection process.
The CCI** came down to the very last fence as Clark Montgomery and Up Spirit used up the two rails they had in hand over Buck Davidson (Ballynoecastle RM) and Jessica Kiener (My Boy Bobby) who were tied for second and both jumped double clean. Davidson was closer to the optimum time on the cross-country so he ended up runner-up when they broke the tie. Montgomery was the only overnight leader to take the top honors after the final phase.
Fifteen horses out of the forty that went forward to jump show jumped clean and Montgomery moved up to fifth on his second horse Ranconteur on the strength of a double clear.
“I was feeling really confident,” said Montgomery. “I was nice to get the opportunity to ride the course first on a lesser placed horse. I had a lot of confidence going in, I felt good about my plan for the horse, I just needed to try and execute it.”
Up Spirit, an 8-year-old English-bred lowered the middle part of the triple but jumped carefully around the rest of the course until punching out the second to last.
“He’s a really good jumper,” said Montgomery. “He can be slow footed, and he doesn’t always give you all the scope and effort. You have to create it to keep him jumping. This season the most rails I’ve had at him is two, but you never want to take it for granted. Usually I worry about the verticals on him not the oxers.”
Montgomery, a product of the Young Riders’ program, has two promising horses for the future but doesn’t see either one vying for the CCI*** Championships at Fair Hill International in the fall.
“They are both still really green,” sad Montgomery. “I don’t know what they’ll do this fall, they may just keep doing Intermediate horse trials and finish up at Advanced, but I don’t see them going to Fair Hill.”