Prather and Ballinakill Glory Go Wire to Wire at Rebecca Farm to Take Top Spot on Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series Advanced Leaderboard
RELEASE: August 3, 2007
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Amy Daum
Kelly Prather and Andrea Pfeiffer's Ballinakill Glory took the lead after dressage in the CIC***-W at The Event at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, MT, and never looked back. Prather and the eight-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare put in a lovely test on Friday for a score of 47.8, and after that the rest of the field couldn't keep up, especially in the show jumping arena where FEI designer Richard Jeffery's course caused more than the usual number of dropped rails and eliminations.
Going into Sunday's show jumping, Prather and Ballinakill Glory were on a score of 60.2, just a rail and change ahead of David Koss and Candy on a 65.8. Dawn White and Vapor Trail stood in third on 70.6, so it was still anyone's guess as to who would walk away the winner. As the division wore on, it was clear that the CIC***-W field were not up to the challenge of Jeffery's course. Not one pair jumped clear, and only two managed to finish the course without time penalties (Hannah Cohen and Simply Larry, who unfortunately had six rails down, and Christian Eagles and The Gingerbread Man, who ultimately finished fifth). There were several bogie fences on the course, including a deceptively simple looking narrow Mountain Horse sponsored gate that stood alone in the middle of the course, and the double combination, 4AB, which was on a bending line after the Rebecca Farm signature fence. Almost every pair had 4A down, and Dawn White and Vapor Trail, who had been poised in third place, were eliminated trying to negotiate the obstacles.
After White and Vapor Trail were no longer a threat, it was up to Koss and his mother Vicky's 12-year-old Thoroughbred cross mare Candy to put the pressure on Prather. Unfortunately, the Hailey, ID, native had more than his share of difficulties with eight rails down and two time faults, dropping them into sixth place.
This left Prather and Ballinakill Glory with a 23-point cushion over the next in line, young rider Sara Mittleider and her $300 off-the-track Thoroughbred gelding El Primero standing on a score of 83.3 after a workmanlike round with just two rails down and four time penalties. Prather and the talented young mare needed just 10 of those points, after jumping fabulously throughout the course—dropping just one rail and adding six time penalties for a final score of 70.2. This performance catapulted Prather and her talented partner into the top spot on the Adequan United States Eventing Association (USEA) Gold Cup Series Advanced leaderboard with 425 points—now ten points ahead of former leaders Will Faudree and Antigua and Becky Holder and Courageous Comet, both with 415. Faudree has Antigua entered at Millbrook Horse Trials, and Holder has already indicated that she’ll be running Comet at Richland Park, both August Gold Cup Series events, so expect another leaderboard shake up soon.
Thanks to the generosity of the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series sponsors, Prather went home with $500 cash, a seven-dose pack of Adequan, SCS3 boots from Mountain Horse, a fly sheet from Back on Track, Nunn Finer American Style brushing boots, a saddle pad from Ogilvy Horse, a grooming tote with a three-month supply of Wellpride Omega-3 fish oil, Nutrena Feed, and a gift certificate for $175 worth of products from World Equestrian Brands. Mittleider took home a $75 gift certificate from World Equestrian Games, Nutrena Feed, a pair of Back on Track No-Bow wraps, and Nunn Finer brushing boots. In addition, Prather earned considerable prize money and prizes from Rebecca Farm in acknowledgement of her World Cup Qualifier win.
In the two-star division, there was trouble in show jumping (just one double clear), but not quite the scattering rails seen in the three-star. The final fence, a double combination 11AB, caused the most problems with a lot of the field taking down 11A, which was on a bending line from the Rebecca Farm signature fence.
Anne Carr and Safari