Heidi White-Carty Wins Advanced Division at The Fork Horse Trials
RELEASE: April 11, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Emily Daily
Heidi White-Carty and her longtime partner Northern Spy were able to post a double-clear show jumping round in the CIC***-W division at The Fork Horse Trials, taking home the Adequan United States Eventing Association (USEA) Gold Cup advanced division trophy. After a long and very stormy weekend, with the grounds crew working around the clock to make sure the footing was ideal, the conditions of the course were excellent, the ground was lush and springy, and rave reviews came in droves. All in all, it was a very rewarding day for the sport of eventing.
White-Carty, 42, who's based out of Aiken, SC, had a fabulous gallop around the Capt. Mark Phillips'-designed course, and was pleased with the care and preparation that went into the course maintenance as well as the upkeep throughout the day. "The ground crew did a super job, considering the conditions they had to work in this weekend," said White-Carty. She also said that she thought the officials made great decisions in deciding to take out jumps if they thought they might hinder horse's safety. "They were doing everything they could to make sure it was safe. The crew are the ones who should definitely get credit for the success of this event.
"This course was a confidence builder for Rolex, and so it was important to have a good run here," she said. White-Carty had hoped to give Northern Spy, a.k.a. "Farley," a great run before the four-star in Kentucky, and wasn't planning to go for the win necessarily. "I went out thinking I'd let Farley do his thing, but he felt so good that I took some of the direct routes, like going straight through the corners, and we ended up making the time," she added.
White-Carty thought that her entire weekend went wonderful, even though the conditions were less than ideal. "I've been working on dressage with Kim Severson, so that's been really great," she said. She and Farley stood in fourth place after Thursday's dressage left them with a 48.10, and they were able to post a double-clear round in the pouring rain in show jumping to move up to second. "The conditions were hard, with the rain lashing down in the ring, but he felt super. He's a big-footed English horse, so he's built to last," she said with a laugh.
After Rolex at the end of April, the pair will be training with the rest of the USEF high-performance team and gearing up for the Olympic Games this summer. If they head to Hong Kong, it won't be the first time that they've represented the U.S. in international competition—they were members of the U.S. team at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games in Aachen and also placed second in the Rolex Kentucky CCI**** last April.
Clark Montgomery, 27, and Up Spirit, fresh off their win a few weekends ago at the Red Hills Horse Trials in Florida, also posted a double-clear show jumping round to jump up from fifth to finish in second place. Montgomery, his wife Jessica, and the nine-year-old Thoroughbred gelding are headed to England, Up Spirit's homeland, to train at Mark and Sandy Phillips’ farm in preparation for the Saumur CCI*** (France), where they'll test their mettle against the best of the European riders.
Allison Springer and her young and talented Irish Sport Horse Arthur originally led the field of nearly 30 horses in the CIC***W division, but unfortunately a rail down and time faults yesterday dropped them to third, and coupled with four time faults, they did not move up in the standings. Springer, 34, of Marshall, VA, had to have been pleased, however, with the gelding's performance this weekend, and will be gearing up for his first outing at the four-star level in a few weeks at Rolex Kentucky.
Figuring out who won the Intermediate Gold Cup trophy and prizes was a bit more complex, since there were three separate Intermediate divisions and all of the competitors had to be pooled together for final Gold Cup standings at the end of the weekend. When al