Burnett and St. Barths Best the Field in the Cosequin Stuart CIC**
RELEASE: July 23, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By the United States Equestrian Federation
It was all Hannah Sue Burnett all weekend at the 20th Anniversary of the Cosequin Stuart Horse Trials held July 16-19 in Victor, NY. Partnered with Richard Thompson’s nine-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, St. Barths, Burnett began atop the pack after dressage on Friday and remained there through Sunday’s stadium.
“Their partnership is truly a fairytale,” remarked Karen O’Connor for whom Burnett has worked and trained with since 2005. Max Corcoran, the O’Connor team’s groom extraordinaire, agreed, “They’re definitely soul mates.”
The pair have been knocking on the door of a big win at Intermediate all summer, finishing in third place at the Virginia Three-Day Event and Horse Trials in May, then taking a red ribbon at the Surefire Horse Trials in June.
“Nike” proved his prowess at his first CIC** this weekend and then some. They began the weekend with a lovely dressage test earning a 45.6 and instantly stepping into the lead over O’Connor and her 2008 Olympic mount, Mandiba, and Bonnie Mosser and Merloch. “He really showed off out there,” Burnett commented after their test.
Heading into Saturday’s cross-country phase, she knew one of the toughest tasks on the rolling course designed by Derek di Grazia would be staying near the optimum time. Though no competitors in the CIC** division finished under that time, Burnett and Nike came closest.
“I really fired out of the box because I knew that it was going to be hard to make time on this course,” Burnett said, “I could really feel his stride open up. He was really on it and just enjoyed the whole thing. He’s a lot like my last horse.” In 2007, Burnett completed the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event with Keep The Faith, a striking bay Thoroughbred gelding. Now 19, he is enjoying retirement.
Adding only 4.8 time faults, Nike and Burnett would look to Sunday’s show jumping phase with two rails in hand over Mosser and Merloch who, after a beautiful cross-country trip, stepped into second place over Dornin North and Lion Display. O’Connor and Manidiba jumped clean, but added 22.8 time faults to descend to sixth place.
Sunday’s show jumping course, designed by Richard Jeffery, certainly challenged the CIC** riders as well. The course would see only two clean rounds: one from Mosser, and the other from O’Connor.
“I was a good course and rode really well,” Burnett said, “you just had to be careful.” Her quick finish on cross-country the day before became advantageous in stadium allowing the pair to catch a rail and keep the lead.
“On that last turn to the in-and-out, I pulled a little too much,” Burnett admitted. “But he was amazing. He jumped anyway and we just had that rail down.”
Mosser and Merloch jumped beautifully and left all the rails in their cups. They held onto second place while O’Connor and Mandiba’s faultless trip allowed them to step back up and finish in third place.
Burnett’s first trip to the Cosequin Stuart Horse Trials proved to be a true charm, and she said she’ll definitely be coming back. “I’d like to give a big thanks to Stuart Horse Trials, Kyra [Stuart], Mr. Thompson, the O’Connors, Max [Corcoran], and my family and friends who have been texting me and calling me nonstop the whole weekend,” she said. “All the support has been amazing.”Adequan United States Eventing Association Gold Cup Sponsorship & Prizes
Winners of the designated Gold Cup divisions received an Adequan United States Eventing Association (USEA) Gold Cup Trophy, $500 in prize money, a seven-dose box of Adequan, a three-month supply of SUCCEED, an E.A. Mattes Couture Pad, and a pair of Nunn Finer American Style open front boots. Second-place finishers took home a Nutrena feed gift certificate and a pair of Nunn Finer American Style open front boots, and third place received a pair of the Nunn Finer boots as well.
The Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series is m