Lynn Symansky and Donner Jump into the Lead in The Fork Adequan USEA Gold Cup & PRO Tour Series CIC3*

RELEASE: April 7, 2013

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Lynn Symansky and Donner performed a lovely show jumping round to lead the Adequan USEA Gold Cup & PRO Tour Series CIC3* at The Fork with cross-country up next (Leslie Threlkeld/USEA Photo)
Lynn Symansky and Donner performed a lovely show jumping round to lead the Adequan USEA Gold Cup & PRO Tour Series CIC3* at The Fork with cross-country up next (Leslie Threlkeld/USEA Photo)
The margin of error is slim in the Adequan USEA Gold Cup and PRO Tour Series CIC3* division at The Fork. Phillip Dutton and Bruce Duchossois’ 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse Mighty Nice, the leaders after dressage, plummeted to 19th place after dropping just two rails in show jumping. Chris Barnard's tough show jumping track significantly shuffled the standings, but with a polished double-clear, Lynn Symansky and her own 10-year-old Thoroughbred Donner moved into the lead.

With the new CIC format running show jumping before cross-country, horses were fresh and jumping out of their skins today, but Lynn thought she "rode it a little too much like a hunter. I think I went in there a little too quiet." Lynn has been riding with a broken pinky finger and says it only bothers her when she thinks too much about protecting it. With plans to compete at Rolex at the end of the month, Lynn wants to be sure she is prepared. She may be in first place, but she intends to play catch up tomorrow during the final phase.

“I’m going to go walk around [the cross-country] again and think more for the horse exactly what I need to be thinking about,” she said. “I skipped surgery in order to be able to run this horse because I’m not experienced enough to be able to just get on and go to Kentucky.”

Marilyn Little, who did not drop a single rail between all five of her rides today from Training level to three-star, currently sits in second place in the three-star with RF Smoke on the Water, and 8-year-old Wurttemburg gelding owned by Michael and Phoebe Manders and Raylyn Farms, Inc. “He’s getting the hang of a little more pace in the ring and he’s gained a lot of confidence from that.” Marilyn, an experienced show jumper, admits that show jumping is nerve-wracking for her. “I’m always panicking about accuracy in the dressage test or whether I know them well enough for cross-country.” Today, she said, was a really fun day.

Marilyn's CIC2* mounts, RF Black Pearl, Raylyn Farms Inc.’s 8-year-old Holsteiner mare, and Mr. Medicott, a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by the Mr. Medicott Syndicate, are placed second and tied for sixth respectively. “Black Pearl is a lovely jumper with jumping bloodlines. She’s a natural jumper. That’s a real pleasure,” Marilyn said. Mr. Medicott, whose last eventing outing was the London Olympic Games last summer with Karen O’Connor “was really excited to be at the party today! He looked larger than life out there and he definitely is feeling larger than life.”

Lauren Kieffer put in a nice round with Czechmate, Courtney and Kylie Ramsay’s 7-year-old Warmblood imported from Czechoslovakia, to move from second to first in the CIC2*. “He’s such a trier with a ton of ability in all phases. He is new to the level. He just moved up this year and is really taking it on which is great fun,” Lauren said. “The cross-country is a proper track. I’ll go out to be competitive, but the main goal is a qualifying score for future. I’ll just read him as he goes.” With goals to have him be a team horse, Lauren says Czechmate has “all the ability in the world, it’s just nurturing it. We have every intention of doing everything right with him.”

Lillian Heard and her own 11-year-old gelding Share Option took over the lead in the Advanced with a double-clear round on a course that Lillian said required a calm ride to get around well. “The dressage was really good. That’s normally a weak point for us. I’ve been working really hard on sort of doing things differently, seeing what works, seeing what doesn’t work, playing around with my warm-up, riding him twice, and it all came together  yesterday. It’s the lowest score I’ve gotten in the Advanced with him,” Lillian said.

The Fork is Share Option’s first Advanced competition since recovering from a tendon injury, so on cross-country Lillian intends to have a positive ride and not chase the time. “I’m not going to be grasping onto the lead. I don’t want this to be the last event we ever have. I just want him to jump nicely, take it easy around the turns, and be positive.”

Jan Byyny helped Lillian find “Whitey,” named for his four white socks and white eye. He was imported from England as a four-year-old and no one else has ever competed him besides Lillian. “He has never done me wrong. He is a really good boy. He’s not the fanciest and doesn’t look like much, but he takes care of me and always has.”