Boyd’s Update from the 2019 American Eventing Championships

We are well into the week at the American Eventing Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, and as of today Long Island T leads the Advanced Championship after cross country. A few of the divisions have already wrapped up, and Boyd took the time to discuss these horses’ performances:
Luke 140
Things keep progressing with Luke: the Open Intermediate Championship had 65 horses entered, and the course was by far our biggest test. Luke went like a champion in the dressage. I have changed his feed to some lower energy grain to keep him a little more relaxed and it definitely helps him put in a more settled test. He was nice and soft and elastic throughout his work, though there are definitely more points to gain in the future. After dressage he was placed in 2nd on a score of 27.
I was absolutely thrilled with him cross country. It was a very difficult track, and Luke still feels a bit green at times; he started out a bit wild, and then settled in at about fence 4. He still needs to ‘pick up’ and ‘lock on’ to a few of the accuracy fences. He is a bit keen and bold, and was surprised to see the `B’ and ‘C’ elements. He tries very hard. I decided not to run him fast as I think it could rattle him. The horse has plenty of speed, but I am still building him up towards Fair Hill.
Luke is an absolute star in the show jumping; he is so careful and scopey. He warmed up awesome, then went into the main stadium and jumped like a pro. Unfortunately, on the last line, I sat up a little early with my upper body and he clipped a back rail which ultimately cost us 3rd place.  I was a bit disappointed not to jump clear, but looking back at his whole performance I am very satisfied and encouraged. This is definitely a big-time horse.  He looked fresh, sound and happy on trot up this morning, and will start the fall season in fine form.
Video:
Barry
Barry, owned by Kathleen Crompton and Nancy Hathaway, has just finished a great run in the Open Intermediate and felt very strong in all three phases.
Unfortunately, he was the very first horse of the entire show to come down the centerline in the dressage. One of the judges had him the third best test of the day, and the other judge slaughtered him. It was quite disappointing, as you will see from the video that it was a very smart test.
I was absolutely thrilled with him cross country. I considered how far down the placing he was and decided just to give him a nice brisk ride around the course; he felt fantastic and really gave me that 5-star feel!
The highlight of Barry’s competition was the showjumping yesterday.  He has improved so much in the jumping. and felt really was good: not spooky but very careful. I was  happy with him with his clear round.  He looks perfect on trot up this morning.

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Fernill Prezley
I am very, very pleased with Prezley this weekend. He is definitely a work in progress, but he is getting better and better.  He had a great finish in the AEC Preliminary Horse section, finishing 3rd out of 65 starters.
He was quite excited for the dressage on Tuesday!  I decided to give him an extra ride in the morning, as he was feeling pretty fresh. The judges seemed to like him and awarded him a score of 29. The transitions and rein back are still a bit messy, but the general work is getting more and more through. I believe the collection that is needed for the intermediate level will be good for his overall training.
I was pretty impressed with him on cross country day. He was a bit of a handful getting into the start box, but after we got going he gave me a great round. It was the hardest Preliminary we have faced together and he did it easy. He has got a very big step and making the optimum time was easy for him.
I was very happy with him yesterday in the showjumping. He is a natural jumper and his instinct is to pounce off the ground. I believe I had him in a better balance than I did at Bromont and he jumped really well. He looked good, fresh and sound on trot up this morning.
Video:
Wabanaki
Wabanaki, (Monty), owned by Tricia Boone, Gloria Callen, Kathleen Crompton and Elizabeth Meyer, is getting bigger, stronger and faster.  We nearly had a phenomenal performance!
On Tuesday Monty did a pear of a dressage test. There were 65 horses in the field and Monty went into the main stadium and went super. The judge at ‘C’ actually had him winning the class on a score of 75%, but the other judge was a bit more reserved. The good news is that there is still a lot more improving to go. The transitions, the rein back and the general thoroughness will continue to improve. We scored a 28 which left us close to the lead.
On cross country day Monty was the man!  It was by far the hardest course he has faced, and he did not let me down. He jumped all of the fences with ease and showed great galloping ability throughout the course making the time without much effort. I still need to work on balancing him without using my hand and shortening his stride in the combination. Monty has a massive step and his gallop will continue to improve.
Yesterday in the show jumping I was quite surprised and disappointed.  Monty won the warmup! He was jumping super, really trying hard. Maybe I ‘over’ jumped him or put them up too big because then he went in the ring and got a little bit flat and long. Unfortunately, I also let his canter stride get a little disconnected. We had two lazy rails behind. The first one was my definitely my fault, and to be honest he could have helped me out a bit more on the second rail. Maybe he was a bit tired from the day before. I was really hoping for a top three finish, but was not to be.  He is a good jumper, and I need to keep working on my ride in the ring on him.
All in all, it was definitely a good experience bringing Monty here. I feel like it was a great education. He looked great on trot up this morning, and looked very happy and relaxed on his hack today.

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