Memo to U.S. Olympic team selectors: Phillip Dutton would like to go to London, please.
At the beginning of the weekend we promised that Red Hills would move several fortunate pairs a step closer to their goal of competing in the London Olympics. Mystery Whisper has emerged as one of the top Olympic prospects in North America and indeed the world with a dominant 13.6 point win in the Red Hills CIC3*, finishing on a 35.7. Mystery Whisper jumped around this challenging Red Hills stadium course with ease and finished with one of only 7 clear rounds although he did pick up three time penalties. I always hesitate to make too much out of one weekend, but the combination of Mystery Whisper’s unbelievable movement in the dressage and Phillip’s jumping expertise makes a fearsome combination. This pair is only going to get better as their partnership strengthens.
Marilyn Little-Meredith pulled one rail with RF Rovano Rex, but the 6 pairs behind them all had at least a rail so they remained in second. Phillip finished in third with Ben, moving up three places by pulling just a rail.
Red Hills CIC3* Results:
1. Phillip Dutton and Mystery Whisper +3 35.7
2. Marilyn Little-Meredith and RF Rovano Rex +4 49.3
3. Phillip Dutton and Ben +4 52.6
4. Selena O’Hanlon and Colombo +4 55.1
5. Karen O’Connor and Mr. Medicott +0 55.6
6. Peter Atkins and HJ Hampton +8 59.9
Just imagine this same video in London, in a few months, surrounded by people who drink tea, and probably in the rain:
–Selena O’Hanlon and Colombo are another pair that took one step closer to the Olympics this weekend. Their season began with some question marks for the veteral Colombo but I would imagine a 4th place finish at Red Hills goes a long way for Colombo to very much still factor into Canada’s high performance plans.
–Karen O’Connor was thrilled with two double-clears out of Mr. Medicott and Veronica, moving up a combined seven places. Show jumping specialist Marilyn Little-Meredith has been studying eventing closely with Karen and I’m sure lending some show jumping guidance to their teamwork herself.
–Last year’s Red Hills champions, Allison Springer and Arthur, move down three places with 15 show jumping penalties this afternoon. Michael Pollard and Icarus pulled three rails to finish in 7th.
Here’s a shout out to ESJ way back in Australia this weekend. Last year he filmed Allison’s victory drive at Red Hills. Here’s Phillip diving his new one year lease Mercedes:
Kendal Lehari wins the Red Hills advanced division: I was thrilled to see Canada’s Kendal Lehari and Daily Edition “Ed” win the advanced today with one of only two advanced double-clears. I mentioned this yesterday, but it is worth emphasizing that Kendal is really easy to cheer for–she works hard, produces her own horses, does things the right way, and always has a good attitude. Kendal and Ed have competed at multiple CCI3*’s and hopefully this is the start of a great season that will propel them into Canadian high performance consideration. Phillip finished in second with Fernhill Eagle, less that a point behind Kendal. Leslie Law and Zenith ISF finished in the bronze medal position.
Red Hills Advanced:
1. Kendal Lehari and Daily Edition +0 48.3
2. Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Eagle +0 49.2
3. Leslie Law and Zenith ISF +5 64.8
4. Nicole Parkin and Lexus +6 64.9
Yes, I am in the running for most creative Youtube video names, thank you for asking. A million thanks to all of the volunteers who have helped make Red Hills a wonderful event this weekend. It’s a privilege for us all to be able to participate in such a great event at such a great venue. Go eventing.