Despite some last minute changes in travel plans, I made it to the inaugural Carolina International CIC and Horse Trials right on time this morning, so got to enjoy a full day of CIC*** dressage in the sun. Considering it was snowing when I left Ottawa yesterday, today was a lovely change and it was so nice to be outside, watching top horses at a fantastic competition.

The day started with one of two Canadians in the CIC*** division here in Southern Pines. Canadian Rachel McDonough and her partner Irish Rhythm put in a good test and I cannot wait to see them attempting their first Rolex next month.

Rachel McDonough & Irish Rhythm. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Rachel McDonough & Irish Rhythm. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

The other Canadian in the CIC*** division this weekend is Peter Barry and his partner from the 2012 Olympics Kilrodan Abbott. They had a very workmanlike test with one small navigational error to sit tied for 28th on a 55.50.

Peter Barry and Kilrodan Abbott. Photo by Cheryl Denault

Peter Barry and Kilrodan Abbott. Photo by Cheryl Denault

Jan Byyny rode Inmidair in the first group of the morning and set the bar high scoring a 40.50. No one managed to catch her the rest of the day, though a couple came close.

Jan Byyny & Inmidair. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

1st – Jan Byyny & Inmidair. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Will Coleman and Conair, who went near the end of the day, were ultimately closest to catching the leaders scoring a 42.0 to sit in 2nd before tomorrow’s show jump. This is one of the horses I was most excited about seeing go this weekend, as I have not yet had the opportunity to see him in person. He definitely did not disappoint!

2nd - William Coleman & Conair. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

2nd – William Coleman & Conair. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

In 3rd place after dressage is another horse I haven’t previously had the opportunity to see go in person. Michael Pollard rode a very very nice test on Ballingowan Pizazz to score a 42.3. Michael set himself up to have a great weekend, also sitting in 7th on a 45.9 with the lovely Mensa. This is a test I unfortunately missed!

Michael Pollard & Ballingowan Pizazz. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

3rd – Michael Pollard & Ballingowan Pizazz. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

7th - Michael Pollard & Mensa. Photo by Cindy Lawler.

7th – Michael Pollard & Mensa. Photo by Cindy Lawler.

Sitting in 4th place is Doug Payne and Crown Talisman. Although I have seen the horse in person before, it was at Indoor Eventing at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto. This was my first time seeing him on the flat and he is a seriously impressive mover.

4th Doug Payne & Crown Talisman. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

4th Doug Payne & Crown Talisman. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Tied for 5th is Sharon White & her first of three rides in this division this weekend, Under Suspection, and Allison Springer and her 4star veteran partner Arthur.

5th (T) - Sharon White & Under Suspection. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

5th (T) – Sharon White & Under Suspection. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

5th (T) - Allison Springer & Arthur. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

5th (T) – Allison Springer & Arthur. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

On the topic of Allison Springer, today was the first time I’ve seen Copycat Chloe since Bromont last year. The improvement on the flat in a year is very impressive, and the horse is already one of the most catty jumpers out there. I can’t wait to see them over fences the next two days.

As already mentioned, Michael Pollard and Mensa are currently in 7th. Marilyn Little and her second (and more experienced) horse in the CIC*** division, RF Demeter, must have done a lovely job to sit in 8th with a 46.2. This is another horse entered at Rolex next month and I can’t wait to watch them go.

8th - Marilyn Little & RF Demeter. Photo by Cindy Lawler.

8th – Marilyn Little & RF Demeter. Photo by Cindy Lawler.

In 9th place, is yet another test I unfortunately missed seeing today. Buck Davidson rode an impressive 4 horses in the CIC*** today and has two in the top 10. Petite Flower is in 9th place and Ballynoecastle RM is tied for 10th with Kim Severson and Fernhill Fearless.

9th - Buck Davidson & Petite Flower. Photo by Cindy Lawler.

9th – Buck Davidson & Petite Flower. Photo by Cindy Lawler.

10th (T) - Buck Davidson & Ballynoecastle RM. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

10th (T) – Buck Davidson & Ballynoecastle RM. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

10th (T) - Kim Severson & Fernhill Fearless. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

10th (T) – Kim Severson & Fernhill Fearless. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Tomorrow is an even busier day here at the Carolina Horse Park, with several dressage rings running (including the Advanced division, which has a couple Rolex bound horses in it), the CIC divisions all show jumping and the Training divisions are doing both dressage and cross-country.

Cheryl