Another sunny day here at the lovely Carolina Horse Park – I even got a sunburn!

With show jumping for the FEI divisions running in a grass ring on one side of the road, and countless dressage rings running on the other side of the road it was an extremely busy day! Training level also ran cross-country today, though I unfortunately did not get to take any pictures from those divisions today.

The nearly 40 horse national Advanced division started at 8am with Lauren Kieffer and RF Cosmina. Unfortunately I just saw the tail end of their test, so did not get any pictures. From what I saw, it was beautiful and the judges certainly agreed as they sit in 2nd place going into tomorrow’s show jumping.

Boyd Martin’s impressive new ride Shamwari 4 is the Advanced leader after dressage. This horse is every bit as lovely as pictures and video suggest.

Boyd Martin and Shamwari 4 leads the Advanced division after dressage with an impressive 25.9. Photo by Cindy Lawler.

Boyd Martin and Shamwari 4 lead the Advanced division after dressage with an impressive 25.9. Photo by Cindy Lawler.

Courtney Cooper and Who’s A Star sit in 3rd place after dressage.

Courtney Cooper and Who's A Star sit in 3rd on a 29.1 in the Advanced division. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Courtney Cooper and Who’s A Star sit in 3rd on a 29.1 in the Advanced division. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Both Boyd Martin and Lauren Kieffer have 2 horses in the top 5, as they are both tied for 4th with Meghan O’Donoghue and Pirate. I unfortunately missed Meghan’s test, but am excited about their score and can’t wait to see them run at Rolex next month.

Boyd Martin has 2 horses in the top 5 after dressage in the Advanced division at the Carolina International. This is Steady Eddie, who is currently in a 3 way tie for 4th on a 30.3. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Boyd Martin has 2 horses in the top 5 after dressage in the Advanced division at the Carolina International. This is Steady Eddie, who is currently in a 3 way tie for 4th on a 30.3. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Meghan O'Donoghue and Pirate. Photo by Cindy Lawler

Meghan O’Donoghue and Pirate. Photo by Cindy Lawler

One of my favorite horses of the day is Kristin Schmolze’s big gelding Ballylaffin Bracken. He did a lovely test to be tied for 8th with Canadian Ian Roberts and Faolon. How can you not love that face?

The lovely Ballylaffin Bracken knows he did a great job. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

The lovely Ballylaffin Bracken knows he did a great job. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Ballylaffin Bracken and Kristin Schmolze had a great test to be tied for 8th after dressage with a 32.7. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Ballylaffin Bracken and Kristin Schmolze had a great test to be tied for 8th after dressage with a 32.7. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Meanwhile across the street, the FEI horses were show jumping. Rails were falling in all 3 divisions and in all 3 divisions the 3rd place horse after dressage is now leading going into cross-country.

In the CIC3* division, dressage leaders Jan Byyny and Inmidair had one rail to move from 1st to 3rd. Will Coleman and Conair had 2 rails to move from 2nd after dressage to sit just outside the top 10 going into cross-country. Will is a lovely rider and a great show jumper so I am confident this horse will be jumping clear rounds in the near future.

This means 3rd placed rider Michael Pollard and Ballingowan Pizazz moved into the lead going into cross-country. Both Michael Pollard and Buck Davidson have 2 horses in the top 10 going into tomorrow’s cross-country. Michael and Mensa moved from 7th to 10th with their 1 rail round, and Buck’s clear rounds on Petite Flower (6th) Ballynoecastle RM (tied for 7th) leave them in a great position for a competitive finish here.

Michael Pollard and Mensa. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Michael Pollard and Mensa. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Buck Davidson and Petite Flower.

Buck Davidson and Petite Flower. Photo by Cheryl Denault

Doug Payne and Crown Talisman continue to impress and had a great clear round today to move from 4th into 2nd, only 1.8 penalties behind the leaders.

Doug Payne and Crown Talisman. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Doug Payne and Crown Talisman. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Allison Springer is now tied with herself. Arthur had an unfortunate 2 rails to move from 5th to 13th. Copycat Chloe jumped a beautiful clear round to move up from 25th after dressage.

Allison Springer and Arthur.  Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Allison Springer and Arthur. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Allison Springer and Copycat Chloe. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Allison Springer and Copycat Chloe. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Everyone had a great day in the good weather today. Here are a couple of Cindy’s favorite photos from the day:

Photo by Cindy Lawler.

Photo by Cindy Lawler.

Boyd Martin on Welcome Shadow (in the Open Intermediate division). Photo by Cindy Lawler.

Boyd Martin on Welcome Shadow (in the Open Intermediate division). Photo by Cindy Lawler.

Looking forward to a great day tomorrow – all the CIC divisions are going cross-country while the horse trial divisions are show jumping. I walked around the Advanced/CIC3* course this afternoon and am looking forward to watching everyone jump around tomorrow.

Cheryl