The organizing committee of the Carolina International CIC and Horse Trials really do deserve a round of applause… and a vacation! The Carolina Horse Park looked amazing all weekend, the hospitality for riders, owners and spectators was that of a world class competition and even Mother Nature cooperated, until the Intermediate divisions went cross-country on Sunday.

Sunday was the final day of competition – the Training divisions wrapped up with show jumping while the Preliminary, Intermediate and Advanced horse trial divisions all went cross-country.

Preliminary was the first division to go cross-country on Sunday. Doug Payne and Cossino Rio added nothing to their dressage score of  27.80 (which had them in equal 2nd position after that phase) to win the Open Preliminary A division. Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Delta Queen added nothing to their dressage score to move up from 7th after show jumping to finish in 2nd place. Sinead Halpin and her lovely On Cue added 4.0 time penalties to come 3rd.

Doug Payne and Cossino Rio win the Open Preliminary B division at the Carolina International. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Doug Payne and Cossino Rio win the Open Preliminary B division at the Carolina International. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Delta Queen. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Delta Queen. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Sinead Halpin and On Cue. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Sinead Halpin and On Cue. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

In the Open Preliminary B division, Buck Davidson took home the win on Be Mine. Marilyn Little’s RF Quarterman came 2nd and Kristen Bond and Enough Already. Honorable mention to Forrest Nymph, the newest wonder pony now ridden by Sinead Halpin who finished in 4th place. I was definitely impressed while watching them spring through the big water complex and can’t wait to see what the two of them accomplish as their partnership develops.

Buck Davidson and Be Mine win the Open Preliminary B division. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Buck Davidson and Be Mine win the Open Preliminary B division. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Marilyn Little and RF Quarterman. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Marilyn Little and RF Quarterman. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Kristen Bond and Enough Already. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Kristen Bond and Enough Already. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Sinead Halpin and Forrest Nymph. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Sinead Halpin and Forrest Nymph. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

The Preliminary Rider division was won by Margret Schaeffer and Grey Area, who unfortunately I did not get a photo of. One of my favorite rides through the Stonehenge complex in the preliminary divisions was Quinn Anderson and Sprite. I was very sorry to see that they then got eliminated later on in the course. Check out the smile on Quinn’s face as they jump the second element of the Stonehenge complex.

Quinn Anderson and Sprite. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Quinn Anderson and Sprite. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Next up was the Advanced division. The Advanced course was tough, sharing most of the course with the CIC3* track from Saturday. I believe the notable differences were different numbering at the bank/corner complex on top of the hill, a different jump in to the Stonehenge complex, and a different question at the main water complex.

Lauren Kieffer and RF Cosmina took the win in the Advanced division. They added just 4.00 time penalties to their dressage score of 27.70. Lauren had a great weekend with many top finishes, including finishing 4th on Veronica in this same division.

Lauren Kieffer and RF Cosmina win the Advanced division at the Carolina International. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Lauren Kieffer and RF Cosmina win the Advanced division at the Carolina International. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Lauren Kieffer and Veronica. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Lauren Kieffer and Veronica. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Maya Black and Doesn’t Play Fair came 2nd, while Erin Sylvester and No Boundaries finished in 3rd. My favorite ride through the corner complex had to have been Lillian Heard and Share Option, who ultimately came 5th in this large Advanced field.

Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Erin Sylvester and No Boundaries. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Erin Sylvester and No Boundaries. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Lillian Heard and Share Option. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Lillian Heard and Share Option. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

I would be amiss if I didn’t wish Boyd Martin a speedy recovery. He unfortunately broke his leg after his fall from Steady Eddie at the Stonehenge corner. They looked great up until that point and I cannot wait to see Boyd back in the saddle shortly.

Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie. Photo by Cheryl Denault.

Unfortunately, I had to rush to the airport before the Intermediate cross-country started… this meant I missed the rain, however, I also missed all of the action. Morgan McCue and Abecca GS won the Intermediate Rider division while Leslie Law and Tout de Suite held their lead after show jumping to win the Open Intermediate division.

Congratulations to the riders, owners, officials, course designers and especially the organizing committee on a great weekend. I can’t wait to go back next year!

– Cheryl