Credit : Sportfot
Sunday 24 September - 19h21 | Carly Weilminster
The U.S. Open $50,000 Arena Eventing presented by The Fite Group Luxury Homes was a crowd favorite at the 2017 Rolex Central Park Horse Show, bringing a sold-out audience to their feet, as many of the world’s top Three-Day Event riders tested a tough and technical track set by Captain Mark Phillips in Wollman Rink. Ryan Wood (AUS) and Dominic Schramm (AUS) ultimately topped the class, besting 22 other riders to capture the win in the inaugural event. British visitors Oliver Townend and William Fox Pitt were third.
Domonic Schram and No ObjectionCredit : Central Park Horse Show
The competition marked the fourth day of national and international competition showcasing top equestrians from around the world in the heart of New York City. The Rolex Central Park Horse Show runs through Sunday, September 24, with four days of multi-discipline equestrian sport for Arabians, jumpers, arena eventing, and hunters, and will conclude with Central Park Family Day presented by Mars, Incorporated Sunday afternoon from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.Team East Village comprised of two Australian teammates, Ryan Wood and Dominic Schramm, made their way to the top of the leaderboard after completing two rounds of the track, which included both cross-country and show jumping elements and featured an iconic apple keyhole obstacle. Wood rode Alcatraz, while teammate Schramm piloted No Objection to the top of the podium.“Our first round we wanted to chance it but not be reckless. We didn’t want to dance with the devil in the first round. After we went back to the stables, we decided to switch up the order. Mine was a bit quicker. He was a slow starter, like a diesel, once we got started he gets quicker,” said Schramm. “This is not what our sport looks like day in and day out, but rather than be negative about it, I like the fact that we get to come here and expose people to it. People get a bite of it, and then they’re hooked for life and that’s what we want.”
Holly Payne CarvellaCredit : Sportfot
Second place saw the team effort of Holly Payne-Caravella (USA) and Boyd Martin (USA) for Team Times Square, as they were rewarded for their dual trips around the track and danced easily through the first round. The duo also produced a near foot-perfect second round only to be bested by Team East Village as the second to last team on course at the end of competition.“I was over the moon when I saw that I was partnered with Holly, as Holly always has a crack at these things whenever she’s riding. I knew that it’d either go really well, or we’d bomb out,” laughed Martin. “We just decided to cruise around the first round and we came back and just really decided to have a crack. We had a bit of luck on our side in the second round, and it went very well.”Payne-Caravella was aboard her longtime CCI 4* mount Never Outfoxed, a nimble Thoroughbred, who proved essential to the Team Times Square as they shaved time off the clock in the right places, ultimately setting Martin up for the finish aboard Kyra.“I got a little aggressive in the first round, but I think in the first round we wanted to make sure that we got through. In the second round we knew that we had to be way riskier in our inside turns and it went over really good,” added Payne-Caravella.The class was formatted uniquely, as any faults on course were converted to add four seconds to an individual rider’s overall time, pushing an intense race against the clock and finishing with a show jumping oxer. Twelve teams contested the class, each named after notable New York neighborhoods, while the top six teams completing with the fastest overall cumulative time moved forward to the final phase of competition. The class featured numerous Olympians, accomplished CCI 4* competitors, and a plethora of national and international talents.
William Fox PittCredit : Sportfot
The only team to compete for Great Britain was comprised of two iconic British eventers, as the Rolex Central Park Horse Show welcomed William Fox-Pitt and Oliver Townend to New York City for the first time. Townend, the most recent winner of the Burghley Three Day Event CCI 4*, was partnered with the legendary Fox-Pitt for Team Chelsea piloting Indian Mill and Prince Renan, both borrowed mounts for the competition, and finished in third place. Indian Mill was not a complete stranger to the Brish riders: he only moved to the US a year ago, having previously been campaigned in the UK by Paul Tapner, so at least he understod the British accent!“This was great fun. I’m not a star at this Arena Eventing thing, but this was really well executed. I was very happy to remember the course, as I thought that jumping the same jump twice in a different direction was pushing it,” laughed Fox-Pitt. “But it all worked out and I’m glad that we had some nice horses.”Fox-Pitt’s teammate, Townend, elaborated on the format of the class and felt it provided a great platform to expose eventing riders to an engaged audience and was beaming following his first experience in New York City and in Central Park.“For William and I both, the biggest setback was remembering our way! We went over it again and again and again. This is just an unbelievable setting and a privilege to be here. I’m very grateful to Mark and the whole team for having us here because we’ve enjoyed this experience tremendously,” said Townend.The U.S. Open $50,000 Arena Eventing presented by The Fite Group Luxury Homes was a recent addition to the official competition schedule at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show and replaced what has traditionally been an evening of Dressage. Mark Bellissimo, CEO of International Equestrian Group (IEG), commented on his excitement for the expansion of the event and his appreciation for the eventing community.“First and foremost, I’d like to thank The Fite Group Luxury Homes as a new partner here in Central Park. This event, in many ways, didn’t exist two and a half weeks ago. Obviously, we had some late cancellations with Dressage, and while trying to create a strategy, I called Michael Stone, our president, and asked what we could do. We work with a group of people who are always ready for a challenge,” explained Bellissimo. “I think eventers are always fun to work with and they were all excited about this. We had eight of the top ten U.S. riders and nine Olympians. We were able to put this together in a way that I think was very interesting, and pull it together very, very quickly and with a high level of quality.”Maintaining the safety of both horses and riders was of the utmost importance to the IEG team and Bellissimo elaborated on the group’s efforts to build a thrilling and technical course, while always keeping the well-being of competitors at the forefront of the competition objective.“We started talking with Captain Mark Phillips and said, ‘First, let’s make it safe.’ Together with him and Michael [Stone], who always is the one who has to execute these things, we decided on a CCI 1*-like course and took it one step further by ensuring that every competitor be an FEI CCI 4* rider, aboard FEI CCI 2* qualified horses, except for Dom, who almost fell off, but what’s great is that we were able to create a very safe event that was still very exciting to watch,” smiled Bellissimo. “We were making adjustments to the course for safety all afternoon and we saw them pay off. I think the format of this event is very interesting, as well.”The inaugural event amassed a huge following hosted under the bright lights of the Manhattan skyline, as event tickets, which only went on sale two weeks ago, completely sold out for the evening. Following true to the theme of the entire week’s multi-discipline competition, the show allowed individuals to experience equestrian sport like never before.
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