Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Eventing riders recently headed to Fair Hill, USA to contest the Fair Hill International CCI *** Three Day Event Fall Championship, held October 19 – 22.

Mike Winter, a Canadian Olympian currently residing in Newnan, Georgia rode Kingpin, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding he co-owns with The Kingpin Syndicate, to a 16th place finish.

“I had a rough spring with Kingpin, so I came into this event with the attitude of using it as a springboard for next season,” said Winter, who suffered a broken collarbone at an event earlier in the season. “I have always like Fair Hill. It’s a great venue and the course rewards good, forward riding. It’s not an easy course, but it helps me to ride well.”

After a dressage score of 60.6 put them in 20th place, the duo moved on to Derek DiGrazia’s technical cross-country course where they received no jumping, and just 18.4 time faults, moving them up to 17th place. A good effort in the show jumping phase saw just 2 rails come down, for eight faults. An additional three time faults brought their overall score to 90.0, and sealed their final placing of 16th.

“I accomplished what I set out to do, which was to look at the big picture, and gain Kingpin’s confidence,” commented Winter. “I have a really great support system in Kingpin’s owners, coach David O’Connor and my family. I can’t say thank you enough.”

Coming in just behind Winter was the up and coming Young Rider Waylon Roberts of Port Perry, ON, who celebrated his 18th birthday on the final day of the competition. Riding the 11-year-old Canadian Thoroughbred gelding Paleface, owned by his mother Kelly Plitz, Roberts also celebrated a 17th place finish in his very first CCI*** competition, riding against the field of 60 horse/rider combinations.

A dressage score of 67.8 put Roberts in 39th place after dressage, but he jumped to 19th after a cross country ride with no jumping faults, and just 13.2 time faults. Roberts finished with a final score of 93.0 after accumulating 12 jumping, but no time faults in show jumping.

Canadian veteran Penny Rowland of Orangeville, ON came in 21st place aboard Don Good’s 11-year-old Connemara/Thoroughbred gelding Windswept. The pair got off to a strong start, holding seventh place after a score of 55.4 in dressage. After adding 28 time faults cross-country, the pair moved to 20th place. In show jumping, 12 jumping and one time fault brought their final score to 96.4.

Sandra Donnelly of Calgary, AB placed 27th with Buenos Aires, her nine-year-old Canadian Warmblood gelding who was competing in his first CCI*** international event. A dressage score of 68.3 put them in 41st place, but they moved up to 31st after cross-country. No time, but four jumping faults made 112.7 their final score. Fellow Calgary native Kyle Carter, who currently resides in Sparr, Florida finished 30th with Madison Park, the eight-year-old Thoroughbred gelding he co-owns with Nicole Shinton. After tying for 32nd place after dressage, they went on to cross-country, where they dropped one place to 33rd. Eight jumping and four time faults in show jumping made their final score 123.2.

Waylon’s father Ian Roberts, a Canadian Olympian who represented Canada at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany, finished 33rd with Napalm, an Irish Sport Horse gelding he co-owns with his wife Kelli Plitz and Tracey Newman. Samantha Taylor of Richmond, BC placed 38th riding her eight-year-old Thoroughbred Livewire.

Also competing at the Fair Hill International was Suzy Pettman-Elliott with her Irish Thoroughbred Sambucca, Hawley Bennett with her Olympic partner, Gerry Bennett’s Canadian Thoroughbred Livingstone and Samantha Taylor with a second mount, Lucinda II, owned by Laura Gatewood. Competing for the first time in the CCI*** division was Pascale Tremblay Wagner with her seven-year-old Paradoxe de l’Eclypse, Wendy Southam with her own Ruba Z and Jessica Phoenix riding her nine-year-old Thoroughbred, Exploring.

“It was very encouraging to see so many new faces and horses competing at the Fair Hill CCI***,” commented Canadian Eventing High Performance Chair Grit High. “There were a lot of ‘first-timers’, all with their eye on qualifying for the 2007 Pan American Games. It is reassuring to see the quality of the Canadian horses coming up; they are young and talented with a definite future ahead of them.”

The CCI*** Fair Hill International Three Day Event was a qualification trial for the Pan American Games, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in July 2007.

  1. Gina Miles (USA) – McKinlaigh – 55.6pp
  2. Jan Byyny (USA) – Waterfront – 56.4pp
  3. Phillip Dutton (AUS) – Tru Luck – 58.2pp
  4. Bruce Davidson Sr. (USA) – Jam – 60.4pp
  5. Darren Chiacchia – Beter I Do It – 60.6
  6. Kristin Bachman (USA) – Gryffindor – 62.0
  7. Jonathan Holling (USA) – Lion King II – 62.9pp
  8. Kristen Bond (USA) – Fleeceworks Blackout – 64.8pp
  9. Jane Sleeper (USA) – UN – 72.7pp
  10. Julia Steinberg (USA) – Mr. Big – 74.2pp
  11. Mike Winter (CAN) – Kingpin – 90pp
  12. Waylong Roberts (CAN) – Paleface – 93pp
  13. Penny Rowland (CAN) Windswept – 96.4pp
  14. Sandra Donnelly (CAN) Buenos Aires – 112.7pp
  15. Kyle Carter (CAN) – Madison Park – 123.2pp
  16. Ian Roberts (CAN) – Napalm – 138.5pp
  17. Samantha Taylor (CAN) – Livewire – 190.2pp
  18. Hayley Bennett (CAN) – Livingstone – DNF
  19. Suzy Pettman Elliot (CAN) – Sambucca – DNF
  20. Jessica Phoenix (CAN) – Exploring – DNF
  21. Wendy Southam (CAN) – Ruba Z – DNF
  22. P. Tremblay Wagner (CAN) – Paradoxe de 1Eclypse – DNF
  23. Samantha Taylor (CAN) – Lucinda II – DNF