On the second day of dressage at the CAI-A Live Oak, Boots Wright of Ocala, Fla., was awarded the best dressage score in the Intermediate division. Wright drove Mista Q and Marko, German Riding Ponies, gaining a decisive 17 point lead over second place Sherri Dolan with her Shetland ponies Smoke and Mirrors.
Sybil Humphreys, driving her Section C Welsh pony Cefnanokpark Bouncer, will go into Saturday’s marathon leading the 12 competitor Intermediate Single Pony class. Her score of 47.60 puts her just two points ahead of second place Pixie Keating. In 2005, Bouncer, driven by Suzy Stafford, won the individual gold medal at the World Combined Pony Championships in Catton Hall, England.
In the Preliminary division, the best dressage score was posted by single horse driver Bonnie Hudson from Anthony, Fla., with a score of 51.47. Hudson drives Blythewood Casino Royale, an eight-year-old Morgan. Virginia driver Boo Fitch is standing first in the Preliminary Single Pony class, with a score of 55.07.
Live Oak is the third and final leg of the Florida Triple Crown open to competitors who have competed at Live Oak as well as Sunshine State and Little Everglades two events held earlier in the year. One entry in each of the Intermediate and FEI divisions will take home the prize when the scores from all three competitions are tallied.
Eighty-one drivers are expected to tackle the 14 kilometer marathon course on Saturday. The seven obstacles designed by Richard Nicoll, who also designed the course for the 2010 World Equestrian Games, will test the courage, strength and endurance of all the horses and ponies. Concern for the welfare of the horses and ponies on the Saturday’s marathon, should the temperatures climb into the high 80s, have prompted the ground jury to make adjustments to the times. The speeds in the walk section will be lowered, the time in the rest halt will be increased, and the window in Section E will be expanded, all to lessen the stress on the horses and ponies and give them ample time to cool down should it be necessary.
Thousands of spectators are expected on Saturday. Admission is $5 per person. In addition to the excitement of the obstacles, a trade fair set in a grove of graceful Live Oaks, and a variety of food and beverage concessions will be available.