TALLAHASSEE, FLA. –Marilyn Little on RF Scandalous (22.4) has won CCI4*-S level at the 2021 Red Hills International Horse Trials with a time of 6:42. Colleen Loach riding Qorry Blue D’Argouges earned second place and Leslie Law on Voltaire De Tre came in third place.
Little and RF Scandalous (“Kitty”) began the three-day competition with a strong performance in dressage (22.4), continued with a clean ride in show jumping (22.4), and then secured the blue ribbon with an outstanding cross-country run. RF Scandalous is a 16-year-old Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold x Rchardia) owned by Jacqueline Mars and Phoebe and Michael Manders.
“Kitty had a great run,” said Marilyn Little who was extremely pleased with RF Scandalous’ performance today. “She was able to take the water jump in four strides, I thought she might when I walked it but wasn’t sure, and she did it.”
Little executed her strategy well, taking advantage of the long galloping tracks to make up some time from the combinations in the water jumps. Little has enjoyed previus success at Red Hills, winning the four-star in 2018 and the three-star in 2015. Little now looks ahead with the goal of the Kentucky 3-Day Event.
Colleen Loach on Peter Barry’s Qorry Blue D’Argouges, a 17-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Mr. Blue x Hardie Du Bourg) had a great cross country run that moved her to second place from the third-place position.
“Qorry was great,” Loach said. “I thought it was a good course for him because he is not a very fast horse, and it’s quite twisty in the woods. He is so ridable that I could make up a bit of time on the turns.”
Loach was especially pleased with how Qorry jumped overall. “I thought he did the coffin quite well because that was a bit tough and also the first water. He just jumped everything well.”
It has been more than five years since Loach has ridden at Red Hills and she said, “I had a good experience. It’s a greatly-run event.”
Leslie Law riding on Voltaire De Tre, Tre’ Book’s 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Gentleman IV x Jasmina Du Fresne) moved up to third place from fifteenth after dressage.
“He is a horse that is always going to move up,” Leslie Law said. “Although he was fifteenth he was in a very competitive place, and that’s the main thing, after dressage to have him in a competitive position, because then, if he’s only fractions of points behind the other horses, he’s going to get them in the next two phases.”
Law attributes Voltaire De Tre’s success to becoming a “real seasoned cross-country horse.”
“He’s an absolute joy to ride cross country,” said Law. “Over the years I’ve ridden a lot of horses, in Olympic games, in world championships, in European championships, and I think he has to be one of the best cross-country horses I’ve ever ridden.”
For the first time in its 23 years, Red Hills International Horse Trials ran Cross Country on Sunday rather than Saturday. According to many riders, the course was beautiful, well dressed and offered long galloping tracks. “The change to running the cross country last for all classes will hopefully prove popular, there is no question that competitors prefer this for short format classes,” said Michael Etherington-Smith. Michael Etherington-Smith designed the CCI4-S and Advanced courses and David O’Connor designed the CCI3-S, CCI2*-S, Intermediate, and Preliminary courses. Etherington-Smith said of this year’s courses, “A few changes have been made but the course still runs right-handed as last year. This way round has a good feel to it and seems to flow better than going left-handed.” Red Hills International Horse Trials built 18 frangible jumps for its six levels of cross-country courses, taking advantage of emerging technology to reduce risk for horse and rider. Cross Country course builders were Tyson Rementer and Levi Ryckewaert.
Red Hills International Horse Trials is a United States Eventing Association annual event held at Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park in Tallahassee, Florida. Red Hills Horse Trials, Inc. is a 501c3 organization.