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Wednesday, May 02, 2018 - Courtesy of Retired Racehorse Project
The Thoroughbreds of Land Rover (May 2nd, 2018)


After some drama at the first veterinary inspection, 13 Thoroughbreds were among the 46 pairs accepted to compete.

(Click here to check out the complete list of Thoroughbreds that were entered and read their full bios.)

The weather and footing couldn't have been more perfect on cross-country day, and the course rode very well. Eleven horses finished with no jumping or time penalties, and five of those were Thoroughbreds.

Overall, it was a very successful cross-country day, with a high rate of completion and many more horses than usual making the time. But the Thoroughbreds had some bad luck—Sound Prospect (Alexandra Knowles) and More Inspiration (Holly Jacks-Smither both looked great on course, but were eliminated after their riders got popped out of the tack (Allie at the last element of the Normandy Bank and Holly at Head of the Lake). Boyd Martin also retired Steady Eddie after a run-out early on, deciding to save him for another day. The misfortune continued at the final horse inspection, where Paddy The Caddy (Erin Sylvester), who had looked fantastic on cross-country, was eliminated. Leah Lang-Gluscic also withdrew AP Prime before the inspection.

The weekend finished with three Thoroughbreds in the top 20, and one (Captain Jack) carrying his rider to the top-placed youngest rider award.


Here's how all the Thoroughbreds fared:


Veteran four-star competitor Donner (Lynn Symansky) was within striking distance of taking top honors, standing in fourth place and less than a rail behind the leader heading into show jumping. But they got just a little too deep to an airy vertical immediately after the liverpool, and had one rail down to finish sixth overall as the top-placed Thoroughbred. (Had that rail stayed up, they would have been second.) This was the pair's ninth four-star completion together, and their fourth at Kentucky. They are aiming for the FEI World Equestrian Games, which will be held in Tryon, NC, in the fall.


Tight Lines and Will Coleman were one of just four pairs to finish the event on their dressage scores. "Phish" absolutely devoured the cross-country course, and finished with the second-fastest time of the day. A beautifully-ridden show jumping round left a few rails rocking in their cups, but they all stayed up and the pair finished in 12th place.


Truly Wiley was the only Thoroughbred in the competition that was bred for sport, rather than racing. He was bred by legendary eventer Bruce Davidson, and is by the OTTB stallion Salute The Truth, who RRP founder Steuart Pittman competed through advanced and later stood as a sport horse stallion. Truly Wiley and Kelly Prather added just one show jumping rail to their dressage score, finishing 16th.


Captain Jack and Savannah Fulton made one of the biggest jumps up the leaderboard after cross-country, rocketing from 44th to 24th place with a clear round inside the time. Unfortunately three show jumping rails down meant they finished 23rd.


Simply Priceless and Elisa Wallace were conservative on cross-country, jumping clear but with 18.8 time penalties. They then added three rails and 5 time faults in show jumping, but Elisa was surely pleased to notch another four-star completion with her beloved "Johnny." They finished 26th.

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