Black Bests the Rest in The Fork CIC3*

Maya Black and Doesn’t Play Fair took victory in the Adequan Gold Cup CIC3* at The Fork International Horse Trials.

Tied for second after dressage the pair bumped into first after a clear show jump round. Dawn and Jonathan Dofelmier’s “Cody,” a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding positively zoomed around the cross country to finish 15 seconds underneath the optimum time – the fastest round in the three-star competition – to finish on their dressage score of 41.8.

Maya Black (Photo Shelby Allen USEA)

Afterwards Black said: “He was pretty fresh at the start and in the warm up. It took me a few fences to get into a good rhythm, but after I got going everything rode quite well. I wanted to get around safely and confidently and use this to move forward. It was nice having the hills at the end because that is exactly what I wanted to practice. Letting him gallop up the hills, and letting him gallop down the hills and looking at where we’re at rideability wise and what we need to work on [before Kentucky]. It feels like some of the pieces are coming back together again because the horse is very capable of winning at this level, so it’s nice to have that show that our hard work at home is paying off. Mainly I have to learn to ride him a bit at speed and I think this was a great run,”

Black is now heading to the Rolex Kentucky Three Day event adding: “Going into Kentucky again it’s good for me to make sure he’s in the right balance for the combinations because he has such a huge stride for his size.”

Lauren Kieffer finished second in the CIC3* with Veronica. The 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding easily navigated around the cross country track adding only 1.2 time penalties to their dressage score, which ended the pair on a 43.30.

Keiffer said: “I let her pick her own pace. She’s only run at Red Hills, so she was quite keen to get out there.” Kieffer also reported this track tested her fitness well, and she’s planning on simply maintaining the mare until Kentucky.

Rounding out the top three was Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights “CR,” has been on a hot streak this spring, winning his first FEI event this spring at Pine Top Horse Trials, and then placing 6th in a huge CIC3* division at Carolina International.

“He was fantastic. He was really super and rideable,” Rutledge said. “There was a moment where he shifted his shoulders a bit at the angles brush, but he was really honest. He’s just so easy to ride and he’s game for everything.”

CR is headed for a second trip around Kentucky this month, and Rutledge is eager to best their 11th place finish last year at the gelding’s first four-star. “Making the dressage a little more of the show that it can be, adding a bit more rideability where I need rideability and adding a little more sparkle where I need sparkle [is the plan for Kentucky],” she said.

Following the top three ladies, Phillip Dutton claimed the next three spots finishing fourth with Mighty Nice, fifth with Fernhill Cubalawn and sixth with Indian Mill.

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