Five-star debutant and horse making his 10th start at the level share second in Maryland 5 Star dressage

  • Two female US riders share second after the first day of Maryland 5 Star dressage today (Thursday, 14 October), on a score of 28.

    Lynn Symansky set the standard as the first rider in the second block of competitors, on The Donner Syndicate LLC’s 13-year-old RF Cool Play. The German-bred makes his five-star debut, having been a team gold and individual silver medallist at the 2019 Pan Am Games.

    Today he scored a nine for his rein-back from ground jury president Angela Tucker at C – and eights for the other two judges for this movement – while his marks dropped down a little to reflect errors in a couple of the flying changes.

    “He was really good – we haven’t had the most ideal lead up into this five-star,” said Lynn, who is based quite locally to the event, which is hosting a five-star for the first time. “It’s a fantastic venue and the crowd is awesome.

    “The arena has a different feel. You have more spectators at the Kentucky stadium. This has a more intimate feel and a lot of times that can create more electricity for the horses. It feels a bit more like Burghley, where the crowd is right up there with you. It’s my horse’s first time at this level and he’s been quite hot the past few days so the score could have been better, but for his first time at the level, I was happy and really proud of him. He rose to the occasion.”

    The horse who shares second place at this stage of the Maryland 5 Star dressage is at the opposite end of the five-star experience scale – Hannah Sue Burnett piloted Jacqueline Mars’ 18-year-old Harbour Pilot, who is making his 10th start at this level, up the leaderboard with a mistake-free test.

    “He gets better and better and better,” said Hannah Sue. “There’s more pressure because I know what he’s capable of. He’s been so rideable leading up to the event and today, so I was feeling a lot of pressure, but he was awesome.”

    Hannah Sue also mentioned the impressive set-up at Maryland and said: “My horse has been around for a long time and been a lot of places and he was like, ‘Oh, you’ve brought me somewhere worthy of me’. He felt relaxed and also impressed, he was very fluid and tried.”

    Maryland 5 Star dressage: Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot

    Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot at Maryland 5 Star 2021. Credit: Shannon Brinkman

    Hannah said she is happy to be on an experienced horse this week tackling Ian Stark’s cross-country course. Among their other successes, the pair won the CCI3* (now CCI4*-L) here in 2012.

    She said: “It’s pretty special to be at Fair Hill. I love this place and it feels like home. I’m really glad to have ‘William’ this weekend as the course is quite difficult.”

    Lynn and Hannah sit second to British rider Oliver Townend, with the experienced Cooley Master Class.

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