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Mueller and Temple Top Canadians at Stuart
Victor, NY, USA
by Amber Heintzberger
Jan Bynny (USA) and Task Force
Will Coleman has the early lead in the CIC** and USEA Gold Cup division at the Stuart Horse Trials and USEA Gold Cup Series event in Victor, New York riding K du Manoir, owned by Tivoli Farms. Coleman said that the nine-year-old Selle Francais has not been out since May, so he felt like he has some room for improvement but said, "He's a good horse and goes in a good rhythm, so that helps." He acknowledged that the footing was deep, which he said was harder for the two six-year-olds that he is riding in preliminary. "The horses had to cope with it and I think it's not bad for them to learn to deal with it," he said. "Someday they might have to do the same at a three-day event where it counts more."

Holly Payne is second in the two-star with Madeline, owned by Jill Gordon, on a score of 50.6, followed by Canadian Michelle Mueller on Amistad (50.9). Mueller, a professional eventer from Port Perry, ON said that things went better today than she had expected, because her horse has been feeling frisky lately but settled into his job for the competition.

Amistad is an eight-year-old Thoroughbred/Belgian gelding owned by Julie Pring. Mueller has an agreement to ride him for five years, of which she has completed three. If things keep going well she might ride him longer. "This is his first two-star and I want to move him up to advanced eventually," she said.

Mueller said, "I quite like the cross-country course here; it's got some good technical questions and some open galloping spots. It looks inviting but makes you think, and I think you have to know your horse." Jan Bynny is off to a great start to the weekend. She has the current lead in the Open Intermediate riding Task Force (25) and in Open Preliminary A riding Dario, owned by Allie Lawaetz. In the CCI** she is fifth after dressage with Syd Kent, a New Zealand-bred horse that she recently purchased in England, and is piloting a green horse, Cordonelli successfully through prelim as well.
Kelli Temple (CAN) and Magenta
Bynny said that she has been working hard on her dressage lately, training with Sylva Martin, a German dressage rider who is married to Australian eventer Boyd Martin. Task Force is an experienced upper-level horse, but Bynny dropped him to the OI division when he had a swollen leg recently. It turned out to be an insect bite so he is in good form. Dario is a relatively new horse to Bynny and she was impressed with how he forged ahead in dressage despite heavy, slippery footing that developed after heavy rains yesterday. Sunny weather this afternoon improved the footing even more and the conditions should be ideal for tomorrow's cross-country.

Canadian Kelli Temple is in second in the Open Intermediate riding Magenta, a lovely grey mare Irish mare owned by Carl Bouckaert. "This is her first intermediate and Carl would like to ride her in the two-star at Bromont this fall, so we'll just see how she goes until then," said Temple. The mare was imported from England in March and so far Temple has had a very successful season with her. She also won a division of novice riding another of Bouckaert's horses, DeLeon, a five-year-old that just started eventing.

Temple said, "The intermediate course looks beautiful, of course. They work really hard to make everything at this event just right. The footing is fantastic, especially after Virginia - it's like a desert there now! I think the footing here is perfect even though it made it tougher in dressage, but that'll all be forgotten tomorrow. It's a challenging course with lots of angles and narrows so we riders will have our work cut out for us."

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