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Corinne Dobbin Secures Advanced Win at Millbrook
Millbrook, NY, USA
by Amber Heintzberger
Corinne Ashton
USEA Area I only has one advanced level horse trials, and Corinne Ashton wanted to be sure not to miss it. She made the three-hour trip from her home in Princeton, Massachusetts worth her while by winning the Adequan/USEA Gold Cup advanced division riding her longtime partner Dobbin. The pair scored an astounding 25.8 in dressage and went clear and in the time around the cross-country course, then had one rail down in the stadium jumping to finish on 29.8.

Ashton said that Dobbin jumped perfectly around the cross-country. yesterday, and noted that rain the past couple of days made the footing soft and springy. "He feels the best physically and mentally that he has in the ten years I've been riding him," she said.

Millbrook is located in Dutchess County, New York in the Hudson River Valley, just under two hours north of New York City. The rolling countryside is dotted with fabulous horse farms and the event venue is picturesque.

Olympic Gold Medalist Leslie Law, riding for Great Britain, finished second riding Mystere du Val, an 8-year-old Selle Francais gelding owned by Beatrice and Gui Rey-Herme of R.H. Equine. The horse won the advanced at The Fork this spring but Law dropped him back to intermediate to boost his confidence after a problem on course at Jersey Fresh. After winning the two-star at Maui Jim and the Open Intermediate at Maryland, Law said that Mystere du Val's confidence at the advanced level is bolstered.
Buck Davidson
"He has all the ability in the world," he said. "He has great scope and a great jump. It paid off, taking my time with him - he's still young, and today was the best advanced round I've had on him."

Law rode three horses at Millbrook and said, "It's great to be here with a fresh group of horses." He placed second in Open Preliminary A riding All The Buzz (35.2) and fifth in Open Preliminary B riding Yes My Name is Bob (34.1).

Will Coleman finished third overall in the advanced riding Twizzel, a lovely bay that he has been bringing along nicely and he also finished second in the intermediate riding Nevada Bay. Coleman is no stranger to Gold Cup competition - he is last year's winner of the CIC** riding Tivoli Farms' K. du Manoir.

Jennifer McGuire of Uxbridge, Ontario was the top finishing Canadian in the advanced, placing 13th on her horse Prestigous.

In the intermediate division, Buck Davidson, and My Boy Bobby, owned by Carl and Cassie Segal of Pottersville, New Jersey and usually ridden by Jessica Kiener. Davidson took over the ride after Kiener came off the horse a couple of times, so that horse and rider can regain some confidence. Davidson will run the gelding in the CIC three-star at Richland Park (Michigan) and hopefully at the CCI*** at Fair Hill in October.

"The cross-country here at Millbrook basically only had one change from last year," he said. "It was a nice course and the ground was perfect from all that rain."

Just back from training in England as an alternate for the Olympic team, Davidson only started riding My Boy Bobby last Tuesday, sitting on him only a couple of times before bringing him to Millbrook. In the next few weeks he'll turn around and fly back to England to compete at Blenheim with his team horse, Ballynoe Castle RM, who is also owned by the Segals.

"Jess did a good job keeping Bobby tuned up while I was away," he said. Asked if he was feeling jet-lagged from all the travel, he said, "I don't sleep well anyway, and I've been up at 2am until 5am or so - it's hard to get on a schedule."

The sleep deprivation doesn't seem to be doing too much harm: Davidson also finished ninth in advanced riding Triomphe, owned by Nancy Bissenger and his mother, Carol Davidson, and 17th in advanced riding L.A. Albert, owned by Alex Campbell of Lexington, Kentucky. Davidson previously won the advanced at Millbrook riding his four-star partner Private Treaty.

"Both of my first-timers were quite good," he said. "I have good girls at home to take care of everything, so they were ready to go."

Peter Barry, Dunham, Quebec was the top finishing Canadian in intermediate, placing fifth on Kilrodan Abbott.

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