FAR HILLS, N.J. — U.S. Olympic veteran Will Coleman rode his longtime partner, Obos O'Reilly, to the win in the Advanced division of the MARS Essex Horse Trials at historic Moorland Farm. Coleman finished cross country with no jumping and 6.40 time penalties for a three-phase score of 42.10 penalties on his 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse.
"My horse is like an old shoe. He just feels comfortable and familiar. He's been with me since he was four years old. He's been a wonderful horse for me and it's great for him to get the win," said Coleman. "It's my first time competing here. I thought the event was wonderful. It has everything you want in a marquee event. It's got atmosphere, a great cross country course, a beautiful turf and great going. I think it's wonderful to go full circle back to this area and I hope it can continue for a long time to come. It's such a special event."
Following Thursday and Friday's heavy rains, course designer Morgan Rowsell shortened the cross country course to 19 fences to ensure optimum conditions for the competitors. "The course rode great," said Coleman. "I think Morgan did an excellent job with the tracks and I think he deserves a lot of the credit."
Missy Miller and Quinn catapulted from 30th place in the Advanced Division dressage to second with a final score of 59.80 penalties.
"It was such a great weekend. I love the Horse Trials here, they do such a great job," said Miller. "My horse tried really hard all weekend. He is amazing. The course rode really well, the striding was great along with the combinations. It such a beautiful venue. I love to compete here."
Local rider Megan Kepferle of Long Valley, NJ was third riding Anakin with an overall score of 61.50 penalties. Finishing fourth was Canadian Olympic veteran Jessica Phoenix with a score of 62.90 on Watson GS.
It was a weekend of horsepower at the third edition of the MARS Essex Horse Trials with more than 5,000 in attendance. In addition to top competition, the Horse Trials presented a Classic Car Show featuring the MARS No. 18 M&M'S® Toyota car. A record 500 cars spanning several decades were entered for the crowd pleasing event.
The Children's Activity Center, sponsored by The Willow School, offered younger spectators and their parents a fun and creative way to spend the day. Children also delighted in hunting for MARS candy treasures in the main arena during the MARS Candy Hunt on Saturday and Sunday.
Angela Greer and Ken Alutin held their wedding ceremony on the top level of the racing tower at the MARS Essex Horse Trials. Following the ceremony, the couple and their guests watched the cross country competition at their tail gate reception.
For a complete list of results at https://legacy.evententries.com/livescoring/17079.html
Eventing, often referred to as an "equestrian triathlon," combines the elegance of dressage, the thrill of cross-country, and the precision of show jumping. Eventing provides a rare opportunity for spectators of all ages and interests to witness a discipline that highlights the unique trust and bond between horse and rider. This year, Essex will feature an Advanced division with Olympic-level riders on top horses in addition to other divisions for up-and-coming horses and riders.
About the MARS Essex Horse Trials
For three decades, the famed Essex Horse Trials was a major highlight on the equestrian calendar, attracting top American and international competitors as well as thousands of fans who enjoyed its social aspects as well. The event was originally conceived in 1968 by the Haller Family at Hoopstick Farm. Proceeds from the event benefit the Greater Newark LifeCamp in nearby Pottersville, which provides an enriching summer day camp experience for approximately 300 Newark-area youths for six weeks during July and August.
Moorland Farm, a picturesque 230-acre property, provides the breathtaking setting for the event's current edition. It is the home of the annual Far Hills Race Meeting, a nationally prestigious steeplechase race meeting held each October.
For additional information, visit www.essexhorsetrials.org.
See more Equestrian news at www.TAPintoHorses.net
See equestrian events at https://www.tapinto.net/sections/horses/events
Contact TAPinto Horses at firstname.lastname@example.org
Find us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TAPintoHorses/
Sign Up for E-News to get top stories delivered daily to your inbox.