March 16, 2006 -- Phillip Dutton posted the first points on the Adequan U.S. Eventing Association (USEA) Gold Cup Series leaderboard with wins in both Gold Cup divisions at the Series' first 2006 event, the Red Hills Horse Trials in Tallahassee, Fla., March 10-12.
Dutton, who was named last year's Gold Cup Advanced champion, won the Red Hills CIC***-W, which served as the Advanced Gold Cup division (as well as an FEI World Cup Qualifier), with Annie Jones' 10-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, The Foreman. The pair moved up from seventh to first place after a stellar cross-country performance, putting in the fastest clear round of the day with just 2.8 time penalties. No one in the field of 44 made the time, and there were stops, run-outs, eliminations and retirements throughout the day.
Just 25 started Sunday's show jumping. Leslie Law and his 2004 Olympic gold medal partner, Shear L'Eau, knocked two rails, dropping them into third place behind Jonathan Holling and longtime mount, Lion King II. Dutton and The Foreman also dropped two rails, giving them a final score of 62 to win, less than a rail behind Holling and Lion King on 65.1.
Dutton and Lucky Stripe, an 11-year-old Thoroughbred gelding owned by Rebecca Broussard, held their lead in the CIC**, which served as the Gold Cup Intermediate division. The pair put in a double clear show jumping round to win on a final score of 51.6, ahead of Leslie Law and Another Garrison, who finished second with 59.2. The competition's original leaders after dressage, Mara Dean and Jos Ambition, took third with 59.6.
This year's Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series Leaderboard is slightly different from last year, with the points now following horse-and-rider combinations instead of riders only.
The 2006 champions will receive their winnings at the USEA's Annual Meeting and Convention, December 7-10 in St. Louis, Mo. The Advanced winner will receive, in addition to a Gold Cup trophy, $6,000 in prize money and an Amerigo saddle. The second place Advanced finisher will receive a $3,500 Bit of Britain gift certificate.
The Intermediate winner will also receive a Gold Cup trophy, $4,000 in prize money and an Amerigo saddle, while the runner-up will take home a $2,500 Bit of Britain gift certificate.
This year's series includes 12 of the top events around the country and runs through the end of September. For a complete schedule, visit www.useventing.com.