Monica Spencer and her off the track thoroughbred Artist sit in second place at the end of the opening day of dressage at the Maryland CCI5* in the United States.

The Kiwi eventing combo sit on 28.4 penalty points with leader Piggy March (GBR) and her 5* debutant Brookfield Cavalier Cruise on 24.2 – as predicted by Equiratings. In third spot is Hannah Sue Hollberg (USA) aboard Capitol H I M on 32.4.

Monica was early to go and posted the first sub 30 of the session. She and Piggy were the only two combinations to go under 30 of the 13 to go this morning. “I can’t complain too much,” says Monica. “It is a privilege cantering down the centre line at these big events and I do like to take a moment to appreciate that.”

She was happy with Artist’s extended trot in particular. “He is just a lovely horse to ride, it is just a shame we missed a couple of movements. I am so lucky to have a horse like him and to be able to compete at these events. I am very grateful to be able to do that.”

Monica Spencer and Artist, Maryland Dressage Oct 2023. Credit Cynthia Lawyer

Both Monica and Piggy have said it won’t be a dressage competition after a peek at the Ian Stark designed cross country, with the Brit saying it had certainly made all the riders sit up and take “serious note”.

“The whole cross country course is mowed like a golf course and the grass so nice and springy,” said Monica. “There is a lot to do on the cross country.”

ESNZ high performance director Jock Paget was full of praise for Monica and Artist. “It is awesome to come out of a 5* dressage test when things didn’t go perfectly and still be sitting on a 28,” he said. “It shows the quality of the combination.”

New Zealand’s only other competitor at Maryland is Caroline Powell aboard Greenacres Special Cavalier who go at 7.13am tomorrow.




USA Time

NZ Time

Dressage Day 2

Fri 20th – 2.00pm

Sat 21st – 7.00am

Caroline Powell


Sat 21st – 7.13am

Cross Country

Sat 21st – 1.35pm

Sun 22nd – 6.35am


Sun 22nd – 2.00pm

Mon 23rd – 7.00am

By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photo by Cynthia Lawyer