With cross-country running in reverse order of placing for the top 10 it made for an exciting finale to the 2021 MARS Great Meadow International (GMI) CCI4*-S. Overnight leader Marilyn Little fell from RF Scandalous at the first water which opened the door for second-placed Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Singapore to gallop away with the win. Fernhill Singapore, a 12-year-old KWPN gelding (Singapore x Riedellia) owned by Ann Jones, Tom Tierney, and David Vos, added 3.2 time penalties to his overnight score, but it was enough to best the field.
Dutton has produced Singapore since he was a 4-year-old and the pair won their first international outing in 2015 at the CCI1* (now CCI2*-L) level. They would go on to win the CCI3*-S at Fair Hill last summer and made their five-star debut earlier this year, but this is Singapore’s first four-star win.
“I’ve got nobody else to blame except myself because I’ve had him since he was a 4-year-old,” said Dutton. “He’s been a slow developer, but I’ve always in the back of my mind that he’s got plenty of movement and plenty of jump – he wouldn’t be the fastest horse that I’ve ever had. Today our conditions were good, and I was in a competitive position, so I thought, ‘now’s the time to really work and try to pull the trigger on him and make him go quick.’ I was impressed with him today.”