Photo: Emily Moffitt and Hilfiger Van De Olmenhoeve.
Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 2, 2017 – The CP National Horse Show featured the $130,000 CP Grand Prix International Open Jumpers CSI4*-W. Competing for the first time at the historic event, Great Britain’s Emily Moffitt claimed one of the biggest wins of her career to date, along with the Walter B. Devereux Memorial Challenge Trophy, aboard Hilfiger Van De Olmenhoeve.
Course designer Michel Vaillancourt tested 43 international horses and athletes over a 13-fence track in the first round. Out of the 18 combinations who jumped clear, only 14 returned to battle it out in the jump-off, while others elected to save their mounts for the highly anticipated $250,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Lexington CSI4*-W.
Beezie Madden (USA) was the first to navigate the short course with no faults, piloting Darry Lou, owned by Abigail Wexner, to a time of 37.260 seconds.
Laura Kraut (USA), winner of the $35,000 International Open Jumpers Welcome Speed CSI4* with Whitney, followed Madden and produced another double-clear performance with Confu in 36.990 seconds to move into the first place position.
Moffitt was the fourth out of five combinations to complete the jump-off fault-free, riding the 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood owned by Poden Farms. It was Kraut and partner Nick Skelton who originally found Hilfiger Van De Olmenhoeve for Moffitt and the pair has since established a strong, winning partnership, even contributing to Great Britain’s gold medal in the young rider team competition at the FEI European Jumping Championship in August.
The 19-year-old, who trains with British Olympic gold medalist Ben Maher, crossed the finish line one second ahead of Kraut, her former trainer, in 35.700 seconds for the win, while Kraut claimed second place and Madden rounded out the top three.
Prior to the highlight event, the Alltech Arena welcomed 25 international horses and athletes to vie for top honors in the $35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumpers Speed CSI4*.
The faults converted speed class saw Devin Ryan of the United States and his own Cooper post one of the fastest times early on in the class as 10th in the order-of-go, despite incurring faults, in 66.310 seconds. However, Jessica Springsteen (USA) and new mount Volage Du Val Henry, a Selle Français mare owned by SCEA Elevage De Voise, blazed around the course, designed by Vaillancourt, fault-free in 65 seconds, which would prove to be unbeatable throughout the remainder of the competition.
In the end, Ryan settled for third place honors, while Andrew Ramsay (USA) and The Doodle Group’s Cocq A Doodle finished in second place in a time of 65.530 seconds after faults.
The USEF Under 25 National Championship began with the $15,000 faults converted speed competition, where high school senior Madison Goetzmann rode her own Prestigious to the win with a speedy, fault-free round in a time of 61.968 seconds.
Goetzmann and the 10-year-old Westphalian gelding partnered less than a year ago, but have found great success in the jumpers throughout the year. The 17-year-old junior rider from Syracuse, New York has proved her versatility, winning the Region 2 ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Championship with hopes of also capturing the ASPCA Maclay National Championship.
Abigail McArdle and Plain Bay Sale’s Chuck Berry 8 were close behind with a time of 62.784 seconds, while Jennifer Gates followed in third aboard Evergate Stables LLC’s Alex in 64.473 seconds.
Jumper competition kicked off with the Equithrive Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Welcome Stake, presented by Horse Network. 16-year-old Samantha Cohen and her own Carmen bested a field of 29 horse-and-rider combinations to take home the win.
Nine jumped clear over Vaillancourt’s first round course to advance to the jump-off, where David Oberkircher and Tyson De Verteveuille, owned by Southfields Farm LLC, were the early clear pathfinders in 39.424 seconds. Cohen and the 10-year-old KWPN mare took over the top spot two rounds later in 38.837 seconds. Their lead held throughout the remaining six rounds to garner them the first place prize and the “Skymaster” Memorial Trophy. Daisy Farish and Stone Ridge Farms, LLC’s Alberto II finished in second place in 38.894 seconds, while Oberkircher finished in third place.