François Lamontagne and Chanel du Calvaire.
The $35,000 Crescent Grove Advisors Grand Prix took place Saturday night in the indoor stadium and 21 horse and rider teams tackled the course set by Allen Rheinheimer of Zionsville, Indiana, Technical Coordinator for the 2015 World Cup Finals and the Classic Company show jumping events.
The first round time allowed was set at 84 seconds and David Jennings of Franklin, Tennessee, in the irons of Emily Willsky’s Donegue, was first to go, turning in the first clear round in a time of 77.135 seconds.
Amanda Flint of Long Valley, New Jersey and the Coverboy Group, LLC’s Superbad went clear in a time of 80.072 seconds, insuring there would be a jump off round!
Jennings returned to the arena, this time in the irons of Lexander Farm, LLC’s Divace, and winner of Thursday’s $10,000 Horseflight Open Welcome. They went clear in the first round in a time of 74.963 seconds and would return for the jump off round.
MTM Farm’s S & L Elite, ridden by Dorothy Douglas of West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, followed Jennings and turned in a clear first round in a time of 77.405 seconds.
François Lamontagne of Saint Eustache, Quebec, Canada followed with his own Chanel du Calvaire with a clear first round in a time of 81.578 seconds and joined the jump off roster.
Aaron Vale of Williston, Florida and Sarah Turner’s Acolina R were the next to qualify for the jump off, after posting a clear first round in a time of 77.809 seconds.
Flint returned to the arena in the irons of the Coverboy Group, LLC’s Cairo with the next clear first round in a time of 83.609 seconds, also qualifying for the jump off.
MTM Axel, owned by MTM Farm and ridden by Douglas, turned in the next fault free first round in a time of 75.039 seconds and added themselves to the jump off round.
Vale and Thinks Like a Horse’s Spirit of Alena were the last pair to turn in a clear first round effort in a time of 76.407 seconds, making nine the final number of jump off rounds.
Rheinheimer set the jump off round time allowed at 49 seconds and Jennings and Donegue were the first to go. Although their time of 41.116 seconds was well within the time allowed, four jump faults would see the pair finish in sixth place overall.
Flint and Superbad followed in the order with a clear second round in 45.308 seconds and set the new time to beat. Jennings returned to the arena with Divace, but four jump faults in a time of 41.265 would see them finish in seventh place overall.
Douglas and S & L Elite followed with a clear jump off round, setting the new time to beat in 39.717 seconds. The lead would be short lived though, as Lamontagne and Chanel du Calvaire followed with a fault free jump off round in a time of 38.759 seconds, setting the new time to beat!
Vale and Acolina R followed and although their time of 38.175 seconds was the fastest in the jump off round, a heartbreak rail at the final fence would give them four faults and they would finish in fourth place overall.
Jennings and Divace returned for the jump off round, but their time of 47.317 seconds along with four jump faults would finish them in ninth place overall.
Douglas and MTM Axel had the first rail in the jump off round which gave them four jump faults in a time of 40.838 seconds and they finished in fifth place.
Vale and Spirit of Alena were the last to go, but four faults at the first fence in a time of 45.667 seconds would see them finish in eighth place overall giving Lamontagne and his own Chanel du Calvaire the win! This is the first time Chanel Du Calvaire won a grand prix.
“The last show I did with her was in Gulfport. She came in second in the CWD Grand Prix Week III. Last winter was the first time she left Quebec for the winter. She would just stay home and do flat work. I bought her when she was five and now she’s eight and she is getting there. I thought she was ready to go, so she went on the road with us this winter,” he said.
“I did two weeks in Pensacola, then Gulfport and then I went back to Quebec for five weeks and came all the way back here to do these shows for two weeks. I guess she didn’t just want to get here to just be a tourist, she wanted to make it count for her,” he laughed.
“The course was pretty light, fair and not too big. We saw a lot of clear rounds and I was expecting a fast jump off because in the Welcome there were a lot of clear rounds and they were fast. I was the slowest of all clear and came in eighth in the Welcome and I was five seconds behind the winner. So I knew I had to try something different if I wanted to have a good result,” he said.
“I thought my mare was ready for it today and we really tried,” he said. “She cannot always go like that, and she needs classes that help her think it’s easy. She is brave and careful but she can be difficult sometimes just the way she canters and moves,” he added.
“We’re here for next week too. I have two other seven year old geldings and I did 1.20 m and 1.30 m this week and they went well and maybe next week they’ll do the Welcome and maybe one or two in the grand prix; we’ll see,” he said. “I really like the Classic Company shows!” he added.
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