Photo: Beezie Madden and HHS Hercules.
Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 3, 2017 – The CP National Horse Show featured a different style of show jumping competition with the $35,000 Salamander Hotels and Resorts Accumulator Class CSI4* for the Whitney Stone Memorial Trophy. Local groups were invited out for “Barn Night” to watch as Beezie Madden (USA) and Abigail Wexner’s HHS Hercules took the top prize of the evening.
The class featured 10 obstacles of increasing difficulty, where points were awarded for each fence cleared. Obstacle one jumped without fault was worth one point, obstacle two jumped without fault was worth two points, and so on.
A final fence option called ‘The Joker’ was worth double points. However, if a rider opted for ‘The Joker’ and knocked it down, those points were deducted from the total score. Twenty-three international horses and athletes strived to clear the Michel Vaillancourt-designed course for a perfect score of 65 points. Eleven athletes were able to do just that, finishing with no faults and jumping the high point ‘Joker’ fence without error. Between those 11, it all came down to time.
Laura Kraut (USA) and St. Bride’s Farm’s Whitney were the first to achieve a perfect score of 65 points in a blazing 47.81 seconds to take the early lead for the majority of the class.
None was able to catch Kraut’s time until Madden and the 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse entered the Alltech Arena as the very last to go. The pair finished clear for 65 points in 47.62 seconds to outpace Kraut’s time by 2/10ths of a second to move into the top spot on the leaderboard. Devin Ryan (USA) and his own Cooper finished in third place with 65 points in 48.03 seconds.
Preceding the $35,000 Salamander Hotels and Resorts Accumulator Class CSI4* was the second round of the $100,000 USEF Under 25 National Championship, which saw Jennifer Gates and Alex, owned by Evergate Stables LLC, claim the blue ribbon.
Returning in reverse order from the first round, eight advanced to the jump-off from an original starting field of 20, where Gates was one of five to finish double-clear around Vaillancourt’s technical shortened track.
Mattias Tromp and Avon, owned by Swede Ventures LLC, were the second combination to produce a faultless finish in the jump-off in 37.336 seconds to take over the top spot early on in the class. Next, Daisy Farish and her own Great White crossed the finish line with no faults in 38.767 seconds to move behind Tromp in the standings.
As second to last to go, Gates and Alex raced around the short course, using the 13-year-old Westphalian gelding’s ability to cut in on tight turns to her advantage, and stopped the timers in 36.885 seconds for the win. Tromp finished in second place, while Farish took home third place honors.
The 21-year-old Stanford University senior just recently acquired Alex in July from Audrey Coulter and Copernicus Stables and claimed their first big win together in September at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show in the $25,000 U.S. Open Hollow Creek Farm U25 Grand Prix.
The jumpers kicked off with the $10,000 Equithrive Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper competition, where David Oberkircher and Southfields Farm LLC’s Tyson De Verteveuille claimed the win with a quick, clear round in 65.544 seconds.
Close behind was Lacey Gilbertson, who finished in second place aboard Seabrook Farm LLC’s Baloppi in a time of 65.830 seconds, while Alex Parrish claimed third place in 66.454 seconds with Lexander Farm LLC’s Divace.
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