(C) ESI PHOTOGRAPHY. Daniel Bluman and Conconcreto Believe.
OCALA, FL (February 21, 2016): International show jumping competition continued Saturday at HITS Post Time Farm when the picturesque Ocala Horse Properties Stadium became the stage for the $34,600 FEI HITS Jumper Classic. Hot off a third place team finish in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup CSIO4*, presented by Edge Brewing Barcelona, Daniel Bluman, riding for Colombia aboard Conconcreto Believe, owned by Blue Star Investments and Alberto Simh, added another podium finish to the list, this time taking home the blue ribbon.
Forty-five riders attempted the 1.50m course set by Alan Wade, of Ireland, and it proved to be a true test of athleticism for those brave enough to confront it. Tight turns, a tricky mid-course combination and impressive height resulted in just four riders going clear to secure a jump-off showdown.
First to challenge the abbreviated course was Eugenio Garza Perez (MEX) and Epire van Wuitenshof, owned by Lazzarotto Deborah. All was in Perez’s favor until he approached the combination, where a refusal earned him four faults and four time penalties. Another rail cost him four more faults, finishing with a total of 12 faults in a time of 55.46.
Next in the jump-off order was Lauren Hough (USA) piloting Ohlala, owned by The Ohlala Group. They had a steady start like Perez, but an unfortunate rail at the mid-course combination and another at the final fence, would result in eight faults as they passed the timers in 42.50.
Scott Keach (AUS) and Viriato, co-owned with Southern Cross Equest, was third to re-enter the ring and after watching his competition, he knew what to do for a clean trip. Together they galloped through the course, with onlookers sighing in relief when Keach cleared the combination with precision. Clocking in with a time of 48.45, and with an intact course behind him, it appeared that a blue ribbon was on the horizon for Keach.
Known to excel in the jump-off, Bluman and his bay mount did just that from the moment the clock started. Careful execution between horse and rider led to a blazing fast clear round for Bluman who completed the course in a time of 44.23, a full four seconds faster than Keach. Bluman’s performance knocked Keach to second, Hough to third and Perez to fourth.
“I personally prefer when there are not a lot of clear rounds, because I’ve had better luck in competition when there have been jump-offs with fewer people. I was happy I got to go at the end with a horse whose height level is this high,” said Bluman. “Alan Wade has always been one of my favorite course designers. As a rider, you have course designers that win you more and some that win you less, and Alan is one where I win more, so I try to jump every course I can when he is building.”
This week marked Bluman’s second trip to HITS Ocala and he was enthusiastic about his return visit, adding, “The show has been lovely. I love the footing and the jumps – it’s nice and fresh. The horses really like it and they jump really well here.”
The final day of FEI Nations Cup Week at HITS Ocala is Sunday, February 21, and will finish with the $100,000 FEI City of Ocala Grand Prix.
Bluman and Conconcreto Sancha LS. Photos by Ben Radvanyi Photography.
Toronto, Ontario – Daniel Bluman of Colombia opened international show jumping competition with a win in the $20,000 International Jumper Power and Speed on Tuesday, November 10, at the Royal Horse Show®, held as part of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in downtown Toronto, ON.
Show jumping talent representing six nations – Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Ireland, the United States, and New Zealand – arrived in Toronto for five days of fierce international competition. Bluman and Conconcreto Believe, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Ukato x Burggraaf) owned by Blue Star Investments, Alberto Simhon and Abraham Chehebar, topped a 19-horse starting field to score the first victory of the week. The pair turned in a time of 32.09 seconds for the win over a track set by British course designer Richard Jeffery.
“The first class of the week is usually a friendly one, but still has a very good purse,” said Bluman, 25. “If you have a horse that is naturally fast, you can let them go a little bit. That was the case with Believe; she is very careful and very, very fast. I saw the people go before me and they weren’t going crazy so I thought I wouldn’t intervene too much. It paid off, and I am happy to start with a win.”
Bluman is competing at the Royal Horse Show for the fourth time, and said, “I love Toronto. This show is a very prestigious indoor event here in North America, and I am always delighted to be invited to take part in the competition.”
Before Bluman clinched the victory, Reed Kessler of the United States had held the lead. She and Charity 33, owned by Kessler Show Stables, would eventually finish second with a time of 33.46 seconds while Ireland’s Conor Swail and Cita, owned by Susan and Ariel Grange, took third place in a time of 34.42 seconds. Ten-time Canadian Olympian Ian Millar of Perth, ON and the appropriately named Heros took fourth in 34.76 seconds for owners AMMO Investments. Dermott Lennon of Ireland rounded out the top five aboard Fleur IV, owned by Canada’s Rebecca McGoldrick, in 35.24 seconds.
Having already scored one victory, Bluman has his sights set on Wednesday night’s feature event, the $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Toronto. The Royal Horse Show® was selected as one of only four Canadian events to be part of the newly formed Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League.
“This is a great new format,” said Bluman of the change. “Before, there were too many World Cup qualifiers, making it difficult for the riders to jump in all of them. I think it’s great to have fewer events with more prize money and bring the level up. You can see that this week; there are only 24 riders here, but if you look at those 24, you have the big guns here. Longines has been a great supporter of equestrian sport and we, as riders, are very thankful for that.”
The Royal Horse Show marks Bluman’s fifth Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League appearance so far this season. His goal is to qualify for the 2016 Longines FEI World Cup™ Final to be held from March 23 to 28 in Gothenburg, Sweden.
“I’m in a qualifying spot, but it’s not over and I need to add more points,” said Bluman. “The idea is to go to World Cup Final this year. I’ve been building a string of horses for a very long time and finally now I have enough to go.”
Bluman plans to ride Conconcreto Believe in Wednesday night’s qualifier, explaining, “The characteristics of this venue fit her well and if the course is what I expect it will be, I think I could get a good ribbon.”
The $35,000 Jolera International Jumper Welcome was held Tuesday evening, and saw the final rider of the night come home with the win. Having settled for third earlier in the day, Swail tripped the timers in the fastest time, 58.17 seconds, to take the victory riding Martha Louise for owners Susan and Ariel Grange of Cheltenham, ON. Roberto Teran of Colombia placed second with a time of 59.30 riding Woklahoma for the ARK Partners LLC while Laura Kraut of the United States took third with a considerably slower time of 64.02 riding Andretti S for Stars & Stripes.
The $25,000 Knightwood Hunter Derby, also held Tuesday evening, saw a win for Darcy Hayes riding Say When for owner Danielle Trudell Baran. The pair was awarded the Paddy Ann Burns Trophy in recognition of the achievement.
Erynn Ballard and Valentino Now, owned by MVB Group, accepted the Lorna Jean Guthrie Challenge Trophy, awarded to the high point horse following both the $15,000 Braeburn Farms Hunter Derby held Monday evening and the $25,000 Knightwood Hunter Derby. Ballard and Valentino Now won Monday night’s $15,000 Braeburn Farms Hunter Derby before placing second in Tuesday’s featured competition.
Funding support for The Royal has been provided by the City of Toronto and the Government of Ontario.
About The Royal The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world’s largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show. This year, the 93rd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 6-15, 2015 at Exhibition Place, Toronto. For competition schedules, live webcasting, results and to purchase tickets, please visit www.royalfair.org.
Daniel Bluman and Conconcreto Believe. Photos by Josh Walker for The Chronicle of the Horse.
Jennifer Gates stakes claim on $5,000 Junior/Amateur 1.20m Speed Class, presented by PwC
New York, NY – Show jumping returned to Wollman Rink as it played host to the third day of competition at the second-annual Rolex Central Park Horse Show with the $212,000 U.S. Open CSI 3* Grand Prix, presented by Rolex, on Friday evening. Colombia’s Daniel Bluman has been waiting to win a coveted Rolex watch since the start of his career in show jumping, but the wait is over after he piloted Conconcreto Believe to a win Friday night under the lights of New York City. Also highlighting Friday competition in Central Park was a win for Jennifer Gates in the $5,000 Junior/Amateur 1.20m Speed Class, presented by PwC, and the start of U.S. Open Dressage.
The Rolex Central Park Horse Show continues through Sunday, Sept. 27, with more multi-discipline equestrian sport in the heart of New York City.
In addition to the 3* victory, Bluman was crowned the U.S. Open’s leading rider after scores from his third-place finish in Thursday’s U.S. Open $40,000 FEI Speed, presented by Canadian Pacific Railway, were combined with Friday’s win. For the inaugural U.S. Open title, Bluman was presented with a $25,000 rider bonus in addition to his share of the grand prix purse.
International designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil built a 15-effort test for 26 contenders, but only two jumped clear for a two-horse duel in the jump-off. Bluman won over Sharn Wordley, of New Zealand, with the fastest of two double-clear efforts. Wordley notched a clear ride with Sky Group’s Barnetta from fifth in the original order before Bluman and his nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Ukato x Larista) guaranteed a tie-breaker for owners Blue Star Investments.
Returning first, Wordley was clean and tidy in 43.35 seconds, but Bluman stopped the timers almost two seconds faster in 41.39 for the win. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Spy Coast Farm’s Chaqui Z picked up a single time fault in the first round to finish third. The top-placing American rider, Candice King, also left the ring with one fault on the clock just one second slower than Sweetnam for fourth on Bellissimo, LLC’s Kismet 50. After a win on Thursday night, Ireland’s Conor Swail rounded out the top five aboard Simba De La Roque as the fastest four-fault pair for owner Susan Grange.
“To win the U.S. Open title and that watch in Central Park – it’s a crown for a champion, so I’m very pleased tonight,” said Bluman.
While Bluman was all smiles with his Rolex in hand, he admitted that he felt the pressure after Wordley’s clean trip over the short course.
“I got to see Sharn go and he had a really beautiful round. My horse is naturally fast, so I pretty much just wanted to do the same thing that he did and keep the jumps up. She’s been having a great week and felt fantastic in the warm-up. I knew if I did my job she was going to do hers and it was going to be a good opportunity for us,” he added.
Wordley didn’t leave the door open for Bluman and planned to use Barnetta’s skill in the corners to force him into the inside turns. “My strategy going in was to go medium fast and make Daniel do the turns and hope he slipped up and had a rail,” he said. “I knew I couldn’t outrun him and I just wanted to go clear.”
Conconcreto Believe’s speed was paramount, however, and delivered Bluman the win.
Sweetnam’s single time fault left him out of the jump-off, but he was proud to jump his nine-year-old Zangersheide stallion – Chaqui Z – to a top-three placing. “The atmosphere was great last year, but I think it was even better this year,” he said. “I’m delighted with my horse. The time fault was my fault and the course jumped world-class.”
A two-horse jump-off still proved to be exciting for the onlooking crowd and Jorge admits he was pleased with how the riders approached his track. “This happens in top show jumping – the level of the competitors are very high and if I had added a second in the time allowed we may have had eight or nine in the jump-off,” he said. “This venue calls for a horse that can pull from their experience, rise to the occasion and understands the situation.”
Mark Bellissimo, CEO of International Equestrian Group (IEG), spearheaded the U.S. Open format for the Rolex Central Park Horse Show and was happiest to see the excitement that filled Wollman Rink for its unveiling. “When Daniel won, he took off his helmet and showed great emotion. That is what the sport needs to get to the next level: athletes who are out there excited about winning,” he said. “We have a great international representation here tonight, and we believe that this U.S Open will turn into something spectacular.”
In its second year in an iconic location, the Rolex Central Park Horse Show won’t be the last competition of its kind for IEG, according to Bellissimo.
“This is a sport you have to bring to the people and I think you infiltrate that in large American cities and unique locations in order to elevate the interest,” he said. “This show was a dream many years ago and we brought it to a reality last year. Rolex took a very blind bet on us and it is very rare that they put their brand on anything that is unproven. I think on the banner out front there are 32 sponsors, most of which are corporate sponsors. We’re starting to see a transition from this being an exhibitor-financed sport to a corporate and commercial one. This could be the birthplace of modern, American, commercialized show jumping. It’s going to take a couple of years, but we’re well on our way.”
$5,000 Junior/Amateur 1.20M Speed Class, presented by PwC
Jennifer Gates, at 19 years old, impressed in front of a New York City crowd earlier in the day on Friday with a win in the $5,000 Junior/Amateur 1.20M Speed Class, presented by PwC, in the irons of her own Everest De Muze.
The speed class converted faults to time and Gates’ clear effort in 58.817 seconds was good enough for first. Amateur Joyce Green and her own Cassidy were just shy of the lead to finish second on 61.09 seconds, while 14-year-old New York City native Francesca Dildabanian and her own Catika Van De Helle settled for third in 61.50 seconds.
Gates and her 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (For Pleasure x Walnut De Muze) topped 17 combinations, but she admitted she was battling nerves before riding into Wollman Rink beneath the Manhattan skyline.
“To be perfectly honest, I was a little bit nervous coming into the ring,” she said. “He’s generally a pretty hot horse and we were a little worried to bring him here, but I’m so proud with the way he handled himself.”
“He was very hot walking down, but once he got into the ring he put his game face on and was very good. He’s a high-energy horse and we knew he would get excited with the environment, but he gave it all to me, so I was thrilled,” she added.
Junior and Amateur riders took their turn in the spotlight amongst a week full of competition, and it’s a plan that show organizers will continue. “It’s great to see the young talent fly around the ring,” said Mark Bellissimo. “I really want to thank the riders for their participation, and PwC for being such a great supporter of the sport.”
Patrick Corridon, Director, Marketing and Sales at PricewaterhouseCoopers, shook the hands of the top three riders to mark their second year sponsoring the Rolex Central Park Horse Show. “We are super proud to be a part of this iconic New York event,” he said. “Mark came to us last year and we had a lot of faith based on his track record and we were totally on board to come back this second year. It seems to grow and grow and we’re very proud of that.”
U.S. Open Dressage Grand Prix, presented by Breyer
Dressage also made its debut at the 2015 Rolex Central Park Horse Show on Friday with the U.S. Open Dressage Grand Prix, presented by Breyer. The event was an exhibition competition showcasing some of the world’s best dressage talent, including Germany’s six-time Olympic Gold Medalist Isabell Werth and her mount El Santo NRW, which she owns with Madeleine Winter-Schulze.
Werth and El Santo NRW danced their way to top honors at the 2014 Rolex Central Park Horse Show and returned to familiar territory on Friday. Werth was one of seven dressage riders to perform in front of full grandstands in preparation for Saturday’s $75,000 Dressage Freestyle, presented by Axel Johnson Group. The Dressage Freestyle will serve as the pinnacle of Saturday competition, taking the stage at 7 p.m. and streaming live at www.centralparkhorseshow.com.
“It is amazing to show here – I don’t know how to explain how special the feeling is,” said Werth. “Today was a warm-up and I didn’t take the full risk of course. The weakest point of the test was the second piaffe, but I think the rest was serious and safe without any big mistakes. The changes were really nice and the zigzag was great.”
Werth joins fellow dressage stars, including the likes of number-one in the world Charlotte Dujardin, in Saturday’s Freestyle. “I hope tomorrow evening that we can take a little bit more risk, make the most of the atmosphere and have a really nice go,” added Werth.
The U.S. Open Dressage Grand Prix was proud to feature Breyer as the sponsor of expanded dressage offerings at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show this year. Jaime Potlalesky of Breyer Horses unveiled the latest additions to the Breyer collection with their new Valegro model, as well as a talking George H. Morris action figure. “We’re really happy to be involved – dressage has always been near and dear to Breyer’s heart and the level of competition here is just incredible,” she said. “We’re showcasing our new George Morris Action Figure, which came out of a nice collaboration.”
The 8-inch George Morris Talking Action Figure, an idea created by Mark Bellissimo, in association with George Morris and Stephanie Macejko of Breyer, was launched as a special edition as a means to raise funds for equestrian-based charities. With 20 of George’s classic quotes recorded, the model is being sold with 100 percent of the net proceeds going to the Chronicle Support Network’s Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund.
The Rolex Central Park Horse Show continues through Sunday, September 27, with more multi-discipline equestrian sport. In addition to Arabians, the schedule includes the inaugural U.S. Open in the following categories: Jumpers, Dressage, Hunters, and U25 Jumpers. Select classes will be streamed live at www.centralparkhorseshow.com.
About Rolex Central Park Horse Show
Launched in September 2014, Rolex Central Park Horse Show is the first-ever outdoor, multi-day equestrian sporting event in New York City, showcasing some of the best show jumpers and dressage riders in the world as they vie for top prizes against a backdrop of skyscrapers in one of the world’s most iconic venues. As the event founder, Mark Bellissimo is the CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions and International Equestrian Group LLC; Managing Partner of Wellington Equestrian Partners (WEF), Tryon Equestrian Partners and Colorado Equestrian Partners; and Publisher of The Chronicle of The Horse magazine. In its second year, Rolex Central Park Horse Show will make its triumphant return from September 23 to 27, 2015 and will feature five days of multi-discipline equestrian sport and performances, ranging from Arabians and Dressage to Hunters and Show Jumping. The Rolex Central Park Horse Show will also host the inaugural U.S. Open in the following categories: Jumpers, Dressage, Hunters, U25 Jumpers, and Arabians. For more information, visit http://centralparkhorseshow.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CPhorseshow, and follow @cphorseshow on Twitter and Instagram.
New York, USA, 25 September 2015 – Colombia’s Daniel Bluman won the Rolex U.S. Open Grand Prix at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show under the lights of the New York skyline after two stylish clear rounds to claim the showpiece class of the five-day horse show.
The packed grandstands cheered on Bluman after a two-way jump-off with New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley, with Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam finishing in third place. Only two riders went clear and also within the time allowed in the first round in the challenging course staged in the iconic Trump Ice Rink. Wordley was first to go in the jump-off and tactics were obvious as he steered his horse steadily, but cleanly, around the course in a time of 43.35 seconds. Bluman then entered the ring knowing one mistake would cost him the Rolex title, but he held his nerve and rode another brilliant round taking two seconds off Wordley in a winning time of 41.39 seconds.
A jubilant Bluman said afterwards: “Rolex has been sponsoring equestrian sports for a long time and I’ve always wanted to win a Rolex. I came close a few times this year and I told McLain (Ward) I really wanted that watch! So to be able to win it today in Central Park – it’s a crown for a champion.”
In just its second year the Rolex Central Park Horse Show has quickly established itself as one of the world’s leading iconic equestrian events, featuring top equestrian athletes at one of the most stunning and unique venues in the world with many of New York’s big names in attendance. Attempting to defend her Rolex Grand Prix title was Georgina Bloomberg, daughter of former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was again at the event to cheer on Georgina. Other leading names from business and society included Donald Trump and Bill Gates, whose daughter Jennifer had earlier in the evening won the Junior Amateur class much to the delight of the whole crowd. “Competing here was a dream come true,” said Jennifer Gates, 19. “I’d heard about the show last year but I wasn’t able to make it. This year I jumped at the opportunity to compete here.”
Leading riders from across the globe were competing for the Rolex Grand Prix, with riders from eight nationalities competing amongst the 26 starters. The final podium was truly international with Colombia, New Zealand and Ireland finishing in first to third place respectively.
Rolex Testimonee Kent Farrington finished seventh after another thrilling round on Uceko in the Central Park arena having knocked just one rail down after the slightest of touches in the huge triple combination.
Founder of the Rolex Central Park Horse Show – Mark Bellissimo – wanted to bring the thrill of equestrian sport to a wider audience and conceived the daring idea of staging a show in Central Park in the Trump Rink. Bellissimo said, “Rolex has been a great partner and together we have been able to turn this into a great signature event. We introduced the U.S. Open this year and we believe this will turn into something spectacular – it’s our goal to make this a five star. I don’t think there is any city setting in the world that rivals this show.”
New York City’s Rolex Central Park Horse Show was a huge success in its inaugural year in 2014, and 2015 is set to be even bigger and better, with spectacular performances from top-class horse and rider combinations over the five days across multi equestrian disciplines including Show Jumping, Dressage, Hunters and Arabians.
ROLEX TESTIMONEE ISABELL WERTH WINS DRESSAGE GRAND PRIX
Earlier in the day, Rolex’s Dressage Testimonee Isabell Werth, who travelled from her home country of Germany, won the show’s Dressage Grand Prix riding El Santo after a brilliant test in front of packed grandstands in the sun-drenched arena. She said, “It’s like last year – it’s so special to come here and compete in Central Park. To be part of this show is really amazing. Never have we had such an amazing skyline – when we came in here this morning and saw the horses it was really like – wow!”
FINAL RESULTS OF ROLEX U.S. OPEN GRAND PRIX SHOW JUMPING
1. Daniel Bluman (COL) riding Conconcreto Believe
2. Sharn Wordley (NZL) riding Barnetta
3. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) riding Chaqui Z
4. Candice King (USA) riding Kismet 50
5. Conor Swail (IRL) riding Simba De La Roque
Daniel Bluman and Conconcreto Believe. Photos By: Cealy Tetley.
Bromont, Quebec – August 7, 2015 – Lucy Deslauriers looked to be on her way to a second win in the FEI Assante Open Jumper event tonight with Hester. However, Colombian rider Daniel Bluman stole the victory by a few tenths of a second with Conconcreto Believe, a nine-year-old KWPN mare.
The initial course, designed by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA), was comprised of 12 obstacles for 15 efforts: with its three double combinations and long lines, only eleven horse-rider pairs made it to the jump-off, including yesterday’s highlight event winner, Lucy Deslauriers (USA) and Hester.
By a Few Tenths of a Second
Jill Henselwood (CAN) and Quidam Blue, the third pair in the jump-off, posted the first clear round, marking the time to beat at 40.81 seconds. Young Deslauriers took over the lead two rounds later with Hester in a time of 39.68 seconds. However, Bluman, with Conconcreto Believe, scored the victory, beating Deslauriers by 0.31 seconds in a clear jump-off round, mastering the course in this Assante qualifier event.
The Park Is Outstanding
“The park is beautiful,” declared Bluman in an interview. In his first appearance at the Bromont show the rider was able to bask in the historical atmosphere of the Olympic site, and concluded, “It’s great to be here.”
Party Time in Bromont
Quebec rider Mélissandre Lincourt celebrated her birthday in style with Just Stella L, producing a clear jump-off round in 43.26 second to take home fifth place in the FEI Assante Open Jumper event.
It is her best finish to date, and she added, “The mare was exceptional and I hope we can do the same on Sunday.”
Competition Ends on Sunday
The 40th edition of the International Bromont will end this Sunday with the presentation of the very first qualifying event for the North-American League of the Longines FEI World Cup.
Starting at 2:30, equestrian sport fans will be able to view the event on FEITV.
About International Bromont International Bromont presents its fortieth anniversary edition at the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park August 5 to 9, 2015. International Bromont would like to thank the Ministère de l’Éducation, de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche, as well as the Ministère du Tourisme du Québec for their support. General admission: $ 10 per person, free for children younger than 12 years old. Preferred admission: $25 per ticket.
Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League A total of 14 athletes from the new North American league will qualify for next year’s prestigious Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final, which will take place in Gothenburg (SWE) on 23-28 March 2016.
The top seven athletes from the East Coast US, top three from West Coast US, and the two best-placed athletes from Canada and Mexico, will qualify for next year’s Final, alongside winners of 13 other leagues around the world.
Results – FEI Assante 1m50
Daniel Bluman (COL) / Conconcreto Believe 0-0, 39.37
Lucy Deslauriers (USA) / Hester 0-0, 39.68
Jill Henselwood (CAN) / Quidam Blue 0-0, 40.81
Katherine A. Dinan (USA) / Bijou de Balou 0-0, 41.59
Melissandre Lincourt (CAN) / Just Stella L 0-0, 43.26
Elizabeth Gingras (CAN) / Zilverspring 0-4, 41.23
Mario Deslauriers (USA) / Scout de la Cense 0-4, 43.78
Darragh Kenny and Fantasy Win $8,000 Friends of the Meadows Cup 1.45m
Calgary, AB, Canada – July 10, 2014 – Spruce Meadows kicked off its final week of summer competition with the ‘Pan American’ Tournament CSI 5* on Thursday and a win for Colombia’s Daniel Bluman and Apardi in the day’s feature $33,500 G&C Farm Cup 1.50m. Ireland’s Darragh Kenny also continued his hot streak this summer by winning the first international competition of the day riding Fantasy in the $8,000 Friends of the Meadows Cup 1.45m. The ‘Pan American’ Tournament runs July 10-13, featuring the $400,000 Pan American Cup presented by Rolex on Sunday, July 13.
Uliano Vezzani of Italy set the track for 54 starters in Thursday’s G&C Farm Cup, held in the Meadows on the Green with 15 qualifying for the jump-off. Three chose not to jump the short course, leaving 12 to advance with five double clear rounds.
Mexico’s Antonio Chedraui was the first rider to clear the jump-off track with La Bamba and set the pace in 41.169 seconds to eventually take third place honors. Four rounds later, Pablo Barrios (VEN) and ZL Group, Inc.’s Zara Leandra took the lead in 38.691 seconds, but they were soon pushed back to second place. Last to go, Daniel Bluman and Ricardo and Alberto Simhon’s Apardi sped through the track in 37.953 seconds to take the win.
Kent Farrington (USA) and Robin Parsky’s Gazelle finished fourth in 41.352 seconds. Nicolas Pizarro (MEX) and Polasko placed fifth with a time of 43.060 seconds.
Bluman started riding Apardi, a nine-year-old KWPN stallion (Corland x Kannan), when the horse was seven years old. The pair won the Eight-Year-Old Young Jumper Final during the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL, in 2013. Apardi has since stepped up to the next level and become a competitive horse in Bluman’s string.
“From the moment I got him from Colombia, he has always looked like a careful horse,” Bluman stated. “He was a little bit difficult. He has a lot of energy and he gets a little bit anxious, but he always tries to be careful no matter what. It has been a long way to get the dressage going well and get his body to feel good and improve the rideability. I have to say that already one year ago when he first came to Spruce he already started showing special things. Right before coming to Spruce last year he won the final in Wellington, and then here at Spruce he jumped very well.”
“Through the year as an eight-year-old he jumped in Europe and he was like every young horse, a little up and down, but he has been very good here this year,” Bluman said. “When he arrived, unfortunately he got a little bit hurt on the plane coming from Europe, so I couldn’t show him the first two weeks, but after that he started and he has been jumping really good. The first week he was clear the first day and then last week he was second in the 1.50m on Sunday, so he has been knocking on the door a little bit. Right now he is at the point where he is ready to start winning classes.”
Going in last for the jump-off, Bluman had the opportunity to watch some of the early riders, including the leading round of Pablo Barrios.
“I knew Pablo was leading. Pablo is a great friend of mine and a former trainer and I really wanted to beat him,” Bluman declared. “We’re good buddies, but of course every time you have a little chance or a little opening to beat your trainer, it’s nice. It gives you a good feeling. Of course it is very healthy competition between us. It turned out well. This is the first win of the season for me and the first class that I have won here in two years, so I am very happy. I have been getting too many second places.”
In the jump-off, Bluman knew exactly where Barrios had left the door open, and he went full out to the final fence.
“I got Pablo to the last jump definitely,” Bluman affirmed. “I know, because I spoke to Pablo when he came out of the course. He told me that he had been neat, but he knew that he had left an opening for the last jump. I did for sure at least one stride less in the last line. I know I have a super careful horse that at the end I can run as hard as I want, and the moment I let him read the jump, he is going to clear it. When I landed, without looking at the tower, I felt confident that I had him.”
Apardi will jump Saturday’s $83,000 Investors Group Cup 1.50m to conclude his summer at Spruce Meadows. He will then fly back to Europe to jump as second horse in Valkenswaard and will step up to be Bluman’s first horse in the grand prix in Dublin. “We have big hopes for him,” Bluman concluded.
Kenny Continues Hot Streak
Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) is the course designer in the All Canada Ring this week, which saw a win for Darragh Kenny of Ireland in the $8,000 Friends of the Meadows Cup 1.45m to kick off the final week of summer competition at Spruce Meadows. Kenny and the nine-year-old Hanoverian mare, Fantasy (For Pleasure x Acorado), completed the fastest of 13 clear rounds out of 45 total competitors over D’Ambrosio’s speed track. Their winning time of 70.819 seconds just edged out Hector Florentino (DOM) and Anemone’s Vicky, owned by Stransky’s Mission Farms. They held the lead through most of the competition with a time of 71.066 seconds, but had to settle for second. Lisa Carlsen (CAN) and Alycia Hayes’ World’s Judgment finished third in 71.965 seconds.
Fantasy is shown under the ownership of Oakland Ventures LLC. She was purchased by Darragh Kenny, in partnership with trainer Don Stewart, in March. Kenny saw the mare compete with rider Kyle Timm in Ocala, FL, and bought her soon after.
“She was only jumping 1.35m and had done one 1.40m,” Kenny explained. “I had seen the mare the September before and really liked her. She is great quality, lots of scope, super blood, and really careful. I think she is going to be very nice, I am just going to take my time with her a little bit.”
“She is a really, really interesting mare,” Kenny said. “She has been placed a couple of times in the 1.45m classes. She did the two derbies here and she was very good in those. She is still quite green in her riding, but she is super brave, and I think she has a lot of ability. I think she can do really good things.”
Fantasy’s confidence and ability led Kenny to jump her in the derby competitions for experience this summer, and she fared well with the demanding course both times.
“She is extremely brave. She does all that stuff very well,” Kenny noted. “I wanted to do that with her because it is good for her to get that kind of experience going around the ring. It is bigger jumps without putting her in a class that is too big for her. You have lots more space in the derby and lots more room to set up the jumps, so you don’t make that many mistakes at the jumps. I think it is easier for her to figure out how to jump bigger jumps that way.”
Fantasy’s experience came into play in her win Thursday morning where Kenny kept a tidy track to shave off the time.
“I didn’t actually go that fast; I just stayed very tight,” he explained. “She turns really well and you can turn back to any jump and she has the jump to jump it easy, so I just stayed very tight. There was an option to do the grob or do a double that was on the left side, which was actually a shorter line to do the double, and I just did that with her because I know she jumps the grob no problem.”
The ‘Pan American’ Tournament at Spruce Meadows will continue on Friday with the $33,500 Ashcor Technologies Cup 1.50m in the Meadows on the Green. For more information and full results, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.
Kraut Wins $100,000 FTI Consulting Rider Challenge, Skelton Takes $50,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Bonus, Lamaze Triumphs In $32,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Final
Wellington, FL – March 31, 2012 – Twenty-two-year-old Daniel Bluman, of Colombia, jumped to an exciting victory on Saturday night in the $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix, CSI 5* at the 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). Over 7,000 fans filled the stands to see the best of the best from the winter circuit compete under the lights in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Bluman and his mount Sancha LS earned the top prize in a three-horse jump-off over Canada’s Ian Millar and Star Power and USA’s Lauren Hough and Quick Study.
Alan Wade, of Ireland, designed the course for tonight’s grand prix and set a challenging track for the 45 qualified entries. Only three were able to jump the first round course entirely without fault to advance to the jump-off, and all three had single rails through the short course, making time the deciding factor.