Fabio Andres Rodriguez and Venus.
The $35,000 Sidelines Grand Prix, presented by EMO, took center stage in the Olympic Arena under clear skies with warm temperatures as sixteen horse and rider teams took to the course designed by International Course Designer Michel Vaillancourt.
The first round time allowed was set at 84 seconds and included a tricky combination which saw many with rails.
Only three advanced to the jump off round with a time allowed of 45 seconds. Fabio Andres Rodriguez of Bogota, Colombia in the irons of Raylyn Farms, Inc.’s Venus was first to go and turned in a clear round in a time of 36.192 seconds, setting the new time to beat. “When I walked the course, it felt tricky,” he commented. “But Venus is so good, I felt really comfortable with her. We had the opportunity to be there, so the idea was to try to be fast. I’ve only been riding her for six months, but she is so good. I just have to ride it and she’ll get it done.”
Jared Petersen of Archer, Florida, riding his father Derek’s Titus 2:11, followed looking to beat Rodriguez’ time, but a rail at the final fence in a time of 36.029 seconds would find them in second place. Last to go Aida Sanchez Long of Ooltewah, Tennessee and Nelson Long’s M L Hartwick turned in a clear round, but their time of 38.034 seconds would find them in third place overall.
The fastest of the four-faulters, Diamant’s Legacy, owned and ridden by Derek Peterson of Archer, Florida, took the fourth place ribbon after posting a four fault first round time in 76.487 seconds. Fifth was awarded to Glenn Hartigan of Canton, Georgia and his own Z-Coco Cabana after posting a four fault first round in a time of 79.728 seconds. Co Pilot, owned and ridden by Derek Petersen, returned for a sixth place ribbon after a four-fault first round in a time 80.275 seconds. Seventh was awarded to Jordan Coyne of High Springs, Florida and her own Lazaro after posting a four-fault, first round in a time of 82.360 seconds. Derek Petersen returned to the winner’s circle, this time in the irons of his own Redeemed, after an eight fault first round in a time of 77.170 seconds. Ninth went to KM Farms’ KM Corfina, ridden by David Jennings of Franklin, Tennessee, after earning eight jump faults with a first round time of 77.971 seconds.
Tenth place was awarded to Jorge Ludwig of Newbury Park, California and his own Lamarique, eleventh went to Daniel Geitner of Aiken, South Carolina, and Kenwood Syndicate’s Kenwood and Sarah Schiering of Stockton, New Jersey wrapped up the class with twelfth place in the irons of Thomas Welsh’s Newtown Jumping Jack.
Rodriquez has been riding with trainer Andrea King for about a year. “Working with Andrea has helped me so much,” commented Rodriguez, “and this mare is so nice to ride.” King commented, “Kent [Farrington] won a ton around the world with her [Venus]. I had her for Angel last year and he won a ton in Tryon and I got her back this summer and she has been a great horse for this boy [Fabio].” King continued, “Venus is for sale; she’s fourteen and an amazingly talented mare. She won the $100,000 in Ocala a couple of years ago and just done a lot everywhere. She’d be a great first horse for a junior moving up to the grand prix; she’s got tremendous experience and will take care of her rider,” she said. “She’s great and just a lovely mare. Someone should jump at the chance to own her,” she added.