Nearly forty jumpers went dashing through the show this afternoon to vie for top honors in the $25,000 World Equestrian Center Grand Prix and the $7,500 Futures Prix 1.30m sponsored by Voltaire Design. Competition was fierce with both classes seeing multiple double clear rounds, making a blistering pace and dramatic inside turns the name of the game for the victors in both classes.
$25,000 World Equestrian Center Grand Prix
The $25,000 World Equestrian Center Grand Prix saw twenty one entries this afternoon over a technical track designed by Bobby Murphy of Lexington, Kentucky. The 1.40m course featured fifteen jumping efforts comprised of three combinations and forward-riding bending lines. Four entries managed double clear rounds, but it was Jill Gaffney and Freestyling Farms, LLC’s Carlton Cafe (Carlton Clover x Moytura Spook) who captured the win for the second week in a row.
Gaffney and the thirteen year old Irish Sport Horse mare took to the course about midway through the order of go. The pair have a great rapport at have had great success at the World Equestrian Center, nabbing five $25,000 WEC Grand Prix victories in 2019 alone. This afternoon, Gaffney and the scopey grey mare made easy work of the first course, jumping clear in a time of 75.131 seconds, well under the time allowed of 80 seconds.
Kama Godek and her own Continuity (Contender x S-Venice VDL) were next in the ring. The pair took second place in October in the $1,000 1.30m Jumpers at Princeton Show Jumping Finals and stepped up to the Grand Prix this afternoon. Godek and her eleven year old Italian Warmblood gelding also managed a clear first round in a time of 74.492 seconds.
Last week’s runner up in the $25,000 World Equestrian Center Grand Prix, Michael Burnett and his own Chagrand (Chacco Blue x Centogrina), were back in top form. The pair were incredibly fast in last week’s Grand Prix, managing a second place by just over one second without taking any inside turns, signaling that they would be tough to catch this afternoon. Burnett utilized the ten year old Oldenburg gelding’s ground covering stride in the first round, leaving all rails up in a time of 70.048 seconds.
The course was adjusted and eight entries returned for the jump off. Godek and Continuity returned near the top of the order, taking inside turns to fences three, seven, ten AB and eleven. The pair galloped through the timers at 40.949 seconds, setting the pace for the remaining entries. Gaffney and Carlton Cafe were next to return, mimicking Godek and Continuity’s inside track. The pair were quick across the ground, making up time in the bending lines. Gaffney and Carlton Cafe raced through the finish line at 38.491 seconds, moving into the top spot. Burnett and Chagrand were last to return on the short course. The pair opted to take the inside track and, like Gaffney and Carlton Cafe, made up time in the bending lines. Burnett and Chagrand stopped the clock at 39.261 seconds, claiming another second place finish behind Gaffney and Carlton Cafe.
Gaffney stuck around after the awards presentation to chat with us ringside about her win, “Warming up, Carlton Cafe was just on. She was on all week this week- and last week, too. I can just feel when she is confident and one hundred percent about where she is. On the course, she knew exactly where she was. Over the last fence out of the double she had to try a little bit and she got mad. She was awesome. In the jump off I feel like she could not have been any better. There was an inside turn to fence seven, but I had too much momentum to the oxer to make it.”
Gaffney continued, “My mare is amazing and my husband, Trevor, is awesome. We’ll be back in January with some of our young horses. World Equestrian Center is a great place to bring the young ones. It combines everything for an indoor show – the great fences, the great footing and the good courses. I did my seven year old in the class, too. It was a great course for her as well. I like that Bobby Murphy builds courses that are technical, but not over-facing.”
Gaffney also commented on her week at World Equestrian Center, “It’s been a great week. We had Kelby and Haley Kane helping us again which is awesome. Usually it’s just my husband Trevor and I, but it’s been really fun having those two girls with us. They’re amazing workers and riders and they kind of make the team feel good. One of our clients, Lisette Bennett, just won the $2,000 Non Pro Derby 2’6″ on her young mare, which was great. Next I’m headed over to train her little six year old daughter in the Walk/Trot Poles.”
$25,000 World Equestrian Center Grand Prix Results
- Carlton Cafe, Jill Gaffney – 0 | 0 | 38.491
- Chagrand, Michael Burnett – 0 | 0 | 39.261
- Continuity, Kama Godek – 0 | 0 | 40.949
- First Lady BH, Darby Pease – 0 | 0 | 46.103
- Essince W, David Beisel – 0 | 4 | 40.361
- Kinsella, Charlotte Clark – 0 | 4 | 40.453
- United M, Robert Mendoza – 0 | 4 | 41.827
- Famoso D’IVE Z, Nicole Loochtan – 0 | 4 | 42.078
- Cronos L, Sam Pegg – 4 | 72.623
- Angelo, David Beisel – 4 | 73.148
$7,500 Futures Prix 1.30m
Seventeen entries took to the Sanctuary this afternoon to contest the $7,500 Futures Prix 1.30m sponsored by Voltaire Design. The class featured a similar track to the Grand Prix, with fourteen jumping efforts including two combinations. Five entries delivered double clear rounds, but it was Michael Kocher and Taje Warrick’s E. Umomia (Arthos R x U Umonia 6) that topped the class.
Kocher and the ten year old KWPN mare were the pace setters in the class. E. Umomia is a new mount for Kocher, but the pair had just come off a successful week of showing and were prepared to step up this week as well. This afternoon, Kocher and the enthusiastic bay mare were slightly conservative in the first round, jumping clear in a time of 74.127 seconds, still well under the time allowed of 80 seconds. The pair continued straight to the jump off of the Table II 2b event, picking up pace and taking tidy inside turns to fences fourteen AB, six and eight. Kocher and E. Umomia blazed through the timers at 33.535 seconds, a time that would prove unbeatable for the remainder of the class.
David Beisel and MTM Farm’s MTM IBelieve (Indoctro x Grace) took to the course shortly after Kocher and E. Umomia. The pair are also a new match, but appeared completely in synch as they negotiated the course. Beisel and the nine year old Dutch Warmblood gelding left all rails up in a time of 78.523 seconds in the first round and continued straight to the jump off. The pair increased their pace, mirroring Kocher and E. Umomia’s inside track. Beisel and MTM IBelieve ultimately stopped the clock at 34.785 seconds, moving into second place.
Kama Godek also had two successful rides in the Futures Prix, riding both to double clear rounds. Godek’s first mount was her own Diamiro (Diarado x L-Rovinia). The pair navigated the first round in 77.184 seconds, then continued straight to the jump off taking the same inside track as previous entries. Godek and the ten year old Oldenburg gelding crossed the timers at 34.209 seconds, moving Beisel into third place.
Godek later returned aboard her own HRH van de Elsakker (Indoctro x Dolorus van de Elsakker). The pair were clear in the first round in a time of 74.159 seconds, advancing straight to the jump off. Godek and the seven year old KWPN mare rode the inside track, stopping the clock at 34.820 seconds for a fourth place finish.
Kocher took a moment to chat with us about his win after the awards presentation, “E. Umomia is a mare that we sold, then bought back when the client wanted to sell. I’ve only been riding her for the past month. We did a couple of training classes last week and we moved up this week to some of the open classes. This is her first money class, but she’s really fast and careful so I knew we had a good shot. This is her first Futures Prix win.”
When asked about E. Umomia’s personality, Kocher replied, “She’s a really feisty, hot mare, which usually isn’t my ride. I’m a little tall for her, too. But she’s so game. As the jumps get bigger, she gets better. I just figured her out over the past two weeks and we started clicking.”
Kocher also added, “This show has been great. I’ve been here for the past three weeks and it’s been awesome to work out of. I’m excited to come back in January.”
$7,500 Futures Prix 1.30m Results
- E. Umomia, Michael Kocher – 0 | 0 | 33.535
- Diamiro, Kama Godek – 0 | 0 | 34.209
- MTM IBelieve, David Beisel – 0 | 0 | 34.785
- HRH van de Elsakker, Kama Godek – 0 | 0 | 34.820
- Vegas H, David Beisel – 0 | 0 | 36.387
- Z Love Story, Jill Gaffney – 0 | 4 | 33.024
- Malibu, Darby Pease – 0 | 8 | 37.846
- Caius, David Beisel – 1 | 80.245
- VDL Glitter Van De Kalevalei, Louise Graves – 2 | 81.189
- Whistler, Christina Caruso – 3 | 82.571
Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.