This afternoon saw thrilling Jumper competition in the Sanctuary Arena as entries contested for the win in the $5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35 m sponsored by CWD Sellier. Several entries delivered fantastic rounds, but in the end Brooke Cudmore and Lauren DiTallo went head to head in a battle for first place. The ladies both rode double clear rounds and just fractions of a second determined the winner of the class, but it was Brooke Cudmore aboard Blair Cudmore’s Igor that prevailed.
The course for this afternoon’s $5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35 m sponsored by CWD Sellier was designed by Bobby Murphy of Lexington, Kentucky, and saw entries beginning over a single vertical on the diagonal heading down the ring, then bending to an oxer near the ingate. Entries then rode up an oxer-to-vertical combination across the diagonal that led to an oxer, then rounded the top of the ring to jump an oxer in the corner. Next, entries rode down the diagonal over a combination that led to a vertical, then jumped a vertical by the ingate. Entries rode back up the diagonal once more over a vertical and an oxer, then made a swift turn at the top of the ring to roll back to a vertical that bent to an oxer-to-vertical combination on the rail heading home.
Near the top of the order of go was Lauren DiTallo, who had a total of three horses to ride in the class. She first rode Scott Durchslag’s Oliver’s Army (Ogano Sitte x Linotte de Sohan). The pair have an amazing rapport, evidenced by stellar performances and great results in both Welcome Stake and Grand Prix competition throughout the 2019 Winter Series of the Midwest. In fact, DiTallo and Oliver’s Army took first place in the $5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35 m sponsored by CWD Sellier during Week 2 of the Winter Series. The pair were prepared to set the standard this afternoon, jumping a consistent, clear first round in a time of 73.086 seconds, three seconds under the time allowed of 76 seconds, and continuing straight to the jump off of the Table II event.
The course for the jump off began with the last four obstacles of the first course. Entries jumped the line up the diagonal, then rolled back to the vertical and bent to the oxer-to-vertical combination. From there, entries rolled back to jump the oxer on the diagonal, then rounded the top of the ring to jump the oxer in the corner, and finished over a vertical on the rail heading home. DiTallo and Oliver’s Army marched through the short course with plenty of speed, taking inside turns where possible, crossing the timers with all rails up at 40.906 seconds and setting a strong pace for the remainder of the class.
Shortly after, Brooke Cudmore and Blair Cudmore’s Igor entered the ring. The pair were patient in the first round, taking care to not touch any rails and stopping the clock at a speedy 71.507 seconds. Cudmore and Igor continued to the jump off, picking up the pace but maintaining their incredible height over each fence. The pair jumped the oxer in the corner and galloped to the final fence, which paid off with a clear round and a new leading time of 40.053 seconds.
Lauren DiTallo returned to the ring aboard Scott Durchslag’s Zero Gravity (Verdi x Releva). The pair jumped a clear first round in a time of 74.946 seconds, then continued to the jump off to navigate a second clear round. However, their time in the jump off of 42.385 seconds was not enough to catch DiTallo’s first mount, Oliver’s Army, or Cudmore and Igor.
DiTallo returned to the arena one last time aboard High Finance Farm’s Wadisson (Radisson x Olivia). Though the pressure was on, the pair were composed throughout the first round, jumping clear in a time of 72.715. The pair continued to the jump off and jumped the first half of the course with plenty of speed. As they approached the final two fences, it looked as if DiTallo and Wadisson might beat Cudmore and Igor’s time, but the pair stopped the clock at 40.284, just two-tenths of a second shy of the win, but enough to move them into second place.
We caught up with Brooke Cudmore of Heartland Farms in Omaha, Nebraska after the $5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35 m to chat about her ride aboard Igor. “I walked the course with my mom and we had an original plan, then I saw her go on her first one and I kind of did the same steps and everything she did,” Cudmore noted about her plan for the course, “I had given Igor about a month off, so I felt in the first round that we were maybe a little sticky on the first few jumps and I needed to kind of get rolling. By the time he was in the jump off he cruised and I just did my plan. He was super fun!”
Cudmore went on to explain that she and Igor know each other well, “He’s a 10 year old Belgian Warmblood by Cashmere. I got him as a two year old and we broke him and I’ve been riding him ever since. He’s been a really fun, successful horse for me and gotten me into some bigger classes. I’ve enjoyed him every step of the way. He’s super careful and tries his heart out every time. He’s super funny. He’s a stallion, and for the most part he’s a really quiet stallion. If anything, he just does a little talking. He likes looking for the girls. He’s really sweet, though. He’s one of those stallions that you can ride around bareback and stuff. He can be a little strong and bull-headed, and he loves biting onto the lead rope and not letting go, but he’s really fun.” Igor became a part of Heartland Farms’ breeding program last year, and is expecting four foals this year. Cudmore says she is excited for Igor’s foals, and excited to see what the future has in store for him. Cudmore also added, “I love this footing and we’re happy to be back here at World Equestrian Center. It’s been a few years, but I’m excited to show this week!”
Watch Brooke Cudmore and Igor’s winning round, courtesy of ShowNet
$5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35 m Results
- Igor, Brooke Cudmore – 0 | 0 | 40.053
- Wadisson, Lauren DiTallo – 0 | 0 | 40.284
- Oliver’s Army, Lauren DiTallo – 0 | 0 | 40.906
- Zero Gravity, Lauren DiTallo – 0 | 0 | 42.385
- Canmore 2, Ann DeMichele – 4 | 72.391
- Southern Pride, Karen Cudmore – 4 | 73.119
- Air Guitar, Erin Ferguson-Hughes – 4 | 73.845
- Hilma, Sam Pegg – 4 | 73.891
- Coneja, Karen Cudmore – 4 | 74.563
- In Private, Lindsay Lyden – 9 | 76.493
Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.