Wilmington, Ohio – Exhibitors flocked to the Sanctuary Arena Saturday evening at World Equestrian Center – Wilmington for the $30,000 Shires Equestrian Products Grand Prix. International course designer Michael Pegg (CAN) built the track that proved challenging for the field with just a lone combination posting a clear jumping effort. Lani Hutchison (USA) prevailed to stand atop the podium for her first ever grand prix win with her own Iconic (Falaise De Muze x Dinadja).
Hutchison, training with Charlotte Clark of Kendalwood Farm in Sunbury, Ohio, was the second to last athlete to tackle the track and simply needed a clear first round to earn a podium placing. The crowd was hushed as the 19-year-old amateur rider made light work of the task at hand.
Hutchison commented on her longtime partner, “We imported Icon [Iconic] when he was six and he is turning ten this year. We just moved up to the prix at the end of last year, so this is huge for him! I started him in the baby two-foot jumpers and I wasn’t quite sure if he would make it up to this level. We have shown here quite a lot, and this is his place. This is his favorite ring. He has always been a super careful horse and when no one goes clear he is always surprising me when he can.”
Aboard her ten-year-old KWPN gelding, Hutchison made history as she answered the technicality of the track fault free in a time of 69.325 seconds to earn her first career grand prix win.
“The course was definitely set a little technical today. Icon has always been good at the technical tracks. I just went in with the mindset that if I could go clear maybe I could get a win and he was right there with me. He was so good and super responsive today,” commented Hutchison.
Samuel Overton (AUS) of Overton Showjumping in Queensland, Australia, piloted his own Oaks Cassanova (Ego Casablanca x Oaks Alto) to the red ribbon. The duo made their debut at World Equestrian Center – Wilmington one to remember with their sights set on FEI™ World Cup Finals in Omaha, Nebraska next month. Overton and the 14-year-old Warmblood gelding pulled an unlucky rail to ultimately earn fastest four-faulter status with a time of 67.665, good enough for second place.
Canada’s Sam Pegg found his place on the podium once again, this time with Big Girl Z (Big Star JR KZ x Oglaya). Pegg, of Ten Sixty Stables in Uxbridge, Ontario, piloted his ten-year-old Zangersheide mare to a single rail and a time of 68 seconds even for third place.
WEC – Wilmington sponsor Vitalize presented the Blazin’ Fastest Four Faulter $500 bonus in the $30,000 Grand Prix to Samuel Overton and Oaks Cassanova, who earned 67.665 seconds in the first round, finishing second in the class overall.
$30,000 Shires Equestrian Products Grand Prix Results:
1 Iconic, Lani Hutchison, Lani Hutchison | 0 | 69.325
2 Oaks Caasanova, Samuel Overton, Samuel Overton | 4 | 67.665
3 Big Girl Z, Sam Pegg, Ten Sixty Stables | 4 | 68
4 Gin Tonic 158, Sam Pegg, Ten Sixty Stables | 4 | 68.33
5 Jackson VDL, Megan Bash, Cleveland Equestrian | 4 | 70.408
6 Vegas H, Izzy Beisel, David Beisel | 4 | 71.384
7 FF Dior, Megan Bash, Cleveland Equestrian | 4 | 72.062
8 Diaz Barbotiere, Izzy Beisel, Izzy Beisel | 8 | 68.195
9 Kinsella, Charlotte Clark, Charlotte Clark | 8 | 69.186
10 Quintessential WF, Kristen Hillier, Nancy Mulholland | 12 | 72.108
Third Time is a Charm for Leann Kelly & Graf Joe in the $10,000 Futures Prix at WEC Ohio
Sixteen competitive horse-and-athlete duos kicked off the evening with riveting show jumping competition in the $10,000 Futures Prix at WEC Ohio Winter Spring Forward. Nine combinations perfected Pegg’s first round track to move onto the immediate jump-off, though none could catch the quick duo, Leann Kelly and Graf Joe (Graf Top x Aline).
Kelly of Winlsow Farm in Valencia, New York, and the 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding have proven a force to be reckoned with in the Sanctuary Arena. The duo earned two consecutive wins in the class in December of the Winter in the Midwest Series and came back in full force.
The talented gelding stepped over the first-round track to ensure a place in the jump-off phase once again.
Kelly shared her thoughts about the jump-off, “I watched Sarah [Long] and I knew she was very fast on her first horse. I thought really in order to win I needed to do seven down the first line and just continue. There were not a lot of track options, the one inside turn to the butterfly to me wasn’t reasonable. So, it was just to make that seven and keep going. You can leave one out to the skinny verticals and always trust this horse to be careful!”
Executing their plan to perfection, the duo left the crowd on the edge of their seats with an unbeatable time of 32.865 seconds to take the win.
Sarah Long (CAN) of Kestrel Farms in Ontario, Canada, claimed second and third place honors on her quick mounts. Jumping off early in the order, first aboard her recent winner of the class, Wildflower (Wildfire x Naiade Des Garins), she set a quick pace for the rest of the field. The eight-year-old Canadian Sport Horse mare posted a time of 34.342 seconds, ultimately enough to round out the podium.
Long returned as the second to last to compete aboard Alan Manning’s Retroflex (Flexible x Selma De La Batia). Long piloted the ten-year-old Canadian Warmblood gelding to an incredibly quick time of 33.246 seconds, just shy of Kelly’s leading time to earn second place honors.
$10,000 Futures Prix Results:
1 Graf Joe, Leann Kelly, Sarah Hunter | 0 | 32.865
2 Retroflex, Sarah Long, Alan Manning | 0 | 33.246
3 Wildflower, Sarah Long, Mark Hayes | 0 | 34.342
4 Azealia, Cooper Beisel, David Beisel | 0 | 34.94
5 TC Latina 262, Michaella Gerlacher, True Course | 0 | 35.784
6 K T Miel, Claire Austin, Michael Kirby | 4 | 31.46
7 Get Set, Leann Kelly, Caryann Sculley | 4 | 38.485
8 Copper Cove, Ian Roberts, Ian Roberts | 8 | 37.94
9 Dominant Z, Christopher Schenk, Christopher Schenk | 11 | 52.038
10 Carissima, Sam Pegg, Donna Leetz | 4 | 64.749