Jumper action took center stage this evening as a large crowd gathered in the grandstands of the Sanctuary Arena to watch the $7500 Futures Prix 1.30 m and the $25,000 WEC Grand Prix 1.40 m. The Futures Prix started the night off with a course designed by Tucker Williams. A group of 27 international entries contested the track with 10 jumping clear to advance to the jump off.
The first clear round of the Futures Prix was Charlotte Clark aboard her own Kinsella. The pair jumped a clean round in 72.515 seconds, well within the time allowed of 83 seconds, and continued straight into the jump off of the Table II event. Knowing most of the entries were still yet to ride, Charlotte and Kinsella set the pace with a beautiful clear jump off and a time of 37.407 seconds.
Two more riders jumped double clear, but none bested Charlotte’s time until the 24th entry, Jill Gaffney and Freestyling Farms LLC’s Jordan entered the arena. The duo jumped the first round in a clear 73.971 seconds, then continued into the jump off. Knowing they needed to beat Charlotte and Kinsella’s time for the win, Jill and Jordan turned up the heat, crossing the timer at 36.962 seconds, and securing first place. “I’m really happy with [Jordan],” Jill said when asked about her round tonight with her 12-year-old mare. Jill was joined by her husband Trevor, who was recognized with a Groom’s Award tonight.
A quick course change signified the start of the $25,000 WEC Grand Prix with 23 entries to ride. The first to jump a clear first round in the Grand Prix was Lauren Hester and Hester Equestrian LLC’s Cooper 166 with a time of 81.886. Peter Gisborn and Bambino Chin P were another of the clear first-rounders, rallying the crowd with their time of 80.684 seconds. Last to go clear in the first round was Ryan Genn and Taylor Reid’s Dieta. The duo went clean and stopped the clock at 81.637 seconds.
Competition was fierce with just six making it to the jump off in the Grand Prix. Lauren and Cooper 166 were first to jump off, setting the pace with an incredibly speedy, clear round in just 37.908 seconds. Peter and Bambino Chin P were clear in the jump off, but shy of beating Lauren and Cooper 166’s time with their own time of 40.358 seconds. This, however, did not dull the crowds spirits as cheers were shouted to Peter from the stands. Last to jump off, Ryan and Dieta knew the time they had to beat. The duo were simpatico, pulling off impressive turns and shaving imperative seconds off of their round. They crossed the timer at 35.158 seconds, bringing the crowd to their feet.
“I thought everything was really straight forward for [Dieta]. She has a such big stride that a lot of the questionable lines are never really an issue for her,” Ryan said about his mount. When asked about his impressive tight turns and definitive rollback, Ryan laughed and said, “The mare is so smart. I just indicated a little with my body that we were going right and she shot right like a rocket…she tried her guts out.” Dieta’s groom, Ealizar Rios, also recieved a Groom’s Award tonight.
Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.