Ocala, FL – The atmosphere was electric tonight as spectators crowded the WEC Grand Arena to watch the $100,000 Hampton Green Farms Grand Prix. An elite field of show jumping athletes representing nine different nations contested the challenging track built by FEI Level III course designer Colm Quinn (IRL) where Olympian Santiago Lambre (BRA) and Chacco Blue II (Chacco-blue x Naiti Rouge) boldly claimed victory.
Colm Quinn’s significant first round track proved to be a challenge as many athletes fell victim to rails down throughout the course. Seven riders representing the United States, Netherlands, Brazil and Australia made up the roster of athletes returning for the jump-off.
Thursday’s Welcome Prix winner, Tracy Fenney (USA) and MTM Apple were the first pair to attempt Quinn’s jump-off track. Fenney and the speedy 12-year-old Danish Warmblood mare flew around the track in a mere 42.342 seconds, but had an unfortunate rail at the second to last fence.
Jelmer Hoekstra (NED) and Hoekstra Stables’ Orlando Van Klapscheut followed. The pair raced through the short track in 44.532 seconds to set the time to beat for the remainder of riders.
Brianne Goutal-Marteau (USA) and her longtime partner Viva Columbia were the next pair to descend the ramp into the WEC Grand Arena. Goutal-Marteau and the veteran 18-year-old Oldenburg mare made light work of the track to stop the clock at 47.187 seconds.
Santiago Lambre was the next athlete to attempt the short course aboard Chacco Blue II. “I watched Tracy [Fenney] and she was quick, but had the fence down. I know that was going to be the time to beat,” Lambre told.
“Chacco Blue II is a slow mover, but has a mile long step and can turn very well. Tonight, he showed his speed. I tried to gallop everywhere I could and be tight back to the second to last vertical. Luckily for us, both tight turns were on his good side, and not blind side. If it were on his blind eye side I would’ve had to give him a touch more room, but this course was perfect for him. Then to the last line I just kept kicking, I am not even sure how many I did, but I just tried to go as fast as I could,” said Lambre.
Lambre and the 16-year-old Oldenburg stallion soared over the final oxer stopping the clock at an unbeatable 43.135 seconds.
Two stong competitors remained after Lambre. Lauren Balcomb (AUS) and Verdini D’Houtveld Z (Verdi x Laska III) were next in with the hopes of snagging the lead. Balcomb and the scopey 11-year-old Zangersheide gelding put forth a stellar effort stopping the clock at 43.272 seconds, just one tenth of a second behind Lambre to secure second place.
Dorothy Douglas (USA) and Davenport Farm’s MTM Pablo (Perigueux x Celina) were the final pair to go. Douglas and the ten-year-old Warmblood gelding were just shy of the time in 43.372 seconds to earn the third-place spot on the leaderboard.
Winner, Santiago Lambre didn’t originally plan to have Chacco Blue II compete tonight, “It wasn’t the plan to show this week. He had two weeks off after the five-star, and he is going to show here at World Equestrian Center – Ocala next week in the three-star. He needed to jump a bit and it was either going to be at home or here, so I decided to enter him in the class two days ago. I am happy with the outcome, and I am looking forward to next week’s CSI3*.”
An additional $5,000 was awarded to the fastest four-faulter of the $100,000 Hampton Green Farms Grand Prix. Rowan Willis and Wellington Grey Goose received the award for a time of 71.780 seconds with one down.
Nikko Ritter received the ‘Luck of the Draw’ award.
$100,000 Hampton Green Farms Grand Prix Results:
1 Chacco Blue II, Santiago Lambre (BRA), Santiago Lambre: 0 | 0 | 43.135
2 Verdini D’Houtveld Z, Lauren Balcomb (AUS), Lauren Balcomb: 0 | 0 | 43.272
3 MTM Pablo, Dorothy Douglas (USA), Davenport Farms: 0 | 0 | 43.372
4 Orlando Van Klapscheut, Jelmer Hoekstra (NED), Hoekstra Stables: 0 | 0 | 44.532
5 Viva Columbia, Brianne Goutal-Marteau (USA), Brianne Goutal LLC: 0 | 0 | 47.187
6 James Bond HX, Samantha Schaefer (USA), Bonne Chance LLC: 0 | 0 | 48.290
7 MTM Apple, Tracy Fenney (USA), MTM Farm: 0 | 4 | 42.342
8 Skara Glen’s Para Bellum, Tom Foley (IRL), NRG Farm LLC: 1 | 81.069
9 Wellington Grey Goose, Rowan Willis (AUS), Rowan Willis: 4 | 71.780
10 Amex Z, Todd Minikus (USA), Bit By Bit Group: 4 | 76.806