Wilmington, Ohio – The stands of the Standlee Sanctuary were packed as exhibitors gathered to watch 22 show jumping athletes tackle Robert Barton’s (USA) track that saw seven combinations successfully move onto a nail-biting jump-off round. Summer Hill (USA) ultimately dominated the $30,000 Hagyard Equine Medical Institute Grand Prix, earning first place with her own Lausbub 458 (Lord Pizzaro x La Lolita) in 38.295 seconds, and third place with her La Belle SCF (Diktator Van De Boslandhoeve x Belle Bleu S) in 38.479 seconds.
A regular grand prix outing for Hill turned out to be a night to remember for her and her team at Fairbanks Riding. Kevin Gallagher (IRL) rode to second place with Procyon SCF, the first and only baby out of Hill’s top mare La Belle SCF.
Gallagher was tidy around the track with the eight-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding to finish on a time of 38.393 seconds, just shy of Hill’s winning time, but just enough to surpass his mom for second place.
Not only were there familial ties for Hill, but she also claimed the win aboard her most special eight-year-old Hanoverian gelding in just his second ever grand prix.
“I got Bubs when he was six. I don’t think anyone saw in him what I saw, that’s for sure, because they all questioned me. He has really just turned out to be so special. I think every once in a while, you come across a horse and everything about them is your favorite. Through and through he is the one horse that from start to finish I smile every day that I sit on him.”
Though he may have lacked the experience of the rest of the field, Lausbub 458 stepped up the plate with ease, “This is his first year stepping up. I brought him here last month and he jumped the $75,000 Grand Prix clear, and it was his first grand prix ever. He is such a tryer and I think because I am the only person that he has every really known in his career, I can ask him to do things and he thinks it is all doable.”
Hill commented on her jump-off plan, “I didn’t plan on going fast with La Belle, but since her only son was in the jump-off, I figured I would try to give him a run for his money,” laughed Hill. “It was a last-minute decision once I got in the ring to go fast. I am working on going faster with Bubs and at this point it is just practice, but tonight it just worked out. He is the one that I can ride fast, but La Belle I have to be a bit more tactical about.”
The future is bright for Hill as she looks forward to her international debut with her 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare, “La Belle ships to Belgium in a week. I got in to jump the U25 Final in Genève in Switzerland, so that is so exciting! We will come home and relax a bit after that and then head to Florida with all of the horses.”
$30,000 Hagyard Grand Prix Results:
1 Lausbub 458, Summer Hill, Summer Hill | 0 | 38.295
2 Procyon SCF, Kevin Gallagher, Marigot Bay Farm LLC | 0 | 38.393
3 La Belle SCF, Summer Hill, Summer Hill | 0 | 38.479
4 Eldorado’s Edition, Diana Conlon, Vanessa McCaughley | 0 | 40.087
5 FF Lady Grantham, Jill Gaffney, Freestyling Farms LLC | 0 | 44.957
6 Diaz Barbotiere, Izzy Beisel, Izzy Beisel | 4 | 37.504
7 Nintendo, Megan McDermott, Counter Balance LLC | 8 | 35.079
8 Chagrand, Michael Burnett, Michael Burnett | 4 | 80.648
9 Alanine De Vains, Megan McDermott, Lindemann Barnett Sporthorses | 4 | 81.749
10 Corvet Enigma, Patricio Rodriguez, Patricio Rodriguez LLC | 4 | 83.436
Leann Kelly & Graf Joe Conquer the $10,000 Voltaire Futures Prix at Midwest Indoors II
Leann Kelly (USA) was fierce in the $10,000 Voltaire Futures Prix to kick off competition at World Equestrian Center – Wilmington Saturday evening. Aboard the final of her three entered mounts in the class, she sped to the win with her dominant Graf Joe (Graf Top x Aline).
“He has been on quite a hot streak,” said Kelly. “He won a lot of Welcome’s around the Saratoga circuit and was second here last week. He had a few months off in the fall and is making his comeback.”
A short fall break did not hinder Sarah Hunter’s 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding’s performance, as he “came out fresh and happy for this class. It seems to work for him. He knew it was his night,” Kelly noted.
Graf Joe has been a consistent contender in the Futures Prix class, taking numerous wins during the 2023 Winter in the Midwest Series. Kelly knows that she can always count on him to rise to the challenge.
“They can all have a rail, but you can always count on this horse. I did my mare [Casandra] first and she was the second one to go in the class, so it is always nice to have one first. She was great too, really fast, I think she kind of inspired the rest of the class.”
The duo topped the leaderboard in 32.068 seconds.
“The courses were really good. They asked enough questions, and it was certainly a really fast class which made it really fun. The course designer did a great job,” Kelly commented.
Ellickson L’amant Van De Zeilhoek (Diamant De Semilly x Chaquira De Messitert) carried Danielle Urban (USA) to second place, mirroring Kelly’s track with a time of 32.679 seconds.
Sarah Meier (USA) and her own Brook De Brekka (Dollar Du Murier x Ugano Sitteunknown) showcased a promising future, posting a quick double-clear early in the order. The duo held on to their podium finish through the entirety of the class with a time of 33.84 seconds, ultimately landing in third.
$10,000 Voltaire Futures Prix Results:
1 Graf Joe, Leann Kelly, Sarah Hunter | 0 | 32.068
2 Ellickson L’amant Van De Zeilhoek, Daniella Urban, Ellickson Equestrian LLC | 0 | 32.679
3 Brook De Brekka, Sarah Meier, Sarah Meier | 0 | 33.84
4 Jadina, Kevin McCarthy, Sweet Oak Farm | 0 | 34.205
5 Gangstar H, Gwen Goodwin, Gwen Goodwin | 0 | 34.246
6 Casandra, Leann Kelly, Kelsey Ware | 0 | 34.755
7 HJ Blind Date, Molly Kindness, Molly Kindness | 0 | 37.209
8 Baltino, Danielle Urban, Halsey Hooper | 3 | 31.061
9 Dario S, Richard Rinehart, Richard Rinehart | 4 | 33.266
10 FF California, Kevin Gallagher, Freestyling Farms LLC | 4 | 33.319