This afternoon saw plenty of exciting Jumper action in the Sanctuary Arena as entries competed in the $25,000 WEC Grand Prix and the $7,500 Futures Prix 1.30 m sponsored by Voltaire Design. The ladies stole the show for the third time this week, with Lauren DiTallo taking the win in the Grand Prix aboard Scott Durchslag’s Zero Gravity (Verdi x Releva) and Brooke Cudmore taking the blue in the Futures Prix aboard Blair Cudmore’s Southern Rose (Southern Pride).
$25,000 WEC Grand Prix
Lauren DiTallo and Scott Durchslag’s Zero Gravity (Verdi x Releva) emerged victorious in this afternoon’s $25,000 WEC Grand Prix. The pair have been steadily climbing the ranks in the Grand Prix throughout the Winter Series of the Midwest at World Equestrian Center, and all of their hard work paid off this afternoon as they jumped an outstanding double clear for the win in the class. Along with their share of the prize money, DiTallo and Zero Gravity received items from WEC sponsors including a prize pack from Horse First and a $100 gift certificate from Dandy Products. Zero Gravity’s grooms, Marco, Jerry and Alfredo, received the Groom’s Award tonight for the ten year old Dutch Warmblood’s stunning turnout, which included $100 cash and a $50 WEC Gift Card.
DiTallo and Zero Gravity rode near the end of the order of go in this afternoon’s class. The pair took their time in the first round, leaving all the rails up and crossing the timers at 73.322 seconds, still well within the time allowed of 79 seconds. The pair joined three more clear first rounders heading into the jump off, including serious competitors Karen Cudmore and Blair Cudmore’s Coneja (Conejo). The pair were quick in the first round, jumping clear in a time of 70.699 seconds, signaling that they would be tough to catch on the short course.
Four entries returned for the jump off with DiTallo and Zero Gravity again riding at the bottom of the order. All four entries jumped clear on the short course, but Cudmore and Coneja set a tough time to beat of 37.579 seconds. However, that did not deter DiTallo and Zero Gravity from attempting to best the quick time. The pair flew through the short course, taking inside turns and using their massive stride to their advantage. DiTallo and Zero Gravity crossed the timers at 36.915 seconds, about a half of a second faster than Cudmore and Coneja for the win in the $25,000 WEC Grand Prix.
Lauren DiTallo hung out after the class to talk to us about her winning ride. “Zero Gravity is a relatively new horse to us,” explained DiTallo, “We started him here at World Equestrian Center in the beginning of the Winter. He’s ten, we just imported him. He had done some of the bigger Two Stars in Europe. He’s a really super fun horse. He’s got a ton of jump and he’s learning his way how to be fast. Tonight was the first night we sort of pushed him a little bit and he responded well.”
DiTallo went on to tell us about Zero Gravity’s unique personality, “He’s a fun character in the barn. We call him ‘Zed’. He came over with the other horse I showed tonight, Oliver’s Army. They’re boyfriends. They love each other. They nicker to one another when they come back in the stable. They’re obsessed with each other; they have a cute little bond.”
DiTallo also let us in on her future plans for Zero Gravity, “He’s just a super pleasant horse. We dabble with the idea of selling him, but after this, I don’t know, we might just hang onto him. We’re going to take a little break now, then we’re going to go to one outdoor show in Brownland. Then we’re going to try our first Two Star at Tryon International Equestrian Center in the beginning of May.”
Watch Lauren DiTallo and Zero Gravity’s winning round, courtesy of ShowNet
$25,000 WEC Grand Prix Results
- Zero Gravity, Lauren DiTallo – 0 | 0 | 36.915
- Coneja, Karen Cudmore – 0 | 0 | 37.579
- Canmore 2, Ann DeMichele – 0 | 0 | 38.821
- Hilma, Sam Pegg – 0 | 0 | 39.327
- Kinsella, Charlotte Clark – 4 | 67.221
- Wadisson, Lauren DiTallo – 4 | 68.270
- Oliver’s Army, Lauren DiTallo – 4 | 68.332
- Southern Pride, Karen Cudmore – 4 | 70.087
- In Private, Lindsay Lyden – 4 | 70.401
- Igor, Brooke Cudmore – 8 | 68.010
$7,500 Futures Prix 1.30 m
The $7,500 Futures Prix 1.30 m sponsored by Voltaire Design saw the second win this week for Brooke Cudmore, this time aboard Blair Cudmore’s Southern Rose (Southern Pride). The pair were one of just three double clear rounds in the Futures Prix and were impressively speedy in both the first round and the short course.
Cudmore and Southern Rose rode near the end of the order in this afternoon’s Futures Prix and had an idea of the speed that it would take to win the class. The pair set their pace in the first round, jumping clear in a time of just 69.285 seconds, almost twelve seconds under the time allowed of 81 seconds. Cudmore and Southern Rose continued straight to the jump off of the Table II event, kicking their pace up even another notch. The pair flew around the course at a blistering pace, leaving one stride out in the final line and stopping the clock at 27.762 seconds.
Their biggest competition of the class was Christopher Coberley aboard Kate Shaughnessy’s Ciro (Conan Z x Quevada Van De Withoeve). The pair went early in the order and set the pace, jumping the first double clear of the Futures Prix. In their first round, Coberley and Ciro were quick and careful, crossing the timers with all rails up at 73.559 seconds and continuing straight to the jump off. The pair took every possible inside turn with expert precision on the short course, shaving valuable seconds off of their time. Coberley and Ciro stopped the clock at 28.506 seconds for an early lead, but were bested by Cudmore and Southern Rose and ultimately took second place in the class.
We caught up with Brooke Cudmore after the $7,500 Futures Prix 1.30 m to chat about her ride in the class. “I stuck with my plan in the first round and it went pretty smooth,” Cudmore said, “There were two leave out options in the jump off. They were both bending sevens in the first round. I was hoping, if I found a good one in, I could do the six. Southern Rose is kind of small, but she’s got a pretty big stride. I had to kind of kick up to get that last six stride, but she stretched and got it done. It was close to Christopher, who was second. He was really fast as well. I know he’s fast because I went against him in the Junior Amateurs and he kicked my butt yesterday!”
Cudmore explained why this was a special win for Southern Rose, “She’s by Southern Pride, who’s my Mom’s Grand Prix horse. I’ve had her forever and this was her first Futures Prix here. I’ve done them before and I knew how big they were, so I was a little nervous for her. I just didn’t want to scare her. Last time we were here we were just jumping baby stuff. It went really well so that’s very exciting.”
Cudmore also took time to note Southern Rose’s personality, “She’s the sweetest horse in the barn, like a little Polly Pocket. She just wants to be in your hands all of the time. It’s really sweet. She loves every snack there is imaginable. She’s about as wide as she is tall, so you feel like you’re doing the splits up there. She’s probably the sweetest horse I’ve ever owned.”
Watch Brooke Cudmore and Southern Rose’s winning round, courtesy of ShowNet
$7,500 Futures Prix 1.30 m Results
- Southern Rose, Brooke Cudmore – 0 | 0 | 27.762
- Ciro, Christopher Coberley – 0 | 0 | 28.506
- Goldfish, Melissa Donnelly – 0 | 0 | 30.752
- Copper Cove, Ian Roberts – 4 | 73.155
- Borsalino Birdavenue, Ashley Falk – 4 | 78.734
- Casalli, Heidi Dangelo – 12 | 74.673
- Radieux Des Moulanges, Sam Pegg – 18 | 86.208
Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.