Wilmington, Ohio – Featured competition at Fall Classic 3 concluded Saturday evening with Rowan Willis (AUS) mastering the $75,000 Grand Prix with his dynamic mare duo, Blue Movie and Wellington Grey Goose. Greg Crolick Stables swept the $15,000 USHJA National Open Hunter Derby and the $15,000 USHJA National Non-Pro Hunter Derby on Friday evening. Willis claimed his first win of the week Thursday in the $15,000 Welcome Stake.
Willis (AUS) dominated the podium in the $75,000 Grand Prix taking the blue with Blue Movie (Chacco-Blue x Showtime) and third place with Wellington Grey Goose (Corlensky x Grandira).
“It is a really nice set of jumps here; it encourages these horses to jump well. It was good to go in the ring with Billy Guilder first. He is a big jumping horse but maybe not the fastest. I think he set a good pace for the others to chase. I wasn’t surprised that a few were quicker than him. But it was good to have two of my fast horses go later. Goose was very good, unfortunately I added in two places which probably cost me, but she jumped really well. Having Carrots [Blue Movie] last to go, as long as all of the jumps stay up, she is normally the fastest. She has a really big step, and I am always just trying to contain it. She did the six to the five quite easy.”
Kyle Perkovich (USA) set the tone for his future as he earned a one-two finish in the $10,000 Futures Prix with Rarity (Roc USA x Revenna) and Hit Me Van’t Zorgvliet (Flipper D’elle x Equita Van’t Zorgvliet), respectively.
Perkovich was pleased with the level of technicality to the tracks and rose to the challenge. “I thought all of the courses were great. The speed rounds this morning I loved, they were very smooth and very rideable. As well as the Futures Prix. It was very challenging, and it really forced us to know where we were going every step of the way. By the time I did my third horse, I thought I had a good feel for it. I loved the course. The lines were great, it was super sturdy everywhere. It was a very consistent feel.”
Greg Crolick rode to the top of the $15,000 USHJA National Open Hunter Derby aboard Jon Cotton’s Testify (Cassini II x Valencia T) with high scores of 88.5 and 90. The accomplished professional of Clarkston, Michigan, piloted four horses in the class and was thrilled with the opportunity to prepare his talented mounts for indoor season at WEC.
“It is lovely here at WEC – Ohio. This year I opted not to go to Capital Challenge for a few reasons. Number one was that I thought this would be great preparation for our horses for Harrisburg and the National Horse Show. The decorations here are unparalleled to anything else out there. They get used to seeing the colors and the décor and I think if they can jump around here well, going to indoors will be a cake walk for them.”
Maya Rahaim and Catwalk (Catoki x Assini) galloped away from the $15,000 USHJA National Non-Pro Hunter Derby decorated in blue, with winning scores of 87 and 83.
The handy track suited her 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding, and she was confident returning for round two. “I liked the course today. It was twisty, so it asked a lot of questions, but I thought we executed. He is a really handy horse, so the turns were actually good for us. If you keep him together, he jumps really well so I wasn’t worried about it.”
Rowan Willis (AUS) piloted Wellington Grey Goose (Corlensky x Grandira) to the win in $15,000 Welcome Stake.
Willis went first in the posted order with Cornet’s Girlensky and commented on his differing experiences with both of his horses in the class, “The combination away from home took a bit of riding. Once she [Wellington Grey Goose] jumped through there, I knew I was okay. The jump-off course suited me. It was quite open, and she is great a galloping. She also made a great turn back to the last. ‘Goose’ has more experience than Cornet’s Girlensky, so I am able to just ride a bit faster with her in the jump-off. Of course, it always helps to go at the end of the class when you know what you have to do.”
Rowan Bickel and Amen Corner topped the $3,500 Non-Pro Hunter Derby 2’6 sponsored by 2nd Round Equestrian.
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Results can be found at wec.net.
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