Wilmington, Ohio – Spring I at World Equestrian Center – Wilmington kicked off competition for the 2023 Spring/Summer Series from Wednesday, May 24 to Sunday, May 28. Taylor St. Jacques (CAN) stole the spotlight in the OTW Safety $25,000 Grand Prix Saturday evening in the newly renovated outdoor jumper evening. On hunter derby Friday, Megan Bash (USA) topped the leaderboard in the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby.
St. Jacques piloted her own Jakilly (Harley VDL x Zakilly) to the victory in the $25,000 Grand Prix sponsored by OTW Safety designed by course designer Bobby Murphy (USA). The nine-year-old KWPN mare landed looking for the inside turns and confidently galloped across the ground and through the timers in 35.653 seconds to earn her first career grand prix win.
“I thought the tracks really suited Jakilly in the grand prix. This is her first show back since winter showing. It was technical enough where is asked the right questions, but it also allowed her to get back in the ring. It wasn’t overwhelming and I thought it really suited her today and where she is in her show schedule. I was really thrilled with the new outdoor ring when I got here; they did a great job. The courses rode great all week and they were all built perfectly for the class and the competition. Kudos to everyone this week,” commented St. Jacques.
Drew Arnold (USA) of Carmel, Indiana, was untouchable in the $7,500 Futures Prix aboard Theresa Kraft’s Chaccomo 11 (Chacco-Blue x Sacenta). Arnold piloted the 14-year-old Mecklenburg gelding to two textbook rounds, making light work of the tracks. With a quick time of 35.181 seconds, the duo was unable to be caught and galloped away with the blue ribbon.
Arnold spoke on his winning ride with his longtime mount, “Chaccomo does not have a lot of experience with me showing outside, so this is only my second class outside with him. He felt great, he was a bit fresh, so I had a few struggles in the first-round battling with the freshness. Ultimately, it is all mental for me between the first course and jump-off. I know this horse so well. I trust him and I trust all the work that we do at home, so I just sent it in the jump-off!”
Bash piloted Amber Ashba’s Caparo (Casall x Tamara ZP) to two textbook hunter rounds over Murphy’s tracks in the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. The seven-year-old Holsteiner gelding rose to the challenge, wowing the judges for scores of 89 and 87 and a two-round total of 177 for the win.
Bash commented on her talented young mount, “Caparo is seven-year-old, and this is his first year in the Green Hunters. This is the first derby that I took the high options because he started the year quite green in the ring. He has come along beautifully, and he is a great mover and great jumper. He is very brave with a lot of scope, so it is really a pleasure to get to ride him. He is for sale, but we are aiming for the Green Incentive Championships this summer, so he will stay with us until then.”
Early in the week, Patricio Rodriguez (ARG) and Corvet Enigma (Corvet Embrujo x Remonta Protuaria) topped the $7,500 Welcome Stake. Rodriguez piloted the enthusiastic 11-year-old Warmblood mare to a blazing fast jump-off time of 41.787 seconds.
“She is great. I imported her about a year ago from Argentina. I have been jumping the welcomes and the grands prix quite a bit, but today it all felt like it really clicked. It was her day for sure. She is for sale, but of course today after this win I thought for a second that maybe I want to keep her. She is just amazing,” laughed Rodriguez.
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Results can be found at wec.net.
All horse show images are provided by Winslow Photography and can be purchased onsite at WEC – Wilmington or online through their website.