Columbus, OH - September 28, 2017 - Leslie Howard rode her husband Peter Howard's Gentille Van Spieveld to victory in the $35,000 CSI 2* Hollow Creek Farm 1.45m Welcome Stake at the Split Rock Farm Jumping Tour Columbus International.
The 11-year-old bay gelding was one of ten, out of a starting field of 77, to advance to contest the jump-off over an Alan Wade designed course. Howard was 74th in the original order, and was witness to many before her taking down rails and incurring time penalties, and knew the task ahead. She and Gentille Van Spieveld proved up to the task and posted a clear round to advance to the next round.
While warming up for their jump-off effort, the horse pulled a shoe off and needed the services of the farrier to put the shoe back on, making Howard the last to enter the ring, a position that Howard was able to put to her advantage. Howard had seen every other horse and rider combination complete the course and knew exactly what was necessary to win, and 40.95 seconds later crossed through the timers leaving all the rails intact for the win.
"When we were half way through the class and there were only three clear, you had to think that maybe it was a little harder than it looked," said Howard after her win. "There were a lot of related distances and options. I got the luck of the draw in the jump off, getting to see most of the other rounds, and then with the lost shoe I really got lucky because I got to see everyone go.
I fell off of this horse at Spruce Meadows in the victory gallop," continued Howard with a chuckle. "So I am a little bit leery of them but he was good today, maybe because he was at the front of the pack and not at the back. Maybe it will be an incentive for him to keep winning."
Emanuel Andrade, riding for Venezuela, had two horses in the jump-off, Ricore Courcelle, who finished the course fault free in a time of 41.42 for second place and Reus De La Nutra who also completed without penalty in 42.4, placing fourth.
Third Place honors went to New Zealand Olympic veteran Sharn Wordley and his Caiman Des Sequoias who finished their jump-off round with no penalties in 41.9 seconds.
It was a very successful show day for Theo Genn, Cincinnati, OH, as he piloted Sporty, owned by Victoria Watters, to victory in the Animo 6 Year Old jumper class, then followed that win with another in the Animo 7 Year Old jumpers aboard Firewall, owned by Eduardo Leon. One of the busiest riders on the showgrounds, Genn has 10 mounts showing at the Columbus International for the family's Rhineland Farm.
"When the young horses do well, like they did today this is a lot of fun,' said Genn, with an infectious grin. "I am lucky to have a few really nice young horses and really good owners and I think if you want to do this professionally you have to ride and develop the young horses. It costs too much money to just go and buy upper level horses. You can't just do that if you do this for a living. I get tired by the end of the day but I really enjoy it, I enjoy riding the young horses when they go well just as much as I enjoy the upper level horses. Obviously, I am doing this for the upper level classes. That is what drives you.
I started showing when I was about 14. I just had other interests, I wanted to play football and basketball with my buddies. I knew I wanted to ride for a living but it took me a while to get started. I was always super determined even though I started late, but I had a lot of good opportunities."
Francesca Bolfo, Chicago, IL, was also a dual class winner, as she guided Jadalco to victory in the 1.40 Meter High Junior/Amateur Owner Power and Speed and then returned with Celly Negra to win the 1.30 Meter Junior/Amateur Owner Power and Speed class.
Alexandra Welles, Long Lake, MN, and her XM were the winners of the 1.20 Meter Junior/Amateur Owner Power and Speed class. "The show management here has done such a wonderful job getting this show off the ground," said Welles after her win.
Schedule highlights for SRJT include:
Week 1: The Columbus International 1 CSI2* - September 27-October 1
The FEI rated classes include the $35,000 CSI2* 1.45m Hollow Creek Farm Welcome Class and the $50,000 Lugano Diamonds CSI2* Grand Prix. There will be divisions ranging from .85m and up available for both weeks.
Week 2: The Columbus International 2 CSI3* - October 4-8
The FEI classes include the $35,000 CSI3* 1.45m Hollow Creek Farm Speed Cup, $40,000 Amalaya Investments CSI3* 1.50m Welcome Class and the $130,000 CSI3* 1.55m Split Rock Farm Grand Prix.
"Lugano Diamonds Party" with Bonus Private Concert
The highly anticipated SRJT social event, "The Lugano Diamonds Party," will take place at Brave Horse on Friday evening, October 6. Admission is $150 per person. Following the dinner, there will be a private concert, included in the dinner admission, by well-known country singer, Sam Riggs!
About Split Rock Jumping Tour
The Split Rock Jumping Tour is modeled after successful European shows and gives competitors, sponsors and spectators an "Unparalleled Show Jumping Experience" by changing the way show jumping is presented in the U.S. Split Rock offers competitions at world-class venues along with top prize money, extravagant awards and numerous first-class amenities for riders, owners, sponsors, and spectators, with close attention paid to every detail.
About Brave Horse Show Park
The new facility is a 75-acre premier equestrian showgrounds located minutes outside of Columbus in Johnstown, Ohio. The facility debuted its first hunter/jumper show season in 2016 and operated at capacity. The showgrounds feature a meticulously planned layout with 250 permanent stalls, each measuring 12'x12', with 16' aisle ways and a 20' high ceiling. The expansive property includes multiple rings and riding areas and the Grand Prix Ring, one of two to be used for competition, is 250' x 350'. All rings have state-of-the-art-footing and the Grand Prix ring features in-ground irrigation. The showgrounds also take advantage of the picturesque Ohio countryside, with expansive tree-lined vistas and water features throughout the grounds.
For more details about the Split Rock Jumping Tour, please visit www.SplitRockJumpingTour.com or call 859-252-3247. Online entries can be found at: www.splitrockjumpingtour.com/competitor.
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