Lexington, Ky. - Nov. 4, 2017 - The world's best international horses and athletes went head-to-head in Saturday evening's $250,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Lexington CSI4*-W, presented by CP, at the 2017 CP National Horse Show. Show jumping fans gathered in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park to witness Irish Olympic veteran Denis Lynch and RMF Echo secure the week's top prize.
Forty combinations turned out for the highly anticipated event in Lexington, Kentucky, all striving to collect valuable World Cup ranking points in lieu of the 2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Paris, France.
Canadian course designer Michel Vaillancourt built a technical track of 13 obstacles in the first round, which saw nine successfully produce clear rounds to advance to the jump-off.
Twenty-one-year-old Jennifer Gates (USA) and Evergate Stables LLC's Pumped Up Kicks got the jump-off underway, posting the first double-clear performance of the night in 40.79 seconds.
Fresh off their win at the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) exactly one week ago in the $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington CSI4*-W, the next clear round came from Switzerland's Beat Mändli and Grant Road Partners LLC's Dsarie in 37.80 seconds to take over the lead.
Lynch and the 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood galloped around the short course to follow as the next double-clear finisher in 36.16 seconds to move into the top spot on the leaderboard.
With three left to go, it was Lauren Tisbo (USA) and Tequestrian Farms, LLC's Coriandolo Di Ribano who were the last pair to jump clear in 36.52 seconds, sliding into the second place position ahead of Mändli, who took third place.
|Lauren Tisbo and Coriandolo Di Ribano
Lynch, who was part of the gold medal-winning team at the Longines FEI European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, in August, was approached by owners Frank and Monica McCourt of Rushy Marsh Farm to campaign RMF Echo just under one year ago. After competing all over Europe together for the majority of the year, the pair made their U.S. debut at WIHS last week.
They certainly made their overseas trip worthwhile, winning the prestigious class as well as the National Horse Show World Cup Trophy.
With the conclusion of Saturday's class, eight of the 14 qualifying events in the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League have been completed. After Saturday's win, Lynch now sits in fourth place, tied with two others, in the Western European League of the 2017/2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping season with 20 points.
During the opening ceremonies prior to Saturday's feature class, Laura Kraut was awarded the M. Michael Meller Style Award, which was presented to Kraut by Michael Meller for exemplifying the best style of riding along with maintaining a sportsmanlike composure. In addition, Kraut was also awarded the Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award for her consistent top performances all week at the CP National Horse Show.
Show jumping competition at the 2017 CP National Horse Show will conclude on Sunday with the $15,000 Equithrive Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper series championship beginning at 8 a.m. followed by the final round of the $100,000 USEF Under 25 National Championship at 10 a.m.
|Denis Lynch posing for presentations with stand-in mount RMF Bella Baloubet.
FROM THE WINNER'S CIRCLE
Denis Lynch (IRL) - $250,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Lexington CSI4*-W, presented by CP, winner
On his win:
"I went as quick as I could. 'Echo' is a naturally very, very quick horse and he's been unlucky a few times this year where he's been beaten. There have been maybe three or four grand prix events where he's finished second. He's been an incredible asset to Miami Glory, winning two Global [Champions League] team events. I think he really deserved it tonight and I'm very grateful that I am allowed to ride this wonderful horse. A big thank you to Rushy Marsh Farm!"
On RMF Echo:
"He's got his own special way of jumping but he's got an incredible heart and really tries a lot for his rider. The most important thing is what's in their head and he wants to keep the jumps up. I don't find his style difficult."
On how he acquired RMF Echo:
"I started jumping him in some shows at the beginning of the year and he started progressing. He was actually sold after Versailles [in May] and I was very lucky that Rushy Marsh Farm stepped in over night and secured me the horse, which I'm incredibly grateful for. We're very lucky to have him. He's been fantastic."
Lauren Tisbo (USA) - Second place
On her second place finish:
"These guys are way more experienced than I am. My horse had a little time off and we really geared him towards this show so I'm thrilled with the result."
On Coriandolo Di Ribano:
"He goes in a racing saddle. He likes it and he's happy with it so I'm not going to change it. I've had him for about two years in February. He'll be 11 next year. He's the best horse I have and I really took my time and gave him more than he needed to come back so he kind of missed a lot this year. I'm really quite pleased with how he's come off his break."
Beat Mändli (SUI) - Third place
On his third place finish:
"I just rode my round and I'm super happy with [Dsarie]. She was super to come back after last week and be at the top of the field again today. I'm just super happy with the horse."
On his plans with Dsarie:
"After tonight's performance, and gaining more points from last week, it gets me closer to the World Cup Finals, but with this horse I have a chance of going with the team to [the World Equestrian Games] in Tryon so I'll take it step-by-step and see how it goes. If I'm qualified [for World Cup Finals], I imagine I'd go."
"She is one of the best horses I've ever had, if not the best. I'm super happy to have her and come back in the spotlight with her. I'm sure she'll show more talent in the future."
Michel Vaillancourt - Course designer
On Saturday's class:
"It's such a wonderful arena. Most indoor venues are a lot smaller than this particular ring and it allows the course designer to be a little bit more creative and have a track that actually comes a little closer to outdoor jumping. When we do have a crowd and the event is on television, I really like to use every part of the ring as much as possible. I opted for this particular track because I thought it was a really fast, very open track with not so many twisty turns. I thought it was well balanced. I was very pleased with the first round performance and I thought the level was very strong tonight. The horses jumped fantastic in this footing and the faults occurred a little bit everywhere."
Michael Morrissey - National Horse Show event manager
On the 2017 CP National Horse Show:
"I think the week has gone great - the competition, the quality of horses and quality of riders. I think our biggest need for this ring is putting a few more people in the seats for the riders that are giving us quality competition. Other than that, the team that has been put together to promote and put on the National Horse Show is astonishing."
$250,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Lexington CSI4*-W, presented by CP:
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. RMF Echo / Denis Lynch / IRL / Rushy Marsh Farm LLC / 0 / 0 / 36.16
2. Coriandolo Di Ribano / Lauren Tisbo / USA / Tequestrian Farms, LLC / 0 / 0 / 36.52
3. Dsarie / Beat Mändli / SUI / Grant Road Partners LLC / 0 / 0 / 37.80
4. Pumped Up Kicks / Jennifer Gates / USA / Evergate Stables LLC / 0 / 0 / 40.79
5. Eddie Blue / Devin Ryan / USA / LL Show Jumpers, LLC / 0/ 4 / 36.32
6. Cristalline / Adrienne Sternlicht / USA / Starlight Farms LLC / 0 / 4 / 36.95
7. Confu / Laura Kraut / USA / St. Bride's Farm / 0 / 4 / 36.98
8. Hilfiger Van De Olmenhoeve / Emily Moffitt / GBR / Poden Farms / 0 / 4 / 40.55
9. California 62 / Andrew Ramsay / USA / The California Group / 0 / 8 / 37.19
10. Dolinn / Sayre Happy / USA / Evergate Stables LLC / 1 / 72.42
11. Veneno / Liubov Kochetova / RUS / Liubov Kochetova / 1 / 72.90
12. HH Callas / McLain Ward / USA / Double H Farm / 4 / 67.82