By Jordan Cobb
Christian Heineking and AJE Equitation’s AJE Cluny proved that sometimes the top of the order isn’t unlucky by starting and ending on top of the $30,000 Grand Prix at Texas Shootout in Tyler, Texas on April 30. Christian was not only top of the order, but was one of the busiest riders of the night. He had three mounts: NKH Calango, who he was barely out of the ribbons on; Vex Cassandra, who earned the seventh place finish; and, of course, AJE Cluny who clinched the win. Not only did he have three horses to warm up and jump around, but he also trained six others. Among these were students Nicole Peterson, who earned the fifth place on Fast Flo and the tenth on Diamond; Brittany Albrecq, who had the ride on NKH Grenzganger; and his wife Erin Davis-Heineking, who rode Ver Ron to the sixth place finish, Casino to the eleventh place finish, and October Hill’s Cuatro.
Heineking was not the only big dog in the field; the rest of the order of go was composed of the likes of Tracy Fenney, Matt Cyphert, Frankie and Whitney Owens, Dorrie Douglas, Martien Van Der Hoeven, and Christian Rogge. The class also saw many younger riders try their hand at the Kenny Krome course.
The horses started with a 1.35-1.40-meter American National Oxer then bowed to a 1.40 vertical. A quick turn at the top of the ring brought them to a 1.40-1.50 oxer then four strides down to a 1.45 vertical followed by a long bending run down to a 1.40-1.50 oxer. Jumping up the fence line was a one to one to one seahorse standards triple combination set 1.40-1.50, which bowed to the telephone booth 1.45 vertical at the top of the ring. Cantering on, they met a 1.40 Kastel liverpool which bowed a wide eight strides to the 1.40-1.50 EMO-Z Insurance oxer. Straight up the other fence like led them to a 1.40-1.50 oxer straight run the Precision 1.40 one stride. The horses then rounded the final turn to a 1.40 high, 1.60 wide triple bar down to a steep 1.45 vertical for the finish, which was a common rail on course. The time allowed only came into play for a couple people at 87 seconds; one of those few being Davis-Heineking and Ver Ron who slid into sixth with clear over jumps but a couple time faults. The jump off consisted of the triple bar to last vertical of the first round, back around to jump 1 the American National oxer then a rollback to the out of the four to 6ab of the seahorse combination roll back to the original out of the 8, then a long way around to finish on the original 10th jump, a 1.40-1.50-meter oxer.
After an exciting jump off:
1st: Christian Heineking and AJE Equestrian’s AJE Cluny
2nd: Matt Cyphert and his own Lochinvar
3rd: MTM Twenties Girl of DS Holdings LLC. ridden by Frankie Owens
4th: DS Holdings LLC.’s Capricello 2 ridden by Frankie Owens
5th: Nicole Peterson and her own Fast Flo
6th: October Hill Sales Limited’s Ver Ron and Erin Davis-Heineking
7th: Vex Cassandra and Christian Heineking for October Hill Sales Limited
8th: Cassuro TSP and Christian Rogge
9th: MTM Reve du Paradis and Tracy Fenney for MTM Farm
10th: Nicole Peterson and her own Diamond
11th: Casino of Heineking Show Stables and Erin Davis-Heineking
12th: Augusta Pines Farm’s Zerro Leone and Martien Van Der Hoeven