Saugerties, NY – September 1, 2017 – Two weeks ago, Kristen VanderVeen headlined at HITS Chicago when her she won the $34,900 KindredBio Welcome – FEI CSI4* and the $200,000 Balmoral Park Grand Prix – FEI CSI 4*. The Illinois native has continued her winning ways, as she settles in at HITS-on-the-Hudson to prepare her Bull Run Jumping Team for the Saugerties $1 Million Grand Prix.
On opening day of HITS-on-the-Hudson VII, VanderVeen and new mount, EMHILAUSCA FORTUNA, won the $5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Open Welcome over a course designed by Canadian Danny Foster. In the First Round, the tight Time Allowed of 86-seconds caught several riders by surprise after they jumped clean over the14-effort course, only to discover time faults had accrued. Of the five pairs who advanced to the 8-fence jump-off, VanderVeen was one of only two double clear rounds.
“I went in the ring thinking, ‘I am not going to rush her, I want to have a nice first round, and if I have a time fault, so be it.’ But she is naturally pretty quick, so it worked out,” exclaimed VanderVeen.
VanderVeen felt the jump-off was a little more challenging than the first round. “It had quite a few interesting turns, inside options, and the angle as we rode down the last line was pretty tricky,” she explained.
In the jump-off, VanderVeen stepped up the pace and said she couldn’t have been more pleased with her new partner. “I wanted to get some experience going faster on her and trying some tidier turns. She responded really well and really fired for me.” The pair stopped the clocked in 40.423 for the victory.
“She [EMHILAUSCA FORTUNA] is an 8-yearold. We just brought her over from Europe, so I don’t have a lot of experience with her, but she is quite easy. She is a compact horse, so her stride is very adjustable. She has a good amount of blood, and she is very honest and brave.”
Hunter Holloway riding Virginia T Bartholomay’s DONNALARIS produced the only other double clear rounds. The pair held the lead until VanderVeen shaved nearly two-and-a-half seconds off of their jump-off time of 42.854. Shawn Casady rounded out the top three with CAS whose time of 41.965 would have taken home the red ribbon, but for a rail dropping at 7B.
On Thursday, August 31, a field of 31 entries competed in the $10,000 1.40M KindredBio Jumper Classic. Of the fifteen who advanced to the shortened course, Laura Chapot was the first to jump-off. She and her home-bred mare ZEALOUS delivered a fault-free round in a blazing 40.713, which held the top spot until VanderVeen, last in the order-of-go on BULL RUN’S DISCIPLE, stopped the clock in 40.426
When asked how her warp-speed round felt, VanderVeen replied,”It definitely felt fast! To follow Laura Chapot is tough as she’s known for her speedy rides and not many can catch her. But, my horse has a really big stride, so I just decided to keep the gallop from jump one, make tighter turns and go for it.”