November 16, 2019 – Las Vegas, Nevada – With forty-two entries, Karl Cook and the ten-year-old KWPN mare E’Special P.S. galloped into the winner’s circle in the $25,000 InIt2WinIt 1.40m Jumper Speed Stake, presented by the Omaha Equestrian Foundation. The Las Vegas National is honored to host the fourth of six InIt2WinIt qualifiers this year, which allows four riders a chance to compete at the final in Omaha next April.
The class was a faults-converted format, meaning an additional four seconds were added per rail incurred on course. Christian Heineking and Cento Blue, the seventh pair to challenge the track, laid down a blazing fast time of 57.162 seconds, with no seconds added, to take a dominating lead.
Multiple riders after Heineking attempted inside turns and galloped from start to finish, but four-second penalties proved costly as rails fell. The closest competitor to catching Heineking’s time was Keri Potter and Jiminy Cricket, who had a fault-free round in a time of 57.405 seconds to ultimately finish in the third-place spot. The fourth place rider, Mathis Schwentker, stopped the clock clean in 57.644, also within milliseconds of Heineking and Potter.
Heineking’s time seemed to be unbeatable, until the thirtieth entry in the order, Cook and his talented mare. Taking an inside turn to fence number five, they were able to keep a forward pace throughout, as well as leave out a stride in the last line, to cross the timers in 56.266 seconds, almost a second faster than the leader.
“My mare is really just awesome. We just get each other. She loves doing her job, there are a lot of horses that do it, but she actually gets it and enjoys doing it,” Cook explained. “She is very naturally fast. The course allowed for a lot of options, leave it out, don’t leave it out, turn tight, turn a little less tight, there was a lot to work with.”
This win carries weight beyond Las Vegas, as it qualifies Cook, Heineking, Potter, and Schwentker for the $100,000 InIt2Winit Championship which will be held during the 2020 Burlington Capital International Omaha in April in Omaha, Nebraska, the home of the highly acclaimed 2017 FEI World Cup™ Finals.