Katy, TX–Saturday night saw 24 riders put their skills to the test over the challenging 3* course where five pairs made it into the jump off. The youngest competitor, Brooke Peterson, took the win on her own Uqualin DuSaulcy, a 12 year old Selle Francais gelding. To add even more excitement to the night, her sister, Nicole also had a clean first round, but a light rub resulting in a knockdown at the final fence in the jump off moved her to third on her mare, Ramona De Flobecq.
No stranger to international competition, Daniel Bedoya rode the fastest four fault round in the jump off, but also had the last jump down on his spicy mount, Abracadabra WKT to finish in second. Tom Foley, who had three horses in the class, finished fourth with Chacolbet a big nine year old chestnut gelding owned by Eye Candy Jumpers of Delano, Minnesota. Kasey Ament of Scottsdale, AZ and Dexter R, a 12 year old bay stallion jumped off to fifth place.
The $100,000 prize was the largest Grand Prize ever awarded in Texas and because the Peterson sisters are willing to put in the hard work, they took home four shares. Brooke and Nicole ride with Peter Petschenig of Petschenig Show Jumping, LLC in Pilot Point, just outside Dallas. “Let me tell you how hard these girls work.” said, Petschenig. “When it’s hot, they get up every day at 4:30 am and come to ride their horses before going to school and work.”
Brooke, 16, is enrolled in public school and just started riding in Grand Prix competition in the fall of 2019. “Saulcy, my horse, is new. I’ve only had him since last June. I started with him in 1.20m and then we moved up, although he did Grand Prix classes before we bought him.” A big Grand Prix class would have most riders on edge, but Brooke said, “I wasn’t too nervous going in because I know he’s going to take care of me and I can just go out there and have fun.”
Asked about her favorite thing about Uqualin DuSaulcy, Peterson said, “I love his face and his eyes, he has really light colored eyes, which are really beautiful and he’s very cuddly.”
Ramona De Flobecq showed off her amazing jumping skill in the ring, but her other skill was on display back at the barn, begging for treats. “She will flip her lip up and smile, because she knows I’ll keep giving her more if she does that,” said Brooke’s sister Nicole. After graduating from college, 23 year old Nicole Peterson is now working in marketing, “In college I got to ride all the time, but now I’m working full time, so it’s a struggle to really focus on my riding.” Nicole was definitely focused tonight with her third place finish on Ramona De Flobecq and a twelfth place finish on Diokaldo. All four of the Petersons’ mounts finished in the money.
A crowd favorite tonight was Abracadabra WKT, the mare with the flying tail and “multiple personalities,” as her rider Daniel Bedoya said. “She’s like riding five different horses in one round. At one fence she’s forward, another she’s spooking, then she’s like a hunter. She tests all my skill.” Bedoya bought her for a client as a hunter and the mare was great for her until they got into the 3’6” amateurs. “She would do this little squeal, just to warn you that she was going to do something bad, then she would take off. It wasn’t exactly what we wanted in a hunter, so we tried her in the jumpers.” Her wild personality isn’t penalized in the jumpers and her wringing tail and big hind end kick make her fun to watch. Bedoya and Abracadabra had the fastest jump off time at 32.957, finishing second.
In the first round, the time allowed was 79 seconds and the combination of fences at 10a, b and c proved to be tricky, as was the big vertical at the eighth spot in the course designed by Catsy Cruz.
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