By Sydney Lowe
THERMAL, Calif. – February 7, 2021 – Show jumping competition concluded on Sunday of Desert Circuit III with the FEI $137,000 1.55m CSI3* Grand Prix, sponsored by Purina Animal Nutrition. Canadians topped the leaderboard claiming all three podium positions with Lisa Carlsen and Livestream 2 (Lordanos x Heidebluete) stopping the timers at 38.8 seconds earning the top spot. Livestream 2 is an eleven-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Attache stables.
With the second fastest time, Beth Underhill (CAN) and Sandy Lupton’s Count Me In (Count Grannus x Sunshine), a fourteen-year-old Hannovarian gelding, posted a clear round at 39.22 seconds to claim the red ribbon. The top three was completed by Ben Asselin (CAN) and Luikan Q (Luidam x Camina Van De Kornelishoeve), a twelve-year-old Anglo European Sport Horse owned by Attache Stables, for their time of 39.54 seconds.
Riders were put to the test against Manuel Esparza’s (MEX) stout thirteen obstacle course and a 79 second time allowed. With multiple big lines and a triple combination, riders battled to secure a spot in the jump-off round. Five of the original thirty-seven combinations returned for the shortened course where they raced against the clock to see who would earn first. Carlsen set the Roeckl Sport time to beat as the first clear in the jump-off with their time of 38.8 seconds.
The mental game is just as important as the physical and Carlsen had to pass that test today. “The one jump I didn’t like and that I was a little more aggressive at was the jump away from the ingate,” expressed Carlsen. “For some reason, I just don’t like that jump and where it sits. It has nothing to do with him, it is just me personally. That was the one where I think I got a little lucky in my first round.”
Carlsen and Livestream 2 are no strangers to the winner’s circle here at the Desert International Horse Park. Just a year ago, at this exact time, they were being crowned champions of the $200,000 Valencia Sport Saddlery Grand Prix. Carlsen was given the ride in December of 2019 and since then, the pair have been building an even better relationship.
“COVID-19 was a good year for me because I really got to know him during that time frame when we weren’t competing. We have really bonded and we came out strong this year. I have been consistently jumping a lot of four faults,” reminisced Carlsen. “My horse is very fast. That is one thing I do know about him […] This week, he came out strong and jumped double clean the other day and double clean today.”