THERMAL, Calif. – February 26, 2021 – The Grand Prix Stadium continued with international show jumping competition Friday morning with the FEI $36,600 1.50m CSI3* speed class, sponsored by Desert Flight. Thirty-three horse and rider pairings challenged the twelve obstacle course designed by Bernardo Cabral (POR), who had riders putting the pedal to the metal to earn the top placing. France’s Eric Navet aboard Cadillac Jack (Cantoblanco x Cordina) emerged victorious with a speedy time of 60.99 seconds.
Cabral built a stout 1.50m course that allowed riders to utilize its vast amount of track options to their advantage. With the class slated as a single speed round, riders were faced with the challenge of going clear while still needing to be efficient with their time. While most riders may take the speed approach and just keep going forward, Navet’s horse is not known for his speed. The pair opted for another approach: to be controlled and efficient.
“The course designer did such a great job because he made a very interesting track. You could save time every single turn and that’s what I did. I didn’t over run but I used every single turn to go inside of everything, keeping the same canter through [the course] the whole time; never slowing down, but never truly accelerating,” explained Navet. “There is such a great confidence between him and me. Cadillac has such great scope that I don’t need to go far to jump a big oxer. He can make up for it in the turns. I cannot use speed on him so it was all about the track and it is always about the track with him.”
Going towards the end of the order of go, Navet was able to watch his competition for a few rounds beforehand. Directly before him, Nicky Galligan (IRE) aboard Javas Miss Jordan soared and set the new time to beat at 62.37 seconds. Navet explained how he captured Galligan’s time: “I saw Nicky Galligan go in just before me, taking the lead full speed and I decided to ride for second place. To ride for second, I needed to ride efficient turns.” In the end, efficient turns landed Navet the top placing.
Navet prides himself in developing quality horses. After Signe Otsby purchased Cadillac Jack as a young horse from Germany, he entered Navet’s program and he has been thrilled with his progression thus far. “As soon as I saw the horse and tried him in Germany, I have been crazy about him. He is a big horse, very tall and very long, he took a lot of time to develop. Now he is 11 and he is getting to that level,” narrated Navet. “I am very proud of him because he is such a quality horse. He always tries to give me his best. He is my best friend and I think I am his best friend too.”
Galligan and Javas Miss Jordan (Luidam x Alley Angel), a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare, claimed the second place honors for their efforts. Rounding out the top three was Sweden’s Mariano Maggi and Quintago VA (Quidam De Revel x N-cassina), a 14-year-old Holsteiner owned by O’Neill Show Jumping LLC, with a time of 63.18 seconds.
To view the full results, visit Showgrounds Live.