By Sydney Lowe
THERMAL, Calif. – March 5, 2021 – The Grand Prix Stadium welcomed thirty-nine horse and rider duos to challenge the $36,600 FEI 1.50m CSI3*, sponsored by Roeckl Gloves. Five horses advanced to the shortened course and raced against the clock to see who would emerge victorious. Taking away the blue and her first FEI win, Zume Gallaher (USA) and Edita (Ukato x Zinzi) claimed victory with their jump-off time of 38.93 seconds.
Course designer Alan Wade (IRL) built a tough 1.50m course for riders to conquer. Featuring three double combinations, a triple bar, and a tight time allowed, riders needed to be quick and accurate. First in the order of go, Kaitlin Campbell (USA) and Palina De L’Escaut produced a clear round and it wasn’t until the twentieth in the order, Mariano Maggi (SWE), who produced the class’ second clear and gave way to a jump off. Three additional riders would add their names to the roster of athletes returning: Gallaher, Uma O’Neill (USA), and Eric Navet (FRA).
“After watching a few, we realized it was kind of more a speed course. I really had to keep everything tidy and I had to get to the next fence so I really focused on that. Obviously we wanted to go clear but I wanted to make it round within the time allowed,” narrated Gallaher.
The shortened course consisted of eight obstacles and a forty-eight second time allowed. Maggi was the first to go double clear with a jump-off time of 40.96 seconds. Third to return for the jump-off, Gallaher hand galloped to the final oxer to finish in a time of 38.93 seconds to take over the first place position.
“I really wanted to stay neat and tidy from one to two and again from two to three. I think there was only one double clear before me, so I just wanted it tidy just like the first round,” explained Gallaher. “After I landed off eleven, I just booked it to the last one.”
This is Gallaher’s first FEI win in her career. She just recently moved up into the FEI competitions and has been gaining valuable miles and today it all fell into place. “I have been working towards these big classes trying to just get in there and get good miles. To have an FEI win and a 1.50m win is just unbelievable for me,” stated Gallaher. The twelve-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, owned by Blue Gate Stables LLC, will compete together again on Sunday in the $137,000 FEI 1.55m CSI3*, sponsored by Adequan.
Maggi and his mount Quintago VA (Quidam De Revel x N-cassina), a fourteen-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by O’Neill Show Jumping LLC, took home the second place honors for their efforts. Stopping the clock at 41.39 seconds was Navet and Cadillac Jack (Cantoblanco x Cordina), an eleven-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Signe Otsby. The pair received third place honors and the final podium position.
For full results of the $36,600 FEI 1.50m CSI3*, sponsored by Roeckl Gloves, visit Showgrounds Live.