Abby Grabowski Rides Quantum Trost 3 to the Win in the $25,000 Rockbridge Grand Prix

Abby Grabowski and Quantum Trost 3. Photo by Teresa Ramsay

The featured jumper event for Week I at the Virginia Festival of Champions, the $25,000 Rockbridge Grand Prix, took place yesterday evening in the Dee Dee Arena, over a course designed by world-renown course designer, Steve Stephens of Palmetto, Florida.

Of the twenty-one horse and rider teams, only one would ride the course fault-free, securing the win.

Abby Grabowski of Alexandria, Virginia piloted her own Quantum Trost 3 over the course in a fault-free time of 84.969 seconds beating the time allowed of 87 seconds. This was the first grand prix for Grabowski!  “I’m ecstatic!” she said.

Grabowski was the second to go in the jump order. “Since I was going early in the class and only had one ride to watch before going in, I only had my own plan to go off of,” said Grabowski. “My plan was that if just rode the course, I knew he would do his best to stay clear. He [Quantum] is really a super boy. Honestly, since this was our first grand prix, I just wanted to do my best to go clear and have a good experience. I really wasn’t expecting to win it!”

“I was a little nervous,” admitted Grabowski. “I hadn’t jumped that big in about a month and lately, hadn’t jumped him much at all.”

“Going in, I was more worried about the short six to the two stride. I knew I had to steady in the six to jump out of the two. He is very scopey and I knew if I kept a good canter and didn’t box him in, he would jump out easily. The last fence was an oxer with a Liverpool underneath it and I just rode off my eye. He just galloped right up to it. He is such a good boy!” she said.

Grabowski continued, “It was kind of funny, because I don’t really love jump offs. I showed him [Quantum] here all week and we didn’t have to do one single jump off this week. That theme carried throughout the week and I can’t believe it actually ended this way-with no jump off!” she said.

Grabowski rides with Kama Godek. “I started riding with Kama 5 years ago and we’d ship in once a week with my Thoroughbred,” she said. “I started spending more time at the barn and cleaning stalls and going to shows. I begged my parents to let me do online school so I could spend more time at the barn and shows and they finally agreed. This was before the Covid online school that everyone does now. Kama had me show some of her horses and then I bought my first horse and did junior jumpers the last of my junior years. I sold that horse and bought Quantum last July. I’m currently a Junior at the University of Maryland studying Business Management and yes, I’m still online,” she said. 

Grabowski has her sights on the Young Riders at Traverse City this summer. “I showed at WEC this past winter and last fall I rode him in the USET Finals. I want to jump some of the bigger classes with him this summer in Michigan. Quantum is definitely the ‘teacher’,” she said.

Abby Grabowski and Quantum Trost 3 in the Festival of Champions Winner’s Circle for the $25,000 Rockbridge Grand Prix. Photo by Teresa Ramsay

“I just want to thank my family, Kama and the whole team who helped get us going yesterday. It was a team effort yesterday for sure and of course Quantum who is just the best boy,” added Grabowski.

“I just want to thank my family, Kama and the whole team who helped get us going yesterday. It was a team effort yesterday for sure and of course Quantum who is just the best boy,” added Grabowski.

The fastest of the four-fault rounds was 16 year-old Addison Reed of Mechanicsville, Virginia and Reed Training & Sales, LLC’s Goliath. This was Reed’s first Grand Prix. Reed and Goliath finished the course in a fast 82.655 seconds with only rail down for a total of four jump faults.

“I was so happy for Addison,” said Grabowski. “She and I are friends and it’s always nice to see familiar faces in the winners’ circle.”

Tamara Morse of Bristow, Virginia, in the irons of Stuart Morse’s Ravenna Adelheid Z placed third overall with their four fault round in 82.660 seconds.

Fourth place was awarded to Ashley Foster of Brookeville, Maryland and Rolling Acres’ Stardust for their four fault round in 83.451 seconds.

Manuel Torres of Leesburg, Virginia and Fox View Farm’s Caillou VL finished in fifth place for their four fault round in a time of 83.536 seconds.

Sixth went to Sulu Rose Reed of Mechanicsville, Virginia in the irons of Paula Pell’s Denali. The pair had a heartache rail at the last fence in a time of 83.981 seconds.

Kama Godek of Fairfax Station, Virginia, rode her own HRH Van De Elsakker to a seventh place finish for their eight fault round in a time of 82.028 seconds.

Eighth place was awarded to Garda, owned and ridden by Laura Gaither Ulrich of Raleigh, North Carolina. The pair turned in an eight fault first round in a time of 82.037 seconds.

Christina Webb of Bahama, North Carolina and Fox View Farm’s FVF Sailor Man finished the class with an ninth place ribbon for their eight fault round in at time of 82.398 seconds.

Grace Long of Middleburg, Virginia and G & T Equestrian’s Happiness VD Hazel earned eight jump faults in a time of 82.406 seconds and a tenth place finish.

Sandra Zimmerli of Fairfax Station, Virginia and Zimmerli Show Jumping, LLC’s Kaomi placed eleventh and Torres wrapped up the class with a twelfth place finish aboard Rolet Equestrian Corp.’s Levito 12.

“We usually bring a few horses here to the Virginia Horse Center after Florida. It’s a really nice show. The footing and the weather’s been great. We really like the facility and the permanent stabling is wonderful. The barn upgrades are really nice,” commented Grabowski on the Virginia Horse Center facility.

“Even with [restrictions] in place, the show has done a great job of welcoming us. They drive around and bring us snacks and leave apples and carrots at the rings for the horses,” she added.

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