By Emily Randolph/RandolphPR
Katy, Texas – For the third time in a row, Taylor Land landed the top two spots at the Great Southwest Texas Winter Series. This time, Land kicked off the fourth and final week of the series with a one-two finish in the $20,000 Welcome Stake on Wednesday, February 23, in Katy, Texas.
After finishing both first and second in the $15,000 Welcome Stake and the $50,000 Antarès Sellier USA Grand Prix during Texas Winter Series Week III, Land returned to again dominate the main arena, taking the top call with Get Go and second place with Falco V, both owned by Pinetree Farms Inc.
With the $20,000 Welcome Stake held as a Table II.2a/b, riders that produced a clear round over the Oscar Soberon-designed course had the option to jump-off immediately or following the conclusion of the first-round, 17-horse field.
As the first in the ring, Land and Get Go showed the way to a clear round before electing to return later for the jump-off. With her second mount, Falco V, however, Land elected to jump-off straightaway, giving her an edge later when it was time to return with Get Go.
“It’s always such an advantage to have two horses, so I had already ridden the jump-off one time with Falco,” said Land, who has been partnered with both horses for several years. “I prefer to school [Get Go] a second time and go back when I have the option to do that.”
With Falco, Land took over the leaderboard with a clear time of 42.532 seconds, but she shaved nearly two seconds off that time to stop the clock, and ultimately take the win, in 40.631 seconds aboard Get Go.
“I did the same leave out down the first line with both horses,” explained Land. “I did it on Falco, so then I felt comfortable doing it on ‘Grumbles.’ Falco is my more experienced horse of the two, so it’s always nice to have your go-to-man to show you the way. When I turned back to the last line on Falco, I didn’t quite find the distance that I wanted, so I did a leave out to the last jump on Get Go that I didn’t do on Falco, and I think that’s mainly where I made up the time.”
With Land taking the top two spots, third place with a time of 42.771 seconds went to Genevieve Munson and Charlene, owned by Precious Mettle, LLC.
“[Get Go] has just been amazing; he really loves to step up to the plate in the ring,” said Land of the 10-year-old, 17-hand Hanoverian gelding. “I’ve had him since he was 5. He’s just been an incredible horse for me. He was great as a young horse. He’s always been really reliable. He jumped his first small grand prix as a 7-year-old, and then this year he’s moved up to jump some CSI2* and CSI3* classes.”
Now, Land will set her sights on Saturday evening’s $100,000 Lone Star State Grand Prix, the finale event of the Georgia native’s inaugural trip to Katy, Texas – and no matter the outcome on Saturday, Land hopes to return to the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in the future.
“I love it here; it’s a great facility,” concluded Land. “I love the opportunity to show indoors. It’s a nice, big indoor, and I think the course designers have done a great job both weeks. The jumps are beautiful. The stalls are big, so the horses are happy. All my horses are sleeping every day; they’re laying down in the stalls. It’s been great!”
The Texas Winter Series Week IV continues on Thursday, February 24, with featured classes including a $25,000 Grand Prix, a $2,500 Texas Green Hunter 3’/3’3” Super Stake, and a $1,000 USHJA Green Hunter Incentive.
In addition to hosting the Texas Winter Series, the Great Southwest Equestrian Center is home to the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, to be held March 23- April 10, 2022. Learn more about the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show here, and visit the Great Southwest Equestrian Center’s website here.