Edited Press Release
Saturday’s $25,000 George L Ohrstrom Jr. Grand Prix, designed by world renowned course designer Ken Krome, was the highlight of the Lexington Spring Encore.
With 9 horse and rider teams qualifying for the jump off round, the excitement mounted with every ride.
The first horse and rider team to tackle the jump off course was Hadden Frost of White Hall, Maryland and Ilan Ferder’s Insider BH. The pair’s clear round in a time of 43.749 seconds, well within the jump off time allowed of 50 seconds, would set the new time to beat.
Tiffany Cambria of Upperville, Virginia and GT Syndicate’s Crownies HZ, followed in the jump off order, but four jump faults in a time of 42.570 seconds would see them finish in ninth place.
Addison Reed of Mechanicsville, Virginia and Reed Training & Sales’ Goliath, winner of the Lexington Spring Premiere $10,000 Nutrena Welcome, were the next to tackle the jump off round. Their fault free time of 38.274 seconds took the lead and set the new time to beat.
Ann De Michele of Haymarket, Virginia and Cantatu, LLC’s Canmore 2 were next in the jump off and their fault free time in 42.556 seconds would see the pair finish in fourth place.
Rolling Acres’ ZaZa Z and Marylisa Leffler, winners of the $10,000 Nutrena Welcome Stake on Thursday followed De Michele and Canmore 2 in the order of go and turned in a fault free round in a time of 37.709 seconds to the delight of the crowd, taking the lead.
Their lead was short lived when Christina Webb of Bahama, North Carolina, and Fox View Farm’s FVF Sailor Man took to the course immediately after them.
The pair flew through the course and beat Leffler and ZaZa Z’s lead by .71 seconds with their own time of 36.999.
“I watched Marylisa’s round and I watched Addison and Goliath go before me too. Marylisa did 8 strides between jumps 1 and 2. I had a good gallop and did 7 strides. I kept my eye on the jumps and turned back super early to the combination since I knew I had to find a forward distance there. That turn was tight and there was no room for error. I jumped it on a bend and just kept galloping,” Webb commented.
“I show against Marylisa a lot. She is an amazing rider, trainer, and a very nice person. All I can say is, ‘Thank goodness you went before me and I got to watch’,” she laughed.
Course designer Ken Krome commented, “That was an exciting jump off. Sailor is fast and has a great record. She [Webb] picked up a gallop and was another gear beyond anyone else; she never touched the reins. She really put it out there and challenged everyone after her,” he said. “It was just a fantastic jump off with every rider trying to outgun the previous one. The crowd was great and was cheering everybody on,” he said.
Tiffany Cambria of Upperville, Virginia and Sabrina Hellman’s Independence followed in the jump off order, but four jump faults in a time of 41.387 seconds saw them finish in eighth.
Reed and Gail Thompson’s Doirin Clover Boy were next. Despite their jump off round time of 36.303 seconds, a rail down would see them finish in sixth overall.
Thaisa Erwin of Middleburg, Virginia, and Michael Smith’s Vanturo, sat in the enviable last to go position. Four jump faults in a time of 39.878 seconds would see them finish in seventh place.
Final results had Webb and FVF Sailor Man for the win, followed by Marylisa Leffler and Zaza Z in second. Addison Reed earned a third-place finish with Goliath as well as a sixth with Clover Boy. Ann De Michele placed fourth with Canmore 2 and earned a tenth place with Cantatu, LLC’s Qi L for their fastest four fault first round in a time of 77.904 seconds. Haden Frost and Insider BH placed fifth. Erwin also placed eleventh with her own Jack and Webb also picked up a twelfth-place ribbon with Fox View Farm’s Caillou VL.
“The course was great,” said Webb. “You could turn and keep galloping. We’ve had rain for two days and the footing is amazing. The jump off today was super-fast and horses and riders really put it to the test. No one took a bad step. We’re all so thankful that the Virginia Horse Center installed this arena with such great footing,” she added. “Problem is now we’re all spoiled when we show at other locations,” she laughed.
Krome commented, “I think the weather actually made the footing better. All that moisture really tightened it up and the horses were just jumping fantastic,” he said. “I set a nice open track and let the horses gallop and jump and the riders took advantage of that. We had a good number clear and a fantastic jump off. It was exciting,” he said.
“I feel like the quality of riders here is better than last year. I feel like the riders and the horses are all doing better. My goal this week was to build everyone’s confidence through every course we built each day of the show. Obviously, this was the biggest course of the week. From the first class to the Welcome to the Grand Prix, we’ve upped the jumps every day and they’ve all improved and gone well. Hopefully, we’ve set them up for the rest of the spring shows,” Krome said.
Sailor Man is a homebred and Webb has owned him his entire life. “He is my pet. He has special place in the barn and in my heart and he’s spoiled rotten; mostly by me,” she laughed.
“The Lexington Spring Premiere and Encore are my favorite horse shows,” said Webb. “I couldn’t show last week because I was away with my family.”
“Sailor Man’s first grand prix was here in 2014 when they were held in the indoor. Maryann Steiert Charles rode him, and he won! To be able to do it again made it very special,” she said. “It’s pretty amazing that he has been at this level for so long and still winning grand prix,” she added. “I think that’s why I spoil him so much, because I get to ride him,” she laughed.
For more information, please visit horseshowsonline.com.
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