Edited Press Release
Omaha, Nebraska – May 9, 2022 – Exciting equestrian Jumping and Vaulting competition highlighted the 2022 International Omaha Presented by Burlington Capital, May 5-8 at CHI Health Center Omaha. The event started the countdown for next year’s FEI World Cup™ Finals which will be held April 4-8, 2023 in Omaha, site of the highly-acclaimed 2017 FEI World Cup™ Finals.
The 2023 FEI World Cup™ Finals, April 4-8 at CHI Health Center Omaha, will feature the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final, FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final and FEI Vaulting World Cup™ Final.
International Omaha’s main event was the $100,000 Burlington Capital Grand Prix of Omaha. Coming out on top and capping an incredible day that saw her win four classes was Caelinn Leahy of Maple Park, IL. Leahy was one of only three entries who reached the jump-off by riding fault-free over the 12-jump, 15-effort first-round course designed by Portugal’s Bernardo Costa Cabral, who has been selected as Course Designer for next year’s World Cup Finals.
Leahy was the first to return to try the 8-jump jump-off course and she rode her mount, Coldplay 31, to a four-fault ride and a time of 34.481 seconds. Next to return was Rachel Lindsey of Austin, TX on Comander 16 and they had two rails down for a score of eight faults and a time of 36.190 seconds. Last to go was Jacqueline Ruyle of Houston, TX on San Chano. Knowing a clean round would give them the win, Ruyle rode cautiously but a rail down at the penultimate fence left them with four faults in a time of 38.190 seconds and a second-place finish. It was the third second-place finish of the week for Ruyle after placing second in Thursday’s Welcome Stake and Friday’s InIt2WinIt Speed Jumping Challenge.
“I thought is was a very solid course that asked a lot of really great questions and I really got a little lucky in the first round,” Leahy said. “I fought hard and was happy to make it to the jump-off. It was a great course and a great day. We always say that we go for the win in every class but whether or not that happens is another thing. I have a great group of horses right now and my horses love showing here in Omaha. It was great day all around!”
Her Grand Prix win capped a day that saw Leahy also claim wins in the1.20m Low Junior/Amateur Classic on Zarkava, in the 1.30m Open Classic on Hennessey, and in the Impeccable Equerry 1.30m Junior/Amateur Classic also on Hennessey. For that win, Leahy received a gift certificate for a pair of custom riding boots from Impeccable Equerry.
In Friday evening’s $75,000 1.45m InIt2WinIt Speed Jumping Challenge, Nicolas Gamboa rode his mount, NKH Mr. Darcy to the win, narrowly edging out Jacqui Ruyle. Ruyle led for most of the class on San Chano but settled for second while also finishing fifth on Cyramo Z. Following the class, the top 10 finishers drew the names of partner charities to receive donations from the Omaha Equestrian Foundation with a total of $5,500 being awarded.
“I actually watched Jacqui go on that horse,” Gamboa said. “I thought she rode it textbook and I knew I had to really go for it if I wanted to beat her time. Mr. Darcy was game right from the moment we walked in the ring. He did everything I asked and I just stayed out of his way and he gave me the win.”
“I knew I had a great round but I felt I left the door open just a bit,” Ruyle said. “He did a really great job; he rode it perfect and all I can say is congratulations to Nico.”
Winning the 1.40m Welcome Stake was Lisa Goldman-Smolen who topped a field of 40 horses on her mount, Sovereign.