Edited Press Release
Saugerties, N.Y. – June 3, 2022 – There was a New York state of mind in the Grand Prix Ring at HITS Saugerties, where Georgina Bloomberg galloped home with the victory in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix. The New York City native traveled to HITS-on-the-Hudson ahead of her European tour, showcasing her winning style with Gotham Enterprizes LLC’s Sempa Fidelis as the fastest double clear duo during the highlight event’s jump-off.
“[Sempa Fidelis] felt great, and I’ve been trying to jump her in some bigger classes and see if she can become a grand prix horse,” explained Bloomberg. “She’s been great in the speed classes – she’s quick and she is careful. So, we wanted to jump in a bigger class and see how she handles it.”
Twenty-eight entries tried their hand over Juan de Dios Alvarez’s first-round track, which featured an airy plank fence, a vertical-oxer double combination to a skinny vertical, and concluded with an oxer-vertical-vertical triple combination heading home to the final oxer next to the in-gate. Seven advanced to the tiebreaker, where two inside turns offered opportunities to make up time, with riders finishing over two new fences at the end of the course.
Diego Perez Bilbao and Over Fences Farm LLC’s Dialuna were the first to return in the jump-off, but lowered the height of an oxer to add 4 faults to their score in a time of 49.567 seconds. Bloomberg and Sempa Fidelis were next. She used the 13-year-old Hanoverian mare’s speed to her advantage, easily making the sharp rollbacks and galloping swiftly over each obstacle without touching a rail. They sped through the timers in a clear 45.628 seconds to go straight to the top of the leaderboard.
“She’s always going to turn on a dime and she has a big stride, so in the jump-off sometimes I have to think about trying to go slow,” noted Bloomberg. “Sometimes I can get carried away and turn too quickly, and then she can have the casual rail down. So especially going into a jump-off for a grand prix where it’s not necessarily just a flat out run, I almost take a breath in the turns and work on keeping the jumps up, as opposed to turning too quick because she does that very naturally.”
After Bloomberg, Christian Coyle entered the ring for the jump-off with Old Oak Farm’s Coco Mercedes. They were also clear over each of the fences, but their slower time of 49.518 seconds was only good enough to move into the second-place position. The final rider to compete was Matthew Boddy aboard one of Bloomberg’s other mounts, Cliff Z for Gotham Enterprizes LLC. He was the only rider who could beat the 4-fault time that Bilbao set, but a rail at one of the final oxers made him the fastest 4-faulter with a time of 48.668 seconds for third place. At the end of the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix it was Bloomberg and Sempa Fidelis who returned for the winning photo.
Bloomberg began riding Sempa Fidelis in the fall, but after an injury earlier this year, they could not compete as planned. However, Sempa Fidelis was the horse Bloomberg began riding again upon returning to the sport, and she was thrilled to add a win to their resume before traveling to Europe for the summer.
“I felt the most comfortable with her, and I worked my way back up,” said Bloomberg. “I’m hoping that in Europe we can jump some bigger classes. I’ve always felt comfortable on her, and she’s just a horse that I gelled with quickly – I just enjoy riding her!”
Living in New York City made the trip to HITS Saugerties easy for Bloomberg. “It’s convenient, and it’s a great facility,” she commented. “New York needs more horse shows, and I definitely think we’ll start using [this facility] more and coming up here more. The footing is good, and it’s nice to have so close to home. They’re doing a good job!”
On Thursday, riders gathered at the Grand Prix Ring for the $10,000 HITS 1.40m Jumper Classic. Mattias Tromp and Infuria P & P were the pathfinders as the first to advance to the jump-off, where they were once again clear in 45.727 seconds. It would prove unbeatable, with no one else completing a clear round jump-off until the end of the class. Michael Desiderio and Le Muguet were also fault-free, but their conservative time of 54.984 seconds would only be good enough for second place. Paige Jardine and Chaccara Blue placed third with the fastest 4-fault jump-off effort of the day.
The first jumper event to highlight the week was the $5,000 Stal Hendrix Open Welcome. Two advanced to the jump-off, with Delaney Flynn claiming the top spot aboard Fair Play. Catherine Kubiak placed second with Somerset, while Flynn earned the third-place honors with her other mount Cassinnia as the fastest 4-fault entry from the first round.
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