Last-Minute Decision Proves Victorious for Shawn Casady and Ekstra MF in $100,000 Lugano Diamonds 1.55m Grand Prix CSI3*

Shawn Casady (USA) and Ekstra MF

Edited Press Release

The Lugano Diamonds Split Rock Jumping Tour (SRJT) returned to the Kentucky Horse Park for its June series offering hunter, jumper and equitation competition with an additional FEI rating to host both CSI3* and 2* classes during each week of the Split Rock Hunter Jumper 1 and 2. The first week culminated an exciting lineup with the $100,000 Lugano Diamonds 1.55m Grand Prix CSI3*, presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, where Shawn Casady rode to the top spot with Rabbit Root Stables LLC’s Ekstra MF (Verithy x Diamant de Semilly).

Horse-and-rider combinations were tested over Anderson Lima’s (BRA) track of 16 jumping efforts that started with a triple bar at fence one and included both double (vertical-oxer) and triple combinations (oxer-vertical-vertical). Various rails fell throughout the first-round course with only two pairs navigating fault-free. Heather Caristo-Williams (USA) was the first to master the test with Stephanie Bulger’s Marciano MVF and was immediately followed by Casady to make it a head-to-head battle in the jump-off. As the first to return, Caristo-Williams gave it her all but fell victim to two rails leaving the door open for Casady to take the victory. With many combinations faulting just a single fence, Karl Cook proved the fastest on four faults to complete the podium in third place with Fecybelle.

At only eight years old, Ekstra MF was originally slated to jump a few smaller classes in preparation for next week’s CSI2* SRJT competition, however, Casady decided late Saturday night to enter the stallion as he had been feeling great and jumped double-clear in Thursday’s $10,000 1.40m Power/Speed CSI3*. While Casady did not expect much, Ekstra MF stepped up and delivered his biggest result to date.