Edited Press Release
The Lugano Diamonds Split Rock Jumping Tour (SRJT) capped off two weeks of hunter, jumper, and equitation competition for the Split Rock Hunter Jumper at the Kentucky Horse Park with the week’s biggest event held Sunday. Serving as the finale, the $100,000 Lugano Diamonds 1.55m Grand Prix CSI3*, presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Group, proved the toughest and Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) was the only athlete to emerge with a clear first round riding Louisburg Farm’s Cappuccino 194 to the victory without the need for a second round tiebreaker.
Alan Wade (IRL) lived up to his reputation as a technical course designer, setting a track at the height of 1.55m with 13 obstacles consisting of tall verticals off of short turns and the complex SRJT triple combination (vertical-oxer-vertical) going away from the ingate. Cawley and Cappuccino 194, a 10-year-old by Comme Il Faut 5, were the 16th pair to see in the order of go and were the only pair to navigate the course fault-free.
“We got [Cappuccino] a year and a half ago. He’s very talented and I think a lot of him. He brought his A-game today. I thought it was a tough course – there were a lot of tall verticals and the triple [combination] at the end [rode a bit like a gymnastic]. He dug in today for me and I couldn’t be happier with him,” Cawley commented.
As the technical nature of the course became apparent throughout the class, many athletes changed their strategy to prioritize speed in order to be fast four-faulters and earn a chance at a share of the prize money. Jessica Mendoza (GBR) and I-Cap CL Z finished in second place with one down and a time of 72.99 while Karl Cook (USA) and Fecybelle rounded out the top three after finishing in 75.09 seconds. Both athletes piloted the course much quicker than Cawley whose 77-second finish still kept her well within the unproblematic time-allowed of 80 seconds.
“We love Split Rock shows, so we try to come whenever we can and we appreciate Derek [Braun]’s effort to put on a great event for exhibitors, owners, and for the sport most importantly,” praised Cawley. “We try to support them whenever we can and it’s always a great week of showing for us.”
The Lugano Diamonds Split Rock Jumping Tour (SRJT) saw CSI2* competition at the Split Rock Hunter Jumper culminate early Sunday afternoon in the Walnut Ring at the Kentucky Horse Park with the $50,000 1.45m FEI Grand Prix. After yet another exciting competition at this international rating, it was ultimately Jonathon Millar (CAN) aboard 11-year-old Isotropic Shadow, owned by Isotropic Network, who took the top spot on the podium.
Forty-nine horse-and-rider combinations navigated the 15-effort first-round course set by Alan Wade, while nine pairs would move on to battle it out in the 7-effort tie breaker. Richie Moloney (IRL) and Hazaar were the first to maneuver the track fault-free, followed by the winning combination of the week’s $37,000 1.45m Welcome CSI2*, Shawn Casady and RMF Chacco Top. Seven more athletes from five nations would go on to add their names to the good list to create a nine-horse jump-off.
Moloney was the first to return for the shortened course and set a fast pace in 33.13 seconds aboard Hazaar, making up time by galloping down to the last fence in one less stride than was seen down the same line in the first round. Casady tackled the course next, laying down an incredibly quick pace of 31.05 seconds. Despite earning the fastest time of the class, an unfortunate rail left him off the top of the leaderboard.
It wasn’t until Millar and Isotropic Shadow, who previously placed third during last week’s CSI2* Grand Prix, entered the arena, that we saw our fastest double-clear round. He took advantage of Isotropic Shadow’s naturally quick pace and tight turning ability to take a shot and race through the timers in 31.37 seconds, besting Moloney by nearly two seconds. Moloney ultimately settled for second place, while Carlie Fairty (CAN) and Elite-Chin de Saulieu rounded out the podium in third just behind Moloney on a time of 33.38.