Edited Press Release
Week two of the Split Rock Hunter Jumper returned to the Walnut Ring at the Kentucky Horse Park for more thrilling FEI competition at the CSI3* and 2* levels on Friday morning. Highlighting the day was the $50,000 1.50m Welcome CSI3*, where the newly-formed partnership of Alex Granato (USA) and Helios vd Nosahoeve (Numero Uno x London), owned by Kisma Equestrian, LLC, took the stand at the top of the podium after navigating Alan Wade’s (IRL) jump-off track seamlessly.
The first round of competition saw 15 jumping efforts to include this year’s debut of the Split Rock wall and three double combinations (oxer-vertical, oxer-vertical, vertical-oxer), with just four pairs finding their way fault-free. Karl Cook (USA) elected not to return for the second round with Fecybelle to make it a three-horse jump-off.
The early pathfinders of round one, Sean Jobin (CAN) and Foxridge Farms Stables’ Coquelicot Vh Heuvelland Z, were also the first pair to give a double-clear finish with a swift time of 32.51 seconds. Taylor Harris (USA) followed, but fell victim to a single rail down with Casilia, leaving Granato as the sole challenger of the clear round effort. Utilizing the 10-year-old gelding’s expansive step, Granato was able to ride one less stride than Jobin down the first line to set a quick initial pace that would deliver the winning time of 30.77 seconds. Jobin would ultimately settle for second place, while Harris completed the podium.
“He’s fairly new to me,” Granato commented of Helios vd Nosahoeve. “I just started with this horse and a few others from the same owner at the end of Wellington. He’s been super and a lot of fun to get to know. Last week was our third week showing together and our first week doing FEI. We did the CSI2* here [at Split Rock] last week with some good experience and then decided to step up and test the waters this week in the CSI3*.”
FEI at the CSI3* rating will continue through the weekend, highlighted by the $100,000 Lugano Diamonds 1.55m Grand Prix CSI3*, presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, on Sunday, June 19 to culminate the two-week series of the Split Rock Hunter Jumper.
Shawn Casady Back on Podium with RMF Chacco Top to Win $37,000 1.45m Welcome CSI2
Earlier in the day, 50 horse-and-rider combinations representing nine nations tried their hand in the $37,000 1.45m Welcome CSI2*, with Shawn Casady (USA) and RMF Chacco Top riding to the win after besting a competitive jump-off field.
The first round of competition produced a total of 14 clear rounds and with 13 choosing to advance to the second round, the Alan Wade-designed jump-off track became a race to the timers. First to set the pace was Canada’s Jonathon Millar and Isotropic Networks Inc.’s Isotropic Shadow after crossing the timers in 36.52 seconds. Their lead wouldn’t hold for long as Casady entered the ring just two trips later.
Casady, who was in brilliant form during last week’s competition after finishing second in the CSI2* Grand Prix and earning the top spot of the CSI3* Grand Prix, continued in great form again for the second week at Split Rock. Entering the ring aboard Ashland Farm’s RMF Chacco Top, a 13-year-old stallion by Chacco-Blue, Casady shaved a second and a half off of the previous leader’s time by being the only combination to do six strides to the last fence on course, ultimately finishing in a time of 34.9 seconds.
Darragh Kerins (IRL) and Delight M-G C de Leuze would come close to Casady’s time after clocking in at 35.73 seconds, however the pair settled for second place, bumping Millar down to third to finalize the podium.