King Defends Home Turf in CSI3* ONNI Grand Prix 1.50m at tbird’s Summer Fort Welcome

Kyle King and Etalon. Photo ©tbird/Quinn Saunders

By Catie Staszak for Thunderbird Show Park

Heading into the CSI3* ONNI Grand Prix, Kyle King (USA) found himself playing the role of the bridesmaid.

In the CSI3* tbird Speed 1.45m, he finished third to Matthew Sampson (GBR). In the Maui Jim Grand Prix (national standard), he finished second to Sampson. After 13 of 14 horses jumped off in the CSI3* ONNI Grand Prix, Sampson was leading.

King was last to jump, and he gave Peter Holmes’ shortened track his all. He and Christine Maclean’s Etalon flew through the timers more than a second faster than his competitor to claim the win in the feature event of the CSI3* Summer Fort Welcome.

The winning time was 40.90 seconds. Sampson settled for second with Ebolensky (41.98 seconds), with Kara Chad (CAN) and Quidamo F third (42.44)

I saw Matt go, and you know, I’ve been watching Matt. He’s just been kicking my butt every time, and I kind of consider this my home field, so I was getting a little [upset] about it,” King said.

Kyle King and Etalon. Photo ©tbird/Quinn Saunders

King, who bases his business locally in Langley, defended his home turf in an exceptionally quick jump-off that saw 14 horses navigate a clear first round over Holmes’ course. As the jump-off became increasingly quick, King saw his opportunity to win between the first and last two fences.

“I saw that [Sampson] was a little bit slow from [fences] one to two,” he said. “I got the same numbers on the rollbacks, and then maybe I was a little quicker to the last jump. I pulled on the reins a little later.”

It was meaningful for King to earn the win with Etalon, a horse with whom he’s been partnered for more than four seasons. The chestnut has been a pleasant surprise for his owner, who originally imported him to be a hunter. Maclean purchased Etalon off a video and was told he’d be best suited for heights up to 3’6” (1.10m), but she was quickly proven otherwise.

“I bought him, and he was a little more horse than I needed,” Maclean said. “He jumped me off, and then he jumped another professional off, and so that professional asked Kyle if he would take him on, and it was a match made in heaven.”

According to JUMPR App, King and Etalon finish in the top 10 61% of the time when competing at 1.50m.

“He’s just a dude,” King said. “He’s been a longtime partner of mine now, and he’s very brave, so I can put good angles [on the jumps], I can roll back pretty tight, and he can wide open gallop. I can really count on him.”

Kyle King and Etalon stand for the winner’s presentation. Photo ©tbird/Quinn Saunders

$100,000 CSI3* ONNI Grand Prix 1.50m

  1. Etalon / Kyle King / USA / Christine Maclean / 0/0 40.09
  2. Ebolensky / Matthew Sampson / GBR / Matthew Sampson / 0/0 41.98
  3. Quidamo F / Kara Chad / CAN / Kara Chad / 0/42.44
  4. Stern Dei Foletti / Karrie Rufer / Morningstar Sport Horses LLC / 0/0 42.44
  5. Catinka 25 / Vanessa Manix / CAN / Vanessa Mannix / 0/0 42.78
  6. Armik / Capt. Brian Cournane / USA / Capt. Brian Cournane / 0/0 42.8
  7. Grandeur WP / Bretton Chad / CAN / Stone Ridge Farms, LLC / 0/0 46.23
  8. Clockwise of Greenwhill Z / Uma O’Neill / NZL / Uma O’Neill / 0/0 46.49
  9. Milton / James Brennan / IRL / Crooks Show Jumping / 0/0 49.56
  10. Cunningham 4 / Christopher Lowe / CAN / Christopher Lowe / 0/0 50.04

This Post Brought to You by: 

Whitethorne LLC

Whitethorne LLC always carries a number of high-quality Hunters, Jumpers and Equitation horses for sale or lease in Southern California. All of these horses are personally chosen by Georgy Maskrey-Segesman and her partner in Germany, and represent some of the best competition horses available in Europe for every level of competition in Hunters, Equitation, and Jumpers. Georgy travels to Europe several times per year and together with her partner in Germany, selects the best of the horses available in Germany and Holland and several other countries in Europe, and imports them to Whitethorne Ranch where they are available for sale or lease.

Previous articleHolly Shepard and H J Hercules Triumph in $50,000 HITS Grand Prix at Equifest III 
Next articleWhen Perfectionism Holds You Back