Kasey Ament and Gaia Take First FEI Victory in $37,000 CSI2* Welcome at Inaugural Split Rock Paso Robles

Kasey Ament & Gaia Photo by Winslow Photography

Edited Press Release

The debut Split Rock Paso Robles CSI2* kicked off on Wednesday, September 7 at the stunning Paso Robles Horse Park. Offering an unbeatable location in the heart of California wine country, jumper athletes of all levels were welcomed to the facility for an exciting week of competition. Friday was highlighted by the $37,000 BetHorseSports.com 1.45m Welcome CSI2*, where Kasey Ament and Gaia claimed top honors after an exciting jump-off.

Athletes representing 11 countries tackled Friday’s course, carefully designed by world-renowned course designer Alan Wade (IRL). Ten combinations were able to navigate the 14-effort course fault-free. The first few pairs to attempt the shortened jump-off track fell victim to various rails on course, leaving the top of the podium there for the taking. Misti Cassar (USA) and Mylord Cornet were the first combination to leave the fences up and crossed the timers at 37.120 seconds to take an early lead. 

Mavis Spencer (USA), who qualified for the jump-off with two of her mounts, would soon take the lead aboard Carissimo 25 by shaving almost two seconds off of Cassar’s time. However, Karrie Rufer, Spencer’s fellow west-coast native and close friend, would continue to chip away at the winning time by taking the narrow lead aboard Vertige De Galarzacs. Rufer ultimately finished second, while Spencer settled for third place on the podium. 

Ament has owned her 11-year-old mare by Cantos for two years and has taken her time working up to this level of jumping. As last to go in Friday’s jump-off, the pair took a unique approach to earning their first FEI victory. 

“I have to remind myself to not try to go fast [in the jump-off]. Because she’s naturally a very fast horse, when I hurry her I get in her way a bit. I really started with a forward pace to fence one and just tried to stay on that all the way around. She is a fast horse so if she jumps clear she is going to win,” Ament commented. 

“This is my second time at Split Rock and it’s so nice that they bring this level of show jumping to the [west] coast. We have a lot of very nice horse shows but this format that they do here works so well for me and my horses,” Ament concluded.

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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.