King Saves Best for Last in CSI3* tbird Grand Prix 1.50m at BCHJA Fall Finale

Kyle King (USA) and SIG Chiari. Photo ©tbird/Quinn Saunders

By Catie Staszak for Thunderbird Show Park

Langley, BC – Kyle King (USA) has only been getting to know SIG Chiari since the spring, but in that time, the 10-year-old has made quite the impression. In Saturday’s CSI3* tbird Grand Prix 1.50m, the athletic bay reaffirmed his rider’s belief with a convincing victory—the first international win of their partnership.

Last to go in a six-horse jump-off, they crossed the timers of Peter Holmes’ (CAN) jump-off track in 39.78 seconds, relegating Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Battlecry into second (40.91 seconds). James Chawke (IRL) and Howard du Seigneur finished third (41.06).

“Who knows in the end, where they go, but he’s a winner and a nice ride,” King said. “He’s very modern, very light, fast, he can gallop, and he jumps clear a lot.”

Holmes’ first round track initially proved difficult to conquer, with Capt. Brian Cournane and Vittorio 12 producing the first clear round nearly a third of the way through the start list of the 33-strong field. King, however, would master it; he qualified for the jump-off with both SIG Chiari and Ittolo, who already had a win under his belt in Wednesday’s CSI3* tbird 1.40m. 

“I really thought it was going to be [Ittolo’s] day. He jumped so well in the first round. Unfortunately, he jumped too high at the third jump, and then I slowed down. I got to feel the track out,” King said. “I was able to be patient, and I watched the others go as I got on SIG Chiari.”

As he watched, King saw a window of opportunity, particularly between the jump-off’s first two fences, and when he found the right rhythm jumping into the line, he knew he was in a good position.

“I was happy I found the first jump the way I wanted. Then I could step on the gas, found the second jump, and then I just followed the rhythm,” King said. “I checked up at the end [of the course]. The horse can really gallop and jump. I didn’t feel full gear. It worked out beautifully.”

Kyle King (USA) and SIG Chiari. Photo ©tbird/Quinn Saunders

King has ridden for SIG International on several occasions over the years. After jumping up to 1.45m in Europe with Michael Cristofoletti (ITA), SIG Chiari was the mount of Shota Ogomori (JPN), but when Ogomori had to step away from the saddle to focus on work, Ogomori called King. According to JUMPR App, SIG Chiari has jumped clear 57% of the time in 2022 at heights from 1.40m-1.50m.

“I’m very honored to get the ride,” King said. “I got him and got to know him this summer. I took him to Spruce Meadows, where he had success in the 1.40m. Then he came [to tbird] in August and had success at 1.45m. Today, it all came together.”

For King, it was fitting for his mount to have a breakthrough victory at the venue he considers home. He bases his Kyle King, LLC out of Langley.

“It’s nice to come home and get this win. I was hungry this week. My team is is hungry,” said King, whose rider Jarne Francken (BEL) also took a CSIU25-A win this week. “It’s been a great season, and with this being the season ender—it’s a great way to finish.”

Kyle King (USA) and SIG Chiari stand for the winner’s presentation. Photo ©tbird/Quinn Saunders

$100,000 CSI3* tbird Grand Prix 1.50m
Place / Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

  1. SIG Chiari / Kyle King / USA / SIG International, Inc. / 0/0 39.78
  2. Battlecry / Tiffany Foster / CAN / Artisan Farms, LLC / 0/0 40.91
  3. Howard du Seigneur / James Chawke / IRL / Ramsay Equestrian Inc. / 0/0 41.06
  4. Vittorio 12 / Capt. Brian Cournane / USA / Capt. Brian Cournane / 0/0 42.2
  5. Casturano / Samantha Buirs-Darvill / CAN / Meredith Ellis / 0/0 43.86
  6. Ittolo / Kyle King / USA / Kerri Volek / 0/4 43.78
  7. Crown Royal / Hayley Mercer / CAN / Hayley Mercer / 1 88.63
  8. Chaco / Sorine Winther / CAN / Sorine Winther / 4 81.36
  9. Caya / Shauna Cook / CAN / Sheilagh Kelly / 4 81.37
  10. Lavallino Ter Clomp / Jennifer Waxman / USA / Lost Lake Farm LLC / 4 82.36

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