Edited Press Release
Split Rock Sarasota CSI2*, hosted by TerraNova Equestrian Center, presented the featured $100,000 Lugano Diamonds 1.45m Grand Prix CSI2* Saturday with an impressive field of 48 athletes representing 15 countries. In the end, it was Olympian Samuel Parot (CHI) who secured a one-two finish with his own Buga Z (Chester Z x Quality Queen Z – Quality Touch Z) and Captain Z (Calvino Z x Unette – Voltaire). The third spot went to Caroline Mawhinney (USA) and her own Dance du Buisson Z (Dutch Capitol x Fantasy Du Buisson Z – Favoritas xx).
Peter Holmes’ (CAN) first-round, 16-effort track challenged riders with a tight time allowed of 75 seconds. The first fence, an oxer angled just out of the corner, and the sixth obstacle, a triple combination (vertical-vertical-oxer) against the rail of the B&D Builders Pavilion, proved tricky with numerous knockdowns at both elements. Five horse-and-rider combinations advanced to the jump-off round, including riders from Chile, Ireland, the United States and Spain.
The pathfinder in round one, Parot navigated the eight-effort jump off aboard Captain Z, but his fast finish of 36.92 seconds resulted in one rail for 4-faults. Mawhinney followed next with a more conservative round crossing the timers in 44.38 seconds with one rail down. The pressure was on the remaining riders.
Diego Perez Bilbao (ESP) and Mystic Lindenhof, owned by Over Fences Farm LLC, set off quickly but finished with eight faults. Simon McCarthy (IRL) and Gotcha, owned by Rock Ridge Farms, proved the time was beatable, breaking the beam in 34.11 seconds, but picked up eight faults.
When Parot entered with his second mount, Buga Z, he was already in the lead. He was conservative on time but delivered a fault-free round in 41.56 seconds to nab the win. With Mawhinney in third, McCarthy would capture fourth, followed by Perez Bilbao in fifth.
“This is the first time I’ve come here [to TerraNova Equestrian Center] and it’s an unbelievable place,” Parot said. “Split Rock is the best in America. All of the Split Rock shows are fantastic: [Sarasota], Aiken, Kentucky – wherever you go, everything is special.”
Parot explained that he rode his two horses differently according to their style and length of stride. He gushed over his winning mount, the 2010 bay gelding Buga Z and proudly shared that he bred him and has had him since day one.