Edited Press Release
The Lugano Diamonds Split Rock Jumping Tour (SRJT) returned to the Kentucky Horse Park for its third and final week of competition with the Split Rock Hunter Jumper Fall 2, featuring a CSI3* rating. Friday’s competition was highlighted by the $50,000 Hagyard Equine 1.45m FEI Welcome in the Rolex Stadium. After a thrilling ten horse jump-off, Alex Granato (USA) and Helios VD Nosahoeve (Numero Uno x London), owned by Kisma Equestrian, emerged on top, saving the best for last in Bernardo Cabral’s (POR) jump-off track.
Friday’s feature competition saw 46 starters with 16 jumping efforts and a tight time-allowed of 77 seconds. Twelve pairs were able to complete the course fault-free, with ten electing to return for an exciting jump-off competition. The tie-breaking round was made up of eight fences and included the addition of two new fences, the blue oxer at fence 14 and the Equestrian Closet vertical at fence 15.
Rebecca Conway (USA) and Blue Hill Farm’s Unestar D’ysenbeeck Z were the first to challenge the shortened course and were the first to produce a double-clear effort in a time of 39.85 seconds. Samuel Parot (CHI) tried his hand next and piloted his own Chrystal Blue to a fast double-clear to take over the lead in 37.30 seconds. The next seven combinations were unable to match Parot’s swift pace. Granato and 11-year-old Helios VD Nosahoeve were the last combination to contest the jump-off. Starting with a slice to fence one, Granato stuck to his plan throughout the remainder of the course to blaze through the timers in 37.27 seconds, taking over the lead by just three-hundredths of a second. Parot ended in second place, while Conway settled for third.
“I was pretty focused on my plan for Helios, so I tried to stick to that. Initially, I wanted to do one less [stride] on the first rollback but nobody had done it successfully, so I stuck with an extra number there, which left me with one extra than most people did down the line. Honestly, that worked to my benefit because I had a little more control to be tighter on the backside. From there, I really tried to stick to my plan and leave a step out on the last two rollbacks… and luckily it paid off,” commented Granato on today’s competitive second round.
Competition will continue through the weekend, where national competition will feature the $20,000 C. Jarvis Insurance 1.35m National Prix on Saturday, in addition to the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby in the hunter ring. FEI competition will culminate on Sunday, October 8 with the $110,000 Lugano Diamonds 1.50m Grand Prix CSI3*.