Squirt Gun and Paul O’Shea Top the Podium in the $35,000 C. Jarvis Insurance 1.45m Welcome CSI2*

Paul O'Shea (IRL) and Squirt Gun win the $35,000 C. Jarvis Insurance 1.45m FEI Welcome after the jump off of 18 riders. Photo: EQ Media

Edited Press Release

Myakka City, Fla. – Jan. 25, 2024 – The Lugano Diamonds Split Rock Jumping Tour (SRJT) returned to TerraNova Equestrian Center near Sarasota, Florida, featuring a CSI2* rating and the second year of the $300,000 Championship Series. Thursday’s competition highlight was the $35,000 C. Jarvis Insurance 1.45m FEI Welcome. In the end, it was Ireland’s Paul O’Shea and Squirt Gun (Diarado x Quick Star), owned by O’Shea and Eye Candy Jumpers, who took the top spot. 

During the first round of competition, 38 horse-and-rider combinations tackled Peter Holmes’ (CAN) 14-effort track. A total of 18 pairs navigated the course fault free to advance to the second round. The tie-breaking round comprised eight fences and featured two new efforts, including the C. Jarvis Insurance vertical added as fence 14. 

O’Shea and Squirt Gun were the first to challenge the shortened course and set the pace for the remaining 17 challengers with a time of 35.87 seconds, capitalizing on the 13-year-old gelding’s speed across the track. Caitlin Boyle and Navaar (Tonixe x Just Nice Van Het Indihof), an 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood owned by Beyaert Farm, Inc., winners of Wednesday’s $10,000 1.40m FEI Speed, proved themselves again, besting O’Shea’s time by nearly one second but fell victim to a rail that kept them off the podium. The following nine combinations all attempted to overturn O’Shea’s lead. Many found difficulty at the last fence, an oxer set off of a tight rollback turn.

Kelli Cruciotti Vanderveen (USA) and Mochito v/d Mishagen finished second in the Welcome. Photo: Winslow Photography

Kelli Cruciotti Vanderveen (USA), 14th to go aboard her own 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, Mochito v/d Mishagen (Emerald Van’t Ruytershof x Gitane de la Pomme), made use of her mount’s huge stride to cross the timers clear in 38.26 to slide into second place. With two left to go, Luis Fernando Larrazabal (VEN) and San Francisco Stable’s Abril Kontendra (Contendro I x Gama Quintana), a 9-year-old warmblood, produced a quick, clear round but could not catch O’Shea’s pace, finishing in 39.23 to claim the third-place prize.

Luis Fernando Larrazabal (VEN) and Abril Kontendra were third on the Welcome podium. Photo: Winslow Photography

“Squirt Gun jumped super,” O’Shea said. “It’s his first class this year, and he felt in great form after a six-week break. I think he really enjoyed himself. This is my first time here [at TerraNova Equestrian Center], and it’s a fantastic facility. I’ve done many Split Rock shows. Derek and his team always do a super job.”

FEI competition will continue through the weekend, featuring the $100,000 Lugano Diamonds 1.45m Grand Prix CSI2* on Saturday, Jan. 27. The $300,000 Split Rock Championship Series, supported by Dutta Corp, is set to begin on Saturday afternoon, and the final rounds will take place on Sunday, Jan. 28.

The Welcome winners’ podium with Derek Braun, president of Split Rock. Photo: Winslow Photography

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