Helios vd Nosahoeve and Alex Granato Double Down in $182,000 Southern Arches CSI4* Grand Prix

Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Edited Press Release

After walking out of the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring as winner of the $182,000 Southern Arches CSI4* Grand Prix on Sunday, Alex Granato (USA) could be heard saying, “That was so good, I might just retire.” While retirement isn’t actually on his docket, celebration certainly is after he piloted Helios vd Nosahoeve to the gelding’s first-ever international grand prix victory to cap the second week of the Traverse City Spring Series.

Fresh off a win in the qualifier on Friday, Granato and the Kisma Equestrian-owned 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood proved unbeatable yet again over the courses of Bernardo Costa Cabral (POR). 

Alex Granato and Helios vd Nosahoeve. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

With a well-rounded starting order that featured veteran rider talent, the field served as a positive sign for the future with new and developing horses in the majority. Eight combinations successfully navigated the first round without penalty and advanced to the tie-breaking jump-off, including the likes of Shane Sweetnam—a recent tap to represent Ireland in the Paris Olympic Games—U.S. team riders LIllie Keenan and Spencer Smith, Canada’s Ali Ramsay, and Traverse City Horse Shows 2023 leading jumper rider Cathleen Driscoll (USA). 

Leading off, Driscoll set what proved to be a tough pace to catch, and it wasn’t beat until Granato trotted up as last to go. Unseated by nearly two full seconds, she and Don Stewart’s 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Idalgo (Catoki x Quidam de Revel) settled for second.

“Today is going to be up in my top memories for sure,” said Granato. “This is his first week being the main horse at this big level and it’s going to be a highlight for both of us.” 

Cathleen Driscoll and Idalgo. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Matching their effort from Friday’s win, Granato guided Helios vd Nosahoeve (Numero Uno x London) over a heart-stopping jump-off round that shot straight to the lead in 35.94 seconds. 

“He felt amazing,” he continued. “We geared his spring towards this week being the main focus, and all week he has handled everything beautifully. I planned to do seven strides at the beginning of the jump-off early so that I could steady in the first rollback because that looked like my best chance to catch Cathleen. He turned great there and then I just wanted to stay as rapid-stepped as I could.” 

For Granato, Traverse City Horse Shows has always brought success and has therefore become a staple in his yearly schedule. 

“I had my first two five-star wins here a few years ago during the first year of Major League [Show Jumping] so it’s been a favorite venue of mine for a while,” Granato explained. “I would like to hopefully aim Helios at one of the five-star weeks here in September because I know him well enough now that it is easy to gauge what classes and venues are right for him.”

The win also earned Granato the top spot in the current Open Jumper Leading Rider Bonus standings, which will be awarded during the finale of the 12-week series. 

Lillie Keenan and Kick On. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Driscoll’s time of 37.12 seconds earned her and Idalgo the reserve ribbon while a solid performance that stopped the clock in 37.84 seconds from Lillie Keenan (USA) and Kick On (Warrior x Caretino Glory), owned by Chansonette Farm, rounded out the podium placings.

Competition returns to the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring for the conclusion of the three-week Spring Series on Wednesday, June 19. 

For complete results, click here.