Lexington, KY - October 30, 2014 - Belgium's Olivier Philippaerts guided Armstrong Van de Kapel to victory on Thursday night at the 131st National Horse Show, topping a starting field of 42 and then a massive jump-off roster of 21 to win the marathon Copernicus Stables $75,000 International Open Jumpers, presented by the Coulter Family. In the dash for cash, Philippaerts was the only rider to break the 40 second barrier as he raced home in 39.35 seconds for the win.
A star-studded roster of the best riders from around the world challenged the 1.50m course designed by popular builder Guilherme Jorge of Brazil. Tonight, the rider's got the best of the deal with the 21 horse and rider combinations emerging from the first round. "They beat me up all day," laughed Jorge referring also to an earlier Junior/Amateur class, one that saw a majority of the starters go clean and a huge twenty-five horse jump-off that followed. Speaking of the main event tonight, Jorge explained, "It's a great challenge with such great riders on such terrific horses, jumping on beautiful footing and being limited to 1.50m to create a course that's tough enough. For sure," he admitted, "I should have dropped the Time Allowed by at least two seconds."
Jorge's claim was bolstered by the fact that not a single time fault was issued during any clear ride over the first round course.
Eleven of the 21 that jumped off went clean the second time around, with Philippaerts emerging as the star of the night.
"Well, in the beginning it was difficult enough, because you know with 21 in the jump-off, it's going to be a very, very fast," Philippaerts said. "It was a little too bad there were so many clear rounds. But I think for Saturday he will make sure there are less. For me, it worked out well. But for many people who rode horses for the World Cup as well today, it's quite a lot to jump fast like that and then go again on Saturday," he said.
As far as his winning strategy, the personable Belgian rider said, "I just tried to go as fast as possible. It was a little bit of a tricky jump-off. At the last fence, normally you should always go left, but we all took the risk to go to the right side. I think that made the difference in the jump-off."
As far as his equine partner, Philippaerts said, "I got this horse in January and he had only jumped two star grand prix. He's a little bit inexperienced, like the World Cup classes here, he never did that before. That's why I brought him to America, to get him to this level, and hopefully he'll go up to the highest level because I think he's one of my best horses."
Finishing just off the torrid 39.35 second pace set by the speedy Belgian was Jessica Springsteen of the United States on Lisona, who clocked in at 40.10 seconds, just 7/10ths off the winning time. "I don't have that much experience going really fast with Lisona, so we just recently tried to go a little bit quicker. She was incredible tonight and I think she really enjoyed it, so I'm really happy with her," Springsteen said.
Ireland's Richie Maloney and Alsvid were 3/10ths of a second further back of Springsteen to finish third in 40.45 seconds. "He can be quite quick in the jump-off," Maloney noted. "This is probably as big a class as he's done. I normally use him for speed classes, but he does a bit of everything. He's a little bit tense when he comes in the ring, but he tries very hard."
Rounding out the top four was Roberto Teran of Colombia who tripped the timers in 41.01 seconds on Woklahoma. Exactly one second behind in fifth place was Beat Mandli of Switzerland piloting ZaZa Harvey to a final time of 42.01 seconds. Candice King of the United States took home sixth place honors in 43.48 seconds on Balous Day Date.
Paulo Santana, first to go on Taloubet, finished seventh and Georgina Bloomberg with Juvina was eighth.
Two in a Row! Farrington Races to $45,000 Staysail Farm International Open Speed Win
Red-hot Kent Farrington made it two in a row at the 2014 National Horse Show on Thursday, racing Waomi to her second win in as many days. The speedy pair outgunned a field of 34 to win the $45,000 Staysail Farm International Open Speed in a blazing time of 54.55 seconds, one of only two riders to break the 55 second barrier in today's faults converted formatted class.
Ireland's Shane Sweetnam finished a close second with Cyklon 1083, ripping across the finish line in 54.99 seconds, while Lexington's Reed Kessler finished third aboard Ligist in 55.06 seconds.
The creatively designed Guilherme Jorge speed track allowed for a good number of fault-free performances and saw the top eight placings all finish within two seconds of Farrington's winning time.
Farrington talked about today's speed course. "Yeah, I think yesterday was a little bigger of a course. I think it was built typical of a fast faults-converted class, with the inside options and things like that where you could really make up time. But, with these riders that you have here and the speed that they get on this indoor footing, the classes always turn out to be very, very competitive," he said.
Farrington did not get a chance to watch Sweetnam's earlier leading round. "When it's so very close like that, I think it's really hard to say where the difference is. The rounds were probably almost neck and neck all the way around. They're both fast horses. I probably just got a little lucky today," he smiled.
While the top 20 or so were very competitive, a number of riders were just warming up for Saturday night's main event, the $250,000 CP National Horse Show Grand Prix. Farrington had the advantage of having a speed specialist in the barn, in addition to Willow, who he will be riding on Saturday. "Yeah, that's fun!" he said. "I like horses that win. I always try to pick horses that win at whatever level they're going to do. I like horses that have a great heart and just want to win classes, and I think she's a real winner. She was a good horse when Megan (Nusz) had her, and she's a good horse now," he said, and added, "And I think she's going to continue winning."
Finishing fourth this afternoon was Colombia's Daniel Bluman who was first to go with Believe and came home with the speedy time of 55.29 seconds. Following up on a second place finish yesterday, Belgium's Nicola Philippaerts finished fifth with J'Espere Dream in 55.630 seconds. Sixth place went to Roberto Teran, also from Colombia, tripping the timers in 56.070 on Farina.
Rounding out the top eight were Lillie Keenan and Francois Mathy. Keenan piloted Balance to a final time of 56.760 seconds while Mathy, a third place finisher yesterday, broke the beams in 56.82 seconds on Ornellaia.
Kalvin Dobbs Wins Second Leg of U-25 Championship, Michael Hughes Takes Lead in Championship Rankings
Twenty-four contenders made their way to the short track during the Sleepy P Ranch and Deeridge Farms $65,000 Under 25 Championship. It was a race to the finish with the top three finishing only tenths of a second apart, and Kalvin Dobbs led the victory gallop aboard Woodstock O, owned by Treesdale Farm, for his blazing jump off round.
Katherine Strauss set the pace early on in the jump off, clearing the course in 35.85 seconds. Strauss used All In's large stride to shave the seconds, and she took the opportunity to take a shot at the win. Her time proved solid as the other competitors were forced to compensate accuracy for speed.
Strauss noted, "I wasn't very high coming back in the standings so I didn't feel too much pressure. I just wanted to give it as good a shot as I could. I haven't done too many jump offs with my horse, so I really wanted to practice going fast."
Dobbs was the first to break the barrier she set. His time of 34.35 seconds proved good enough for the victory. For Dobbs, his partnership with Woodstock O has been short, but with the help of trainer Olympian Laura Kraut, he showed how far they have come. They competed in Europe during the summer months, riding against some of the world's best. He acknowledged that 'Woody' is a "step-up-a-tier horse," very different than any mount he has ridden before.
"I've really had to learn how to make a horse jump clear and how to think about every single detail as I'm going around the course," Dobbs explained. "I'm not just looking for a distance and trying to get around. I've really had to maintain my mentality about what I'm doing. Especially in Europe, I was with Laura, and it forced me to become more aware as an individual, know what my horse is like that day and ride him to how he's going."
Dobbs showed no hesitation during the second round, even though his first course was less than ideal.
"For the first round, I was schooling, and it was going really well. Then I totally missed, and it was unraveling. So I made what I could out of it. I've learned a lot on this horse. I think a couple months ago I wouldn't have been able to pull out a clear round, but I did," Dobbs smiled. "I was a little hesitant going into the jump off knowing I didn't love the first round, but Woody knows exactly what he's doing, so I just let him go and do his thing. Everything kind of came out of stride. I love it when that happens."
A change in the ranks is nothing unfamiliar when it comes to the World Cup format. Tonight it was Michael Hughes and Macarthur, owned by Christina Fried, who topped the positions to lead the Under 25 Championship standings after earning their second consecutive red ribbon of the championship. Hughes currently sits at the pinnacle of the standings with 56 points, while Dobbs follows close behind with 52 points. Wilton Porter, yesterday's leader, now sits in third after an unfortunate dismount during the jump off.
"I'm a little bit nervous going into Saturday, but my horse is usually a lot better the more he jumps, so hopefully that'll work to my advantage. He feels really good this week, so hopefully it'll keep going like that," Hughes said of the pressure now resting on his shoulders.
The Sleepy P Ranch and Deeridge Farms $25,000 Under 25 Championship will conclude on Saturday.
Rinaldi Racks Up Another Win for Second Day Amalaya Investments $10,000 Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumpers
Guilherme Jorge's first round course for the Amalaya Investments $10,000 Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumpers didn't fool the field of 31 talented riders as they traversed the opening track. Twenty-four horse and rider combinations would make it through to the jump-off, but the jump-off would prove more demanding with only 11 posting double clear efforts.
It was 14-year-old Giavanna Rinaldi, representing Illinois, who raced to the top of the ranks early in the order with G.P.S. Brilliant Disguise. The pressure was on after her win in Wednesday's $5,000 Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumpers, but she didn't let it get to her, racing to an untouchable time of 31.822 seconds.
"I didn't think that many horses would make it through," Rinaldi admitted. "I have never been in a jump off that had more than 20 horses, so I got a little bit nervous. I knew I had to set the pace because I went a little bit earlier in the course."
Rinaldi continued, "I knew the turn after the third jump was going to be a little bit hard because his left turn isn't as smooth. I knew I had to make up time from 1 to 2, so I did that. I made sure I got down to the skinny in three strides, and then I just kind of took a chance at the last line."
Michael Hughes and Luxina tried to catch Rinaldi's time, but their time of 32.217 seconds was just off the pace, earning second place. The third place went to Catherine Tyree and Wetter for their jump-off time of 32.769 seconds.
The $20,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame (SJHOF) Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Championship will take center stage tomorrow afternoon at the 131st National Horse Show.
For more information on the 131st National Horse Show, please visit www.nhs.org.
$75,000 OPEN JPR TME 1st JPOFF 1.50
1 304 ARMSTRONG VAN DE KAPEL OLIVIER PHILIPPAERTS 0 0 0 75.420 0 0 0 39.350
2 344 LISONA JESSICA SPRINGSTEEN 0 0 0 75.200 0 0 0 40.100
3 289 ALSVID RICHIE MOLONEY 0 0 0 72.780 0 0 0 40.450
4 311 WOKLAHOMA ROBERTO TERAN 0 0 0 73.100 0 0 0 41.010
5 352 ZAZA HARVEY BEAT MANDLI 0 0 0 73.300 0 0 0 42.010
6 228 BALOUS DAY DATE CANDICE KING 0 0 0 73.470 0 0 0 43.480
7 372 TALOUBET PAULO SANTANA 0 0 0 71.740 0 0 0 43.980
8 356 JUVINA GEORGINA BLOOMBERG 0 0 0 75.250 0 0 0 44.000
9 339 NICE DE PRISSEY BRIANNE GOUTAL 0 0 0 74.970 0 0 0 45.000
10 262 CYLANA REED KESSLER 0 0 0 74.560 0 0 0 46.060
11 350 NOUGAT DU VALLET KATHERINE DINAN 0 0 0 73.230 0 0 0 46.880
12 260 ROYCE MARGIE ENGLE 0 0 0 74.170 0 1 1 49.510
$15,000 U25 CHAMP-2nd RND 1.45M Presented by SLEEPY P RANCH & DEERIDGE FARM
1 628 WOODSTOCK O TREESDALE FARMS KALVIN DOBBS 3900.00
2 821 MACARTHUR CHRISTINA FRIED MICHAEL HUGHES 2700.00
3 755 ALL IN KATHERINE STRAUSS, LLC KATHERINE STRAUSS 1800.00
4 430 VDL BELLEFLEUR BELLISSIMO LLC NICOLE BELLISSIMO 1500.00
5 526 BRIANDA JOHN WOLFF ALI WOLFF 1200.00
6 429 KAID DU RY HI HOPES FARM, LLC ALISE OKEN 1050.00
7 714 SUPER SOX CHANSONETTE FARM LLC LILLIE KEENAN 900.00
8 789 LORD LEVISTO JENNIFER GATES JENNIFER GATES 750.00
9 806 MILL'S GEORGIA SLEEPY P RANCH LLC LUCAS PORTER 600.00
10 777 TWISTER CAVALLO FARMS, LLC SHAWN CASADY 600.00
Sleepy P Ranch & Deeridge Farm $65,000 Under 25 Championship
Leading the standings after the second competition:
1. MacArthur/Michael Hughes (56)
2. Woodstock O/Kalvin Dobbs (52)
3. Patriot/Wilton Porter (46)
4. Twister/Shawn Casady (43)
5. Brianda/Ali Wolff (42)
6. Gatsby/Maggie MacAlary (40)
6. Mill's Georgia/Lucas Porter (40)
6. Kaid Du Ry/Alise Oken (40)
$45,000 OPEN JPR FLTS CONV 1.45 Presented by STAYSAIL FARM LLC
1 378 WAOMI AMALAYA INVESTMENTS KENT FARRINGTON 11250.00
2 368 CYKLON 1083 SPY COAST FARM, LLC SHANE SWEETNAM 9000.00
3 263 LIGIST KESSLER SHOW STABLES, LLC REED KESSLER 6750.00
4 257 BELIEVE DANIEL BLUMAN LLC DANIEL BLUMAN 4500.00
5 302 J'ESPERE DREAM LUDO PHILIPPAERTS NICOLA PHILIPPAERTS 3150.00
6 312 FARINA ARK PARTNERS LLC ROBERTO TERAN 2475.00
7 716 BALANCE CHANSONETTE FARM LLC LILLIE KEENAN 1800.00
8 306 ORNELLAIA FRANCOIS MATHY FRANCOIS MATHY 1350.00
9 379 WHAT EVER KAREN POLLE KAREN POLLE 1350.00
10 338 ZERNIKE REMARKABLE FARMS LP BRIANNE GOUTAL 1125.00
11 341 PROF DE LA ROQUE POSTAGE STAMP FARM, LLC DARRAGH KENNY 1125.00
12 303 CARLITO C FRANS LENS OLIVIER PHILIPPAERTS 1125.00
$10,000 A/O-JR JPR II,2A 1.40M Presented by AMALAYA INVESTMENTS
1 614 G.P.S. BRILLIANT DISGUISE GIAVANNA RINALDI GIAVANNA RINALDI 3000.00
2 534 LUXINA CHRISTINA FRIED MICHAEL HUGHES 2200.00
3 589 WETTER CATHERINE TYREE CATHERINE TYREE 1300.00
4 815 QUITE DARK 2 WESTWIND EQUINE TRAINING CENTER HALEY GASSEL 800.00
5 816 HESTER LISA DESLAURIERS LUCY DESLAURIERS 600.00
6 712 DON JUAN K. LONG DWIGHT & B. COLVIN VICTORIA COLVIN 500.00
7 509 ZIDANTE KELLI CRUCIOTTI KELLI CRUCIOTTI 400.00
8 424 CAYENNE 140 VICTORIA PRESS VICTORIA PRESS 300.00
9 807 PHINEAS SLEEPY P RANCH LLC LUCAS PORTER 300.00
10 489 TOTAL TOUCH KATHLEEN HOPE CAITLIN HOPE 200.00
11 623 UGANO TAYLOR REID TAYLOR REID 200.00
12 530 I LOVE LUCY HAYS INVESTMENT CORP. HUNTER HOLLOWAY 200.00
About the National Horse Show
Founded in 1883 at the original Madison Square Garden, the National Horse Show is America's oldest indoor horse show, firmly established as a major fixture on the national and international sports and social event calendars. The National Horse Show Association's primary activity is the annual production of the National Horse Show and all ancillary events. Over the years, the National Horse Show has provided financial aid to many worthwhile charities.
With $755,000 in prize money offered, this year's National Horse Show offers an International Open Jumpers with $460,000 in prize money, while the top rated hunter sections have a total purse of $195,000. Meanwhile, $100,000 in total is offered to the Amateur-Owner and U 25 Jumper sections.
For the fourth consecutive year, The National Horse Show received a top ranking from NARG, the North American Riders Group and was named the Show Hunter Hall of Fame Horse Show of the Year in four back-to-back years.
For more information go to: www.nhs.org