Lexington, KY - New York City's Georgina Bloomberg outdistanced a starting field of eighteen top show jumpers and then went on to race past five other horse rider combinations in the timed jump-off to win Sunday's $30,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix at the Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.
Riding her 12 year-old Hanoverian, Fiedi 3, Bloomberg was one of only six riders to go clean in the initial round. Then over the shortened, timed jump-off course, Bloomberg raced home with another clear round in a blazing 40.830 seconds to easily seal the Sunday victory. She was nearly a second and a half faster than second place finisher Kent Farrington and Valhalla.
"He jumped great in the first round and I just really tried to go as quick as I could in the jump-off," said a smiling Bloomberg following the trophy presentation. "He has all the scope in the world, so I knew I could just trust him, I just had to make tight turns and keep him together and hope for that I'd be fast enough to get the win."
Today's indoor competition was a particular challenge for Bloomberg because of Fiedi's size and his sometime edgy personality. "He's a bit of a nervous horse, plus he's big and sometimes little bit awkward," she laughed. "But, he can jump anything in the world, so I just tried to go as steady as possible and just keep him calm. Today, he was really focused on his jumping, and it was nice to put this class in the win column," she added.
The win was particularly satisfying for Bloomberg, who was forced to the sidelines because of a broken ankle sustained in Calgary, Canada, earlier in the summer. "It's been a nice break, but I think the horses are really ready to go now. I know I am!" she said with a smile.
The Kentucky victory was Bloomberg's third major win of the season, having notched victories at the Winter Equestrian Festival in January in the $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup, and in May in the $75,000 Empire State Grand Prix at the Old Salem Farm Horse Shows in North Salem, New York, both on her 10-year-old Selle Francais partner Metropolitan.
Bloomberg now heads to Bridgehampton, NY, for the Hampton Classic Horse Show which begins on August 29th. And as she details, that begins a very busy stretch of week to week show jumping, with the hopes of qualifying the 2011 World Cup Finals in Leipzig, Germany in April. "We show pretty much every week until November. After the Hampton Classic, we go to Boston, to Cleveland for the Gold Cup, to New Albany, Ohio, and then we'll show at all of the shows on the Indoor circuit."
In addition to the valuable World Cup points she'll be jumping for on Long Island, the Hampton Classic is also an important event for one Bloomberg's favorite charitable endeavors. She will be one of the celebrity VIP hostesses for the first ever ASPCA Adoption Day on Monday, August 30 in Bridgehampton.
"The Hampton Classic and the ASPCA care about the welfare and safety of animals and are happy to combine our efforts to find new homes for some very deserving animals," said Shanette Barth Cohen, Executive Director of the Hampton Classic.
Bloomberg will participate in a meet and greet and will talk about what people can do to help horses and all animals, as well as participating in a live online chat with ASPCA supporters and horse lovers on Thursday, September 2nd.
"The ASPCA is committed to promoting equine welfare, and their rescue efforts are so important for everyone to support. I'm honored to be able to help with this wonderful and worthwhile project," Bloomberg said.
Photo Credit: Georgina Bloomberg, pictured here with Fiedi 3, while competing with the United States Equestrian team at Falsterbo, Sweden, today won the $30,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix at the Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. ©Erin Cowgill.