New York, USA - The first annual Central Park Horse Show, presented by Rolex and produced by The Chronicle of the Horse, hosted its opening night in New York City's Trump Rink on Thursday 18 September with Show Jumping wins for hometown New York riders Georgina Bloomberg and Lucy Deslauriers.
Twenty-three of the world's best horses and riders jumped in the inaugural $210,000 Central Park Grand Prix CSI 3*, presented by Rolex, with an exciting victory for New York's own Georgina Bloomberg riding Juvina. The Central Park Grand Prix was televised live on NBC Sports Network as the first live primetime broadcast of equestrian sport on a major sports network. Later in the evening, New York native Lucy Deslauriers rode her horse Hester to victory in the $20,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by PwC.
Trump Rink in Central Park played host to Thursday night's first ever $210,000 Central Park Grand Prix CSI 3*, featuring a course set by renowned international course designer Steve Stephens of Palmetto, FL. With 23 entries, the evening's Grand Prix was held in a format where the top six entries returned for a jump-off. The winner was then determined by combined faults from both rounds with ties broken by the second round time.
Charlie Jayne, of Elgin, IL, was the only rider to clear the first round course without fault aboard Pony Lane Farm's Valeska while Bloomberg and Gotham Enterprizes' Juvina returned for round two carrying four faults. When Bloomberg jumped the second round course clear in 38.28 seconds, the pressure was on Jayne to stay on zero as the last entry to go, but an unlucky rail at the final fence tied up the faults. Jayne's time of 38.81 seconds left him in second place as the victory, along with the winner's share of prize money and a beautiful new Rolex watch, landed in the hands of Georgina Bloomberg. The daughter of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg jumped Juvina to a momentous victory in front of a sold-out hometown crowd.
Also completing two great rounds over the course of the evening were Paige Johnson of The Plains, VA, and Salamander Farm's Dakota. The pair had one rail and a time fault in round one, but returned to jump clear in round two and finished third overall on a five-fault total.
Winning this unprecedented event on home turf was a dream come true for Bloomberg, riding a very special horse in Juvina. She bought the 13-year-old Austrian Warmblood mare (Cassini I x Grannus) a couple months before she stopped riding for back surgery and her pregnancy and never skipped a beat as she quickly returned to the show ring.
"I have had a long road back," Bloomberg noted. "For the last three years I haven't really been competing at the top level, so for me this is my first win back. It is proof that I have really worked hard and accomplished a lot to be able to get back to the top level. I got her at a time when I knew I was going to be taking a little time off and the timing wasn't ideal, but I knew she was a horse that I could come back very quickly on."
"This is obviously my hometown and the most special place on the planet to me," Bloomberg acknowledged. "I competed at the National Horse Show when it was here in Madison Square Garden its final year, and I remember walking into the arena for the last time there and knowing that it was the most amazing feeling in the world to be able to compete in this city. To have it come back here - I really did take a minute to enjoy the moment and look around. To win is absolutely amazing to me."
With a fantastic first night in the books, Mark Bellissimo of International Equestrian Group (IEG) thanked Bloomberg and supporters such as Mr. Donald Trump and Rolex for their help in making his dream of a Central Park Horse Show a reality.
"We are very excited about our inaugural Central Park Horse Show," Bellissimo stated. "I would like to thank Donald Trump, who envisioned this with me about two years ago. He said we would make it happen. To his word, we did it, and very quickly. I am very thankful because I think this was just an amazingly transforming event for this sport, and I am very proud."
"I would also like to thank Chris Welton, the CEO of USEF. With the help of USEF we got approval to do this, and they were very supportive in making this happen," Bellissimo continued. "Sheila Johnson has been phenomenal, a big supporter and partner, and it was so fitting that Paige was in third place today. We have a great partnership with Rolex. They have sponsored us in Wellington and other venues, but this is something that is rare for them, to put their reputation and brand on an event that was unproven and that was a very difficult event to create. We only had five days to transform Trump Rink into something that I think is one of the most spectacular show jumping destinations in the world."
Thursday's competition was just the beginning of an exciting weekend of equestrian sport in New York City's beloved Central Park continuing until Sunday 21 September. The Central Park Horse Show will continue on Friday evening featuring the $50,000 "NYC vs. The World" Pro-Am Speed Challenge, presented by Donald J. Trump, where Bloomberg hopes to take another round of honor as captain of the "Land Rover NYC Team," against Kent Farrington's "Suncast World Team."
Saturday evening will host The Central Park Dressage Challenge, presented by The Axel Johnson Group, showcasing some of the world's top dressage horses and riders, featuring Olympic gold medalist Isabell Werth and American superstars Steffen Peters and Ravel. The U.S. Polo Assn. Central Park Polo Challenge will conclude the weekend on Sunday afternoon. Incredible matinee performances will also be held on Saturday and Sunday at 9 am and 12 pm. For more information, please visit www.centralparkhorseshow.com.
Final Results: $210,000 Central Park Grand Prix CSI 3* Presented by Rolex
Place, Horse, Rider, Nationality, First Round Faults, Second Round Faults, =Total Faults, Second Round Time, Prize Money (Top 6 returned for second round, faults cumulative, second round time is tiebreaker)
1. Juvina, Georgina Bloomberg USA 4 0=4 38.28
2. Valeska, Charlie Jayne USA 0 4=4 38.81
3. Dakota, Paige Johnson USA 5 0=5 41.75
4. Quality, Girl Todd Minikus USA 4 4=8 38.52
5. Pjotter, Van De Zonnehoeve Molly Ashe-Cawley USA 5 4=9 39.50
6. Baronez, Kirsten Coe USA 5 5=10 42.27
7. D'Elia Van Het Molenhof, Darragh Kerins IRL 5 72.23
8. Bonanza Van Paemel, Catherine Pasmore USA 6 73.26
9. Andretti S, Laura Kraut USA 8 67.84
10. Prof De La Roque, Darragh Kenny IRL 9 69.42
Final Results: $20,000 Under 25 Grand Prix Presented by PwC
Placing, Horse, Rider, First Round Faults, Jump-off Faults, Jump-off Time
1. Hester, Lucy Deslauriers 0/0/32.474
2. All In, Katherine Strauss 0/4/32.719
3. Quidam 13, Sydney Shulman 0/4/33.361
4. G & C Flash, Taylor Alexander 4/70.625
5. Cayenne 140, Victoria Press 4/77.986
6. VDL Bellefleur, Nicole Bellissimo 8/71.256
7. Bottom Line, Karen Polle 8/71.296
8. Oreade Des Dames, Adrienne Sternlicht 12/69.955
9. Wardetta S, Samantha Kasowitz 13/74.981
10. Lincourt Gino, Monica Carrera 20/89.080