Wellington, Florida – Lauren Tisbo of Tequestrian Farms in Wellington, Florida, scored three victories with three different horses at the Old Salem Spring Horse Show II held May 16 to 20 in Old Salem, New York. Competing in her first show jumping tournament since the winter season concluded in Wellington, Florida, Tisbo scored three victories aboard three different mounts in Old Salem.
Tisbo started the week with a win in the 1.40m competition with King Kolibri, the same day she placed second among a field of 60 starters in the 1.30 competition riding Vaillant S. Tisbo and King Kolibri then jumped clear in Friday’s $25,000 Grand Prix of Old Salem to advance to the jump-off where they placed eighth overall.
Tisbo and King Kolibri returned to the grass field for Sunday’s grand finale, the $75,000 Empire State Grand Prix, where they again jumped clear over the track set by two-time Olympic course designer Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela. In the jump-off, Tisbo stuck to her plan, riding slow and steady to post another clear round for a seventh place finish.
“I was the slowest double clear but that was the plan, to just go clear and end on a good note for Spruce Meadows,” explained Tisbo, who is preparing to compete throughout the summer tournaments held at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Canada.
Formerly ridden by 2006 World Champion Jos Lansink of Belgium, King Kolibri moved to Tisbo’s stable in December. Tisbo and King Kolibri began their partnership at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida, ending the 12-week circuit with an impressive fifth place finish in the $500,000 CSI5* FTI Consulting Grand Prix.
“He was super, it was like he had been there before,” said Tisbo of the 10-year-old grey Hannoverian stallion’s first trip to Old Salem. “I think the nicest surprise was that he jumped clear in every class; I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had only shown him in Wellington, so we faced a lot of unanswered questions in a new venue. To be able to be so consistent in every class was great, and it was nice to see that he adapted so quickly.”
Using the Old Salem Spring Horse Show was ideal preparation for Spruce Meadows, recognized as the best show jumping facility in North America, for both Tisbo and her mounts. Due to rain, Wednesday’s competition was moved to the sand ring to save the grass footing in the grand prix field.
“Since I had never taken King Kolibri to another show, it was a huge advantage for me to be able to compete in two different rings – it was like showing in two different venues,” explained Tisbo, who is based out of Sherman, Connecticut, approximately 30 minutes from Old Salem, for the summer. “The grass ring at Old Salem is reminiscent of the All-Canada Ring at Spruce Meadows; it is not entirely flat. I had never been to Old Salem before, and I really enjoyed the show. It was great preparation, and our double clear in Sunday’s grand prix was a good note to end on heading into Spruce Meadows.”
On Thursday, Tisbo guided La Centa to victory in the High Junior/Amateur-Owner competition.
“It was La Centa’s first show back since September and it was like she had never taken a break,” said Tisbo of her 10-year-old grey Oldenburg mare sired by Cento. “I thought I might have been a little ambitious putting her in the highs for her first show back, but she was so ready to go, I should have put her in the open jumper division!”
Like his stablemate, Coco 135 was also enjoying his first show back since September, having fractured his hip last fall. The 11-year-old Mecklenburger gelding had two top 10 placings in the competitive 1.30 division. “Both La Centa and Coco snapped right back into the show scene and didn’t have a rail all week,” praised Tisbo. “Since Coco was just coming back from fracturing his hip I didn’t want to push him too hard and overdo it, but he was great. All of my horses were great!”
Tisbo celebrated her 28th birthday on Friday, May 18, by topping a 50-horse starting field to win the Low Junior/Amateur-Owner competition with Welinde, the mare she won the $35,000 Vita Flex Match Race with at this year’s FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival. Also on Friday, Tisbo placed sixth in both the Six-Year-Old Young Jumper division with Bachelor, bred by Tequestrian Farms, and the Seven and Eight-Year-Old Young Jumper division with Sting van de Withoeve.
Tisbo now heads to Canada for five consecutive weeks of competition beginning June 6 at the internationally-renowned Spruce Meadows show jumping venue in Calgary, Alberta.
For more information on Lauren Tisbo and Tequestrian Farms, please visit www.tequestrianfarms.com.
Photo: Lauren Tisbo and King Kolibri jumped double clear to place seventh in the $75,000 Empire State Grand Prix held Sunday, May 20, at the Old Salem Spring Horse Show II in New York. Photo Credit – The Book LLC