Blainville, QC - As Jumping Blainville winds down the week, today's highlight competition was the Speed Derby. The Derby took place in the Grand Prix Ring of the Blainville Equestrian Park beginning promptly at 3:00p.m. Melissandre Lincourt and Rainy Day took home the win completing the course in 101.04 seconds. Winston and Margie Gayford missed the top prize by only a second earning them the second place honors. Tomorrow will mark the final day of competition at Jumping Blainville and will feature the $60,000 World Cup Qualifier in the Grand Prix Ring as the feature event.
Today's long and winding course was designed by Linda Allen and was scored under Table C with faults converted. There were 19 jumping efforts, which began with a triple bar and included a fan jump, a bank jump, and three double combinations. The liverpool-to-liverpool double combination proved to be tricky with riders coming off of a sharp right turn. The bank also proved to be more difficult than originally expected after a thunderstorm passed through right before the class, causing the grass to become more slippery.
Since today's course was scored under Table C riders had to focus on speed while still being accurate. Holly Mitten chose to be conservative with Campoleone, owned by Katherine Steenberg. The duo was able to leave all the rails in their cups, but their time of 111.68 seconds was only good enough for the fifth place honors.
Megan Fellows and La Supra pulled down a rail at the liverpool combination but the pair was slick over the course and with a time of 102.24 they earned the third place ribbon with a 106.24 second total.
Kelley Robinson outraced Fellows track with Caberlay, owned by Cimarron Farms. Despite lowering the height of three fences, the pair was able to stop the clock at 95.86 seconds for a 107.86 total and the fourth place prize.
Melissandre Lincourt was the first rider to complete the course leaving all of the fences standing. Lincourt was aboard Rainy Day, owned by Southshore Farm. The pair was quick and accurate as they made their way through the course, even taking a sharp turn up the bank. They crossed the finish line in 101.04 seconds without any additional time added to take over the lead and eventually win the class.
Margie Gayford made an excellent effort to catch Lincourt's time with Winston, owned by Wingberry Farm. They also left all of the rails in their cups but they stopped the clock just one second passed the leaders in 102.11 seconds for the second place award.
"That one second is going to stay with me for awhile because my horse has a great open stride and I could have asked him for more," commented Gayford after the class. "I thought the course was great and it was a lot of fun to ride. Linda did a great job testing the carefulness of the horses and you couldn't go really fast, you had to stay really smooth."
Lincourt was very happy with Rainy Day's performance because this is her first time showing the young mare. "I have only ridden her twice this week, once in the 1.25m and once in the1.35m," she explained. "She has been jumping clean but she is a little out of shape because she just finished her quarantine. Today, I wanted to jump, clean, safe, not too fast, and very accurate. There wasn't a place where I was supposed to run as fast as I could; I wanted to keep it under control pretty much."
Rainy Day was very fast over the course and proved that she could cover the ground without picking up a fast gallop. "She kicks really high when she jumps so I have the capacity to turn her a little quicker than some other horses," noted Lincourt. "Coming to the combinations I slowed down and gave her a good gap, but I would turn as tight as I could when we landed and she wasn't losing any time in the air." Lincourt is very excited about the future possibilities with Rainy Day and hopes to eventually show her at the grand prix level.
The 1.40m Open Jumper class was held just before the rain started at the Blainville Equestrian Park. Two riders qualified to compete in the jump-off and it was Laurie Bucci aboard Lidalgo B that led the victory gallop. Angela Covert-Lawerence was the first to show over the short course with Candidate Du Marquet, owned by Emmanuelle Bolduc. The pair has an unfortunate rail coming into the double combination and also had three time faults for a seven fault score. Bucci knew that all she had to do was leave all the rails in their cups and that is exactly was she did. The duo crossed the finish line in 45.379 seconds and also accrued three time faults, but their clear effort earned them the day's top prize.
"For today's jump-off I knew there were only two and I wanted to see what Angela was doing before I made a plan," explained Bucci. "I saw that she had a rail plus time faults so I just felt like I needed to gallop to keep up the time incase I got a rail; mostly I was hoping to jump clean though."
Jumping Blainville is one of Bucci's favorite horses shows and it is always on her schedule. "I love this place," she said. "I have been coming here since it started. It is a beautiful facility, the rings are great, and the people are great."
The top riders will return to the Grand Prix Ring at Jumping Blainville for tomorrow's final day of competition. They will have the opportunity to compete in this week's highlight event, the $60,000 World Cup Qualifier. The world's best horses and riders will compete for the winning prize as well as points towards competing at the 2011 World Cup Finals in Leipzig, Germany.
For more information about Jumping Blainvillle or to view the schedule please go to www.classiqueblainville.com.
Photo Credit: Melissandre Lincourt and Rainy Day Win Speed Derby at Jumping Blainville. Photo © 2010 Lindsay McCall for PMG.