Open Jumper Stake Proves Challenging

The horse/rider combinations on the long list took to the Dixon Oval for the second of the U.S. Show Jumping Team Observations Events.  The very exacting course designed by Michel Vailliancourt included a water jump that added a new level of difficulty.

Beezie Madden and Coral Reef Via Volo started off with a stunning clean round but the course would prove much trickier for the next several riders.  McLain Ward and Antares F turned in a great time, but unfortunately dropped a rail.  The next several rounds were marked by faults, with the water jump wreaking as much havoc as the rails.  

Charlie Jayne and Chill R Z were the ninth combination to enter the ring and while he didn't drop a rail and cleared the water jump, he did have a time fault.  Madden again had three horses showing and Coral Reef Via Volo was not eligible for the money.

With no jump-off the first round concluded with Jayne taking the blue and adding his name to the Wanamaker Trophy.  Second went to Ward, third to Christine McCrea on Romantovich Take One, fourth to Mario DesLauriers on Urico and fifth to Margie Engle on Indigo.  

Open Jumper Champion is awarded to the horse with the greatest number of points, this year going to Quointreau un Prince with Laura Chapot winning for the third consecutive year laying claim once again to the Little Big Man Challenge Trophy.  Leading Open Jumper Rider is awarded to the rider with the greatest number of points and went to McLain Ward.

With one Observation Event left, at Spruce Meadows next week, many of the long-listers are now playing the waiting game.  Ward, Madden and others will have their final opportunity to earn a place on the team.  After Spruce Meadows, the four selectors, who will have attended all four Observation Events, will meet with Chef d'Equipe, George Morris and his successor Robert Ridland to determine the four team members and the first alternate (of two) who will travel to London.