Harrisburg, PA - Samuel Parot and Couscous van Orti sped to victory in the $10,000 Dash for the Cash, sponsored by Geraldine Nesbitt, at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, presented by The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund. The Olympic veteran from Chile had little time to familiarize himself with the Farmshow Complex as he had only arrived one hour before the start of the class and he was the first to ride the course.
"This is my first time at Harrisburg. I think it's unbelievable, the place is "wow!" said Parot. "This is a wonderful show. We only just arrived here a couple of hours ago, but I am very happy to be here and it's super to win. It's not easy to win so when you do, it's really great."
The first two riders out of the field of 14 made the Bernardo Cabral-designed course look easy. Parot stop the timers in 47.803 seconds taking tight turns at a fast clip. Laura Chapot of Neshanic Station, N.J. followed on Thornhill Kate, owned by Laura and Mary Chapot, and nearly caught the leaders, going clear in 49.056.
"There were two places where it was possible to make up some time," said Parot. "I think I did it at the second fence. The other riders took it in six strides and I did it five."
Chapot had two mounts in the class, but captured the runner-up spot with her first horse. "It was a competitive class," said Chapot. "Samuel set the tone right off the bat with a fast clear round and then I was next with my mare. She is very quick and very reliable, so I took a good shot with her. I thought Bernardo made a nice course for tonight. There were a couple of options for inside turns."
Only three more entries managed clear rounds with two combinations on the course causing problems for a few. Peter Lutz and Robin de Ponthual, owned by Gallagher and Meller had the fastest of the remaining clear rounds in a time of 50.550 seconds for third place.
Earlier in the evening three foreign riders took the top three spots out of the field of 33 in the $5000 1.40m Speed Challenge. Paulo Santana of El Salvador, captured the win riding Taloubet. Canadian Francois Lamontagne was second on Vigo Massuere and Olympic silver medalist Beat Mandli of Switzlerland finished third on Dibatsja, owned by Grant Road Partners LLC.
Open Jumping action continues on Thursday with the $40,000 Pennsylvania National "Big Jump" and culminates on Saturday evening with the $100,000 Grand Prix de Penn National.
Further information, updates, promotions, ticket information and more is available at www.PANational.org or by calling 717-770-0222.