Blainville, QC - Once again the weather was spectacular as the Classique Internationale De Blainville (Jumping Blainville) continued at the Blainville Equestrian Park. The second day of competition in the Grand Prix Ring featured the 1.35m Open Jumper class and the Junior Amateur 1.30m Speed Class. Earning the top award in the 1.35m Open Jumper was Keean White and Concas.
The pair raced the clock and tripped the timers to top the class. The Junior Amateur 1.30m Speed class was dominated by Lilis with Liam Dumon-Walker in the irons. The pair stopped the clock at 66.047 seconds to garner the win.
Today's 1.35m Open Jumper class featured a course designed by Linda Allen. The first round included a triple bar double combination and an oxer-vertical-vertical triple combination. For the jump-off riders began with a bending line and then made a sharp right turn to a second bending line. Then they had to make a sharp right turn to the triple bar combination before galloping across the ring to a single vertical. The riders finished with a right turn to a single oxer going towards the gate.
Margie Gayford was the first rider to successfully tackle the first round course and advance to the jump-off with Winston, owned by Wingberry Farm. The pair was able to leave all the fences standing as they found their way over the track in a time of 44.216 seconds. Their clear effort set the pace and would eventually hold up for the second place prize. Kelley Robinson also had a successful short course with Cimarron Farms' Caberlay, but their time of 44.299 seconds would fall just short of Gayford's pace and earn them the third place ribbon.
Keean White and Concas, owned by Elm Rock, LLC, went late in the class and the opportunity to watch the other horses and riders compete proved fruitful. The new pair entered the ring with confidence and were able to leave all the rails in their cups, qualifying for the jump-off. They picked up a quick pace for the short course and soared over each fence easily. The duo galloped through the timers in 43.269 seconds with a double clear effort to take over the lead and win the day's top prize.
"This is the first class that I have shown Concas in because we only got him three weeks ago," noted White. "My plan for the jump-off was just to be efficient and stay on the gallop. He's such a fast horse on his own and he's quick in the air; today was a great day."
Concas was purchased as new horse for Leah DeMartini, who will take over the reins in a few weeks. "I'm just feeling him out at this horse show and I may show him in Saturday's Speed Derby or Sunday's World Cup Qualifier," said White. "He is a simple horse and all you need to do is find a good gallop and sit still."
White traveled all the way from Spruce Meadows to compete at this year's Jumping Blainville competition. "Blainville is a great show and we have been coming here for years," he explained. "I always try to get here because the organizers are great and they work hard to put together a great event."
The Junior Amateur 1.30m Speed class was held next in the Grand Prix Ring under the afternoon sunshine. Felix-Antoine Moulin set the early pace over the challenging course as the third rider in the class with Cormack. The pair left all the fences intact and stopped the clock at 74.516 seconds, which held up for the third place award. Seven riders later it was Liam Dumont-Walker and Lilius who jumped to the top of the leaderboard with a clear round in 66.047 seconds. Fares Kabbani tried to catch the duo's time with Oriander but fell short when they crossed the finish line in 71.44 seconds for the second place prize. Dumont-Walker and Lilius set an unbeatable time with their clear effort and were awarded the first place honors at the end of the class.
"Lilius felt really good today," commented Dumont-Walker. "Today I had to be really smooth because it was the speed round. I made sure to keep on top of my game and look where I wanted to go next. A lot of the horses were spooking at jump two, but I showed it to him and he was great."
Dumont-Walker has been riding the eight-year-old gelding for three years and is thrilled with his progress. "Lilius very easy and very soft." He explained. "I can't be too forward or he will get nervous, but as long as I am nice with my hands and nice with my legs he is great. I have yet to see his full capabilities yet but I hope to show him in the 1.40m classes eventually."
Earlier in the day Paul Halpern earned his second 1.25m Open Jumper victory, this time riding Tonic, owned by Stratford-Fox Run. The pair dominated the speed class with a clear round in 57.78 seconds. Stephanie Mathers-Verville was awarded both the second and third place ribbons for her efforts with Caetina and Nala Gesmerat, respectively.
Tomorrow the world's top jumper riders will have the opportunity to compete in the FEI Welcome Stake in the Grand Prix Ring. On Saturday, July 17, the highlight event will be the Speed Derby where the best horses will showcase their speed and talent. The final event at Jumping Blainville will be the most exciting event of the week. On Sunday, July 18, riders will compete for the top prize in the $60,000 World Cup Qualifier as they try to earn points to compete at the 2011 World Cup Finals in Leipzig.
For more information about Jumping Blainvillle or to download a copy of the prize list please go to www.classiqueblainville.com.
Photo Credit: Keean White and Concas earn the victory in the 1.35m during Jumping Blainville.Photo © 2010 Lindsay Y McCall for PMG.