Great Britain's Tim Gredley proved to be one of the world's bravest riders Saturday evening when he galloped up to a 7'6" wall aboard his talented horse Unex Valente.
|Tim Gredley and Unex Valent (Rebecca Walton photo)|
The pair was already champions of the $50,000 Puissance at Alltech National Horse Show, 129th edition after being the only horse and rider combination to clear the 7″ wall. Although they were unsuccessful during their final attempt, the crowd was on their feet to cheer on the brave rider at the Alltech Arena in Lexington, KY.
Eight entries gathered for tonight’s class to jump the wall built by Richard Jeffery of Bournemouth, England, the first time this show had hosted the event in 11 years. For the first round the jump was set at 5’9″, but as the height rose the number of riders left continued to dwindle. First it went up to 6’3″, then 6’6″ and finally for a brave final three, 7′.
Having successfully completed all three of the first heights, Gredley was the first to make the daunting gallop towards the in-gate with Unex Valente, owned by Unex Competition Yard. The pair made it look easy, clearing the wall with all the pieces intact.
Jessica Springsteen was next with Temmie, owned by Stone Hill Farm. They had been perfect up until 7′, but then the luck was not on their side and the blocks came tumbling down. The experienced Aaron Vale followed Springsteen aboard Wodka L, owned by Thinks Like A Horse. Unfortunately, they did find a great distance in and they also lowered the height of the wall, creating a tie for second place.
By being the only rider to clear the wall at 7′, Gredley already had the victory in hand, but Gredley did not want to stop there. They reset the wall to a daunting height of 7’6″. Gredley made a good approach and Unex Valente cleared it with his front legs, but didn’t have quiet enough jump to finish the effort and brought down a block. They were still the victors though, and the crowd went wild.
“I have had the horse since he was four, so I know him inside and out,” explained Gredley. “I didn’t do it in Washington, and was annoyed that I didn’t do it. This was his first puissance. He’s a bit of an all-purpose horse, he’s been doing speed classes, and I did the six bar on him. When you know a horse that long, you know what he is capable of.”
Open Jumper Speed
|Lauren Hough and Ohlala (Rebecca Walton photo)|
Earlier this evening, Lauren Hough used her style to score her second victory in row this week during the Chartis Insurance Company $50,000 International Open Jumper Speed. She piloted her own Ohlala to the fastest clear effort over Richard Jeffery’s faults converted track, which included a fan jump, a stone wall, a Swedish oxer, a vertical-vertical double combination, and an oxer-vertical double combination.
Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts set the time to beat as the first to traverse the course with Fanny Machiels’ Vadetta Van Het Mettenhof. They clocked in at a clear 60.53 seconds, adding no faults to their time for an eventual sixth place ribbon. Beezie Madden managed to best him as the next in the ring with Amadora, owned by Abigail Wexner, tripping the timers at 59.60 seconds, which would hold the lead for a nine rounds, but eventually fall to third.
Andrew Welles and Boo Van Het Kastanjehof, owned by Peter Welles, came close to catching Madden, but their time of 60.13 seconds would only be good enough for fourth. The fifth place award went to Christine McCrea and Zerly, owned by Candy Tribble, going late in the class and completing the course in 60.33 seconds.
Shane Sweetnam was the first to top Madden riding Spy Coast Farm’s Cyklon 1083. They sped across the course leaving a huge stride out to the Swedish oxer. The pair’s effort was almost good enough, breaking the beam at 59.04 seconds, for an eventual second place finish.
Lauren Hough chose to do the same inside turn to the first double combination that Sweetnam did, and despite some glitches through the ring, it proved to be the fastest track. She and Ohlala were quick and clear as they dashed through the finish in 58.76 seconds, good enough for the win. Only Nicola Philippaerts had a faster time with Diebrich De Kalvarie, owned by Stal De Kalvarie, but an unfortunate rail coming into the last combination added four seconds for a final time of 60.94 in eighth place.
Top Awards Presented in Junior and Amateur-Owner Jumpers
|Alise Oken and Kaid Du Ry (Rebecca Walton photo)|
|Lydia Ulrich and Santos Utopia (Rebecca Walton photo)|
The first jumper events in the Alltech Arena today were the $15,000 Chansonette Farm Amateur-Owner Jumpers and the $15,000 Deeridge Farm Junior Jumpers. Each group of riders competed over a course designed by Richard Jeffery that featured a triple bar, a vertical-vertical double combination, and an oxer-vertical-oxer triple combination. The competitors that found the key advanced to the jump-off where mastering tight turns and long gallops led to the victory.
Alise Oken and Kaid Du Ry, owned by High Hopes Farm, had all the answers in the $15,000 Chansonette Farm Amateur-Owner Jumpers. They made a very tight turn during the short course to the final combination, shaving valuable seconds off their time of 35.610 seconds. With all the rails intact they were good enough for the win and eventually led the victory gallop.
Rachel Udelson was the first to challenge the jump-off, and she set a tough bar to beat with VDL Wardorette. The pair crossed the finish line in a clear 36.039 seconds, which would eventually place second. Lauren Ward was just a second behind the aboard Oscar 72, clocking in at 37.486 for third place. Danielle Torano had the last double clear effort with Capitano, owned by Sir Ruly, Inc, but they broke the beam at a conservative 38.754 seconds which would earn fourth.
The $15,000 Deeridge Farm Junior Jumpers were up next, and with an opportunity to watch the course during the Amateur-Owner competition 10 managed to best the track and advance to the tiebreaker. Six of those riders were perfect over the short course and had a double clear round. Lydia Ulrich was the fastest of the day. She piloted Santos Utopia, owned by Up the Creek Farm, through the timers in 35. 559 seconds for the blue ribbon prize.
Yesterday’s winner was Abigail McArdle with Cosma 20, and they fought for another blue ribbon. With all the fences in place they stopped the clock at 35.572, just 2/100ths behind Ulrich, slipping into the second place position. Kilian McGrath rounded out the top three aboard Salerno, owned by Rolling Oaks Ranch, after she finished the short course in a clear 37.840 seconds.
Through the SSG Riding Gloves ‘Go Clean for the Green’ promotion, a number of this week’s riders have taken home even bigger checks for their wins. Lauren Hough won a $6,000 bonus last night, and then took another $3,000 today. McArdle’s win with Cosma 20 yesterday captured $1,000 yesterday, and Oken took home $2,000 in today’s Amateur-Owner Jumper class for wearing SSG ‘Digital’ Gloves.
For more information about the 2012 Alltech National Horse Show, 129th Edition please visit http://www.nhs.org
1 UNEX VALENTE, TIM GREDLEY
2 TEMMIE, JESSICA SPRINGSTEEN
2 WODKA L., AARON VALE
4 BALOUGRIS SL Z, CHARLIE JAYNE
5 CLYDE, DANIEL BLUMAN
6 CHICAGO VH MOLENEIND, OLIVIER PHILIPPAERTS
6 CANTUS D, HILLARY SIMPSON
$50,000 OPEN SPEED
1 OHLALA, LAUREN HOUGH
2 CYKLON 1083, SHANE SWEETNAM
3 AMADORA, BEEZIE MADDEN
4 BOO VAN HET KASTANJEHOF, ANDREW WELLES
5 ZERLY, CHRISTINE MCCREA
6 VADETTA VAN HET METTENHOF, OLIVIER PHILIPPAERTS
7 VENUS, KENT FARRINGTON
8 DIEBRICH DE KALVARIE, NICOLA PHILIPPAERTS
9 GRACIELLA 50, SAER COULTER
10 LALIQUE, MARIE HECART
$15,000 Amateur-Owner Jumpers
1 KAID DU RY, ALISE OKEN
2 VDL WARDORETTE, RACHEL UDELSON
3 OSCAR 72, LAUREN WARD
4 CAPITANO, DANIELLE TORANO
5 VESUVIUS, MEAGAN NUSZ
6 TOTAL TOUCH, CAITLIN HOPE
7 LAPACCO, WESLEY NEWLANDS
8 EVERYTHING, KELSEY THATCHER
9 DULF VAN DEN BISSCHOP, KELSEY THATCHER
10 UPSTAIRE, CALLIE SMITH
$15,000 Junior Jumpers
1 SANTOS UTOPIA, LYDIA ULRICH
2 COSMA 20, ABIGAIL MCARDLE
3 SALERNO, KILIAN MCGRATH
4 WETTER, CATHERINE TYREE
5 INDY, ASHLEY FOSTER
6 ORMSBY HILL, LIZA FINSNESS
7 SANDRA Z, MATTIAS TROMP
8 UBICO H, GABRIELLE BAUSANO
9 ULTIMATE VDL, KALVIN DOBBS
10 ZUBANTOS, SHAWN CASADY