Rapidash, the winner of the $10,000 Hagyard Equine Medical Institute NAL/WIHS Children's & Adult Jumper Classic, certainly lived up to his name today. Under the guidance of Grace Knox, the quick Appendix Quarter Horse gelding galloped to victory in the grand finale jumper class of the 2013 Horse Shows by the Bay series.
“This is pretty great,” said Knox. “Last year I came here and had a rail in the jump-off, so this year it’s great to come back and win it. This is one of my bigger wins.”
Knox, of N. Barrington, IL, trains with Mary and Lisa Goldman of Red Coat Farm and has owned Rapidash for about two years. Although diminutive in size at 15.2 hands, the chestnut is huge in stride and heart.
“He’s a very careful horse and tries to pick up his feet as much as he can,” said Knox smiling. “He’s really great about that.”
After the field of 30 completed J.P. Godard’s challenging first-round course, seven horse/rider combinations returned for the jump-off. Knox went fourth in the order and was able to watch one rider test the course before she returned for her turn. She believes her winning time was established right from the start.
“The course was really challenging but a very good course. I think the first line I made up time because my horse jumped in so big over the first jump that I went for the four strides instead of the five,” she said. “I was planning on doing the five going in, but it wouldn’t have worked.”
Despite leaving out the stride, Rapidash didn’t miss a beat on the rollback and continued to speed around the course, never touching a rail. “He’s quick on the turns; it’s what he likes to do, and he was very fast,” she said.
As a prequel to today’s victory, Rapidash and Knox earned the Children’s Jumper Championship during Series III, winning two of the three classes in the section.
“I’m really happy, and my trainers are really proud of us,” she said. “Last year, Lisa won the grand prix here, and she was second this year, so it’s nice to look up to her. I’m hoping to do what she does some day in the future.”