The morning of the World Cup Qualifier, Sandro started the day off on a good note by jumping a clear round and placing in the High A/O Classic. Jessie Springsteen won the Classic for the second week in a row aboard Vindicat, and Sandro’s friend Suvi (Vesuvius) was second with Megan Nusz.
That night was the $125,000 World Cup Qualifier. The course looked like the biggest one we’ve jumped so far this circuit. NuNu and I went late in the order so I was able to watch several at the beginning. The time allowed was tight, but the course seemed to ride smoothly. I knew I needed to think about the time allowed at the beginning, make sure to ride the triple properly, and that the G&C oxer by the in-gate was riding quite big. I watched Todd Minikus ride an amazing clear on Maecomba and Margie Engle go clear on Royce, who was jumping over the standards, and then I went to get myself organized. NuNu seemed a little more relaxed than he had his first few outings here and jumped really well in the warm-up, so I knew it was just up to me to pull it together. I was so happy to go clear in the first round and was very excited to be in the jump-off. There were 9 horses in the jump-off, and I was able to watch part of Ben Maher’s ride on Cella from the screen in the schooling area. Shane Sweetnam on Amaretto D’Arco went right before me in the jump-off. The crowd erupted after Shane’s fast, clear round, and I needed to keep NuNu’s attention as we walked into the ring. The plan was to do seven strides from fence 1-2, gallop the next oxar, have a tight roll-back to the double, and then gallop the last 3 jumps. I went direct from fence 1 to 2 but ended up doing eight strides and then realized I needed to pick up my pace. We galloped the next oxer, roll-backed to the double, and then heard the crowd screaming as we galloped to the last oxer. I went into the lead, but with Beezie Madden on Cortes, Nick Skelton on Big Star, and Kent Farrington on Uceko still to go, I knew I had some of the world’s fastest pairs behind me. Beezie went right after me, and she took advantage of Cortes’ huge stride and did 6 strides from fence 1 to 2, starting off faster than I had. She took the lead, but only by .34 seconds. Beezie has been a long-time idol of mine, as she is to every aspiring Grand Prix rider, and sitting next to her in the press conference was a huge honor. Thank you to Spy Coast for a great class!
NuNu is always trying to make friends. Cortes made him look like a pony! Photo credit: Phelps Sports
NuNu in the WC Qualifier:
After the Grand Prix, we went back to the barn and gave NuNu a bag of carrots. He looked very happy with himself!
Ready for bed after a fun Saturday night!
That Sunday was a nice wrap-up to the weekend. In the morning, I watched my friend Leah Demartini win the Low A/O Classic out of 80 horses on True Love in their first outing of the year. My last class of the weekend was the 1.50m Classic. It was a “move up” class for me and Glory, and he jumped really well. We had four faults, but I was pleased with our first time at 1.50! James also jumped a good round. McLain won the class on Bongo (Rothchild) for a nice finish to the weekend!
After a busy weekend of showing, I enjoyed catching up with friends at the Washington International Horse Show reception hosted by Juliet Reid (Chloe’s mom) and my parents. After that, Sunday night meant back to Boston and lots of homework!
This past week Katie was the recipient of the Kate Nash Boone Style Award! Presented to the international equestrian who exemplifies best style of riding along with maintaining a sportsmanlike composure while competing in the CSIO at WEF during Nations Cup Week. Go Team Staysail!