Andre Thieme and Conthendrix bested a class of 40 combinations with a time of 42.70 seconds to win the $34,000 Hollow Creek Farm Winning Round, the last class at the 2015 Live Oak International. The top ten riders of the highly competitive Winning Round class were invited back to the jump-off— with any penalties reset to zero. The top two riders, Andre Thieme and Cian O’Connor, went clear in the first round and were able to repeat their success to stay atop the leaderboard.
Cian O’Connor— who won yesterday’s CSI2*W Grand Prix and World Cup Qualifier and Friday’s 1.40m Waldron Private Wealth Management Welcome Speed Stake at Live Oak International— and Chandon Blue were just slightly slower than Thieme, and finished in second place with 43.47 seconds in only their second competition together. Margie Goldstein-Engle riding Eckham van het Steentje went clear and fast early in the jump-off, putting pressure on the rest of the field with a time of 43.57 seconds; only .1 second slower than O’Connor. Their efforts resulted in a third place finish.
Molly Ashe and Balous Day Date came in fourth with a 44.44 second clear round. Fifth place was earned by Nicole Walker and Cooper. Angel Karolyl and Wings, winners of Friday’s Pasmore Stables Power & Speed1.35m class and last year’s Hollow Creek Farm Winning Round, took sixth place as the fastest of the four fault combinations in the jump-off. Peter Leone and Wayfarer finished in seventh, Quentin Judge claimed eighth with Hh Whisky Royale, Callan Solem and VDL Torlando finished in ninth place, and Andrew Ramsay and Woltcek rounded out the top ten.
Course designer Leopoldo Palacios created a challenging course, drawing out the best efforts from competitors as they flew across the field. Thieme grinned, “When we walked the class we thought Palacios was nice with us today, but then we all realized the time was very, very short.” Obstacle number 8, a standard with the appearance of a paddock gate, proved to be challenging for many competitors. Goldstein-Engle admitted her horse over jumped the gate a little, but with a smile, Thieme declared, “My horse had no problem with it.”
O’Connor’s performance in the Winning Round helped him earn the $10,000 E2 Show Jumpers Leading Riding Award for the second consecutive year. He came to Live Oak International on a mission to win the prize. Of the event he said, “It is a fantastic show. To come here and jump on grass is great preparation for what we have in Europe. It really gets you motivated.” Margie echoed his sentiment, saying, “The show is wonderful. It couldn’t be prettier here.”
After competitors cleared the final jump of the $34,000 Hollow Creek Farm Winning Round, many were already making plans to return to Live Oak International next year. The 2015 world-class jumping competition was truly an international affair, with the top three riders representing three different countries (Germany’s Andre Thieme, Ireland’s Cian O’Connor, and United States’s Margie Goldstein-Engle).
For complete results from the 2015 Live Oak International and more about Ocala’s most beloved annual equestrian tradition, please visit www.liveoakinternational.com.
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