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Karen Polle sets career high with victory in the Progress Energy Cup

Friday, 07 July 2017
CSI5* Spruce Meadows 'North American 2017'

Photo (c) Spruce Meadows. Karen Polle and With Wings. Photo (c) Spruce Meadows.

Karen Polle of Japan set a new career high this evening with a major CSI5* victory in the Progress Energy Cup competition in the famed Spruce Meadows International Ring.

It was an exciting competition with 55 of the world’s top international athletes coming together to challenge the 1.55m course set by Spain’s Santiago Varela. The first horse/rider combination to make their way under the Clock Tower and to come out with a clear round, was Karen Polle aboard her long time partner the 14 year-old gelding, With Wings Larino x L. Ronald). Polle commented, “Going first in round one and the jump off is really a disadvantage because you don’t know how the course is going to ride but I know my horse really well, and he had a big stride, so I was able to use that to my advantage.” Polle had the painful task of waiting and watching as 17 combinations followed her in the jump off round.

Polle, crossing the finish line with a time of 40.33 seconds said “I found that the course walked with several lines presenting multiple options and I found that quite tricky – as first to go I had no idea how the course was going to play out but after riding the first few lines it became clear how I should continue on and with so many great horses and riders behind me I knew I just needed to go for it and keep up my gallop.”

Jumping to a second place finish in this evening’s Progress Energy Cup was Philipp Weishaupt of Germany. He rode Asathir (Diamant de Semilly x Papillon Rouge), a 10 year old Selle Francais mare, that he just began competing on three months ago.  Weishaupt commented on today’s round, “This week has gone really well for me so far, my horse is jumping amazing.” He continued, “ His distances rode a bit easier today than they seemed when we walked. Once the horses were able to pick up a good rhythm through the first few fences, all the lines seemed to come up very nice.” It was a great round for Weishaupt, but not quite enough to reach Polle’s blazing fast time falling behind by 1.88 seconds.

Finishing on the international podium for the first time since 2011 was Chris Pratt (CAN) aboard the impressive Concorde (Vaillant x Concorde), a 10 year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. Thrilled with the success of the horse this year, Chris said, “I’ve had this horse since he was a 6 year-old he has been very consistent competing on the west coast, but has yet to have much experience with this level of competition. Its nice to see that he can come to a venue like this and be successful here as well and I believe he’s got a very bright future ahead of him.” Pratt finished 1.22 seconds behind Weishaupt and just a fraction ahead of Quentin Judge (USA) aboard HH Conrad (Con Air x Locato) to end up on tonight’s podium. 


Source: Press release and photo (c) Spruce Meadows. 

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