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Emily Moffitt makes winning debut at CP National Horse Show in CP Grand Prix International Open Jumpers

Friday, 03 November 2017
CSI4*-W Lexington 2017

Photo (c) Taylor Renner/Phelps Media Group. Emily Moffitt and Hilfiger Van De Olmenhoeve. Photo (c) Taylor Renner/Phelps Media Group.

Thursday evening at the CP National Horse Show featured the $130,000 CP Grand Prix International Open Jumpers CSI4*-W. Competing for the first time at the historic event, Great Britain's Emily Moffitt claimed one of the biggest wins of her career to date, along with the Walter B. Devereux Memorial Challenge Trophy, aboard Hilfiger Van De Olmenhoeve (Dulf van de Bisshop x Querlybet Hero).

"I was a little skeptical about Ben [Maher's] decision to go for it because there were so many riders in the jump-off. I was thinking maybe we should save him for the big grand prix on Saturday, but Ben said to go for it, don't pull and hope for the best. I did and 'Tommy' was with me the whole way. It just went our way. It's pretty awesome, and it's even better that we're all girls! This is my first big win. I have been competing on the [Longines Global Champions Tour] for quite some time. I've been having to produce clear rounds rather than focus on winning so it's great to come here and worry about winning the class for myself. It's very exciting," Moffitt says after her win. 

About Hilfiger Van De Olmenhoeve she explains:  "Tommy is my best horse. I got him through Nick [Skelton] and Laura [Kraut]. I don't think I ever expected him to jump this big, be this consistent or be my best horse. He just steps up to everything you ask of him and he's a really great partner."

Course designer Michel Vaillancourt tested 43 international horses and athletes over a 13-fence track in the first round. Out of the 18 combinations who jumped clear, only 14 returned to battle it out in the jump-off, while others elected to save their mounts for Saturday's highly anticipated $250,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Lexington CSI4*-W.

Beezie Madden (USA) was the first to navigate the short course with no faults, piloting Darry Lou (Tangelo van de Zuuthoeve x Nabab de Reve), owned by Abigail Wexner, to a time of 37.260 seconds. "I was pretty conservative because I don't know the horse very well. It's his first indoor show. I wanted to go enough that I could get a top placing, but not have the wheels fall off the wagon."

Laura Kraut (USA), winner of Wednesday's $35,000 International Open Jumpers Welcome Speed CSI4* with Whitney, followed Madden and produced another double-clear performance with Confu (Contact Me x Cambridge) in 36.990 seconds to move into the first place position.

Moffitt was the fourth out of five combinations to complete the jump-off fault-free, riding the 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood owned by Poden Farms. It was Kraut and partner Nick Skelton who originally found Hilfiger Van De Olmenhoeve for Moffitt and the pair have since established a strong, winning partnership, even contributing to Great Britain's gold medal in the young rider team competition at the FEI European Jumping Championship in August.

The 19-year-old, who trains with British Olympic gold medalist Ben Maher, crossed the finish line one second ahead of Kraut, her former trainer, in 35.700 seconds for the win, while Kraut claimed second place and Madden rounded out the top three.

Prior to Thursday's highlight event, the Alltech Arena welcomed 25 international horses and athletes to vie for top honors in the $35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumpers Speed CSI4*.

The faults converted speed class saw Devin Ryan of the United States and his own Cooper post one of the fastest times early on in the class as 10th in the order-of-go, despite incurring faults, in 66.310 seconds. However, Jessica Springsteen (USA) and new mount Volage Du Val Henry (Quidam de Revel x Cassini I), a Selle Français mare owned by SCEA Elevage De Voise, blazed around the course, designed by Vaillancourt, fault-free in 65 seconds, which would prove to be unbeatable throughout the remainder of the competition.

Jessica Springsteen after her win: "I just recently got [Volage Du Val Henry]. I was showing her a bit over the summer [in Europe], and since bringing her back to the States she's just been going so well. She's only 8. This is our first indoor together so I'm really happy with her. She's really strong minded but she's always going to go. She loves to jump and she's so brave. It's fun to have a horse that really tries and she really wants to do the right thing. I'm really excited about her. I think she's going to become a really competitive horse and I'm excited for the future. I thought I had a good chance to get a good placing. I did not think that I would end up winning, but I just tried to be smooth and do the turns without going too, too crazy. It ended up working out so I was really happy."

In the end, Ryan settled for third place honors, while Andrew Ramsay (USA) and The Doodle Group's Cocq A Doodle (Tolan R x Niagara) finished in second place in a time of 65.530 seconds after faults.

 


Source: Press release from CP National Horse Show / Photo (c) Taylor Renner/Phelps Media Group.

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