A cool breeze and blazing string of performances marked opening day of international CSI2*-W show jumping competition at Live Oak International in Ocala, Florida; the ‘Horse Capital of America.’ Two of the world’s top riders swapped top spots in the afternoon’s title events.
Marking the first win of the 2015 show jumping program was defending $34,000 CSI2* Hollow Creek Farm Winning Round 2014 winner, Angel Karolyi of Venzuela, who soared above a field of 38 in the Pasmore Stables Power & Speed 1.35m class. Karolyi achieved a penalty-free performance in 36.98 seconds riding McLain Ward’s 17-year-old chestnut KWPN (Lexicon x Columbus) gelding, Wings.
“Live Oak is proof that, if you produce a quality horse show, people will support it,” said Karolyi, who rides for Hollow Creek Farm. “Chester Weber, Juliet Reid, and the Live Oak team do a great job working in the best interests of the competitors, spectators, and sport as a whole.”
Finishing second to Karolyi in the 1.35 m Power & Speed was Ireland’s Cian O’Connor, who had a clean 37.89-second ride over the Leopoldo Palacios course on Andrea Quadros’ bay 10 year-old gelding, Chandon Blue (Chaco-Blue x Landcapitol). Later that afternoon, O’Connor claimed his own win in the Waldron Private Wealth Management Welcome Speed Stake.
O’Connor dominated the 1.40m Welcome Stake on Adena Springs Quidam’s Cherie, 10-year-old bay Oldenburg mare (Quidam’s Rubin x Lifestyle). The pair established a 60.56 fault-free second lead early in the 58-rider field. That lead remained unthreatened until Karolyi, 39th in the line-up, took his turn over the fences.
“I thought I had nothing left,” Karolyi remarked with a smile and shake of his head while exiting the in-gate on Raylyn Far’s 13-year-old bay KWPN mare Venus (Tangelo van de Zuuthoeve x Julius), clearly pleased with a clean go. The pair crossed the timers in 61.17 seconds, not quite enough to catch O’Connor, but enough to build a four-second lead that would be impossible to beat by other competitors and would earn Karolyi a second place finish to O’Connor in the class.
Fifty-six horse-and-rider combinations did their best to break the pair’s lock on the top slots. Canada’s Nicole Walker came in third (65.22/0) on her 11-year-old Diamond de Semi-bred Westfalian Dek de Landetta Z. The highest placed United States rider was Chloe Reid, who came in fourth (65.63/0) on her 10 year-old KWPN mare, Athena. Reid is proud to carry on the tradition of excellence at Live Oak International, as she is the daughter of Live Oak International president Juliet W. Reid and the niece of Live Oak International president Chester C. Weber. Reid also earned ninth place (68.27/0) in the Welcome Stake on her Indoctro-bred KWPN stallion, Victor E, and was joined in the top ten by fellow Americans David Beisel, seventh (66.78/0) on KWPN stallion Ameretto; Schuyler Riley, eighth (68.23/0) on Wolfstone Stable’s Dobra de Porceyo; and Callan Solem, tenth with Horseshoe Trail Farm’s KWPN gelding, VDL Wizard. Rounding out the international riders in its top ten were Guatemalan entry Christina Heurtematte, fifth (66.09/0) on Holala Z; and Spain’s Paulo Santana Filho, sixth (66.39/0) on Taloubet.
Saturday’s schedule truly promises the best grand prix performances in the world, as nearly two dozen nations will be represented in the $50,000 CSI2*-W Live Oak International Grand Prix at 2:00 p.m. Competitors include O’Connor, a two-time Olympian who earned Bronze for his native Ireland at the 2012 London Games; and American rising star Jessica Springsteen, honored in 2014 with the Maxine Beard Award as well as earning the Leading International Jumper Rider Award at the Washington International Horse Show.
For results, live-streaming coverage, and more about Ocala’s most beloved annual equestrian tradition, please visit www.liveoakinternational.com.
Source: Press release from liveoakinternational.com.
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