Competing in their first show together, Venezuela's Angel Karolyi and Indiana 127 scored victory in the $30,000 Raleigh Grand Prix at the RMI Raleigh Benefit Horse Show held November 14 to 19 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
2008 Olympic course designer Steve Stephens whittled a large starting field of 26 entries down to four jump-off contenders in the Saturday night feature event. Karolyi had the advantage of being the last to go, having watched Sloan Coles post a clear round riding Chantilly while Tracy Magness and Regan Roberts both faulted.
"I was able to watch Sloan go with her very quick, careful mare," said Karolyi. "She was the only one clear in the jump-off, however she chose to go around one of the inside options. I thought if I had a chance to beat her, that would be my opportunity to do so."
Not only did that inside turn help Karolyi win the $30,000 Raleigh Grand Prix, it also got his new partnership with Indiana 127 off to a great start. Formerly ridden by Peter Lutz, Indiana 127 is a 10-year-old chestnut Dutch Warmblood gelding (Indoctro x Voltaire) that Karolyi and business partner Andrea King purchased at the end of October.
"The first time I tried him, I thought he was a lovely horse," said Karolyi, 25. "He has an enormous amount of scope and he really wants to be careful. He has been beautifully produced by Peter; he's well-educated and easy to ride. Even though he's a big horse, he is very handy, which I didn't expect when I first saw him."
Karolyi chose the RMI Raleigh Benefit Horse Show to make his competitive debut with Indiana 127, explaining, "I didn't even plan to jump him in the grand prix. I just wanted to take it one day at a time and see how he handled it. We did a 1.15m class on the first day, just so I could get to know him and see how he would react. I entered the $10,000 Open Welcome Stake on Thursday night and said I would decide on the grand prix depending on how that went. He placed third, so I couldn't say "no"! It turned out to be a good week."
While victory came with a new partner, Karolyi also enjoyed results with a sentimental favorite, Mississippi L.S. Bred by La Silla in Mexico, the chestnut stallion has carried several members of the Karolyi family to success over the years. In Raleigh, Karolyi and Mississippi L.S. placed third in the $7,000 Futures Stake and sixth in the $5,000 Challenge Stake.
"It was a lot of fun," said Karolyi. "John Rush and his team did a nice job running the horse show, and everything ran on schedule. They put on a nice event with featured classes every day. It's also really exciting because it was the first show with Indiana, and it's always nice to start off that way."
Source: Press release from Starting Gate Communications / Jennifer Ward
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