The $82,000 TD Cup 1.50m was held in winning round format today. The top 25 qualifiers competed in the first round, and from there, the top 8 returned for a second round. The top 8 started on a clean slate and the finish was determined by the time and faults from the second round.
First in was Enrique Gonzalez (MEX) on Quilebo D Tillard, who had the last jump down for four faults in 51.97 seconds. That would slot them into eighth place at the end of the competition.
Christine McCrea (USA) and Zerly were next in and they were very quick throughout the course to be the first clear in 48.23 seconds for victory.
"I just was determined to go as fast as I could," McCrea said with a smile. "There was nothing that I wasn't going to try and do. That was my goal. I almost didn't make the jump-off because I went too slow (in round one). I was revved up. She is so fast. I knew if I rode her perfectly, she would be fastest."
Although McCrea had to add in one related distance line, she thought the competition was won by how fast she was from fences one to two. "I flew around the corner and she shot off to the right over the yellow (oxer), and I had to pull up in the eight (strides)," she recalled, "and that's where I thought, 'Oh no. Somebody could get me there.' But they didn't. I think you had to fly one to two. That was my plan."
Meagan Nusz (USA) and Dynamo put in a four fault round in 51.79 seconds and left them in seventh place. Quentin Judge (USA) and HH Dark de la Hart put in a great clear round in a slower time of 51.47 seconds, which would finish in fourth place. Ian Millar (CAN) and Star Power were fast near the end of the course, but it wasn't quite enough as they were clear in 52.69 seconds for fifth place.
Conor Swail (IRL) and Game Ready made a great bid for the lead, but fell just short in 51.24 seconds for third place. Ashlee Bond (USA) and Agrostar were also quick in 50.40 seconds, but a rail at the last jump gave them four faults and sixth place.
The final pair into the ring was Beezie Madden (USA) and Coral Reef Via Volo. They were quite fast in 49.53 seconds with no faults, but it wouldn't be enough to take victory and they had to settle for second place.
McCrea has been riding Zerly, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare by Querlybet Hero x Carthago, for almost a year and has been moving her from the 1.50m to the 1.60m and back again. "I think she's super talented and I absolutely love riding her. She's sort of learning the 1.60m height. I'm trying to give her a good education going forward," she explained. "She is just all business and knows what her job is. She is very careful, has tons of scope, and she likes how I ride her. We have a good relationship. She's just awesome."
Zerly fits into the type of horse that McCrea likes to ride. She described, "I like them hot. I like horses that can bounce, that you can go forward and then pull up and bounce a stride in. I kind of likes ones that go with their head up, which sounds funny, but if you look at the ones we have they all kind of go that way. The high balance is better for me; the low balance is difficult for me to ride. We buy all of our horses young, so we never really know where they're going to end up, so we try to just horn in on that specific type. They might rise above what you think might ever have jumped before because we're comfortable together and they like the way I ride them. That's been our goal the last couple of years. They are so much fun! I'm having the time of my life."
McCrea has been recording top finishes at the Spruce Meadows Summer Tournaments this year, including four wins and eight top three places. She thanked her parents, who sponsor her, her husband Jonathan, and also Alan Waldman, who finds all of her horses. "It's been kind of crazy. I think I have a really, really top string right now," she said. "When you feel confident on one and the next goes well, it sort of builds your confidence and everything meshes. I think that's what's been happening for me."
Final Results: $82,000 TD Cup 1.50m
1. ZERLY: 2004 KPWN mare by Querlybet Hero x Carthago
CHRISTINE MCCREA (USA), Candy Tribble: 0/0/48.23
2. CORAL REEF VIA VOLO: 1998 BWP mare by Clinton x Heartbreaker
BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Coral Reef Ranch: 0/0/49.53
3. GAME READY: 2000 KWPN gelding by Andiamo x Polydox
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Susan Grange: 0/0/51.24
4. HH DARK DE LA HART: 2003 Belgian Warmblood stallion by Kashmir Van Schuttershof X Nonstop
QUENTIN JUDGE (USA), Double H Farm: 0/0/51.47
5. STAR POWER: 2001 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Quick Star
IAN MILLAR (CAN), Team Works: 0/0/52.69
6. AGROSTAR: 2004 Oldenburg stallion by Argentinus x Lupine
ASHLEE BOND (USA), Klatte KG, H.u.H.: 0/4/50.40
7. DYNAMO: 2003 BWP gelding by Skippy II x Lys de Darmen
MEAGAN NUSZ (USA), Amalaya Investments: 0/4/51.79
8. QUILEBO D TILLARD: 2004 Selle Francais gelding by For Pleasure x Quat Sous
ENRIQUE GONZALEZ (MEX), Enrique Gonzalez: 1/4/51.97
9. ZARA LEANDRA: 2004 Dutch Warmblood mare by Metropole x Ahorn
PABLO BARRIOS (VEN), ZL Group Inc.: 1/74.51
10. DARLING: 2004 Westphalian mare by Cornet Obolensky x Gralshuter
AINSLEY VINCE (CAN), The Darling Group: 1/74.92
Source: Press release from Jennifer Wood Media Inc.
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