Five days of exciting show jumping got underway on Wednesday as the inaugural Silver Oak Jumper Tournament lifted off under gorgeous partly sunny skies in what's known as the Seacoast region of the Granite State. The 1.30m Jumpers, also scored at Table II, Sec 2b Time First Jump-Off class was next with thirty-one going to the post.
The last proved to be the best as Ramiro Quintana stormed to victory on Bialda, a top seven-year old Young Jumper owned by St. Bride's Farm of Upperville, Virginia. Quintana blasted through the finish line in 34.719 seconds to steal the win from Darragh Kenny and Mantana, owned by Oakland Ventures. Kenny had held the lead since the thirteenth to go in order. Kenny's second place time was 35.483 seconds. Kenny also secured third place with Quiz, second to last to go in the class. Quiz, also owned by Oakland Ventures, tripped the timers in 36.454 seconds.
"David and Barbara Roux bought the horse a year ago for me to bring along. She's very scopey, she's very brave and she's really quite fast as you saw in today's class," Quintana said of Bialda. "She's going to the Hampton Classic to compete in the Seven Year-Old Young Jumper Finals and then I'll bring her along through the program, advancing her to the Eight Year-Olds next year."
Quintana, who outdistanced Kenny by almost a full second, explained where he found the faster track. "I got a chance to watch Darragh go," he said, "I left out a stride in the last line and did seven there where everyone else was doing eight and I was quite neat to one-two-three and back on the double combination."
Rounding out the top six were Lauren Tisbo and Tequesta Farms' Sting Van de Withoeve, Peter Leone aboard Alias, owned by Kiva Iscol and Candice King with Bellissimo LLC's VDL Maleklou. Tisbo clocked in at 37.133 seconds, Leone broke the beams in 37.548 seconds and King came home in 37.670 seconds. Of the thirty-one that started, sixteen went clear the first time and fourteen went on to be double clear.
The final event on opening day was the 1.40m Open Jumpers, Table II Section 2b, Time First Jump-Off with twenty starters. This time around, Irish rider Darragh Kenny left no doubt, making sure he wouldn't get bumped out of the top spot. In fact, he finished first and second to wrap up a very successful afternoon.
Riding Oakland Venture's Picolo, Kenny secured the victory without really trying. "I didn't think I was that fast on my last horse. At that point, I knew I had the class won and I was only really schooling for the Welcome class tomorrow," Kenny explained. "But, he's naturally so fast; it's so easy to gallop with him. In the jump-off I didn't think I was faster, but he's so quick across the ground and he's so careful, you don't have to worry about anything at the jumps. It's so rare that a horse does both."
Kenny, who had been leading with Quiz, another Oakland Ventures entry in 34.732 seconds, managed to slice a tenth of a second off of that time with Picolo to finish in 34.633 seconds for the victory. "I bought him during the off week at Spruce Meadows," Kenny noted. "He came from France two weeks ago and went straight to HITS Saugerties where he placed in all four grand prix over the two weeks in Saugerties. He was second last Friday and second in the $100,000 grand prix up there. I brought him here and wasn't really intending on showing him today, but I've only had him two weeks and had never ridden him on grass, so I thought I'd get him out and see how it goes," he said.
Kenny, who ventured out on his own after a long stint with top trainer Missy Clark, has developed a nice group of young horses and couldn't be happier at this point of his life. "Really good," he smiled. "I've got a great string of horses, very careful, very competitive and easy to ride. I think it's going to be a little bit of fun for me now. I have some great clients and some wonderful horses underneath me, so I couldn't be happier."
As far as the Silver Oak facility, Kenny said, "I think the facility and the horse show is absolutely fantastic. I think it's a brilliant show. The show is run well, the field is beautiful, the footing is super, so it's really enjoyable to be here. The people are so nice. I can't say enough good things about this horse show. And the course designer did a lovely job today."
With a lot of clean rounds through the three classes today, Kenny expects that to change as the week progresses. "Nobody had anything bad happen. I think he was just trying to be fair today. Just get everybody in the ring, get everybody jumping around and get everybody happy. I think he will be a little tougher tomorrow and then I think he'll be quite tough by the time we get to Sunday," Kenny stated. "I think he has a good feel for the good riders that are competing here."
Molly Ashe-Cawley finished third in today's 1.40m class with Lincourt Gino, owned by Monica Carrera. Crossing the finish line in 34.883 seconds, Ashe-Cawley missed the mark by just 2/10ths of a second. Fourth place went to another Darragh Kenny mount, Cequila, owned by Oakland Ventures, who broke the beams in 35.248 seconds. Fifth place went to Ziedento and Ramiro Quintana for the St. Bride's Farm and sixth went to Wiesielottie from the Winley Farm.
202 - Open Jumper 1.30m II.2b - 32 entries
1 247 BialdaSt Bride's Farm Ramiro Quintana 0-0/34.719
2 152 Matana Oakland Ventures Darragh Kenny 0-0/35.483
3 155 Quiz Oakland Ventures Darragh Kenny 0-0/36.454
4 275 Sting Van de Withoeve Tequestrian Farms Llc Lauren Tisbo 0-0/37.133
5 174 Alias Kiva Iscol Kiva Iscol 0-0/37.548
6 150 VDL Maleklou Bellissimo LLC Candice King 0-0/37.670
7 270 Cequilla Oakland Ventures Darragh Kenny 0-0/39.555
8 322 Vernal Katie Kohlhas Kevin Mc Carthy 0-0/39.635
203 - Open Jumper 1.40m II 2b 20 entries
1 153 PICOLO DARRAGH KENNY OAKLAND VENTURES 0-0/34.633
2 155 QUIZ DARRAGH KENNY OAKLAND VENTURES 0-0/34.732
3 133 LINCOURT GINO MOLLY ASHE-CAWLEY MONICA CARRERA 0-0/34.833
4 270 CEQUILLA DARRAGH KENNY OAKLAND VENTURES 0-0/35.248
5 252 ZIEDENTO RAMIRO QUINTANA ST BRIDE'S FARM 0-0/36.326
6 116 WIESIELOTTIE PETER WYLDE WINLEY FARM 0-0/37.169
7 286 VIOLAMAARTEN HUYGENS MAARTEN HUYGENS 0-0/37.622
8 248 CAPONE 21 RAMIRO QUINTANA ST BRIDE'S FARM 0-0/37.672
9 159 ZORANA CODY AUER CODY AUER 0-0/38.039
10 230 SHORAPUR KEVIN BABINGTON SHORAPUR LLC 0-0/39.464
Source: Press release from Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
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