Out of a starting field of 77 entries, 11 went to the jump-off, but no one was able to catch Frances Land and Vieanne. They blazed around the shortened course in 37.99 seconds for victory.
Land was only thinking speed when she entered the ring for the jump-off. "A class like this you have Eric Lamaze, you have Kent Farrington, you have Charlie Jayne, you have Reed Kessler, you have everyone who has ever been fast in the entire world, so you have to kind of go for it," she exclaimed. "There were only 11 clean, so my dad told me to just go in there - and she is so fast naturally - (and) to leave out strides, make quick turns, and she will be fast and hopefully it will hold up. I think I went a little crazier than I was supposed to, but it worked, so today it was a good thing."
Land said she was surprised that her time held up in the jump-off. "Whenever (you) think (you) go fast, then you have Eric [Lamaze] who beats you and makes you look like you went very slow. But my horse is just so naturally fast that turning quickly and opening her up and using her big stride really helped me out. It was definitely a surprise. I thought someone would catch me," she admitted.
The next closest was Reed Kessler (USA) in another second place finish, this time with Ligist. They were clear in 38.20 seconds. Third place went to Christine McCrea (USA) and Ronaldo de la Pomme, who were last in the jump-off. They stopped the timers just short in 39.73 seconds.
Nineteen-year-old Land has been riding Vieanne, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare by Andiamo x Voltaire, since this past January. Vieanne was showing in the 1.50m division in Europe with a professional rider and is a speed expert.
Land noted that Vieanne is "very careful," and that it took time for her to get used to her since she is bigger than other horses that she has ridden. "She is a lot of horse; she is a lot to contain. For me getting used to that big stride on a big field like that, (it was) just opening her up and then trusting the scope. She is amazing on grass and she loves this footing," she remarked.
Although Land has won classes at Spruce Meadows before, this was her first win in the International Ring. She was also excited to represent the United States and hear the national anthem play after her victory. "It is surreal to be able to say that you won in a ring that Eric Lamaze and everyone that has won an Olympic medal has shown," she expressed. "I love being able to ride for my country. I don't really get to show in Europe, so this is my international experience. Getting to be a U.S. rider outside the U.S. is definitely a proud moment because you get to represent your country. It is definitely special."
Horses are a family affair for the Lands. Her father Jay is her trainer and her mother Kim is a rider, as is her sister Taylor. "I heard them announce (that I won) and then my dad came running down with the cooler. He trains me, so it is nice to be able to share victories with him. It makes it a little bit more special because he is a rider too, so he understands. They are all here, so we do it together," she said.
Final Results: $33,000 Pepsi Challenge 1.45m
1. VIEANNE: 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare by Andiamo x Voltaire
FRANCES LAND (USA), Frances Land: 0/0/37.99
2. LIGIST: 2000 Swedish Warmblood gelding by Levantos II x Robin Z
REED KESSLER (USA), Reed Kessler: 0/0/38.20
3. RONALDO DE LA POMME: 2005 Selle Francais stallion by Stakkato x Darco
CHRISTINE MCCREA (USA), Candy Tribble: 0/0/39.73
4. LASKARA R: 2003 Westphalian mare by Lordanos x Fabriano
ALISON ROBITAILLE (USA), M/M Bertram Firestone: 0/0/40.60
5. CABALLITO: 2002 Holsteiner gelding by Contendro x Argentinus
ANDRES RODRIGUEZ (VEN), Arao Enterprises LLC: 0/0/41.48
6. LERCHE 37: 2002 Holsteiner mare by Quantum x Linaro
TAMIE PHILLIPS (CAN), Tamie Phillips: 0/0/42.95
7. WAOMI: 2003 KWPN mare by Lupicor x Boreas
MEAGAN NUSZ (USA), Amalaya Investments: 0/0/44.18
8. ZAFIRA: 2004 KWPN mare Nassau x Cappucino van Berkenbroek
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Haity McNerney: 0/4/41.25
9. WANG CHUNG M2S: 2003 KWPN stallion by Royal Bravour x Ahorn
ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Morningside Stud & Torrey Pines Stable: 0/4/44.60
10. ZERNIKE K: 2004 KWPN gelding by Sam R 60 x H Topas
BRIANNE GOUTAL (USA), Remarkable Farms LP: 0/4/48.74
Source: Press release from Jennifer Wood Media Inc.
This photo has been added to your cart !Your shopping cart »