Jessica Springsteen of Colts Neck, NJ, kicked off the first day of international jumper competition at the 2014 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) with a win riding Davendy S at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The day also saw victories for Taegen Long riding Pocohontas and Katherine Pontone aboard Belladonna in the WIHS Children's and Adult Jumper Championships. With six days of world-class competition, WIHS continues through Sunday, October 26, featuring hunter, jumper, and equitation highlights.
Wednesday's feature event was the opening $10,000 International Jumper speed class, sponsored by Amalaya Investments, with a win for Springsteen and Stone Hill Farms Davendy S. The class saw 37 entries with six clear rounds over an Anthony D'Ambrosio designed course. Last to go, Springsteen and Davendy S blazed through the course in 50.80 seconds for the win. She edged out her own horse, Zero, who finished in second with a time of 55.31 seconds ridden by Laura Kraut (USA). Belgium's Nicola Philippaerts and J'Espere Dream placed third in 56.81 seconds.
Winning mount, Davendy S, is an 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Pachat II). Although she just got the mare in August, Springsteen and Davendy bonded quickly and had their first victories together in Valkenswaard and Dublin soon after.
"She is an amazing horse. She is so much fun, and she likes to go fast," Springsteen described. "She doesn't like when you pull her and try to school her, so she is very competitive and this is her kind of class. I brought her to L.A. and she was really good, and I took her to Central Park and she was second in the speed class there. We haven't done too much together, but it was sort of an instant click with her, which is nice. The indoor rings suit her because she can cut really hard."
Springsteen knew she had a fast time to beat from Zero and Kraut, but she was able to trust in her horse and go almost five seconds faster. "She is really careful, so I like to give her a strong ride our first time in," Springsteen noted. "I went around everywhere, but she is so fast. Laura told me that I could go around and still have the winning time."
Since riders can only show two horses each with limited space at WIHS, Springsteen thought it would be a good idea for Kraut to show Zero indoors before he heads to Toronto in November, and she was also very happy with his great finish tonight.
"I love when Laura shows my horses because I get back on them after and they are amazing, like completely different horses," she laughed. "He is funny. He is very quirky. Sometimes he will go in, and he will be really focused and you will really nail it. Other times he is a little bit distracted and kind of all over the place, but he was really good tonight. He tried really hard. He is a careful horse and he loves to jump, you can tell."
This was Springsteen's first international win at WIHS, and it is a competition that she has always enjoyed. "It is always a special show. I have come here since I was on ponies, so it is definitely nice to be back," she stated. "I have a lot of memories here."An added incentive for the international riders this year includes new cash bonuses that will be awarded to riders accumulating the most points in the division. A $15,000 bonus will go to the overall leading international rider, sponsored by The Boeing Company, and a $10,000 bonus will be awarded to the overall leading rider 25 years of age or younger, sponsored by Sleepy P Ranch. Springsteen now stands in the lead with her opening day win and looks forward to seeing how the standings play out.
"I think it is really great to have those bonuses, and it is good for classes like this where a lot of people would just go in to school," she acknowledged. "It makes it more exciting for the crowd because you are trying to win, and you are trying to accumulate the points. It really makes the riders go in and try to win every class, and it is nice when they do stuff for the younger riders too. The (United) States are good about building their young riders up, so that is always really appreciated."
Final Results: $10,000 International Jumper Time First Round, sponsored by Amalaya Investments
Place, Number, Horse, Rider, Owner, Nation: Faults/Time
1 96 DAVENDY S JESSICA SPRINGSTEEN STONE HILL FARM USA: 0/50.80
2 27 ZERO LAURA KRAUT STONE HILL FARM USA: 0/55.31
3 1209 J’ESPERE DREAM NICOLA PHILIPPAERTS NICOLA PHILIPPAERTS BEL: 0/56.81
4 29 FERRRON CANDICE KING BELLISSIMO LLC USA: 0/59.27
5 1208 CHALLENGE VD BEGIJNAKKER NICOLA PHILIPPAERTS BEL: 0/61.74
6 1210 CARLITO C OLIVIER PHILIPPAERTS FRANZ LENS BEL: 0/61.96
7 1212 HH CARLOS Z McLAIN WARD DOUBLE H FARM USA: 1/63.43
8 1211 ARMSTRONG VAN DE KAPEL OLIVIER PHILIPPAERTS BEL: 1/65.57
9 3 APARDI DANIEL BLUMAN DANIEL BLUMAN LLC COL: 2/69.57
10 56 FINEMAN SHANE SWEETNAM ROSE HILL FARM IRL: 4/50.64
11 1201 ZANDER McLAIN WARD WARD/GRANT ROAD PARTNERS USA: 4/51.07
12 2 AMMERETTO DAVID BEISEL EQUINE HOLDINGS LLC USA: 4/52.18
Source: Press release from Washington International Horse Show
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