Today's $32,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Classic was the final of 12 weeks of competition at the FTI WEF. The popular series hosted 12 events, seven of which were FEI ROLEX world ranking points classes. The class had 40 entries, five of which were able to proceed to the jump-off after a clear round. First to go in the opening round and the jump-off was series leader Nick Skelton (GBR) and Unique. They put down a fast, clear round in 37.64 seconds to make the rest of the field chase them. Their round would hold up for second place.
Catherine Pasmore and My Boy were next in and while they had the winning time in hand (36.61 seconds), a rail relegated them to fourth place. Lamaze and his first mount in the jump-off, Hunter's Scendix, were next in. After a miscommunication at the first jump, Lamaze jumped one more fence and then chose to retire in the jump-off, putting them in fifth place.
Lamaze said afterward, "He jumped a beautiful first round. He left a stride too early at the first fence. I don't know what happened to be honest. I don't know if there was a shadow there. He's such a careful horse. I'm not sure if he turned the corner and didn't quite have his eye on the fence and then saw it and left. But it's a super star of a horse that is going to take time to know."
Tina Fletcher (GBR) was next in on Lady Harris' Hello Sailor. They went for the slow, easy clear round in 47.39 seconds to finish in fourth place.
Knowing the time to beat after watching Skelton, Lamaze was ready to go with Coriana van Klapscheut, his mount owned by Artisan Farms, LLC. With ease and speed, the pair slipped over the jumps and through the timers in 35.930 seconds for the win.
"I watched Nick go and he was very quick. If he's clear, you know he's fast. He's one of the fastest riders in the world. With Coriana, I tried to follow his pattern," Lamaze explained of his jump-off. "My horse is very quick in the air and quick landing. I didn't really have to go faster. My horse I think just ended up being the quicker horse across the ground and in the air today. That was a good designed jump-off, not a lot of racing. It was mostly lines and turning, which my horse is very good with."
Lamaze mentioned that the change this year for some of the 1.50m classes to FEI is better for the riders and the competition. "These 1.50m (classes) as FEI, I'm a big fan of them," he acknowledged. "Before most of the 1.50m were national classes, and I thought it was always a shame. It's nice to have a class like that today (where) you get world ranking points. There was a 1.45m class week this point for ranking points. It's important. There are a lot of people that invest money in these horses and the prize money is great, but from a rider's point of view it's nice when you get the world ranking points. It makes better sport and a better class because the riders try harder. That's along with the bonus money. There is a lot of bonus money given away at the end of the circuit."
Speaking of his second horse, Lamaze believes that Hunter's Scendix is going to be a "superstar" horse, but one the he needs to adjust to in the upcoming months. "I really, really like the horse. I think we can tweak things a little bit better coming to Europe," he noted. "I just need to know him well. It's going to take a little time, but I really love the horse. He's that good of a horse, in my opinion, that it's not the horse you have to change, it's the rider that has to get used to him. I'm really excited about him."
With Coriana, Lamaze has taken it slow this winter and worked on preparing her for the summer circuit in Europe. They won the WEF Challenge Cup Round 8 and Lamaze believes she is just coming into her peak fitness. "She jumped a great round. I wanted to give her this class today because a, it's a ranking class, and b, her season is beginning now. It was to give her a little bit more fitness."
The $50,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series bonus awards were presented today, with Nick Skelton taking home the top prize of $25,000 for his consistent success in the division. Ben Maher won $15,000 for second place, while Cian O'Connor finished third and won $10,000.
Final Results: $32,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Final
1 CORIANA VAN KLAPSCHEUT: 2002 BWP mare by Darco x Heartbreaker
ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Artisan Farms LLC: 0/0/35.93
2 UNIQUE: 2001 KWPN gelding by Indoctro x Voltaire NICK SKELTON (GBR), Beverly Widdowson: 0/0/37.64
3 HELLO SAILOR: 1999 KWPN gelding by Kigali x Indoctro TINA FLETCHER (GBR), Lady P. Harris & Lady P. Kirkham: 0/0/47.39
4 MY BOY: 1996 Belgian Warmblood gelding by unknown CATHERINE PASMORE (USA), Pasmore Stables: 0/4/36.61
5 HUNTER'S SCENDIX: 2003 Hanoverian stallion by Stakkato x Dinar ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), LVS Hunters/ Torrey Pine Stables: 0/RT
6 KEC ALLIGATOR ALLEY: 2002 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Aldatus Z x Clover Hill CIAN O'CONNOR (IRL), Sinead & Oonagh Kennedy: 1/80.05
7 LORDAN: 2004 Hanoverian gelding by Lordanos x Landor
NAYEL NASSAR (EGY), NAYEL & SHARAFF NASSAR: 1/81.57
8 TOSCANE: 2000 KWPN stallion by Lux x Joost HENRIK GUNDERSEN (DEN), Emilie Martinsen: 1/83.25
9 CLYDE: 2004 Holsteiner stallion by Clearway x Coronado DANIEL BLUMAN (COL), Daniel Bluman, LLC: 1/83.28
10 FLAMING STAR:1999 AES gelding by Fairman x Unknown CHARLIE JACOBS SR., CMJ Sporthorse LLC: 4/75.96
11 V: 2002 KWPN gelding by Landstreicher Lennard KATIE PRUDENT (USA), Michael Smith: 4/77.40
12 QUIET EASY 4: 2004 Oldenburg gelding by Quidams Rubin x Zapateado BEN MAHER (GBR), Mrs. Phillips: 4/78.04
Source: Jennifer Wood Media Inc.
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