Lauren Hough used her style to score her second victory in row this week during the Chartis Insurance Company $50,000 International Open Jumper Speed. She piloted her own Ohlala to the fastest clear effort over Richard Jeffery's faults converted track, which included a fan jump, a stone wall, a Swedish oxer, a vertical-vertical double combination, and an oxer-vertical double combination.
Belgium's Olivier Philippaerts set the time to beat as the first to traverse the course with Fanny Machiels' Vadetta Van Het Mettenhof. They clocked in at a clear 60.53 seconds, adding no faults to their time for an eventual sixth place ribbon.
Beezie Madden managed to best him as the next in the ring with Amadora, owned by Abigail Wexner, tripping the timers at 59.60 seconds, which would hold the lead for a nine rounds, but eventually fall to third. Andrew Welles and Boo Van Het Kastanjehof, owned by Peter Welles, came close to catching Madden, but their time of 60.13 seconds would only be good enough for fourth. The fifth place award went to Christine McCrea and Zerly, owned by Candy Tribble, going late in the class and completing the course in 60.33 seconds.
Shane Sweetnam was the first to top Madden riding Spy Coast Farm's Cyklon 1083. They sped across the course leaving a huge stride out to the Swedish oxer. The pair's effort was almost good enough, breaking the beam at 59.04 seconds, for an eventual second place finish.
Lauren Hough chose to do the same inside turn to the first double combination that Sweetnam did, and despite some glitches through the ring, it proved to be the fastest track. She and Ohlala were quick and clear as they dashed through the finish in 58.76 seconds, good enough for the win. Only Nicola Philippaerts had a faster time with Diebrich De Kalvarie, owned by Stal De Kalvarie, but an unfortunate rail coming into the last combination added four seconds for a final time of 60.94 in eighth place.
"It wasn't one of my smoothest rounds, but it all worked out," admitted Hough. "She was amazing, I don't know how she did it. I had looked at the inside turn when I walked the course, but I watched probably five go and thought to myself that it wasn't possible. Christine McCrea told me Shane did it, and my distance to fence two set me up nicely. It wasn't the smoothest, but I think it was quicker."
Hough and Ohlala were the winners of a speed class last week at the Washington International Horse Show, and the eight-year-old mare also participated in her first World Cup Qualifier. "I got her at the end of last year, and she campaigned at Florida up to the 1.45m classes. This summer in Europe she won the Young Horse Finals in Aachen and the Young Horse Final in Hamburg. She has just been a winner. She is on the brink of stepping up into the bigger classes; she is very, very competitive. A horse at eight years old to win as much as she has, you don't see that happen very often. She can go as fast as she did today and then turn around and jump a big class tomorrow and not be fazed by it. It makes my job easy."
$50,000 OPEN SPEED
1 294 OHLALA LAUREN HOUGH 0 0 0 58.760
2 259 CYKLON 1083 SHANE SWEETNAM 0 0 0 59.040
3 243 AMADORA BEEZIE MADDEN 0 0 0 59.600
4 266 BOO VAN HET KASTANJEHOF ANDREW WELLES 0 0 0 60.130
5 246 ZERLY CHRISTINE MCCREA 0 0 0 60.330
6 304 VADETTA VAN HET METTENHOF OLIVIER PHILIPPAERTS 0 0 0 60.530
7 263 VENUS KENT FARRINGTON 0 0 0 60.560
8 302 DIEBRICH DE KALVARIE NICOLA PHILIPPAERTS 0 0 0 60.940
9 271 GRACIELLA 50 SAER COULTER 0 0 0 62.910
10 268 LALIQUE MARIE HECART 0 0 0 64.990
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