Lauren Hough and Quick Study, owned by Laura Mateo, earned top prize in Thursday afternoon's $31,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 4 after completing the very close jump-off in the fastest time by just 6/100ths of a second.
Eight of the original 54 entries jumped clear in the first round. It was a race to the finish in the jump-off as each competitor flew through the timers just moments apart. The final competitor to complete the jump-off was Lauren Hough riding Quick Study. The pair managed to shave the smallest fraction off the lead-time to stop the clock in 43.42 seconds and take the win. Hough was very happy with Quick's Study's performance today since the 12-year-old SFA gelding (by Quick Star x What a Joy) has had time off since finishing fourth at the Gucci Masters in Paris this December.
Eric Lamaze and Atlete Van T Heike finished in second place, while Ashlee Bond and Little Valley Farm's Cadett 7 were third.
Commenting on edging out the top place, Hough stated, "It was obviously a very small margin. I did not get to see Eric go, but I had a pretty good feel after seeing Ashlee and she was close in second. My horse is naturally fast. After the triple bar I had quite a big distance to the skinny and he is quick in the air, so it was just the smallest 100th of a second margin."
"I think Richard did a super job with the course today," Hough noted. "In the beginning I thought that there were going to be too many clear, but it really ended up being what I would call a perfect course. It was not so big today, it was just a nice course for us to get our toes wet and get a feel for it. Sometimes in these classes they have to be careful not to build too big and you end up with 20 clear, so today was just the perfect height and eight clear was really nice."
For more information go to http://www.equestriansport.com/
Source: Press release from equestriansport.com by Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
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