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Meredith Michales-Beerbaum and Checkmate on top in Wellington

Monday, 13 February 2012

Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Checkmate are always a fast combination. Photo by Sportfot. A large field came to compete on Sunday in the $32,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic, and it was Olympian Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER) and Checkmate 4 who came away with the win. Cian O'Connor riding Everything were second, while Kirsten Coe (USA) rode Baronez to third.

Today's 1.50m class was held under FEI rules and was a FEI ROLEX world ranking competition. Guilherme Jorge of Brazil set the courses in the International Arena. There were 68 entries, and nine returned for the jump-off.

O'Connor and his first horse in the jump-off, Everything, set the early pace with a clear round in 35.82 seconds, which would hold up for second. Kirsten Coe and Baronez were just behind in third place with a time of 36.91 seconds. The last double clear round was O'Connor and his second mount, KEC Alligator Alley, who finished in 38.31 seconds.

Michaels-Beerbaum and Checkmate 4, a 17-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Contender x Pik Bube II, returned second to last in the jump-off. They lowered the winning time to 35.31 seconds.

"I watched Cian and he had a really super round with his nice young horse. He's a really fast rider, so I just tried to do my best," she said afterward. "I have a lot of experience with Checkmate. He's 17 years old already. I've been riding him since he was six, so I think experience came into play. I could just shave a couple of tenths off his time I think."According to Meredith - her long experience with17 year old Checkmate came in to play in Sunday's big class in Wellington. Photo by Sportfot
Michaels-Beerbaum related, "You don't see many at 17 winning at the international level. He's really an outstanding horse. We've won a lot of grands prix together, so I'm delighted he's still going so well. Last year he was injured quite a bit of the year, so this is really a nice comeback."

Source: Jennifer Wood Media Inc.

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