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Victory for Paige Johnson and Chiron S in Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic

Monday, 05 March 2012

Paige Johnson & Chiron S on their way to victory. Photo by Sportfot.Sunday’s $25,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic had 44 entries, with 10 clear to the jump-off. Setting the early pace was Nick Skelton (GBR) on Beverley Widdowson's Unique, who won this class in the first week of the FTI WEF. They were clear in 40.350 seconds, which would hold up for second place. Immediately after Skelton, Laura Kraut and another Widdowson-owned entry, Belmont, stopped the timers clear in 41.515 seconds for third place. Paige Johnson and Chiron S, a 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Contender x Liostro, went second to last in the jump-off. They sped around the course and brought the winning time down to 38.048 seconds for victory.

"I did not see Nick go, I was schooling. I caught a glimpse of him on the screen. Our plan normally is that (my trainer) Joe (Fargis) stays up there to watch," Johnson said of her jump-off plan. "He came back and told me what Nick did. He said Nick went inside to (jump) three, but for my horse personally, I thought I'd be safer galloping around. I knew I could make up time by leaving out and doing seven (strides) to the last wall and galloping to 13 a-b."
 

Fourth place went to Nicolas Pizarro (MEX) and Polasko, who finished in 41.726 seconds, while Jos Verlooy (NED) and Axel Verlooy's Domino were fifth in 43.008 seconds. Johnson said, "I was in such good company in this class. I thought it was a really good class. It's nice to compete against these riders and feel like you can compete with them on that level. I'm really happy with my horse and I'm proud of myself too. It's been a while."
 

After nearly a year off from injury, Chiron S has returned to the show ring for success in 2012. Johnson has competed with Chiron S in the High Amateur-Owner Jumpers, and they won the classic in week four. Johnson noted, "I gave him two weeks off (after that). He showed last week and was double clear and fourth in that classic. This week I saved him just for this class. It was worth saving him. This was my first 1.50m of the circuit, so it's not a bad one! It was a nice start. I thought we were a great team today. He listened to what I asked him to do. I thought I put him where he needed to be. It was great teamwork."

Johnson and Chiron S have been competing together for five years. "He's been a great horse," she said. "I've had some unlucky stuff with him soundness-wise, but that comes with the sport. Everybody has that. It's been hard to consistently stay at this level. But he's so talented, he's so much fun, he's so brave, he's so fast. It's really nice when he's on, and these are the results. I'm really happy." Johnson gave credit to her team for her success. "I have to thank Joe and Kent Farrington, they both help me. Kent also helps me with schooling the horses. I couldn't do it without them and Rob Jones and the whole big team. It all came together today and when it does, it's a great feeling."

Final Results: $25,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic


1 CHIRON S/PAIGE JOHNSON SALAMANDER FARM: 0/0/38.048
2 UNIQUE/NICK SKELTON BEVERLEY WIDDOWSON: 0/0/40.350
3 BELMONT/LAURA KRAUT BEVERLEY WIDDOWSON: 0/0/41.515
4 POLASKO/NICOLAS PIZARRO NICOLAS PIZARRO: 0/0/41.726
5 DOMINO/JOS VERLOOY AXEL VERLOOY: 0/0/43.008
6 O'SPLENDIDO/SHANE SWEETNAM SPY COAST FARM LLC: 0/4/39.587
7 UDIANA/KEVIN BABINGTON CHLOE WORMSER: 0/4/40.023
8 CARISSIMO/MOLLY ASHE-CAWLEY MAARTEN HUYGENS: 0/4/41.283
9 VALENTE/TIM GREDLEY MRS. R. GREDLEY: 0/4/42.417
10 HH CISKE/RODRIGO PESSOA DOUBLE H FARM: 0/8/44.326
11 VON DER GRAAF/ROBERTO TERAN ARK PARTNERS: 1/79.740
12 SANDRO/KATHERINE DINAN GRANT ROAD PARTNERS: 4/74.045

Source: Press release from Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

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