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Duff delivers in CSI3* Paladin Cup

Saturday, 19 August 2023
CSI3* Thunderbird Show Park 2023

Photo ©tbird/Kim Gaudry. Jaclyn Duff and Eblesse stand for their winner's presentation. Photo ©tbird/Kim Gaudry.


Press release from Thunderbird Show Park



Jaclyn Duff (CAN) always knew she had a special horse in Eblesse (Otangelo x Martel), but she's had to be patient with the now 14-year-old KWPN gelding. Friday evening at Thunderbird Show Park, her fortitude was rewarded, as the pair came together to win the CSI3* Paladin Cup 1.50m.

Besting a nine-horse jump-off, the duo crossed the timers of Peter Holmes' (CAN) short track in 42.46 seconds. Charlie Jones (GBR) and Capitale 6 (San Patriganano Cassini x For Pleasure) finished second in 43s, while Christopher Lowe (CAN) was third with Cunningham 4 (Contendro I x Caretino 2) in 43.55s.

"I didn't think I was very fast," Duff said. "I actually lost one of my reins on the way [to the last jump] and [Eblesse] pulled a shoe, but he was amazing and turned himself inside out to jump it clear."

Photo ©tbird/Kim Gaudry. Jaclyn Duff and Eblesse. Photo ©tbird/Kim Gaudry.

Jones was the first to take on the jump-off, and for a while, it appeared as if he might hold all the way through with his slick track. And while Duff was slightly behind her opponent in the middle of the course—adding a stride to the liverpool oxer and fanning slightly wider to the combination—she was flying early and late.

"I landed after the double, and I was like, 'Here we go.' And he was great. He just was phenomenal," Duff said.

It's been a long road back to the international level for the pair. Shortly after Duff added the dark bay to her string in the fall of 2021, Eblesse injured himself. He'd miss a year of competition. 

Duff has spent her 2023 season building back up, and she returned to FEI competition with her mount at tbird in June, jumping the CSI2* division at the Odlum Brown BC Open. Then, she rerouted herself. Instead of traveling to Spruce Meadows in July, she brought Eblesse to Chicago to jump some national classes.

"I went to Chicago to go jump some bigger Grand Prixs, to get some mileage and just get him a little fitter—with the idea of hoping that he would peak at these two shows and then the [Spruce Meadows Masters in September]," she said.

Duff's plan came to fruition, and now she's set her focus forward. According to Jumpr App, the pair is averaging just 2.00 faults at 1.50m.

"I bought him to get me back in this ring and jumping some bigger classes," she said. "He's an amazing horse, and I'm really excited about the future with him."


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