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Molly Ashe Cawley and Berdien conquer the $100,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI2* presented by Hagyard Medical Equine Institute

Monday, 10 June 2024
CSI2* Lexington KY 2024

Photo © Winslow Photography. Molly Ashe Cawley and Berdien. Photo © Winslow Photography.


Edited press release from  Split Rock Jumping Tour




The Split Rock Hunter Jumper I CSI2* at the Kentucky Horse Park concluded on Sunday, June 9th, with the feature event of the week, the $100,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI2*, presented by Hagyard Medical Equine Institute. The Walnut Ring saw 40 athletes tackle the 16 jumping effort track set by Anderson Lima (BRA). Following a 13-horse jump-off, it was Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) aboard her longtime partner Berdien (Bustique x Querlybet Hero), owned by Louisburg Farm, who claimed the win.

With 13 horse-and-rider combinations returning for the jump-off, simply jumping clear would not secure everyone a ribbon. The tie-breaking round consisted of eight jumping efforts and the addition of two new fences, the Split Rock vertical as fence 15 and the Lugano Diamonds oxer as the final fence on course.

Lima set a technical second round, with the first four combinations picking up faults. Many combinations found difficulty at fence four, a liverpool oxer set off a tight rollback around a water feature set in the middle of the ring. Friday’s $35,000 C. Jarvis Insurance FEI Welcome winners, Sydney Shulman-Desiderio and Villamoura (Diamant de Semilly x Cassini I) would again produce a winning time of 35.50 seconds but fell victim to fence four, leaving them off the podium. The first double-clear came from the sixth to return, Alejandro Leonardo with Con Cha Cha PS (Conthargos x Chacco-Blue), finishing in a steadier 41.12 seconds. Raleigh Hiler (USA) would try her hand next with Lennox VD Bisschop (Baloubet du Rouet x Nabab de Reve), owned by Kurt Hiler and Susanne Hanson. By doing one less stride to the final fence, Hiler was able to take over the lead in a time of 38.98 seconds.

Photo © Winslow Photography. Photo © Winslow Photography.

With only two double-clears, Will Simpson (USA) and his own Keminko N (Grand Slam x Numero Uno) picked up the pace and blazed through the timers in 36.98 seconds, shaving off time by utilizing the gelding’s efficient jump and tight rollbacks. However, their lead would be short lived as Cawley and 13-year-old Berdien entered the ring next. The pair opted for three less strides in the rollback from fence two to three than Simpon, helping them narrowly best his time as they crossed the timers in 36.73 seconds. Ultimately, Simpson claimed second place, while Hiler settled for third. 

“We have had Berdien since she was seven and she’s thirteen now, so we know each other quite well. She’s an amazing animal. I love her to death and there isn't a negative thing I could say about her. She's just a great horse,” commented Cawley. 

“I love the Split Rock shows; they think of the owners and the exhibitors, and it's in a nice location. It suits me with the young horses I'm bringing along and with Berdien, who is in her prime. It’s nice to come here and have a shot at the money. Split Rock is a great way to introduce bigger rings to our younger horses and we love to support the show.”

Competition will return to the Kentucky Horse Park on Tuesday, June 11th for the second week of the Split Rock Hunter Jumper series. FEI competition will see a CSI3* rating and feature the $35,000 C. Jarvis Insurance FEI Welcome and the $100,000 Lugano Diamonds 1.50m FEI Grand Prix, presented by Hagyard Medical Equine Institute on Sunday, June 16th. National competition in the jumper ring will feature the $20,000 Blue Trim National Prix, while the hunter ring will feature the $25,000 Hunter Grand Prix presented by Hagyard Medical Equine Institute and the $20,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Regional Championships. 


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