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Rowan Willis and Wellington Grey Goose fly to the top spot in the $100,000 Lugano Diamonds 1.45m Grand Prix CSI2*

Sunday, 28 January 2024
CSI2* Split Rock Jumping Tour / Myakka City 2024

Photo © Winslow Photography. Rowan Willis & Wellington Grey Goose. Photo © Winslow Photography.


Press release from Split Rock Jumping Tour



The Lugano Diamonds Split Rock Jumping Tour (SRJT) saw international competition culminate on Saturday afternoon at the world-class TerraNova Equestrian Center in front of an exciting crowd with the $100,000 Lugano Diamonds 1.45m Grand Prix CSI2*. Ultimately, it was Rowan Willis (AUS) and his own homebred mare, Wellington Grey Goose (Corlensky x Grandira), who stood atop the podium after dominating jump-off competition.

Peter Holmes (CAN) designed a technical 16-jumping-effort course with a tight time-allowed for 38 horse-and-rider combinations to tackle. In the first round, many found difficulty at the ESI Footing plank; the Lugano Diamonds oxer-vertical combination; and the final fence, the Split Rock oxer. Hallie Grimes (USA) and Karoline of Ballmore (Diarado x Convento van de Helle), owned by Can We Keep It? LLC, were the first to enter the arena and the first to deliver a clear round, with only four others finding their way to a clear finish to join Grimes for the shortened course. 

Photo © Winslow Photography. Hallie Grimes & Karoline of Ballmore. Photo © Winslow Photography.

Grimes and Karoline of Ballmore were first back to challenge the tie-breaking round, which consisted of nine fences and utilized the entire space of the arena. This pair left nothing on the line and jumped double-clear in an impressive time of 46.94 seconds. Richie Moloney (IRL) and Equinimity LLC's Rocksy Music (ARS Vivendi x Diamond Serpent) entered next and produced another double-clear, but wasn’t quick enough to catch Grimes, crossing the timers just .05 seconds slower. To follow was Rebecca Conway (USA) and Blue Hill Farm’s Con Coleur (Contendor I x Couleur Rubin), who would leave all the fences up, but took a more conservative route to finish in 49.44 seconds. With two left and Grimes holding the lead, Willis trusted his longtime mount and utilized her fast footspeed to take the lead in 46.86 seconds. Luis Fernando Larrazabal (VEN) and Abril Kontendra, owned by Andreina Yanez, were the last to attempt the track, but fell victim to the second to last fence, keeping them from a podium finish. In the end, Grimes would secure second, and Moloney would settle for third.

Photo © Winslow Photography. Richie Moloney & Rocksy Music. Photo © Winslow Photography.

“Wellington Grey Goose is a real tryer and she's fast. For the jump-off, I knew I had to be on a run from the first fence. It was a good six from the wall to the oxer and I knew I had to gallop away if I had any chance of catching Hallie,” commented Willis. “I’ve done Split Rock shows ever since I came to America and [Derek Braun] always puts on great shows. It's really good for the competitors, has good prize money, and they have a fantastic facility here in Sarasota.”


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