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Sharn Wordley and Gatsby sweep the week to win the St. Luke's Hospital Grand Prix

Sunday, 05 May 2019
CSI2* Tryon Spring 1 2019

Photo ©TIEC. Sharn Wordley, Annabella Sanchez, and Fernando Cardenas Jr. in their prize giving ceremony alongside (L-R): Tryon Equestrian Partners Jennifer and Roger Smith; Michelle Fortune, CEO of St. Luke's Hospital. Photo ©TIEC.

 

Press release from Tryon International Equestrian Center

 


 

Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Gatsby kicked off the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) "Saturday Night Lights" 2019 series with a win in the $72,000 St. Luke's Hospital Grand Prix CSI 2*, stopping the jump-off timers in 39.018 seconds to take a second win on the week. Annabella Sanchez (USA) and Incitatus, her own 2009 Oldenburg gelding (Stakkatol x Con Air), was just behind on a time of 39.154 seconds to earn second, while Fernando Cardenas Jr. (COL) and Quincy Car, a 2004 Oldenburg stallion (Galiani Car x Amour Parfait) owned by Fernando and Meredith Cardenas, dashed around the short course in a time of 39.941 seconds to secure the final podium spot. 

Course designer Manuel Esparza (MEX) tested 20 entries over his first-round course, with eight pairs accepted back for the jump-off round. The entire podium all finished just under 40 seconds, and Wordley explained that he and Gatsby would have been more comfortably in front had they not had a little hiccup on course:

"My strategy [in the jump-off] was to go not crazy fast, but to keep all the jumps up. The second-to-last jump, on the rollback, it didn't quite work out the way I wanted to and I had to add an extra stride," he said. "That's why I was on the same second as the second and third [place riders] - I was planning on being a bit faster than what I was, so I got lucky there." 

His advantage, then, came from his naturally fast horse, Wordley detailed. "I just have a very fast, smart horse. That's where I had the advantage - I have a great horse. The other riders have great horses, too, and it was very close. But, I could've been beaten at that one line - I got lucky."

Wordley and his 2004 Irish Sport Horse stallion (Simba x Cruise On) also took the win in Thursday's $36,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake, and he was quick to compliment the course build for a competitive field under the lights in Tryon Stadium: "Fantastic week. I love Tryon. It was a very good course," Wordley continued. "I thought he had the time just right - it was tight enough. Because the time was quite tight, it forced a few faults that riders wouldn't have had otherwise. It was a very good course: very square and very wide."

Wordley will be back in the irons with Gatsby at Tryon International Equestrian Center throughout the season, "planning to be at every FEI show here this summer," he concluded. Wordley will also compete on another mount, Rye Val De Mai, in Sunday's $36,000 1.45m Sunday Classic at approximately 10:00 a.m. in Tryon Stadium.



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