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Mathis Schwentker and NKH Caruso blaze to victory at the Grand Prix qualifier Thursday night at Sacramento International

Saturday, 05 October 2019
CSI3*-W Sacramento International 2019

Photo © Official Photographer JXB Photography. Mathis Schwentker and NKH Caruso win the $36,500 Grand Prix Qualifier 1.50m. Photo © Official Photographer JXB Photography.


Press release from Sacramento International



Thursday Night at Sacramento International brought the $36,500 Grand Prix Qualifier 1.50m class to the GGT Indoor Arena. With 43 starters vying to qualify for Saturday's $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Sacramento presented by Sky Partners, the competition was intense from the start. 

Fourteen horse-and-rider combinations made it clear around the course designed by Marina Azevedo of Brazil, which consisted of 15 jumping efforts including one double and one triple combination. With so many advancing to the jump off, riders felt the pressure to step on the gas; however, only two riders were able to complete the short course with no faults. The fastest of those was Mathis Schwentker of Germany aboard NKH Caruso, a 15-year-old bay Oldenburg gelding owned by NKH, LLC. 

"He's super fun to ride," said Schwentker of Caruso. "He has a lot of experience and he's great on course. He fights and he knows what he's doing." 

Schwentker was last to go in the jump off and only one pair had turned in a fault-free round, so he and trainer Christian Heineking had a decision to make. "We were talking about trying for just a clear round and maybe getting second or third. But Christian said we should take the risk. He said the horse has the experience and we should go for it."

Going for it paid off with a championship trophy and the lion's share of prize money, as Schwentker and Caruso crossed the timers clear with a time of 36.94. 

Taking the reserve championship was Guy Thomas of New Zealand, who rode Jonkheer Z to a double clear result and a time of 38.57 seconds. The 17-year-old bay Zangersheide stallion is owned by Graeme Thomas. Rounding out the podium was Vanessa Mannix of Canada, who took a careful route around the short course to go clear but incurred two time faults. She rode her own Valentino d'Elite, a 10-year old bay Selle Francais gelding.

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