From Atop the Spiral Staircase:
“Friday Night Lights” $25,000 Grand Prix highlights and review. The first of 6 here at the Venice Equestrian Tour.
Can I just say WOW?!!! What a fantastic event! The evening’s events began with a petting zoo, pony rides and face painting in the covered arena for all. Unfortunately, yours truly was not able to get down for the events but had reports from several folks it was a very well attended and fun event for all. The reception was sponsored by Kastel Denmark, and for those of you that have never met her, Charlotte Jorst is a Grand Prix Dressage rider with very real ambitions of heading to the 2016 Olympics in Rio. She has the USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medals as well as a 5 star CLS rider rating.
Dean Battaglia built a great test for the first Grand Prix of the Venice Equestrian Tour, and with 18 entries attempting the first round, it was exciting from the first buzzer. To say it’s a little different to see Fox Lea at night is an understatement and I think a lot of people learned jumping under the lights is a very different animal altogether. It’s almost like jumping an indoor as the curtains of darkness are just beyond the reach of the lights and not dissimilar to having the arena walls and seats right there. The fences rode much bigger because of this “effect”.
Having been drawn first, Kyle Dewar came out to show riding a horse he owns, Russell. I’ve had the pleasure of spending some time with Kyle and his wife Katherine Frame-Dewar, who also showed in the Prix, during an interview (you can read at our website www.SeeYouAtX.com) and have seen him ride several of their horses here at Fox Lea both in the Grand Prix’s and the hunter classes. Kyle was making things look easy and that was the case right up to when it wasn’t. The transition from fence 11, a square oxer, with a right turn on the rail to the kayak combination fence 12 A/B, which proved difficult for many last night. The A of the combination was a vertical one stride to a square oxer in front of the judge’s box on the far side to complete the first round.
The first to put it all together and go clear in the first round of the Grand Prix was the fourth drawn in the order. Skymiles owned by Loretta Patterson of Omaha NE and ridden by Holly Shepherd. This horse/rider combination was 2nd in the Welcome Stakes this week and has numerous wins and placings together. Holly is riding many of Ms. Patterson’s horses here at Fox Lea during the V.E.T.
It wasn’t till the very last horse/rider combination in the drawn order that we had our second clear in the Prix first round. It was Blue Moon 22 owned by Full Circle Farm and Maise Meswain being ridden by David Jennings out of Franklin TN.
So it was to be a two horse race and was a real nail biter! Both went double clear and it came down to the tale of the timers as they both took the same lines in the jump-off. First to go under the lights was Skymiles and Holly. They put up a jump-off time of 41.631 giving a slight advantage to David and Blue Moon knowing what they had to do to win the class and thus they did just that. The winning time was 39.557.
Blue Moon 22 (German Warmblood Balzaci x Balou du Rouet x Couleur-Rubin) was the leading young jumper as a 7 year old, and as a 9 year old is showing great talent in the Grand Prix.
The top 12 were recognized at the awards and the classed pinned as follows:
1st 254 Blue Moon 22/David Jennings C/C 39.557
2nd 58 Skymiles/Holly Shephard C/C 41.632
3rd 251 Bill Clinton/David Tromp C with 3 time in the first round
4th 293 Cupid Shuffle/Michael Tokaruk
5th 262 Allure G/Hector Florentino
6th 217 Val D’Isere/Diego Muyshondt
7th 250 Destiny Van De Noordheuvel/Kris Killam
8th 288 Eliza/Katherine-Frame Dewar
9th 253 KM Corfina/David Jennings
10th 283 Carmina/Laura Linback
11th 255 Cavalier II/Caitlyn Shiels
12th 244 Fair Enough/Kris Killam
From Atop the Spiral Staircase: