Tim Gredley and Unex Valente Soar to Second Victory in LIFEFORCE ELITE $50,000 Puissance at Alltech National Horse Show
Lexington, KY – November 1, 2013 – Great Britain’s Tim Gredley is proving he is perfect in the Puissance. He began his reign of the specialty class during last year’s Alltech National Horse Show with Unex Valente, and just last week he won the event during the Washington International Horse Show. He kept his winning streak alive tonight, going two-for-two during this year’s LIFEFORCE ELITE $50,000 Puissance. Gredley and Unex Valente soared over a wall set at 7-feet to capture the winning prize.
“This was the first puissance I ever did on him last year, so it’s nice to come back and win again, since it was our first ever win,” said Gredley. “He is such a pleasure to ride and go with to the shows. When you come here, the footing is great, and the atmosphere is good. It is a pleasure to ride in here.”
The night kicked-off with five entries and wall set at 5-feet, 9-inches, but as the wall got higher the entries got lower. Although Charlie Jayne of Elgin, IL was able to clear the wall with Fly Away, he had a rail at the second fence that knocked him out during the first round. In the second round, when the wall’s height increased to 6-fee, 3-inches, Hillary Simpson of Southern Pines, NC, had a rail at the triple bar as well as a block of the wall with Cantus D, owned by Quiet Hill Farm. Although Catherine Pasmore of Wellington, FL, was faultless in the second round aboard Zaragosa, she opted not to return, leaving two riders to battle it out.
Aaron Vale of Morriston, FL and Smartie were finalists during the Puissance at the Washington International Horse. They made it through the third round set at 6-feet, 9-inches, but as the wall rose to the height of 7-feet, the challenge became too great. The blocks came to the ground, and for the second week in a row and the second year in a row it was Gredley who came out on top with Unex Valente.
“He’s a small horse,” explained Vale. “Last week he went really well until the final round, and then he kind of hesitated off the ground and kind of jumped right through it. I was trying to make sure that I got him off the ground in a positive manner. I think I got a little too much energy and a little too close to it, so he couldn’t elevate quick enough. He gave me a great effort.”
Although Gredley might try to break the record one year with Unex Valente, he felt tonight was not the night. “He has jumped so well,” commented Gredley. “To be honest, last week he felt a bit better. He felt a little tighter today-maybe that’s just from doing two weeks on the truck. For him, it’s just kind of second nature to him now. All I have to do is find a nice stride with a little bit of pace, and he does all the work really. I felt it was better to leave it for the welfare of the horse tonight though. He’s just done two weeks on the truck. He’s a nice horse; I don’t want to ruin him.”
Dr. Pearse Lyons, Founder and President of Alltech concluded, “The Puissance for horses, last year someone said, ‘Around here, it’s basketball. It’s the only thing that matters. When you do the Puissance, that’s as close to Kentucky basketball as you get!'”
Fast Farrington Pilots Blue Angel to $50,000 International Open Jumper Victory
The Town Branch Bourbon $50,000 International Open Jumper Speed took center stage earlier this evening,where the first section of the class proved to be the best of the day. Candice King, of Wellington, FL, was the first to show over Conrad Homfeld’s winding speed class aboard Quality Stud’s Antigone Quality. Despite the pressure of being the pathfinders, King and Antigone Quality were perfect over each fence and set the time to beat at 60.07 seconds.
Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts was next in the Alltech Arena with Frans Lens’ Carlito C, and they made sure King did not hold on to the lead for too long when they also managed to navigate the track with ease, leaving each rail intact and breaking the beam at 58.95 seconds.
Four rounds later Kent Farrington of Wellington, FL, entered the ring with Blue Angel, owned by Robin Parksy. The pair picked up a very quick gallop to the first obstacle and never left off the gas, shaving off seconds through each turn and not wasting a moment in the air. They managed to leave each fence standing while blazing across the finish line in 53.26 seconds. The five second difference would prove unbeatable as Farrington led the victory gallop after the 23 remaining riders tried to catch his time, followed by Philippaerts in second and King in third.
“Conrad is one of the best course designers in the world,” expressed Farrington. “I find his courses really smooth. They are fair to the horses, and all of his options for speed are up to the rider. Instead of a mandatory inside turn he leaves it up to the rider. You can turn as close as you dare to the fences, and I think today that was really an advantage for my horse. I could just go smooth. She’s naturally quick across the ground, and I used a big gallop from the beginning and stayed on the same clip all the way around.”
Farrington added, “I wouldn’t say I left door open, but I came out of the ring thinking if somebody beat me it would be a well earned win today.”
Just last Saturday, Farrington and Blue Angel won the $100,000 Presidents Cup at the Washington International Horse Show, so tomorrow he will be riding Willow in the Alltech $250,000 World Cup Qualifying Grand Prix. “I thought Blue Angel jumped her heart out last week at Washington, so I didn’t want to ask her to do that again two weeks in a row,” he explained. “Willow is a new ride for me, and I wanted to see if he will be ready to go to Europe. I thought this would be a good test. I thought it would be a great way to jump a bigger class and know where I stand with that horse for the future.”
Land and Colvin Lead the Way in Amateur-Owner & Junior Jumpers
The Chansonette Farm $15,000 Amateur-Owner Jumper class was the first jumper event of the day, where Frances Land of Alpharetta, GA, managed to best a five horse jump-off with Vieanne. Despite adding not one but two strides down the final line, the pair’s quick pace and turns to the other obstacles proved uncatchable with a time of 35.428 seconds.
The 19-year-old sophomore at Emory University commented, “For the jump-off I knew I needed to have a really good base rhythm and make neat turns. I made a really tight turn to the combination, but I made a mistake to the last jump and did 11 instead of nine. Everywhere else I was neat, and I just added a little bit to the last jump, luckily Adrienne didn’t catch me.”
Adrienne Sternlicht of Greenwich, CT, followed Land’s effort with Quidam MB, and missed the leading team by just one-tenth of a second when she stopped the clock in a clear 35.778 seconds for second place. Catherine Tyree of Chicago, IL, was the pathfinder aboard Wetter, and with double clear day they captured the third place honors having set the time to beat at 37.359 seconds.
Land concluded “I have been riding Vienne since January. She’s just been phenomenal-really fast, really careful, and scopey-really my ride. We get along really well.”
The Deeridge Farm $15,000 Junior Jumper class was up next, and yesterday’s winner Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL, proved that she is on quite a roll. She was the first to return for the tiebreaker with Monsieur Du Reverdy, and once again she was able to make quick turns without touching a single rail, stopping the clock at 34.263 seconds, a time which she proved only she would be able to beat.
She returned four rounds later with her second mount Don Juan, and without planning to do so she managed to best her own horse. The duo was quick to each fence and never wasted a second in the air as they tripped the timers at 34.033 seconds to win the class and relegated Monsieur Du Reverdy to second place. The only other rider to come close to catching her time was Katherine Strauss of Southampton, NY, aboard her consistent partner Chellando Z, who broke the beam at 35.052 seconds for the third place award.
“On Don Juan I was trying to go slow, it might not have looked like it, but I was trying to pull. I was trying to have a nice, easy round, but he went fast,” laughed Colvin. “They are completely different. Don Juan is like a dirt bike, and he kind of revs around the corner and shrinks at the jump. Monsieur Du Reverdy is a big easy horse; he’s probably the easiest horse to ride because he’s so smooth and amazing.”
The jumper events will conclude tomorrow with the Alltech $250,000 World Cup Qualifying Grand Prix in the evening. Earlier in the day, the $50,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Championship will be held in the Alltech Arena. The show will wrap up on Sunday with the historic ASPCA Alfred B. Maclay National Championships.
For more information or to view the competition live please visit www.alltechnationalhorseshow.com. Coverage is provided by Shownet.biz, iHigh, and HRTV.