Ali Ramsay top Canadian in 5th place with Lutz.
Andy Kocher turned in a blazing jump-off ride on Dyrusa H to claim victory in the $40,000 CS13*-W 1.50m Welcome Class at the Split Rock Jumping Tour’s (SRJT) Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Columbus CSI3*-W at Brave Horse Show Park in Johnstown, Ohio. The class set the field for Sunday’s culminating event, the $135,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Columbus CSI3*-W Presented by CaptiveOne.
Ten of 65 starters reached the jump-off by riding fault-free over the 16-effort, first-round course designed by Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany. Eight returned for the eight-effort, jump-off course and with one left the go, the lead was held by Dutch Olympic veteran Harrie Smolders who had gone clean in a quick 36.780 seconds on Hocus Pocus De Muze.
Going all out for the win, Kocher had his 11-year-old Dutch-bred mare at full speed before they hit the timers and he stayed ahead of Smolders’s pace throughout the course. A little luck would be needed though as Dyrusa H hit two rails hard, with one even bouncing up out of the cups; nothing came down, however, and when Kocher finished in 36.480 seconds he had the win.
“I knew I was fast but it seemed like all I heard was rails coming down,” Kocher joked afterwards. “I honestly didn’t know whether they had come down or not but people kept yelling to go so I figured they must have stayed up! Harrie was really fast so I knew we had to go all out and I’m really happy to win.”
Placing third behind Kocher and Smolders was Nicole Shahinian-Simpson on Akuna Mattata with a clean ride in 37.610 seconds. Fourth went to David Blake of Ireland with a clean ride in 38.040 seconds on Keoki.
Earlier in the day, Rowan Willis of Australia rode Baccus to two clean rounds for the win in the $5,000 1.40m Winning Round Class. U.S. Olympic veteran Margie Engle matched his double clear on her longtime partner, Indigo, but Rowan’s time of 35.955 seconds in the second round edged the 36.183 turned in by Engle on the 19-year-old Indigo. Third place went to Alex Matz on HHS Hercules.
“I trusted my horse to get the job done and he did,” said Willis. “It’s always nice to get a win and I’m very pleased.”
Since 2015, the SRJT has been revolutionizing the sport of show jumping in the United States, creating an “Unparalleled Show Jumping Experience” for competitors, sponsors and spectators alike. SRJT competitions offer top prize money, extravagant awards, special entry packages, and numerous first-class amenities not typically found at any other horse show. It’s no surprise that world-class riders from approximately 20 countries compete at the SRJT shows!
SRJT’s event at Brave Horse was selected by the FEI as one of just 14 events in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League that will help determine which North American riders qualify to go to the 2020 Longines FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas, Nevada next April. Some of the sport’s biggest names – including Olympic veterans and contenders – will ride in Sunday’s $135,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Columbus CS13*-W Presented by CaptiveOne hoping to qualify for the Final!
Additional information is available online at the Split Rock Jumping Tour website at www.SplitRockJumpingTour.com.