Last summer at Thunderbird Show Park, Dylan Munro (CAN) and Face to Face were jumping 1.20m. This year, they won the MarBill Hill U25 League 1.35m to kick off the U25 division at the Summer Fort Classic.
Last to go in a six-horse jump-off, the pair came away with a comfortable victory. Their winning time was 41.4 seconds. Leadoff pair Olivia Stephenson (CAN) and Deister Z finished second as the only other combination to jump double-clear (42.49 seconds). Sahana Ganesan (USA) and Fast Lucca finished third (4/42.49).
“I love him to death,” Munro said of Face to Face, better known as “Frank.” “He’s been an amazing horse for me. He got me from showing in the 1.20m here last summer to jumping the U25 [classes] now at 1.40m. I’m just thrilled for that horse.”
Anderson Lima’s (BRA) track proved to be challenging, but Munro did not pay attention to his competitors’ struggles, producing one of two clear rounds—the other being his stablemate, Jessie Prpich (USA)—in the final five riders. In the jump-off, he took a similar approach.
“Honestly, I didn’t even watch the horses that jumped off beforehand,” Munro said. “I was talking to coach Kelly [Koss-Brix, who stepped in to help when trainer Ben Asselin had to leave the show early]. She was really helping me out, and I’m very appreciative of everything she’s done for me. I knew there weren’t many clear, but I just went in there and gave it a good shot.”
Munro and Frank began the short course with purpose, making up time early between the first two fences before more carefully measuring the fences in the latter half of the jump-off.
“I really thought I was quick going from [jumps] one to two there. I just had a nice pick-up, right off the bat there, and then I had to check a bit into the double. It worked out.”
The Summer Fort Classic CSI3* resumes Friday with the CSI3* Uyradi’s Village Cup 1.50m and the CSI3* tbird 1.35mm. All classes in the Fort Grand Prix ring stream live daily on tbird.ca.
$5,000 MarBill Hill U25 1.35m
Place / Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time
1. Face to Face / Dylan Munro / CAN / Jonathan Asselin / 0/0 41.4
2. Deister Z / Olivia Stephenson / CAN / Gareth Graves / 0/0 48.5
3. Fast Lucca / Sahana Ganesan / USA / Sahana Ganesan / 0/4 42.49
4. Fay / Stella Chernoff / CAN / Stump Lake Ranch & Cattle Co. Ltd / 0/4 42.9
5. Pasquinelle / Emily Fitzgerald / CAN / Emily Fitzgerald / 0/12 55.87
6. Kazou van de Kwakkelhoek / Jessie Prpich / USA / Telsec Farm Calgary Ltd / 0/EL
7. Capitale 6 / Charlie Jones / GBR / Morning Star Sporthorses, LLC / 4 71.81
8. Ittolo / Jarne Francken / USA / Kerri Volek / 4 72.12
9. Cella / Taylor Winther Blair / CAN / Taylor Winther Blair / 4 74.15
10. Concelo / Ava Wong / CAN / Ava Wong / 4 75.53