Two-time Olympian and World Cup Final winner Mario Deslauriers and his mount Curo won the $10,000 1.40m Jumper Time First Round class at the Palm Beach Open, part of the Palm Beach Masters Series held at Deeridge Farm in Wellington, FL.
Deslauriers and Curo beat a field of 45 horse and rider combinations to take the win with a clear round in 65.734 seconds. “Curo is a young horse that I have been bringing along,” said Deslauriers. “He is very quick and he has won lots of classes in the past, and it all worked out very well today. He is very forward and we hit everything right on stride. I have had this horse for two and a half years and he was a stallion that we gelded last July. He is 9 years old and a little bit naughty, but he is really beautiful to ride and jumps like a large pony so he is very cool to ride.”
Daniel Bluman, himself a two-time Olympian, rode Over The Top Stables’ Cartouche to second place in the class. Cartouche turned in a fault-free performance in a time of 69.511 seconds.
Last to go in the class, Riley Newsome and her Luron SZ, proved to be the best as they took the blue ribbon and top prize money in the $3,500 1.35m Jumper Power and Speed class with no penalties in a time of 34.487.
“He really only has one speed” laughed Newsome. “I have only had him for a month and this is the first time I have jumped him over grass and he was great. I haven’t figured him out completely yet so I wanted to have a nice clear round. I got a nice fast round but I’ll take it.”
Cookie and Schuyler Hall rode away with top honors in the $3,500 1.30m Jumper Power and Speed competition. Hall blazed to the top with a fault-free performance over the course in a time of 30.720 seconds.
“She is a barn favorite even though she is very grumpy,” said Hall of her 8-year-old mount. “She was perfect today, she listened really wells. I showed her the tent when we went in the ring, but she is really brave. Nothing really bothers her. She just went in like a superstar. This was my first time riding in this ring and I love the grass. I really enjoyed it. My horse seemed to really like it too.” Adam Prudent and Plain Bay Sales’ Endy was second. They were clear in a time of 31.613.
Sarah Ketcham and her mount Siracha won the $2,000 Classic Champions 6-Year-Old Jumper Speed Competition with a faultless round in a time of 65.484 seconds. Siracha is by Larentino and is owned by the rider.
“I have always preferred the speed classes, and she is such a speedy horse that it was a lot of fun,” said Ketcham. “She has really grown up and it showed in the ring today. This has been like a vacation for us, and we will definitely be back next year in the 7-year-olds.”
Kara Chad and Kennedy Z Take 7-Year-Old speed class
Kennedy Z and Kara Chad emerged from the ring with a win in the $3,000 Classic Champions 7-Year-Old Jumper speed class. Kennedy Z, owned by Gut Einhaus LLC, is by Kashmir V Schuttershof out of Donnerlitchen. The pair left all the obstacles intact in a time of 63.980 seconds.
G-Force and Schuyler Riley, the winners of the first 7-year-old class in the division, had to settle for second place, clear in 65.257.
Nick Dello Joio and Catemaco LS, owned by San Francisco Stables, placed third with a clear round in 68.507 seconds. Catemaco LS is by Carusso and Dello Joio was very pleased with his result today.
“I think that he has matured tremendously over the past month,” said Dello Joio. “This venue is tremendous. Just the opportunity to be on grass as opposed to sand, and the course was very technical with a lot of bending lines and jumps set to take advantage of the shadows that were available this morning. My horse is green and this was a really great test for him.”
Created in 2015 by Cynthia Hampton, Classic Champions Tour is specifically for 5, 6, and 7-year-old jumpers and is based on European principles which modernize the show experience for young horses in North America. Created by experienced, specifically-trained course designers, the courses are made to fit horses’ age with adapted heights, types of fences, lines, and turns, all over top-notch footing, which is a trademark of Deeridge Farms. The series gives young horses the opportunity to compete at different shows to develop their experience and it helps them become the future stars they can be.
“My goal is to offer adapted classes and also to educate riders, trainers, breeders, course designers, judges and officials,” said Hampton. “We need a viable structure capable of identifying, selecting and educating future high-level horses. I believe that we can breed and develop future athletes capable of distinguishing our region both at home and on the international stage.”
“We think it’s extremely valuable for young jumpers to get the best education and show experience possible right from the start, which is why we are delighted to include the Classic Champions classes at our shows,” said Lou Jacobs, event co-founder along with siblings Charlie Jacobs and Katie Robinson. “It’s always exciting to watch as young horses start their careers and develop through the levels.”
The Classic Champions young horse classes are non-USEF rated, held in Deeridge Farms’ beautiful grass Grand Prix Ring, and offer $20,000 in prize money. In addition to the general results, the judges of Classic Champions Tour classes will reward one horse per generation with the “Classic Champions Award of Distinction.” The goal being to highlight jumping style, quality of canter and rideability.
Competition in the Deeridge Jumper Ring that boasts all-weather footing begins at 8:00 a.m. each day, while action in the immaculate grass Horse Network Grand Prix Ring starts at 9:00 a.m. each day, except on Sunday, March 25 when it begins at 8:00 a.m. For more information visit here.