TerraNova Equestrian Center saw eleven different nations take on the exciting highlight of the weekend at the inaugural Split Rock Sarasota CSI2*, the $100,000 1.45m FEI Grand Prix. After a 16-horse jump-off, Colombia’s Mark Bluman and Over the Top Stables’ Marilyn claimed the lion’s share of the prize money after perfectly executing Olaf Peterson Jr. ‘s (GER) meticulously set course.

The first round of competition suited horse-and-rider combinations well, offering fences at a height of 1.45m and a total of 16 efforts. Jump-off competition began with Thursday’s Welcome winners, Jessica Mendoza (GBR) and Dublin, setting the pace as first to go. Crossing the timers at 34.2 seconds, she held the lead by over two seconds for the following 12 trips. It wasn’t until Alberto Michan (ISR) and Firewall entered the ring that their time proved it could be beat. Michan and the 12-year-old gelding owned by Eduardo Leon bested Mendoza’s time by just one hundredth of a second.

Their lead wouldn’t hold for long, however, as Bluman and the 9-year-old mare were the last to go and gave it their all to finish on a time of 34.05 seconds. Saturday’s win marks both Bluman and Marilyn’s first win in international competition, making their Split Rock Sarasota experience a memorable one. Michan ultimately finished in second place, while Mendoza rounded out the podium in third, with less than two-tenths of a second separating the top three.

“Believe it or not I have been jumping in grand prix classes for about 12 years now and this is actually my first international win. I have been close multiple times and was really hoping to come here and get that under my belt… Marilyn is not very experienced, but in our family we have big hopes for her for this year,” Bluman commented.

“[Going last] I had time to watch everyone go, and in that position the only thing to do was go as fast as I could and turn tight, and hope that the rails stay in place and they did for me,” Bluman continued. “My whole family is a big supporter of the Split Rock shows. We have been big supporters since the beginning and it is always a great atmosphere, great footing and they treat the riders the way they should be treated.”

Complete results here.

Split Rock Sarasota will culminate on Sunday, January 30, after featuring the $20,000 1.35m National Prix. The remainder of the 2022 SRJT Tour will see a number of exciting stops, including new locations in Paso Robles, California and Portland, Oregon. To see the full schedule for the 2022 tour, visit our website here. To learn about the TerraNova Equestrian Center visit their website here.