Andrew Ramsay and The California Group’s California 62 claimed victory in the $36,000 FEI 1.50m Las Vegas National Welcome Jumper Speed Classic on Thursday night at the South Point Arena at The Las Vegas National, CSI 3*-W.
Ramsay’s time of 59.57 seconds topped Kaitlin Campbell aboard Paul Tracy and Spy Coast Farms, LLC’s Palina de l’Escaut, who had held the lead for 20 rounds. Campbell finished second with a time of 61.10 seconds, while Mathis Schwentker navigated NKH Caruso, owned by NKH, LLC, in a very close 61.11 seconds to claim third.
Seventy-one pairs tested the track, created by Leopoldo Palacios, which also served as a qualifier for Saturday’s $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Las Vegas, where 40 riders qualify to compete.
Ramsay was aboard his second mount, who were in the last ten to go, and had a solid plan going in. “The course had good size and technicality for a 1.50m course this early in the week, but it was a speed qualification for the Grand Prix, so to see that in a speed format was nice,” Ramsay commented. “From the get-go there were questions, the short turn back at two and then two, three, and four were all related, so it helped set the tone for the rest of course.”
California 62, a fifteen-year-old Holsteiner mare, and Ramsay have been paired together since the mare was eleven. “We have a good partnership together, we know each other and she has been a wonderful horse for me,” Ramsay shared of his teammate. “She is naturally very fast and quick across the ground, you don’t have to rush to be quick. It is nice because in the ring, things come up quick, especially in the indoor.”
Ramsay will return to the South Point Arena Saturday night to compete in the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Las Vegas aboard his other mount, Stranger, who he qualified for the class. “Stranger is a fresh blood horse, so he is better on the third day,” Ramsay shared of the 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding. “Tomorrow will be a rest day for everybody, horses and people, then ride in the morning and give our best go on Saturday night.”
Stranger, owned by The Stranger Group, and Ramsay had also qualified for the $100,000 FEI Longines World Cup™ Del Mar in October, where they finished in fourth.
Tickets for Saturday’s event are available here. The doors of the South Point Arena will open at 5:00 p.m. with shopping, activities, and family fun. If you can’t join us in person, you can view the livestream here.
The Opening Ceremonies, including a Parade of Nations and more, begin at 7:00 p.m. and the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Las Vegas will commence directly after. Forty riders will navigate the course in pursuit of World Cup™ points in hopes of gaining valuable qualifying points for the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals that will be hosted next April here in Las Vegas.