Ocala, FL – It wasn’t just the Florida sunshine heating up the John Deere stadium at Live Oak International on Friday as the world’s best show jumping riders and horses faced off for the $5,000 Joan Pletcher Realty Speed Class and $10,000 Waldron Wealth Management Welcome Stake in Ocala.
Manuel Fernandez Hache of Miami, FL and riding for the Dominican Republic, rode his chestnut Hanoverian mare, Maribel H, to the first show jumping win of the week, dominating the jump-off round with a fault-free 35.31 seconds effort.
Just three-tenths of a second behind was Chile’s Samual Parot (35.79), on his Belgium Wamblood jumper, Disaronno VT. Preserving the 35-horse field’s international flavor was Ireland’s Cian O’Connor, third (37.35) on Adena Springs’ Quidam’s Cherie. Chloe Reid was the highest placed U.S. rider, finishing fourth in a fault-free 37.54.
Returning to the John Deere stadium and this time, taking the victory gallop (to ABBA’s ‘The Winner Takes It All’) in the $10,000 Waldron Welcome Stake victory gallop was O’Connor, riding his bay gelding, Carolus Z. The Irish duo delivered a fault-free 57.82-seconds performance to secure the jump-off, putting a significant second of time between them and their closest contender, 2012 London Olympic Games Individual Show Jumping Gold medalist, Ben Maher of Great Britain, who attacked the fences and earned the applause of the crowd in his chase for the lead on Jane Clark’s Aristo Z (58.93 seconds).
Again asserting the worldwide quality of Live Oak International fields, the third- and fourth-place positions in the 38-horse Welcome Stake went to Darragh Kenny of Ireland, riding to zero faults in 59.30 seconds on Oakland Ventures’ Picolo, and America’s Kaitlin Campbell, was fourth without faults in 60.35 seconds.
Friday’s impressive classes have whetted horse sport fans’ appetites for more and they will not be disappointed with the chance to jump into both Saturday’s action-packed Driving Marathon, a second performance by the Budweiser Clydesdales and then, at 2pm, the afternoon’s prestigious $50,000 Live Oak International CSI**W Grand Prix, followed by the Lugano Diamonds Competitor Party at 6pm. Tickets are required to attend the Competitors Party.
General admission for Live Oak is $10 at the gate for adults and $5 for seniors and children under 12. It is strongly recommended that spectators bring lawn chairs. Concessions and a Vendor Village will be open throughout. To reserve a tailgating space contact 352-207-3615. For more about Live Oak International, including schedule of events, click www.liveoakinternational.com.
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AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Equine Newsroom