Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 2, 2017 – Thursday evening at the CP National Horse Show featured the $130,000 CP Grand Prix International Open Jumpers CSI4*. Competing for the first time at the historic event, Great Britain’s Emily Moffitt claimed one of the biggest wins of her career to date, along with the Walter B. Devereux Memorial Challenge Trophy, aboard Hilfiger Van De Olmenhoeve.
Course designer Michel Vaillancourt tested 43 international horses and athletes over a 13-fence track in the first round. Out of the 18 combinations who jumped clear, only 14 returned to battle it out in the jump-off, while others elected to save their mounts for Saturday’s highly anticipated $250,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Lexington CSI4*-W.
Beezie Madden (USA) was the first to navigate the short course with no faults, piloting Darry Lou, owned by Abigail Wexner, to a time of 37.260 seconds.
Laura Kraut (USA), winner of Wednesday’s $35,000 International Open Jumpers Welcome Speed CSI4* with Whitney, followed Madden and produced another double-clear performance with Confu in 36.990 seconds to move into the first place position.
Moffitt was the fourth out of five combinations to complete the jump-off fault-free, riding the 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood owned by Poden Farms. It was Kraut and partner Nick Skelton who originally found Hilfiger Van De Olmenhoeve for Moffitt and the pair have since established a strong, winning partnership, even contributing to Great Britain’s gold medal in the young rider team competition at the FEI European Jumping Championship in August.
The 19-year-old, who trains with British Olympic gold medalist Ben Maher, crossed the finish line one second ahead of Kraut, her former trainer, in 35.700 seconds for the win, while Kraut claimed second place and Madden rounded out the top three.
Emily Moffitt – $130,000 CP Grand Prix International Open Jumpers CSI4*-W winner
On her win on Thursday:
“I was a little skeptical about Ben [Maher’s] decision to go for it because there were so many riders in the jump-off. I was thinking maybe we should save him for the big grand prix on Saturday, but Ben said to go for it, don’t pull and hope for the best. I did and ‘Tommy’ was with me the whole way. It just went our way. It’s pretty awesome, and it’s even better that we’re all girls! This is my first big win. I have been competing on the [Longines Global Champions Tour] for quite some time. I’ve been having to produce clear rounds rather than focus on winning so it’s great to come here and worry about winning the class for myself. It’s very exciting.”
On Hilfiger Van De Olmenhoeve:
“Tommy is my best horse. I got him through Nick [Skelton] and Laura [Kraut]. I don’t think I ever expected him to jump this big, be this consistent or be my best horse. He just steps up to everything you ask of him and he’s a really great partner.”
Laura Kraut – $130,000 CP Grand Prix International Open Jumpers CSI4*-W second place
On her former student’s win:
“It happens all the time. I trained Jessica Springsteen and I sit behind her quite often as well. It’s nice. It’s a good feeling to see them step up and do well. That’s the whole goal of why you are helping these young riders. It’s very nice to see. I picked [Hilfiger Van De Olmenhoeve] out for Emily and I would agree with her. We thought he was a lovely horse. You wouldn’t have known that he was going to do what he’s done for her though. He’s been absolutely brilliant.”
Beezie Madden – $130,000 CP Grand Prix International Open Jumpers CSI4*-W third place
On her performances with Darry Lou on Thursday:
“I was pretty conservative because I don’t know the horse very well. It’s his first indoor show. I wanted to go enough that I could get a top placing, but not have the wheels fall off the wagon.”
On Darry Lou:
“We got him at the end of April. He’s gone to this level a lot faster than I thought. He came from Mexico. He was doing the 1.50m. He’s just stepped right up. He started in Aachen and Europe after Spruce Meadows and did Dublin and the Spruce Meadows Masters. He’s had a pretty heavy dose. This is actually his last show of the year. He’s digested a lot in a year and I am really proud of how far he’s gotten and how well he has done.”
Source: Press Release by Taylor Renner for Phelps Media Group
Photos: © Phelps Media Group I Taylor Renner