Mill Spring, North Carolina, USA – August 10, 2020 – Darragh Kerins (IRL) piloted Skara Glen’s Para Bellum to a win in the $30,000 Sunday Jumper Classic at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), stopping the timers in 41.152 seconds.
The 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Singulord Joter x Labor’s VDL Indorado) owned by NRG Farm LLC was one of three mounts Kerins qualified for the jump-off, with only one time fault preventing him from boasting a fourth double-clear on the day. Kerins had a busy class beyond his own rides, too, with multiple family members and clients joining him in the ring, he recapped. “It sure was busy. I had four and my wife Sarah had one, and then we had one customer, also, so it was a busy morning! I thought it was a really good course, and plenty difficult,” Kerins said of the Skip Bailey (Chicago, IL) course design that tested 34 entries in the first round, with 15 pairs qualifying for the jump-off. “There was the one line here by the in-gate with five loose strides to a double of verticals, and then you had two very careful planks down the center on the other side. It was a nice course.”
Second was claimed by Taylor Land (USA) and the Pinetree Farms’ entry, Liroy 30, a 2009 German Sport Horse gelding (Levistano x King Kolibri), on a time of 41.914 seconds.
Third-place honors was conquered by Grant Seger (USA) aboard the Grey Fox Crossing entry, Dr. J, a 2008 Italian Warmblood gelding (Diamant de Semilly x Calando I) owned by Grey Fox Crossing, after their 43.245 second jump-off performance.
Skara Glen’s Para Bellum has been in Kerins’s string for about a year, he shared. “NRG Farm and Samantha Rice purchased him for me and we’ve just been taking our time with him. He was great all through the Florida circuit, and I’ve just kind of been babying him, but today was the first time I kind of let him outside the box a bit, and he handled it great.”
As for his jump-off strategy with so many to tour the course, Kerins eyed up the current leader and tried to trim some off Taylor Land’s time, he explained. “I saw Taylor go just before me, and she looked very quick. I realized that the only way I could be a little bit quicker was back to number two, which just worked out for me, because I knew I had to be slower to the double of verticals, and then I took another good shot to the next vertical on the rollback. I think both of those places are where I just got that tiny, tiny bit of an advantage.”
The family affair will continue for the Kerins crew through the Tryon August Series and likely into the Tryon Fall Series, Kerins concluded. “We actually just made a decision to stay on for the rest of August, and will probably stay here through the end of October. We love the place, and it’s good for our kids, too. My son Daniel jumped his first bigger class the other day, going double-clear in the Welcome Stake. For me to be able to be able to compete with my wife in the Grand Prix and have her go double-clear [for ninth] and for me to get the win – it’s just been a great week. And now, we’re going to watch my daughter [Khloe Kerins] show in the .80m [division]!”
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Source: Press release from TIEC – Tryon International Equestrian Center
Photos: © Sportfot