Thermal, California, USA – January 29, 2021 – FEI competition continued on Friday, welcoming forty-one pairs to the Grand Prix Stadium for the $36,600 Horseflight Speed Challenge CSI 3* . Crossing the timers at 61.88 seconds, Karl Cook (USA) and his long time mount Caillou 24 (Casall x Carefree) bested the field and earned the top spot. Caillou 24 is a fourteen-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Signe Ostby.
Second place was awarded to Katie Laurie (AUS) and Cera Caruso (Casall x Belcam Cymphony), a thirteen-year-old Australian Warmblood owned by Carissa McCall, for their time of 62.77 seconds. Rounding out the podium was USA’s Richard Spooner (USA) and Quirado RC (Quinar x Ursula) with a time of 63.79 seconds. Spooner’s mount is a twelve-year-old American Holsteiner gelding owned by Show Jumping Syndications International.
Course designer Alan Wade (IRL) built a technical 1.50m course consisting of twelve obstacles that included two combinations and multiple bending lines. The track provided riders with a good amount of options to move up to and leave out strides or slow down and choose to make the tighter turns.
“The course was good. It was a really lovely course. It was flowing but at the same time there were tight turns which is good,” mentioned Cook. “Sometimes it is hard to build a flow into a tight turn, but then there were places that you can leave out a stride if you wanted. We used the whole ring and overall it was just a great course.”
Cook and Caillou 24 are no strangers to the FEI classes as they have competed in several together over the past few years. “I have had him for a while now and he is my main horse. He really is just a very steady horse,” explains Cook. “I plan on doing the Grand Prix on Sunday and then I will ride next week.”
Source: Press release from the Desert International Horse Park
Photo: © ESI