Thermal, Califoria, USA – March 7, 2021 – Riders hailing from nine nations met in the Grand Prix Stadium for the $36,600 FEI 1.45m CSI 3*, sponsored by Prestige Saddlery. Twenty horse and rider combinations raced against the clock in the speed class to see who would best the course built by Ireland’s Alan Wade. After setting the pace early on, Nicky Galligan (IRL) and his own Javas Miss Jordan secured the blue ribbon and winning title with a quick time of 65.44 seconds.
Wade built a very open 1.45m track for riders to challenge. Featuring two double combinations and creative rollbacks, the course was well suited for speed. First to go clear was Robert Blanchette (IRL) aboard Chardonnay with a time of 75.25 seconds. Directly following was Galligan and his mare. Galligan utilized his Jordan’s carefulness and eagerness to go forward to stop the clock ten seconds faster than Blanchette.
“One to two, I think, was a little bit of an option. You could have done seven or eight; I opted to do eight because I wanted to have my hocks underneath me,” explained Galligan. “I landed a little bit short and I could turn aways towards number three and get a nice forward slice on it. Then it was a very acute rollback to quite a square, wide oxer. That was somewhere I really targeted to make some time up because she is good out of those turns.”
Athletes tried their best to catch such a quick time but very few came close. Last in the order, Will Simpson (USA) aboard his long time mount Chacco P put up the best fighting chance to steal the win. The pair sliced fences and took the inside track to fence eight to make up the most time. Simpson crossed the timers at 66.57 seconds, just short of the first place prize.
The second place prize was awarded to Will Simpson (USA) and Chacco P for their efforts. Chacco P (Chacco-Blue x Cera P) is a twelve-year-old Mecklenburg gelding owned by Simpson. Taking home third place was Katie Laurie (AUS) and her own mount Casebrook Lomond (Lansing x Lara 1), a twelve-year-old stallion, with a quick time of 69.43 seconds.
“One of the coolest things about her rhythm and speed are what she does naturally and what she does for fun. She didn’t have to try really hard. She likes when you pick up a nice rhythm and keep coming,” voiced Galligan. “She is always better forward out of the turn than she is waiting. Today, on a couple of the tight roll backs, it really suited her. She got a great push off the ground and was quick away.”
The track set was perfect as Jordan thrives off of tight turns. Using that to his advantage, Galligan was able to keep coming forward the entire course ultimately earning that top placing. Javas Miss Jordan is a twelve-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare by Luidam out of Alley Angel. Galligan has brought the mare up the ranks from the beginning and the mare is nothing short of spectacular. With his sights set on the $137,000 FEI 1.55m CSI4* held during Week VIII, he opted to only show Jordan in one class this week.
“This week, this is the only class that she jumped. This has been a plan that I have had since the very first week of showing. This is an easier track for her. I just wanted to let her have a breath,” mentioned Galligan. “I didn’t want to leave her off for two weeks between last week and Week VIII. I would have had to jump her at home or something. I targeted a nice track in the ring, it is a little smaller so she didn’t need to try so hard.”
Final Results: $36,600 Prestige Speed Challenge CSI 3* 1.45m
1) Nicky Galligan (IRL) & Javas Miss Jordan – 0 / 65.44
2) Will Simpson (USA) & Chacco P – 0 / 66.57
3) Katie Laurie (AUS) & Casebrook – 0 / 69.43
Source: Press Release by Sydney Lowe for Desert International Horse Park
Photo: © ESI Photography