Lexington, Kentucky, USA – June 20, 2021 – The final day of the Split Rock Jumping Tour (SRJT) hosted the long-awaited $100,000 1.50m Grand Prix CSI 3* to close out two weeks of hunter, jumper and equitation competition for the Lexington Split Rock Hunter Jumper Classic. Nine countries were represented in the featured international competition, but it was victory for Ireland as Conor Swail (IRL) edged ahead of the rest to walk away with the day’s top prize aboard his own and Adeline Hecart’s Vital Chance de La Roque (Diamant de Semilly x Rivage du Poncel).
Forty-five horse-and-rider combinations came forward with six pairs navigating the first-round track set by Oscar Soberon fault-free. Colombia’s Mark Bluman (COL) set the pace as the first to go in the jump-off round producing a clear effort with Over The Top Stables LLC’s Noortje vd Windheuvel in 39.55 seconds.
Nicole Walker (CAN) proved quicker still as she executed the only inside turn from fence 4 to 5a with her own Excellent B, moving her up the leaderboard and in front of Bluman with a time of 39.38 seconds.
Conor Swail (IRL) followed next, utilizing his horse’s naturally quick pace to cross the timers at 38.05 seconds to take the week’s top honors. Walker finished in second place while Bluman was close behind in third.
“I started riding Vital Chance in the middle of the Florida season so he is relatively new to me. This was his third grand prix placing in four weeks and he won today. I feel we are really getting to know each other now and really bonding. He is such a fun horse – he is quick, careful and really enjoyable to ride,” Swail said of the 12-year-old Selle Français gelding.
We are so grateful for all that attended our inaugural Lexington Split Rock Hunter Jumper Classic I & II. Don’t miss out on the rest of the 2021 tour, with stops continuing to include hunter, jumper and equitation competition as we return to some of our favorite venues across the country, and introduce new locations such as the first-ever Fort Worth International CSI 4*-W. The tour will see its next stop at another all-new location, featuring the Denver International CSI2* at the Colorado Horse Park July 21-25.
Final Results – $100,000 Split Rock Jumping Tour Grand Prix of Lexington CSI 3*
1) Conor Swail (IRL) & Vital Chance de La Roque – 0 / 0 – 38.050
2) Mark Bluman (COL) & Noortje Vd Windheuvel – 0 / 0 – 39.380
3) Nicole Walker (CAN) & Excellent B – 0 / 0 – 39.550
Source: Press Release from the Split Rock Jumping Tour
Photos: © SRJT / Winslow Photography