Lexington, Kentucky, USA – Nov. 5, 2021 – International show jumping competition returned to the Alltech Arena Friday evening for the T&R Development International Two Phase CSI 4* at the 2021 National Horse Show. A highlight event of the day, 32 international athletes and their top mounts would jump the two phase course in hopes of securing a piece of the $36,600 purse. Of the competitive roster, Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili earned their place in the winner’s circle for their brilliant performance throughout the two phases of competition.
Bernardo Costa Cabral (POR) set forth an eight-obstacle first-phase track, testing athletes’ power through the technical course. Those who navigated a clear effort would advance to the six-fence power phase in a race against the clock that would determine the top spots on the leaderboard. Setting the pace with the first double-clear effort was Erynn Ballard (CAN) aboard Ilan Ferder’s Billy Alpen, who were the second pair in the order-of-go. The duo navigated their way around the first phase to a fault-free finish for their shot at the second phase, stopping the clocks in 33.08 seconds and setting the time to beat.
The lead would change hands when Irishman Shane Sweetnam would overtake Ballard, riding Sweet Oak Farm/Seabrook LLC’s Ideal to a clear second phase time of 32.95 seconds. Fresh off of a second place finish in Thursday’s $72,900 International Welcome Stake CSI 4*, Kent Farrington (USA) blazed his way through the course soon after Sweetnam with Take The High Road LLC’s Austria 2, stopping the timers in 32.12 seconds through the second phase.
Always a strong contender, Aaron Vale (USA) was the next to overtake the lead. Riding Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Major, Vale turned in a time of 30.45 seconds without knocking any rails. However, the speed queen herself, Vanderveen, was still to be seen.
As the second to last athlete to take to the course, Kristen Vanderveen (USA) was speedy as ever aboard her trusty mount Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili, a 16-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion (Berlin x Darco) owned by Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC. The dynamic duo posted a second phase time of 30.18 seconds, which would prove unbeatable for the final combination on course, leaving Vanderveen and “Frosty” in their leading position. The red ribbon was ultimately awarded to Vale and the 14-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, Major, while Farrington rounded out the top three with Austria 2, a 13-year-old Holsteiner mare.
Show jumping competition at the 2021 National Horse Show continues Saturday afternoon with the $25,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Grand Prix. The highlight event of the day, the $213,300 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Lexington CSI4*-W will complete Saturday’s competition in the Alltech Arena.
From the Winner’s Circle
Kristen Vanderveen – Winner T&R Development International Two Phase CSI4*
On her plan in the two-phase class:
“I did the first class yesterday and I ended up fifth, even though I thought I had gone really fast. My dad told me that I looked pretty but was not trying to win, so today I came in and tried really hard to win and didn’t try to be pretty!”
On her round:
“I did see Aaron go, and in my head, I never like to say that anyone is unbeatable, but I thought that I would have to do something pretty wild to catch him. My horse was phenomenal the last two jumps. In the beginning, the turns were tight but because he [Fastino de Tili] is a big horse, he does not move his feet as fast as some of the smaller horses, so at the last two jumps I used the stride to my advantage. My horse is so scopey that I was able to do a three in the last line, which landed me better for the timers as well.”
On Bull Run’s Fastino de Tili:
“He is the horse that I have owned the longest in my career. We sell most of our horses within a year or two, but I have been able to keep him for five-years now and he is really special in the sense that he has won big grand prixs for me and then he can run around like a speed horse. His personality is to please and he goes in and, like today, he was more competitive than me – he does a lot for me.”
On showing indoors:
“It is great. I love indoor showing and I love this horse show. For me it is such a pleasure to get to come here. The horses that I brought here tend to jump better indoors because the space backs them off and it is fun to be able to push more than I take away.”
Final Results – T&R Development International Two Phase CSI4*:
Place / Rider / Country / Horse / Owner / R1 Faults | R1 Time / R2 Faults | R2 Time
1) Kristen Vanderveen (USA) & Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili / Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC – 0 / 0 – 30.18
2) Aaron Vale (USA) & Major / Sleepy P Ranch LLC – 0 / 0 – 30.45
3) Kent Farrington (USA) & Austria 2 / Take The High Road, LLC – 0 / 0 – 32.12
Source: Press Release from the National Horse Show
Photos: © Phelps Sports / Georgie Hammond