Omaha, Nebraska – May 08, 2022 – Exciting equestrian Jumping and Vaulting competition highlighted the 2022 International Omaha Presented by Burlington Capital, May 5-8 at CHI Health Center Omaha. The event started the countdown for next year’s FEI World Cup™ Finals which will be held April 4-8, 2023 in Omaha, site of the highly-acclaimed 2017 FEI World Cup™ Finals.
Produced by the Omaha Equestrian Foundation, the International Omaha Presented by Burlington Capital is not your ordinary horse show. Located in the heart of downtown Omaha, everything is under one roof – stabling, warm-up, competition arena, educational and exhibit area, demonstrations, dining venues, and shopping expo. The event gives riders, visitors, and volunteers from nearly 40 states and multiple countries a chance to see and meet some of the world’s finest equestrian athletes, who compete for over $250,000 in prize money.
International Omaha’s main event was the $100,000 Burlington Capital Grand Prix of Omaha. Coming out on top and capping an incredible day that saw her win four classes was Caelinn Leahy (USA) of Maple Park, Illinois. Leahy was one of only three entries who reached the jump-off by riding fault-free over the 12-jump, 15-effort first-round course designed by Portugal’s Bernardo Costa Cabral (POR), who has been selected as course designer for next year’s World Cup Finals.
Leahy was the first to return to try the 8-jump jump-off course and she rode her mount, Coldplay 31, to a four-fault ride and a time of 34.481 seconds.
Next to return was Rachel Lindsey (USA) of Austin, TX on Comander 16 and they had two rails down for a score of eight faults and a time of 36.190 seconds.
Last to go was Jacqueline Ruyle (USA) of Houston, TX on San Chano. Knowing a clean round would give them the win, Ruyle rode cautiously but a rail down at the penultimate fence left them with four faults in a time of 38.190 seconds and a second-place finish. It was the third second-place finish of the week for Ruyle after placing second in Thursday’s Welcome Stake and Friday’s InIt2WinIt Speed Jumping Challenge.
“I thought is was a very solid course that asked a lot of really great questions and I really got a little lucky in the first round,” Leahy said. “I fought hard and was happy to make it to the jump-off. It was a great course and a great day. We always say that we go for the win in every class but whether or not that happens is another thing. I have a great group of horses right now and my horses love showing here in Omaha. It was great day all around!”
Her Grand Prix win capped a day that saw Leahy also claim wins in the1.20m Low Junior/Amateur Classic on Zarkava, in the 1.30m Open Classic on Hennessey, and in the Impeccable Equerry 1.30m Junior/Amateur Classic also on Hennessey. For that win, Leahy received a gift certificate for a pair of custom riding boots from Impeccable Equerry.
Other highlights included the Developing Rider Invitational Jumping event, featuring locally based Junior and Amateur riders in the natural evolution of the annual tradition formerly known as Local Day. The free Demonstration Arena featured demonstrations from a wide variety of disciplines and a clinic with Olympic Gold Medalist and Jumping World Cup Finals Winner, Melanie Smith Taylor.
The event also featured Omaha’s popular tradeshow with a wide variety of shopping offerings, food sampling, and engaging educational exhibits for children. Spectators also enjoyed opportunities for photos and autographs with riders.
Following pandemic-induced cancelations in 2020 and 2021, International Omaha returned this year to rave reviews and a heightened sense of anticipation for next year’s World Cup Finals. “It was so great to be back after missing two years,” said Lisa Roskens, CEO of Burlington Capital and Chairman of the Omaha Equestrian Foundation. “As we prepare to welcome the world again next year with the return of the FEI World Cup™ Finals, we already feel the excitement here in Omaha and all across the equestrian sports world. It was good to have our team back in action and to hear all the positive feedback from athletes and everyone else involved!”
The 2023 FEI World Cup™ Finals, April 4-8 at CHI Health Center Omaha, will feature the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final, FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final and FEI Vaulting World Cup™ Final. All-Session tickets are available now via Ticketmaster.com.
About the Omaha Equestrian Foundation
The Omaha Equestrian Foundation is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that strives to bring equestrian sport into the mainstream by changing the way it is presented and to develop Omaha into a hub of the sport horse industry, attracting and developing championship competitions as both educational and economic development opportunities for the community.
For more information about the 2022 International Omaha Presented by Burlington Capital, visit OmahaEquestrian.org.
Final Results – $100,000 Burlington Capital Grand Prix of Omaha
1) Caelinn Leahy (USA) & Coldplay 31 – 0 / 4 – 34.481
2) Jacqueline Ruyle (USA) & San Chano – 0 / 4 – 38.190
3) Rachel Lindsey (USA) & Comander 16 – 0 / 8 – 36.190
Source: Press Release by Marty Bauman for Omaha Equestrian Foundation
Photos: © Alison Hartwell