Lexington, Kentucky – May 11, 2022 – FEI show jumping athletes descended on the historic Rolex Arena Wednesday evening for the $37,000 1.45m Welcome Speed CSI 3*, marking the first official day of competition at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Eager to start their two weeks off at the Kentucky Horse Park on a high note, riders from nine different nations duked it out on course in hopes of claiming the first prize of the series. In the end, it was ultimately Santiago Lambre (BRA) who topped the leaderboard with the fastest round of the evening aboard All In Horses Cava.
Oscar Soberon’s (USA) 15-effort course utilized every inch of the expansive arena featuring several tricky combinations, including a vertical to a skinny vertical double combination followed immediately by a bending line leading into an oxer to another vertical fence on the short side of the arena. Other challenges included a plank jump and a liverpool.
Brazil’s Fabio Leivas Da Costa (BRA) pioneered Soberon’s winding track aboard Ilex. The duo was fast and clear, tripping the timers well within the time allowed of 85 seconds. As the first of 38 entries to contest the course, their time of 73.04 seconds did not stand for long. Following the first few speedy rounds, all clocking in well under the 85-second mark, the time allowed was dropped to 78 seconds. The adjusted time allowed did not hinder Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) from testing the limits of speed with Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s 10-year-old Anglo European mare Wonder If. Wonder If came to Derbyshire earlier this year following the retirement of her championship mare Luibanta BH. Throughout the beginning of their partnership during the 2022 winter season at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), the duo brought home several top placings including a second place finish in the $50,000 Corro Grand Prix CSI2*. Derbyshire and the chestnut mare did not disappoint, rocketing to the top of the leaderboard in a time of 64.10 seconds.
It was sheer speed, not rails, that caused competitors to fall short of a podium finish in the first half of the class. As the class reached the second half of the order, riders were taking riskier turns and leaving out strides in an effort to make it into the top three. Their haste to get home would ultimately cost them rails on the way. Following several unsuccessful attempts to even come close to Derbyshire, Canadian veteran Tiffany Foster (CAN) stepped up to the plate with Artisan Farms’ 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Brighton. The longtime pair were well suited for the task, having won the $100,000 Onni Group Grand Prix CSI2* at Thunderbird Show Park last fall. The duo laid down a brave track being as tidy as possible to shave off precious seconds from the final time. Brighton blazed through the beam as the timers read 64.51 seconds, just four-hundredths of a second off of Derbyshire’s time to land them a second place podium position.
Derbyshire’s lead seemed unbeatable until Lambre entered the arena with his second mount of the class All In Horses Cava, an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by All In Horses. Having ridden the track once before earlier in the order of go with The Diamant Rose Z, the experienced Brazilian rider noted where he could slice the fences and take the tightest turns, utilizing a technical approach. His strategy paid off as he and his mount crossed the finish clocking in at 63.34 seconds, nearly a full second faster than Derbyshire.
Having only been partnered with the mare for three months, the duo has already racked up a list of accomplishments entering their spring season. The duo comes off of back-to-back wins during Equestrian Sport Productions’ (ESP) Spring Series taking top placings in the $37,000 Dever Golf Carts 1.45m Speed as well as the $37,000 Nutrena 1.50m Classic. With plans to build up All In Horses Cava to the higher FEI levels, Lambre is off to an impressive start with another victory under his belt.
Competition during the Kentucky Spring Horse Show continues Thursday, May 12, with the $37,000 1.45m CSI3* at 5:30 PM EST. The action comes to a head Saturday, May 14, for the first evening grand prix of the season featuring the $140,000 Grand Prix CSI3* at 5:30 PM EST
Final Results – $37,000 Welcome Speed CSI 3*
1) Santiago Lambre (BRA) & All In Horses Cava – 0 / 63.34
2) Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) & Wonder If – 0 / 64.10
3) Tiffany Foster (CAN) & Brighton – 0 / 64.51
Source: Press Release by Olivia Airhart / Phelps Media Group for Kentucky Horse Shows
Photos: © Shawn McMillen Photography