Lexington, Kentucky – June 10, 2022 – The Lugano Diamonds Split Rock Jumping Tour (SRJT) returned to the Kentucky Horse Park to kick off the 2022 tour schedule, highlighted by CSI 3* and 2* jumper competition for the first week of the Split Rock Hunter Jumper series. Friday saw Caelinn Leahy (USA) climb to the top of the podium in the $50,000 Equestrian Closet Welcome CSI 3* aboard Steve Schaefer’s Coldplay 31 (Cassini II x Phantom).
Anderson Lima’s (BRA) first-round track was set at a height of 1.50m and asked athletes to deliver a flawless round over 16 efforts. First to deliver a clear round was Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam (IRL), after the time allowed was adjusted up to 83 seconds. Six riders followed suit to set the stage for an exciting jump-off competition.
Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Birdy du Thot set the second-round pace early at a time of 39.02 seconds, seemingly leaving little room for error until Leahy (USA) tried her hand aboard Coldplay 31. The pair made up time thanks to the 13-year-old gelding’s naturally fast stride that was well suited to the jump-off track. As second to go in the order, no other athletes would come close to their time of 36.85 to help seal Leahy’s second FEI victory of the week.
“I’ve had Coldplay in my string for the past year and a half. He’s been an amazing horse for me and really helped me evolve as a rider…We’ve always clicked, but it’s really cool to see our evolution over the past year. This time last year I had a great split Rock show too, so it’s cool to see it come full circle with this week’s results,” Leahy commented.
“Split Rock in general is always an amazing show. My horses really love showing here – being at the [Kentucky Horse Park] and the way Derek [Braun] runs this show and facilitates the horses. I’m feeling great and I’m so grateful for how this show has started out and I’m excited to see how it goes.”
Ultimately finishing in second was Shane Sweetnam (IRL) with Birdy du Thot, while Nicole Shahinian-Simpson (USA) and Akuna Mattata rounded out the podium. FEI competition will continue at the 3* rating into the weekend, with the highlight event taking place on Sunday, June 12 for the $100,000 Lugano Diamonds 1.55m Grand Prix CSI 3*, presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute.
Final Results – $50,000 Equestrian Closet Welcome CSI 3*
1) Caelinn Leahy (USA) & Coldplay 31 – 0 / 0 – 36.850
2) Shane Sweetnam (IRL) & Birdy du Thot – 0 / 0 – 39.020
3) Nicole Shahinian-Simpson (USA) & Akuna Mattata – 0 / 0 – 39.180
Source: Press Release from SRJT – Split Rock Jumping Tour
Photo: © SRJT / Winslow Photography