East Dorset, Vermont, USA – August 7, 2022 – Another beautiful week of competition under the Vermont Mountains came to a close as Week V jumper competition concluded with the $40,000 Kimpton Taconic Grand Prix. Top jumper combinations vied for first place honors over the Catsy Cruz-designed course. Once again, Ireland’s Willie Tynan (IRL) and Seattle sailed to the top of the leaderboard, capturing the victory by three seconds.
Tynan noted that teamwork makes the dream work, as all three of his mounts made it through to round two. “I have a great team behind me – the guys always have the horses ready and looking good. Kayla gets on and warms the next one up while I’m in the ring, and then I can just hop on and jump a few jumps before going in the ring again. Without this team, we wouldn’t be able to do it – but a good team is what makes it work, and that’s what is important.”
The first round of Sunday’s grand prix consisted of 15 jumping efforts, which featured a double combination line followed by a triple combination. Five horses went clear and returned for the jump-off round, where they put the pedal to the metal, and three ultimately went double clear. For the shortened course, riders began over a tall vertical before tightly rolling back to the out of the double combination in the initial round – before galloping to another tall oxer and a two-stride combination. After carefully completing the combination, the riders galloped down the final line, heading towards the in-gate and through the timers.
“Seattle, the baby, has won two grands prix up here, which is really nice. He jumped two fantastic rounds and really stepped up,” explained Tynan. “In the second round, because he is quicker and has a big gallop, I was able to get over to the next jump more quickly. Then I was able to leave one out in the second line and leave one out coming towards home.”
Tynan returned to the jump-off first with MDM Equestrian Group’s Seattle. As the pathfinder in the first round, Tynan proved to be lucky again, laying down a perfect clear track for the rest to try to beat. He knew two other riders remained, and set the pace from the start. Tynan’s efficiency, tidy rollbacks and clear jumping efforts helped him race through the timers in 36.12 seconds – three seconds faster than the second-place finisher.
Marek Luefkens (NED) and Ever D’Hoogport were the third pair to contest the jump-off. While the duo ultimately went clear over the fences in round two, they stopped the timers three seconds slower in 39.33– garnering the second-place title.
Rounding out the top three was Willie Tynan (IRL) and his second mount, MDM Equestrian Group’s Ballinteskin Joe, who stopped the timers just after Luefkens and finished in 41.81 seconds.
One more week of jumper action is left at HITS Vermont and will continue next week as Week VI of the series gets underway. Next week will feature the final $40,000 Grand Prix, as well as the $10,000 SmartPak Prix and the $5,000 MDO Welcome. Riders will also vie for the final top spots to capture points for year-end finals, as well as for the M&S League Finals taking place in September.
Final Results – $40,000 Kimpton Taconic Grand Prix
1) Willie Tynan (IRL) & Seattle – 0 / 0 – 36.12
2) Marek Luefkens (NED) & Ever D’Hoogport – 0 / 0 – 39.33
3) Willie Tynan (IRL) & Ballinteskin Joe – 0 / 0 – 41.81
Source: Press Release from Hits Shows
Photos: © Hits Shows / Jess Windhurst