Paso Robles, California, USA – September 09, 2022 – The debut Split Rock Paso Robles CSI 2* kicked off on Wednesday, September 7 at the stunning Paso Robles Horse Park. Offering an unbeatable location in the heart of California wine country, jumper athletes of all levels were welcomed to the facility for an exciting week of competition. Friday was highlighted by the $37,000 BetHorseSports.com Welcome CSI 2*, where Kasey Ament (USA) and Gaia claimed top honors after an exciting jump-off.
Athletes representing 11 countries tackled Friday’s course, carefully designed by world-renowned course designer Alan Wade (IRL). Ten combinations were able to navigate the 14-effort course fault-free. The first few pairs to attempt the shortened jump-off track fell victim to various rails on course, leaving the top of the podium there for the taking. Misti Cassar (USA) and Mylord Cornet were the first combination to leave the fences up and crossed the timers at 37.120 seconds to take an early lead.
Mavis Spencer (USA), who had qualified for the jump-off with two of her mounts, would soon take the lead aboard Carissimo 25 (Cascadello x Clinton) by shaving almost two seconds off of Cassar’s time.
However, Karrie Rufer (USA), Spencer’s fellow west-coast native and close friend, would continue to chip away at the winning time by taking the narrow lead aboard Vertige de Galarzacs (Quaprice Bois Margot x Si Tu Viens). Rufer ultimately finished second, while Spencer settled for third place on the podium.
Ament has owned her 11-year-old Royal Dutch Sport Horse (Dutch Warmblood) mare (Cantos x Rhodium) for two years and has taken her time working up to this level of jumping. As last to go in Friday’s jump-off, the pair took a unique approach to earning their first FEI victory.
“I have to remind myself to not try to go fast [in the jump-off]. Because she’s naturally a very fast horse, when I hurry her I get in her way a bit. I really started with a forward pace to fence one and just tried to stay on that all the way around. She is a fast horse so if she jumps clear she is going to win,” Ament commented.
“This is my second time at Split Rock and it’s so nice that they bring this level of show jumping to the [west] coast. We have a lot of very nice horse shows but this format that they do here works so well for me and my horses,” Ament concluded.
Competition will continue through the weekend, with the highlight event taking place on Sunday, September 11 with the $100,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI 2*. For SRJT fans and viewers not competing at the event, the day is made even more exciting by the addition of the brand new partnership with BetHorseSports.Com-Fantasy. With a prize pool of $4,000 and only a $50 buy-in for the Grand Prix, the winner of the contest is guaranteed to take home a $1,500 cash prize. Download the app to check out the start-lists, odds and more and take your picks for who will jump clear or place in the highlight event of the week.
Final Results – $37,000 BetHorseSports.com Welcome CSI 2*
1) Kasey Ament (USA) & Gaia – 0 / 0 – 35.300
2) Jarrie Rufer (USA) & Vertige de Galarzacs – 0 / 0 – 35.630
3) Mavis Spencer (USA) & Carissimo 25 – 0 / 0 – 35.720
Source: Press Release from Split Rock Jumping Tour
Photos: © SRJT / Winslow Photography