Paso Robles, California, USA – September 11, 2022 – The final day of the first-ever Split Rock Paso Robles CSI 2*, hosted at the beautiful Paso Robles Horse Park, concluded with the $100,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI 2*, where riders from across nine nations embarked on the course set by distinguished course designer Alan Wade (IRL). In the end, it was Mavis Spencer (USA) and her own Ekarlus BH who took home the top prize after a hard-fought jump-off. Keri Potter (USA) and Tres Palomas’ Ariell La Sirene took home second, while Matt Williams (AUS) rounded out the podium aboard HD Horses LLC’s Dandy.
Four of the 34 starters were able to navigate the 15-effort track fault-free to advance to the shortened course. Keri Potter (USA) and Ariell La Sirene, who were the winners of the FEI Grand Prix at Split Rock Portland CSI 2* in August, were the first to tackle the tiebreaker. Crossing the timers at a blazing 34.95 seconds, the bar was set very high for her three competitors who followed.
Matt Williams (AUS) and Dandy pushed the envelope, but ultimately their time of 36.02 seconds couldn’t catch Potter.
As the last pair to go, Mavis Spencer (USA) and Ekarlus BH knew they had to leave all that they had in the ring. The pair edged ahead of Potter’s time by just two-hundredths of a second, racing to the finish at 34.93 seconds, to take home the victory.
“Coming back last in the jump-off is obviously a very good position to be in,” Spencer commented. “The way I looked at it was, you’re either first or you’re last on four [faults]. I took some risks in places and I thought my ride through the timers was really strong, so I think that’s what made that little bit of a difference.”
“It’s always nice coming to Split Rock shows. Derek and his team are amazing, they put on such a wonderful event. It’s always nice when the horses go well but it’s just really great to have a horse show like this in California. It’s even better to win but I’m just glad they’re here,” Spencer concluded.
The remainder of the 2022 season of the Lugano Diamonds Split Rock Jumping Tour will hit exciting venues across the country, with the next stop taking place at the Kentucky Horse Park for the Split Rock Fall Hunter/Jumper 1 & 2 CSI3* from September 28 through October 9. The following stops include Split Rock Aiken CSI2*, Fort Worth CSI4*-W, and Sarasota CSI2*, which will kick off the beginning of the new year from January 25-29, 2023 featuring the brand-new Split Rock Championship Series. Find more information here.
Final Results – $100,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI 2*
1) Mavis Spencer (USA) & Ekarlus BH – 0 / 0 – 34.930
2) Keri Potter (USA) & Ariell La Sirene – 0 / 0 – 34.950
3) Matt Williams (AUS) & Dandy – 0 / 0 – 36.020
Source: Press Release from the Split Rock Jumping Tour (SRJT)
Photos: ©SRJT Winslow Photography