Langley, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada – September 22, 2022 – Jim Ifko (CAN) had a specific plan of attack for the 13-horse jump-off that had assembled for the tbird $37,200 Grand Prix Qualifier – Jump-off Challenge CSI 3*, 1.45m, Thursday’s feature event at the BCHJA Fall Finale.
Ifko identified two distinct gallop lanes in Peter Holmes’ (CAN) short track, and he knew his competitors would be making the most of those opportunities. He hoped he could set himself apart with tighter turns, and his longtime partner Un Diamant des Forets quickly understood the assignment.
“It was amazing. One turn, we turned a lot shorter than I was expecting. All I did was land and look to left and all of a sudden, he was gone!” Ifko explained. “As soon as I looked, he was on his way, and it nearly caught me by surprise.”
Ifko and “Monty” sped right to the top of the class, recording their 11th career international victory with a winning time of 37.37 seconds.
Uma O’Neill (NZL) and Clockwise of Greenhill Z (Clearway x Carentino 2) galloped into second backed by a penalty-free jump-off performance in 39.13 seconds.
In a class in which the lead changed hands numerous times, Bretton Chad (CAN) and Grandeur WP (Whistler x Vainqueur) completed the podium, registering a clean scorecard too and a final time of 39.18 seconds.
“He’s definitely confident and courageous. He’s an absolute adrenaline junkie. His need for speed is remarkable,” Ifko said. “Yet at home, he’s the sweetest, kindest horse and so quiet. I think when you see him at a show, it’s like Jekyll and Hyde.”
Final Results – $37,200 Grand Prix Qualifier – Jump-off Challenge CSI 3*
1) Jim Ifko (CAN) & Un Diamant des Forets / Eventyre Farms Ltd – 0 / 0 – 37.37
2) Uma O’Neill (NZL) & Clockwise of Greenhill Z / Uma O’Neill – 0 / 0 – 39.13
3) Bretton Chad (CAN) & Grandeur WP / Stone Ridge Farms LLC – 0 / 0 – 39.18
Source: Press Release by Catie Staszak / Catie Staszak Media for Thunderbird Show Park
Photos: © Tbird / Quinn Saunders / Kady Hobbins Risby