Lexington, Kentucky, USA – October8, 2022 – The Lugano Diamonds Split Rock Jumping Tour (SRJT) welcomed the continuation of competition at the CSI 3* rating to the Kentucky Horse Park for the second week of the Split Rock Hunter Jumper Fall series. Friday, October 7 saw fifty horse-and-rider combinations set out to tackle the $50,000 BetHorseSports.com 1.45m Welcome CSI 3* in the Walnut Ring. A competitive jump-off saw the rounds get quicker and quicker but none could top Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam (IRL) who delivered an untouchable time with his own, Seabrook LLC, and Spy Coast Farm, LLC’s Alejandro (Acorado’s Ass X Continue) to take the win.
Seven nations were represented across the first-round 16-effort track set by Bernardo Costa Cabral (POR) which featured a triple bar to triple combination (vertical-vertical-oxer) and double combination (oxer-vertical). Thirteen pairs were able to navigate the first round fault free with Darragh Kerins (IRL) as the only athlete to bring forward two mounts into the jump-off.
Clear-round pathfinders, Rowan Willis (AUS) and Wellington Grey Goose opened up the second round with a speedy clear effort in 37.17 seconds. Their effort proved solid through the three rounds following until Will Simpson (USA) entered with Chacco P (Chacco-Blue x Elite), taking out two strides in the final line and shaving off fractions to complete the course in 36.93 seconds.
Shane Sweetnam (IRL) followed, having a chance to watch Simpson, and mimicked his stride leave-outs as Alejandro’s swift pace carried them to a time of 34.87 seconds to overtake the lead by more than two seconds. Kerins would follow several rounds later in an attempt to catch him aboard Valentino Tuiliere, but clocked in at 36.44 to slate himself between the top two.
Darragh Kerins (IRL) and the 13-year-old gelding (Diamant de Semilly x Silvio) would settle for second place, and he would pick up fifth with his second mount, Lissino. Simpson would finish third, with Willis in fourth.
“Derek [Braun] always does a great job,” said Sweetnam. “It’s obviously a different feel because we jump in the Walnut Ring and it’s a nice change for the horses because they are used to the Rolex Stadium. These shows have been really nice and with plenty in the FEI classes, the standard of jumping has been very high.”
The two-week series will culminate on Sunday, October 9 with the $100,000 Lugano Diamonds 1.50m Grand Prix CSI3*, presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. Following the conclusion of the event in Lexington, Kentucky, the tour will head to Aiken, South Carolina, for the Split Rock Aiken CSI2* from November 9-13. For more information about the series and remaining stops, visit splitrockjumpingtour.com.
Final Results – $50,000 BetHorseSports.com Welcome CSI 3*
1) Shane Sweetnam (IRL) & Alejandro – 0 / 0 – 34.870
2) Darragh Kerins (IRL) & Valentino Tuilire – 0 / 0 – 36.440
3) Will Simpson (USA) & Chacco P – 0 / 0 – 36.930
Source: Press Release from Split Rock Jumping Tour
Photos: © SRJT / Winslow Photography