Upper Marlboro, Maryland, USA – October 27, 2022 – The 2022 Washington International Horse Show CSI 5*-W, presented by MARS EquestrianTM continued on Thursday at Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, where daytime junior hunter competition gave way to the first evening session, featuring the opening international jumper classes during Barn Night, held in partnership with Green Is The New Blue. Daniel Bluman (ISR) and Ubiluc closed the first day of competition in grand fashion, leading the victory gallop for the $37,000 International Jumper Accumulator class.
Daniel Bluman (ISR) came with a plan, and Ubiluc executed it, to be christened the winners of the $37,000 Accumulator Class CSI 5*-W, where riders earn points for each clear fence they jump in the course plus an additional 20 points for the final fence. Bluman and Ubiluc finished with a perfect score of 65 in a lightning-fast time of 41.58 seconds to be presented with the Crown Royal Trophy.
The second-fastest 65-point performance of the contest belonged to Evan Coluccio (USA) and Egalini (Cheers Cassini x Jalisco B), claiming silver honors with their time of 42.24 seconds.
Bluman faced fierce competition, including from the fifth-ranked rider in the world, Conor Swail (IRL), who Theo (Christian 25 x Calando IV) rode Theo towards bronze honors in 44.66 seconds.
Though Ubiluc was dressed to kill from the start, Bluman needed a little extra push before the course walk to get into character.
“I was going to dress as an Hermés rider, which is normally how I dress every time I compete, and I’m very proud to wear that,” stated Bluman. “I felt like I was out of place before the class when we were going to walk the class, so Baylee McKeever very kindly gave me this priest outfit to wear in tonight’s class.”
McKeever’s divine intervention paid off for Bluman (ISR) and the 10-year-old Mecklenburg gelding (Ubiko x Lucian). Though he’s normally used to jumping five-star grands prix, Ubiluc looked like a true speed specialist.
“My strategy was to try and turn as tight as I could all over the place and do the leave-outs in the lines,” explained Bluman. “Ubiluc felt really good, and he was responsive from the get-go. I felt like he was looking for the jumps and felt great. The time held up all the way, so I’m very happy with the result.
“Ubiluc is a pretty easy ride, I would have to say,” continued Bluman of the bay owned by Blue Star Investments and Over the Top Stables LLC. “He has personality, and he plays. He’s not a very big horse, so he has to have some personality in order to perform. Today the distances showed up out of the turn, so I didn’t have to pull. I was just going forward the entire way. That’s the name of the game, and it worked out for me tonight.”
Bluman hasn’t set foot in the Show Place Arena since he competed in the Children’s Jumper Finals at the Capital Challenge Horse Show in 2001, but it was nice to be back in a familiar venue with a whole new look.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been here,” noted Bluman. “We’re very happy to have the Washington International Horse Show here. The horses are happy. The ring seems to be in good condition. We have the possibility to attract the best riders in North America and Europe. It’s great, and we have great sport.”
The night was made even better by packed stands of horse enthusiasts, many of which were kids and riders from local barns celebrating and enjoying the Barn Night festivities.
“We always really like when the crowd comes and enjoys the event,” said Bluman. “It’s fun for us. Not that many years ago, I was one of them in the crowd, cheering and watching for the riders that I liked. It’s really cool, and I honestly really like it. It’s good that all the kids were here and made the time to come. They have school tomorrow and still they’re here and supporting until the late hours of the night. We’re very grateful that they show up.”
The best costume award went to the Mother of Dragons, Grace “Khaleesi” Debney (GBR) and her fearless dragon, Zarina du Vidau.
Final Results – $37,000 Accumulator Costume Class CSI 5*-W
1) Daniel Bluman (ISR) & Ubiluc – 0 – 41.58
2) Evan Coluccio (USA) & Egalini – 0 – 42.24
3) Conor Swail (IRL) & Theo – 0 – 44.66
Source: Press Release from Jump Media for the Washington International Horse Show
Photo: © WIHS / Shawn McMillen Photography