Saugerties, New York, USA – July 29, 2023 – Week II of the Hudson Valley Jumping Tour concluded Saturday afternoon following the $77,300 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix CSI2*. Spectators gathered around the Grand Prix Stadium to watch nearly 50 talented horse and rider combinations give their best shot at making the podium. Landing on top after two exciting rounds was last week’s Grand Prix winner Mark Bluman (COL), besting a 13-horse jump-off with his new mount, Adje T.
“I have had [Adje T] for four shows, and I think it has had one rail down in those four shows,” expressed Bluman. “He is super special and extremely careful – probably the most careful horse I have ever ridden. When you have that quality in a horse, you go into the course knowing that chances of you having a rail down are pretty slim, so you can take bigger risks – which is more special.”
Ken Krome (USA) set a challenging first-round course that tested many riders across different parts of it, including three double combinations intertwined with numerous rollbacks and bending lines placed throughout the arena. Many riders who made it clear through the combinations left with defeat after having rails late in the course. After the first five horse and rider combinations competed, Bluman and Adje T were the second pair to go clear, making them second in the jump-off line-up as well.
“I was unlucky to go early in the draw of the first round – the first horse to go in the jump-off is actually a former ride of mine,” explained Bluman. “I saw his jump-off and it was pretty fast – I know that horse is really quick, so I took the risk of leaving out a stride and it paid off.”
The jump-off began with the same two fences seen at the beginning of round one before riders had to complete a tight rollback between fence 2 and 11. The rest of the course included a combination at fence 12ab, a jump that was previously a part of half of the original fence 5 combination, and a new jump 16, originally the b-element of fence 8 in the first round.
Following Nayel Nassar (EGY) and El Conde’s beam-breaking 38.69 second round in the jump-off, Bluman knew he had to put on the pressure to post a time that could hold for the remainder of the jump-off. Luckily, his decision to ride tight turns to make up time paid off, and he and Adje T became the new class leaders after finishing their round in 38.1 seconds.
“The atmosphere today was great and the jumps were beautiful,” concluded Bluman. “They put out a new wall today that was amazing and just very pleasant for us riders to be here for the Summer Series.”
Nayel Nassar (EGY) slid into second place behind Bluman after his clear effort with El Conde in 38.69 seconds while Catherine Tyree (USA) and BEC Lorenzo rounded out the top three after going second-to-last in the jump-off, claiming their third-place spot in 38.76 seconds.
Competition at HITS-on-the-Hudson V concludes Sunday when jumper and hunter riders vie for one last chance to capture the division championships and take top placings in respective classic rounds. International showjumping competition will continue at the new Hudson Valley series one more week during HITS-on-the Hudson VI, which will feature CSI3* classes and culminate with the $145,500 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix CSI 3*.
Final Results – $77,300 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix CSI 2*
1) Mark Bluman (COL) & Adje T – 0 / 0 – 38.1
2) Nayel Nassar (EGY) & El Conde – 0 / 0 – 38.69
3) Catherine Tyree (USA) & BEC Lorenzo – 0 / 0 – 38.76
Source: Press Release from Hits Horse Shows
Photos: © ESI Photography