Langley, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada – September 22, 2023 – Last to return in the $42,000 Winning Round CSI 3* 1.45m Friday evening at Thunderbird Show Park, Kyle King (USA) had only himself to beat for a second consecutive victory aboard Odysseus.
On paper, “Odie” was the undeniably faster horse of his two mounts. But on this occasion, it was stride that prevailed over footspeed. As Odysseus pulled a rail at the combination three fences from home, it sealed the win for 10-year-old Cerolino.
The scopey grey gelding crossed the timers of Joey Rycroft‘s (CAN) course in 40.41 seconds. Bretton Chad (CAN) and Grandeur WP finished second (41.18s), with Stephanie Valdes and Cyber Lady Z third (43.19s).
“Cerolino has tremendous scope. I did him in a five-star about a month ago,” King said. “He’s a slower jumper and scopier type, but I really have high hopes for him this season in the three and four stars continuing on.”
Both King and Odysseus and Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Jetouelle-S posted swifter times, but a rail apiece pushed them farther down the leaderboard in the uniquely formatted competition, in which the top 10 performers from the first round, regardless of score, return for a jump-off on a clean slate.
“I just compartmentalize. I put [my last round away], and I tried my best shot on Odie,” King said. “I kept seeing everybody getting deep [into the combination], which is perfect for Odie. He did a quick little step when he read it, and it got long for me [when] he needed to get deep there. So, he just got a little bit belly flat there, which is unfortunate because he had the time.”
Cerolino, meanwhile, put forth a deceptively quick round, positively eating up the ground with his massive step. He and King were also the only combination to attempt and executive a leave-out in the final line, doing just seven strides to the last fence, a liverpool oxer.
“I was also pretty gappy to that third jump on the angle,” King explained. “I thought about doing one more [stride there] for a second, [but] I just know this horse has tremendous scope and sometimes can be a little slower on the front end. So, I thought it was the right choice, and it was pretty gappy, but that also saved me some time. I was a little slow after that, but then he was very good down [the] last line, and I was able to get the seven.”
King has had the ride on Cerolino since the fall. According to Jumpr App, the pair is jumping clear at an impressive 57 percent clip at the 1.45m height, averaging just 2.07 faults.
“He’s owned by Ilan Ferder, and I’m lucky enough to be able to produce him,” King said. “I’m hoping we can just keep climbing the ranks and get jumping in bigger and bigger classes.”
Final Results – $42,000 Winning Round CSI 3*
1) Kyle King (USA) & Cerolino – 0 / 0 – 40.41
2) Bretton Chad (CAN) & Grandeur WP – 0 / 0 – 41.18
3) Stephanie Valdes (CAN) & Cyber Lady Z – 0 / 0 – 43.19
Source: Press Release from Thunderbird Show Park
Photos: © Kady Dane Photography