Lexington, Kentucky, USA – September 29, 2023 – The Lugano Diamonds Split Rock Jumping Tour (SRJT) continued into the second of three weeks of competition at the Kentucky Horse Park for the Split Rock Hunter Jumper Fall 1, this time featuring a CSI 3* rating. Friday’s competition was highlighted by the $50,000 FEI Welcome CSI 3* 1.45m in the Rolex Stadium. In the end, it was Shane Sweetnam (IRL) who claimed both the first and second place spots with Epic Stables’ Cjoxx Z on top, followed by his own and Voquest LLC’s RR Combella in second.
Anderson Lima’s (BRA) 16-effort track drew a broad international field showcasing 61 starters from 13 different nations. Eight pairs were able to navigate the course fault-free to earn their spot in the tiebreaker.
The shortened course consisted of eight jumping efforts, including the addition of two new fences, the flower oxer at fence 15 and the Dalman vertical at fence 16. Luis Sabino Gonçalves (POR) and Sigma Stables LLC’s Vick du Croisy led the way with a fast pace of 38.88 seconds, but fell victim to the second to last fence to finish on four faults.
Caelinn Leahy (USA) tried her hand next, and piloted Steve Schaefer’s The Gray Man to the first double-clear performance, crossing the timers in 41.46 seconds.
Sweetnam followed on his first qualified mount, RR Combella, and utilized the mare’s fast footspeed to leave out a stride to the final fence and take the lead in 40.65 seconds.
Jad Dana (LBN) followed with After Eight, owned by Springhill Farm 1850, and produced the fastest time in 36.77 seconds but had a heartbreaking four faults at the final fence.
Shane Sweetnam entered the ring aboard Cjoxx Z as the last to go with the victory already in hand, but had the opportunity to make it a one-two finish. After crossing the timers in 40.21 seconds, he bested his previous leading time to secure first and second place on the podium, while Leahy settled for third.
After taking over the reins on Cjoxx Z just one month ago, Sweetnam commented, “Chris Pratt had been producing him for the last year and has done a great job with him. He’s learning all the time, he’s a very good horse and I’m excited for the future.”
“Anderson [Lima] did a very fair job. There were a lot in the class and to have eight clear is a good number. It wasn’t too big, but it was technical with the double verticals and the last line was quite tricky…he got the right number of clears and he got the right winner,” Shane Sweetnam concluded.
FEI competition will culminate on Sunday, October 1, with the $110,000 Lugano Diamonds 1.50m Grand Prix CSI 3*, presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. National competition in the hunters and jumpers will be highlighted on Saturday, September 30 with the $20,000 C. Jarvis Insurance National Grand Prix and the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby.
Final Results – $50,000 FEI Welcome CSI 3*
1) Shane Sweetnam (IRL) & Cjoxx – 0 / 0 – 40.21
2) Shanne Sweetnam (IRL) & RR Combella – 0 / 0 – 40.65
3) Caelinn Leahy (USA) & The Gray Man – 0 / 0 – 41.46
Source: Press Release from Split Rock Jumping Tour
Photos: © SRJT / Winslow Photography