Wilmington, Ohio – The Standlee Sanctuary decorated in picturesque fall décor set the scene for an international field of 24 horse-and-athlete combinations in the $50,000 Grand Prix of Fall Classic 2 at World Equestrian Center – Wilmington. The tracks set by Bobby Murphy (USA) kicked off a comeback season for Taylor St. Jacques (CAN) and her own Jakilly (Harley VDL x Zakilly).
Coming off a hand injury, St. Jacques brought her top mare to Wilmington to jump their first grand prix since competing in FEI competition in the beginning of the summer.
“My plan was to go for a nice double clear. Jakilly hasn’t shown since July, and I haven’t jumped a full course since the first week of August! I was sidelined due to an injury. It’s really good prize money up here, so I figured we would do a couple of shows here before we head back to Florida. I wanted to come and have a nice training week but also be a little competitive!”
The duo had already won the $25,000 Grand Prix at Spring I, and picked up right where they left off, jumping effortlessly over the technical first-round track to qualify for the jump-off.
“I made a plan for the jump-off when I walked, and I didn’t really watch anyone else go. I stuck to my plan and thankfully it worked out great! I didn’t plan on doing the five-strides in the last line, but the rider in front of me did it and it looked very doable. I landed from the combination, and she is usually really good about the last jump if I kick her to it. She is good at getting her feet out of the way. That was the only thing that I changed last minute. She is such a tryer, if I tell her what to do, she just says okay.”
With a quick, competitive group of eight riders in the jump-off, St. Jacques trusted her nine-year-old KPWN mare to leave the jumps in place and galloped through the timers in 32.45 seconds for a successful comeback to the show ring.
Sam Pegg (CAN) of Ten Sixty Stables returned with his winningest mount from the 2023 Winter in the Midwest Series, Gin Tonic 158 (Graf Top x Sanjador). After a successful summer of stepping up to CSI2* competition, the 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding was characteristically quick and nimble, and jumped in impressive form in a time of 33.877 seconds for second place.
Belgium’s Filip de Wandel (BEL) piloted Manhattan van’t Leeuwerikenhof (Emerald Van’t Ruytershof x Ishtar Van Het Polderhof) to a consistent double clear for third place. The duo set the tone as the first to jump a double clear effort, and ultimately found their podium placing in a time of 35.94 seconds.
Final Results – $50,000 Grand Prix
1) Taylor St. Jacques (CAN) & Jakilly, Taylor St. Jacques | 0 | 32.45
2) Sam Pegg (CAN) & Gin Tonic 158, Ten Sixty Stables | 0 | 33.877
3) Filip de Wandel (BEL) & Manhattan Van’t Leeuwerikenhof, Five Away Farm LLC | 0 | 35.94
4) Rowan Willis (AUS) & Billy McDermit, Hudson Warren | 4 | 31.946
5) Kady Abrahamson (USA) & Jazil du Houssoit, Abrahamson Equestrian LLC | 4 | 33.131
6) Sam Pegg (CAN) & Formidable Diamant, Phyllis Harlow | 4 | 33.575
7) Asta Torokvei (CAN) & Clear Concept, Asta Torokvei | 4 | 36.76
8) Paul Halpern (CAN) & Esra, Vanessa Lee | 4 | 43.334
9) Izzy Beisel (USA) & Diaz Barbotiere, Izzy Beisel | 4 | 68.944
10) Gustavo Prato (ARG) & Che Spectre, Gustavo Prato | 4 | 70.972
Source: Press Release from World Equestrian Center
Photos: © WEC / Winslow Photography