Wilmington, Ohio, USA – October 28, 2023 – The stage was set in the Standlee Sanctuary for the final $75,000 Grand Prix of the 2023 Fall Classic Series. Sponsored by GGT Footing, the highly anticipated class saw 26 elite horse-and-athlete combinations try their hand at FEI Level III course designer Anderson Lima’s (BRA) tracks.
Johan Kachelhoffer (RSA) saved the best for last with his own Cooper B (Cellestial x Korsika) as they galloped to the win to close out Fall Classic 5.
Based in Ocala, Florida, Kachelhoffer made the trip to World Equestrian Center – Wilmington for the first time to compete for the entire five-week 2023 Fall Classic Series and was thrilled to end his fulfilling experience with a win.
“This is my first time here and obviously I already had a great impression of WEC because we live in Ocala. We were looking for somewhere to go and to escape the heat a bit. We haven’t ridden indoors since we were in Europe and were looking for a change! It has been fantastic. Everything is run so well. There is such huge effort into the decorating and attention to detail. Our home-away-from-home here is fantastic. Overall, we have had a really good time here and we will definitely be back.”
The ten-year-old Brandenburg gelding settled in nicely during his time indoors and jumped an effortless first clear round as the last to go to qualify for the jump-off.
“It has been a long time coming for Cooper! I got him two years ago and he was jumping around 1.20m classes and he has had very good success. This is the first bigger grand prix that he has won. We have had some good results here, but he has gotten a little bit weary with the indoor and the crowd. He has gotten a little distracted and made a few mistakes, but tonight he was on it. I am very thrilled about it,” Kachelhoffer spoke about his quality gelding.
The crowd went silent as Kachelhoffer came down the ramp to challenge Lisa Goldman-Smolen (USA), who held the two leading times. Ultimately, in 37.302 seconds, they secured the win.
“The course today was fantastic. It has been great to experience all of the different course designers that have been here the past few weeks. There were 26 in it tonight and eight clear, it was perfect. Very good courses building, you could have a rail anywhere and it made it very fair,” said Kachelhoffer.
Saturday was full of exhilarating wins for Kachelhoffer and his wife, “Being South African, we had the World Cup Final in rugby today and we won that nearly by one point! It was a great day for us and I am so happy that I could end with another winning result like this!”
Last week’s winner, Lisa Goldman-Smolen (USA), filled second and third place on the podium with Barbara Disko’s Sovereign (Frontal x Galledent) and Ivaro N (Elvaro x Celli), respectively.
The 17-year-old Selle Français gelding, Sovereign, earned second place in a time of 37.479 seconds, and the ten-year-old Royal Dutch Sport Horse gelding, Ivaro N, rounded out the podium in 37.992 seconds.
Final Results – $75,000 GGT Footing Grand Prix
1) Johan Kachelhoffer (RSA) & Cooper B, Johan Kachelhoffer | 0 | 37.302
2) Lisa Goldman-Smolen (USA) & Sovereign, Barbara Disko | 0 | 37.479
3) Lisa Goldman-Smolen (USA) & Ivaro N, Barbara Disko | 0 | 37.992
4) Jay Hayes (CAN) & Hope VA, Fenn Randazzo | 0 | 38.174
5) Filip de Wandel (BEL) & Manhattan Van’t Leeuwerikenhof, Five Way Farm | 0 | 38.565
6) Colin Syquia (PHI) & Hocus Pocus, Seahorse Show Stables | 0 | 39.534
7) Colin Syquia (PHI) & Fiper, Eurasia Inc | 4 | 38.095
8) Sean Jobin (CAN) & Arkuga, Antrim Equestrian | 4 | 40.149
9) Kyle Perkovich (USA) & Quinto, Kyle Perkovich | 4 | 69.805
10) Kady Abrahamson (USA) & Jazil Du Houssoit, Abrahamson Equestrian LLC | 4 | 70.126
Source: Press Release from World Equestrian Center
Photos: © WEC / Winslow Photography