International competition at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show (UCHS), presented by St. Bride’s Farm, began on Thursday with the $35,000 Upperville Speed Stakes CSI4*, sponsored by Valley Proteins, Inc. Fifty of the world’s top athletes put the pedal to the metal trying to score the winning prize, but Brianne Goutal-Marteau (USA) set an early pace that would prove unbeatable aboard Rose Hill Farm’s Fineman.
Olympian McLain Ward (USA) was first in the ring with Beechwood Stable LLC’s Upsilon De La Liniere and set the original time at 64.47 seconds with a clear round. One round later though Goutal-Marteau and Fineman were faultless over the fences and faster to take over the top on the leaderboard in a time of 62.69 seconds.
“That horse is a really confidence giving horse, so I never really worry about having to go early or late,” shared Goutal-Marteau. “You always feel like you have a good chance. My plan was just to go as if I was going late in the class. You don’t know who’s going to go, you don’t really know how fast the track can get, so you kind of have to just test the waters a little bit. It worked out today. Sometimes early on it doesn’t work out as well, but, like I said, he’s a bit of a weapon that horse. He’s like a competitive machine.”
Midway through the class, the second place position was taken over by Darragh Kerins (IRL) riding Silteplait De Circee, owned by Remarkable Farms LP. They left all of the rails intact and stopped the clock in 63.23 seconds. Catherine Tyree (USA) came very close to catching Kerins just one round later with Joseph Tyree’s Enjoy Louis, clearing the course in 63.39 seconds. Just 1/10th of a second slower, Tyree took over third place, while Ward placed fourth and Goutal-Marteau’s effort with Fineman would remain at the top for the day’s victory.
Goutal-Marteau felt confident aboard Fineman, an experienced 14-year-old Swedish Warmblood who is quick across the ground and never wastes time in the air. Despite going early in the class, Goutal-Marteau took some risks and it paid off with the first international win of the 2018 Upperville Colt and Horse Show.
“I think it’s nice to win anywhere, but when you come to a show where everything feels important, I think ribbons feel that much more special,” she said. “This is one of those shows where you feel the historic atmosphere, you feel the history that’s happened before. There’s a lot of effort that goes into this place. They do their best, and I know there are a lot of horses and it gets busy, but everything is well organized. We can’t say enough good things about this show, and when it’s that nice of a show it makes winning that much nicer.”
The main event for spectators and athletes on Friday will be the $40,000 Upperville Welcome Stakes CSI4*, sponsored Tim Burch – BOWA, Jim Thompson – Washington Fine Properties/Middleburg and Wiseman & Associates, getting underway at 5 p.m. in Jumper Ring I. The week concludes on Sunday at 3 p.m. with the highlight event, the $216,000 Upperville Jumper Classic CSI4*, sponsored by Lugano Diamonds and Mr. and Mrs. Michael A. Smith.
$35,000 Speed Stakes CSI4*, sponsored by Valley Proteins, Inc.
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Faults | Time
1. Fineman / Brianne Goutal-Marteau / USA / 0 | 62.69
2. Silteplait De Circee / Darragh Kerins / IRL / 0 | 63.23
3. Bokai / Catherine Tyree / USA / 0 | 63.39
4. Upsilon De La Liniere / McLain Ward / USA / 0 | 64.47
5. Iliano Van D’abelendreef / McKayla Langmeier / USA / 0 | 64.60
6. Catoki’s Son Z / Erynn Ballard / CAN / 0 | 64.76
7. Brando Du Rouet / Kirk Webby / NZL / 0 | 65.17
8. Cicero’s Electric / Peter Wylde / USA / 0 | 65.19
9. Shorapur / Kevin Babington / IRL / 0 | 65.33
10. Pewit Nono / Jonathan Mc Crea / USA / 0 | 66.56
11. Columbcille De Reve / Nicholas Dello Joio / USA / 0 | 67.23
12. Darlon Van Groenhove / Clementine Goutal / USA / 0 | 68.58