Darragh Kenny and New Mount Babalou 41 Capture Hollow Creek Farm 1.50m National Grand Prix
A new combination in the ring went to the winner’s circle in the $50,000 Hollow Creek Farm 1.50m National Grand Prix over 34 other competitors. Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Babalou 41, owned by Jack Snyder, were the only double clear in the class, winning on a time of 39.945 seconds.
Second place went to Rodrigo Lambre (BRA) and Mario Onate’s Chapilot, who had four faults in 38.513 seconds. Mario Deslauriers (CAN) and Bardolina 2, owned by Wishing Well Farm LLC, were third with four faults in 39.778 seconds.
“I always thought she was a really super horse and I thought she would be a suitable ride for me,” said Kenny of Babalou 41, his mount of six weeks. “It ended up working out for me and the owners for me to ride the horse. She has so much quality. She’s so careful and so scopey. I normally get on really well with mares.”
This was their first 1.50m class together and victory came in the “getting to know each other stage,” said Kenny, but he wasn’t going to hold back when it came to speed in the jump-off.
“Everybody who knows me, [knows] I don’t like to finish second,” he said. “My plan was always to try and win this class. I was warming up and saw that nobody was clear, so I thought, ‘Ok, go clear and be quick enough, but don’t go crazy.’ And then hopefully it pays off.”
Kenny and Babalou 41 will compete next in the FEI division during WEF 10 and will also aim for the final week 12 competition.
Annabel Revers and Quax Awarded Blue Ribbon in Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search 3*
Friday’s competition began in the DeNemethy Ring with Annabel Revers and Quax, owned by Beechwood Stables, LLC, claiming the blue in the Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search 3* class. The pair aced the open water jump and challenging course of bending lines and returned as one of the top 12 competitors to impress the judges in the flat test. Ava Stearns was close behind with a second-place finish aboard her mount, Mac One III, owned by Lauren Hough, and Emma Kurtz took third aboard Carl, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker.
“I think having a nice pace and finding the jumps out of stride was what helped us stand out today,” said Revers. “I am really excited about this win because I feel like it’s a good sign for [the Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals] in the fall, and three-star competition is as close as we are going to get to what actual finals are going to be like. It’s a wonderful opportunity to be able to practice over a course that is a little bigger with an open water jump without the rail, and that is a little bit more technical than the one star and two star classes. This makes me feel like we are really making progress towards our goals for the rest of the year.”
Today marked an exciting win for the duo, as they placed second in the class during week four of the Winter Equestrian Festival. Revers has ridden Quax, a coming 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Quite Capitol x Rica Love, since he was imported from Europe four years ago, and the pair have continued to show that they are a perfect match.
“He was my first real equitation horse,” said Revers. “I didn’t even try him when we bought him! Another one of my trainer’s students tried him and sent me the videos, and thankfully it worked out. When we got him we didn’t really know what he was going to turn out to be, but he is a really special horse. I have a really strong bond with him, since I have had him for so long, and we have really been through a lot together.”
Further detailing her partnership with the gelding, Revers added, “I feel like when people think of me, they think of ‘Annie and Quax.’ He has really gotten my name out there and taken me so far.”
In the weeks to come, Revers’ plans include giving Quax a week of rest and then getting some more equitation practice in the show ring to prepare for week 11’s 11th Annual George Morris Excellence in Equitation class.
Amanda Derbyshire Victorious in $35k Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45M Classic
Also held on Friday morning was the $35,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Classic with a win going to Great Britain and Amanda Derbyshire riding Lady Maria BH, owned by Gochman Sport Horses LLC. They finished the speed course clear in a time of 66.97 seconds for the win.
Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) rode Starlight Farms LLC’s Toulago to second place with a time of 68.07 seconds. Third place went to Andres Azcarraga (MEX) on Jaime Azcarraga’s Luminoso LS, who was also clear in 68.11 seconds.
The eighth week of WEF continues on Saturday, March 3, with the $150,000 Nations Cup CSIO4*, presented by U.S. Trust & Bank of America Merrill Lynch at 7 p.m. as well as a championship presentation in the Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under division.