Riding over a faults-converted speed course designed by Olaf Petersen Jr. of Germany, Georgina Bloomberg and Paola 233, an 11-year-old Westphalian mare by Pontifex owned by Gotham Enterprizes LLC sped to victory in the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final. The handy grey mare and Bloomberg finished clear in 52.90 seconds, edging out McLain Ward (USA) on Walstib Stables LLC’s Queen Jane, who recorded a time of 53.15 seconds.
Georgina Bloomberg and Paola 233. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
Third place went to last night’s winner, 17-year-old Brian Moggre (USA), this time riding MTM Vivre le Reve, owned by Major Wager LLC, in 53.39 seconds. Erynn Ballard (CAN) and Catoki’s Son Z, owned by Ilan Ferder & Tal Milstein, were fourth with a time of 53.52 seconds. Aaron Vale (USA) and Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Major were fifth in 54.66 seconds.
Bloomberg used Paola’s natural ability to rise to the top of the class.
“She has a good enough stride, but she doesn’t need to leave out strides. She’s really quick in the turns, and she’s very quick in the air,” said Bloomberg. “Given the option, I always play it safe, and I add a stride because I know I can be quicker other places. Really any of the other options of leaving out strides I didn’t love for her. I felt like I could just be quicker by turning and using her natural speed.”
With a light competition schedule since the Hampton Classic Horse Show in late August, Bloomberg aimed Paola for WIHS.
“We brought her here with these two [speed] classes at WIHS in mind. This was my goal for her,” said Bloomberg of the speed final. “I’m a little bit rusty with her, and that showed a little bit last night. I wasn’t really happy with the way I rode. I felt like I sort of needed a class to get with her again. It was nice to be able to go in there, get out of her way, and not make any mistakes.”
Bloomberg has competed at WIHS since the pony hunters and consistently ever since through the junior hunters, amateur jumpers, and international open jumper division. But consistent success at WIHS has eluded her.
The win in the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final was presented to Georgina Bloomberg and Paola 233. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
“Ever since I was a pony kid, I’ve struggled to have wins here at Washington,” she admitted. “I’ve never had the best luck here. All through my junior career, it was just the one show I didn’t ever conquer. I had a little bit of luck when I was an amateur, and then it sort of evened out a little bit.
“It’s one of those shows that I always enjoy coming to,” she continued. “I love the city; I love the hotel; I love the horse show; I love being in the middle of a city and having a crowd that doesn’t usually get to come to showjumping. But personally for me, it’s one of those horse shows that I always leave a little bit disappointed, so it’s really nice to come and get a victory.”
For her victory, Bloomberg was presented with the General Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Perpetual Trophy, donated by the late Arthur J. Morris.