The national anthem of Ireland played over the loudspeakers at the Split Rock Jumping Tour’s Columbus International CSI 2*, as David Blake and Keoki, owned by Pine Hollow Farm, galloped away with the $35,000 FEI CSI 2* Welcome Stake with two faultless rounds and a jump-off time of 47.49 seconds.
Blake and Keoki, a 9-year-old bay Holsteiner stallion, bested a field of 48 starters for the win. Ten of the original starters advanced to the jump-off and the rounds kept getting faster and faster before Blake, the last to go, entered the ring.
“My horse has a very big stride and so I was able to leave out strides to the last two fences and I think that is what made it for us today,” explained Blake. “He is new to us, I have had him for two months. He has been very, very good so far, with good results at every show.”
Ali Wolff and Double H Farm’s Exotik Sitte took second place, double clear over the fences in a time of 47.70 seconds.
Lukan Du Rouet, a 12-year-old gelding by the great Baloubet Du Rouet, and Todd Minikus continued to dominate the national jumper division, as they won the $5,000 Winning Round competition. In the Winning Round format, the top ten on the leaderboard return for a jump-off against the clock. Minikus and the brilliant chestnut gelding blazed around the course with no faults in a time of 35.691 seconds for their second win of the week. David Blake with the Pine Hollow Farm entry, Emilia, were second with a time of 37.553 seconds.
Kady Abrahamson and Charline 28, a 13-year-old Mecklenburg mare owned by Abrahamson Equestrian LLC, won the $1,000 High Junior/Amateur Owner Power and Speed class with a clean round in a time of 60.82 seconds. Charline 28 has been Abrahamson’s winning mount many times during the Split Rock Jumping Tour. The two have been together for three years, and although they had a rocky start, they now have an exceptional relationship that has led them to many successes, including winning their first grand prix together earlier this summer.
“Charline has been amazing over the past few years. I got her from Sharn Wordley three years ago. When I first got her, it took me a year to like her. She is a chestnut mare and she is absolutely crazy. A year ago we clicked and ever since then we have been on fire.”