Kelsey Maloney and La CoCo Go out With a Bang in the $25,000 Beau Rivage Grand Prix
The $25,000 Beau Rivage Grand Prix took place today at the Harrison County Fairgrounds in Gulfport, Mississippi and Kelsey Maloney of Atlanta, Georgia and her own La Coco won the blue ribbon, adding a second grand prix win to their resume and an exclamation point to their winter show season!
After having won the welcome earlier in the week, Maloney bested a field of 21 horse and rider teams in the Grand Prix class. “Gulfport was my last show in the US for the foreseeable future and maybe my last grand prix with her [La Coco] in the states. To finish like this is incredible,” commented Maloney.
Kelsey Maloney and La Co Co, Photo by Alison Hartwell
The course was set on the beautiful grass grand prix field by the design team of Nancy Wallis and Paul Jewell of Lambertville, New Jersey.
“The first round course was fair and it was perfect to have eight in the jump off, “ said Maloney. “There were definitely elements where you had to regroup and pull your stride together because they can really get going on that field and then you’ve got a lot of horse in your hands,” she said.
“I think that the last line in the first round gave some of the riders problems. There was a steady six stride at the end to a vertical. I left out a stride heading into the triple combination which was not ideal for my horse, but I got lucky,” she said.
Only eight earned a spot in the jump off round. Chase Boggio of Canton, Georgia and his own Co Pilot were the first to turn in a clear first round. Grant Seger of Corpus Christi, Texas and Grey Fox Crossing’s Cantucchini also went clear, insuring a jump off to the delight of the crowd. Stephanie Tropia of Magnolia, Texas and Nordic Lights Farm, LLC’s NLF Newsflash added their names to the jump off roster and were later joined by Maloney and her own La Coco. Laura Connaway from Little Rock, Arkansas and her own Quite Funny, Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama and Loretta Patterson’s Manchester, Boggio and Victoria Press’ Quesada D’Elle and Grant Segar again, this time in the irons of Grey Fox Crossing’s Dr. J, all added their names to the jump off roster.
The jump off was set with a time allowed of 48 seconds. First to go Boggio and Co Pilot had a rail at the first fence and a time of 47.305 seconds.
Segar and Cantucchini followed, posting the first clear round in a time of 44.305 seconds. Tropia and NLF Newsflash followed, but their time of 50.267 seconds earned them three time faults and a fifth place finish.
Next to go Maloney and La Coco flew through the timers with a clear round and the fastest time of 41.609 seconds.
“We were really fast today. I saw Grant behind me in the order of go and knew he has some pretty quick horses. Chase also has two competitive horses, and he was another one to watch too. I knew I would have to pick up the pace,” she said.
Connaway and Quite Funny followed in the order and although they turned in a clear jump off round, their time of 45.972 was not fast enough to catch Maloney and La Coco.
Shepherd and Manchester were next and earned eight jump faults in a time of 43.713 seconds, which would finish them in seventh place. Boggio and Quesada D’Elle followed Shepherd, but opted to retire early and finished in eighth overall.
Last to go, Seger and Dr. J looked to take Maloney and La Coco’s lead with a clear round but their time of 42.168 seconds wasn’t fast enough and they finished in second place.
Maloney commented, “I think there were several challenges in the jump off round. There was a seven stride and then at the end of that you’d get to this two stride combination where you needed to really ‘whoa’ in the combination. Then, land and be efficient because you had to gallop across the field. I think that’s where I made my time up. Then there was a hooking right turn to an oxer and you had to keep circling to a roll back to a vertical-which I also sliced- and then you’d stay on that line to the last fence which was also an oxer,” she said.
Photo by Alison Hartwell
“The jump off round was super fun for us because my horse has this massive stride. There was a leave out right there for us on the first fence. She felt really good and came back to me exactly where and when I needed her to; I did all the slices and lined the jumps up and she was just perfect,” she said.
The $25,000 Beau Rivage Grand Prix wrapped up her two weeks at the Gulf Coast Winter Classic. “I count my blessings for winning two grand prix in a row with her [La Coco]. The fact that she is 16 turning 17 and is doing so well is amazing. My mom even came out to watch me and I don’t get to see her all that often. My Mom loves ‘Puff’ [La Coco] and she walks her to the ring for me. My Mom gets nervous when I jump, so in order to stay in her Zen bubble she videos me so she can stay somewhat removed from the situation,” she laughed.
“It was great to win today and go out with such a bang and I couldn’t be happier,” said Maloney.