Ireland’s Kevin Babington and his longtime partner, Shorapur, won the FEI $35,000 1.45m Speed competition at the Spilt Rock Jumping Tour’s Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Columbus CSI 3*-W, the second week of the Tour’s run at the Brave Horse Show Park in Johnstown, Ohio.
Alan Wade (IRL), who designed the tracks for the recent FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, NC, was tasked with designing the courses for the feature event. He challenged the riders and horses with a track that was carefully plotted to test the skills of both.
Shorapur, a 13-year-old, Hanoverian mare owned by Shorapur LLC, is well known for her speed across the ground and over the fences, and she did not disappoint. The little bay completed the course clean in 69.15 seconds, well ahead of the other 59 competitors who tried their luck in the class.
“She is so fast,” said Babington. “My plan is to use Shorapur for Sunday, so my plan going in today was to see how she felt at the first three fences. If she wasn’t taking over and trying to pull me past the distance I would just stay on that rhythm. She was really good to the first three, so I just stuck to my plan and just tried to stay on a good rhythm all the way around. If it ended up being the fastest time, great, and if it didn’t, I still would have been happy. It is always really nice to win.”
Rowan Willis and Shark, winners of last week’s SRJT Columbus International CSI 2* Grand Prix placed second in the class.
U.S. Olympic veteran Beezie Madden, the reigning Longines FEI World Cup champion, brought out Abigail Wexner’s Jiva for the $2,000 1.35m Jump Off class. The 9-year-old, bay, Belgian mare responded to every cue from Madden and crossed through the timers fault-free in 28.70 seconds for the win.
The $1,000 High Junior/Amateur Power and Speed class went to Helen Graves and her Blue Sky Van De Olmenhoeve. Graves took second place in the class on her other mount, Lomax.
FVF Brulee and Hannah Loeffelbein took the top award in the $1,000 Blacklick Bend Farm Medium Junior/Amateur Power and Speed competition.
The $1,000 Low Junior/Amateur Power and Speed class was won by Czech rider Petra Sobotova and her Bodyguard.