In the combination’s first CSI5* win together, Jessica Springsteen and Stone Hill Farm’s Cynar Va topped a jump-off class of six to win the Saugerties $1 million Grand Prix in New York on Sunday. Catherine Tyree and Enjoy Louis joined Jessica and Cynar Va as the only other clears in the jump-off to take second place.
Six horses and riders were able to make their way through the first round with double clears,which was a record number for the event’s seven-year history.
Many world class competitors such as Beezie Madden and Breitling LS, Conor Swail (IRL) and Grafton, and Laura Chapot on Thornhill Kate were able to stay in the money despite encountering trouble in the test developed by German course designer Werner Deeg.
“All of the riders rode spectacularly,” said Deeg. “I had a rough idea of what I wanted to do for this class after watching the horses go throughout the week. This is a major class and I wanted to build something appropriate to that. For me it’s more important to implement the nature and movement of the horses in our courses.”
First in for the jump-off was Brandie Holloway and Lucky Strike, who would ultimately end up the fastest of the four-fault rounds to claim third place.
“Lucky Strike started off as an equitation horse, and after purchasing him and owning him for a year, we learned that he was truly a jumper, so he hasn’t been doing the upper level jumpers for a terribly long time,” said Holloway. “I thought the course was one of the best courses I’ve jumped, and it wasn’t just for one horses’ style. Everybody all around had a level playing field.”
Next in was Lauren Tisbo and MR Visto, whose four faults and time of 52.84 would slot them in fourth place. Nayel Nassar (EGY) and Lordan — 2013 winners of this event — followed, also bringing down a rail and finishing in fifth place.
22-year-old Catherine Tyree was able to claim the first clear round of the jump-off with a time of 53.29 seconds, and hoped to be the only pair to do so.
“I know this horse so well, I’ve had him for a year and a half now,” said Tyree. “I jumped him here on Wednesday so that he could go around and get into the ring, and he jumped great today. He’s such a fighter and has a huge heart, so I have full confidence in my finish today.”
Eugenio Garza Perez and Bariano kept her hopes alive for a round, as they would lay down a fast round of 52.55 seconds, but at the expense of two rails.
Jessica Springsteen had the advantage of going last, but with the pressure on. The two were able to navigate safely but also with incredible speed, stopping the clock nearly two seconds faster than Catherine and Enjoy Louis.
Jessica’s jump-off round replay (must be logged into Facebook to view):
“This was my third jump-off with [Cynar Va], so I haven’t had that much experience going quick,” said Springsteen. “Today I just tried to keep it together when we stepped up to go a bit faster, but he was jumping unbelievable, so I knew I could take a little risk. It all worked out and I am thrilled to win this class.”
The HITS Championship marks the close of the eight week HITS Saugerties Series. The next event on the HITS competition schedule is the Marshall & Sterling Insurance League National Finals on September 14-18 at HITS-on-the-Hudson. The Marshall & Sterling Insurance League is a grassroots organization dedicated to providing competition for up-and-coming Children’s and Adult Hunter, Jumper and Equitation riders. For more information please visit, www.HitsShows.com.