Seventeen of the top point earners from the season of Markel Insurance 1.45m Series qualifiers competed to take home the lion’s share of the $44,000 prize in Wednesday night’s highlight class. Of the four horse and rider combinations that rode fault free over Anthony D’Ambrosio’s course, the only double clear competitor, Kyle King, galloped away with the victory.
Kyle King and Christian. Photo by Andrew Ryback
Encouraging the growth of young horses as well as up and coming grand prix riders, the Markel Insurance 1.45m Series Final offered an ideal opportunity for King and his nine-year-old mount, Christian, owned by Joyce Pedigo, to step up. Knowing this was the final test of the season for this group of qualified riders, D’Ambrosio set a solid course in the South Point Arena and King executed the only double-clean ride in 34.610 seconds.
“The track was a little big out there tonight. The classes throughout the season were substantially smaller and Christian is pretty young and still figuring it out, so I was a little worried, not gonna lie,” King noted. “So I was really happy when we went clean in the first round. I was lucky to go in the beginning of the jump-off to put pressure on the other competitors and make them speed up their game.”
King is thrilled with his young mount.”Christian is a great story. His father was my most successful 1.60m horse – Capone. Clients and friends, Joyce and Dick Pedigo from Bend, Oregon bred Christian and they called me up when he was four to see if I wanted to come ride him, and I’ve had him ever since. He’s a super young horse and the Pedigos are great people.”
Kyle King and Christian with Chris Norden from Markel Insurance, Melissa Brandes of Blenheim EquiSports, Josh Mullins of LSI Insurance and Brandon Seger of Markel Insurance. Photo by Andrew Ryback
King competed successfully in the Markel Classic qualifiers throughout the season, as well as in previous years. “The Markel Series is just right for younger horses to be able to step up without being over faced in the 1.50m. We have a major advantage by having it out here on the West Coast.”
With four-faults in the jump-off, young professional Carly Anthony and Clochard (owned by Neil Jones Equestrian Inc.) finished second. Definitely one to watch, Anthony has been consistently in the ribbons on several mounts this year.
$44,000 Markel Insurance 1.45m Jumper Series Final