Early in the day on Thursday, the National Horse Show welcomed 31 horses and athletes to vie for top honors in the $35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumpers Speed CSI4*. Operating under a faults-converted format, any downed rails added three penalties to the time to determine a final score for the round, meaning both speed and precision were imperative for a respectable tally.
As one of the first to enter the ring, the ever-formidable Madden and Abigail Wexner’s Jiva set the pace with their quick trip in 56.51 seconds. Hot off their win in Thursday’s $35,000 Free x Rein International Jumper Welcome Speed CSI4*, Madden and Jiva looked to be the ones to beat as pair after pair failed to usurp them.
Nearing the end of the order, Katie Dinan (USA) and Tarioso Manciais, owned by Grant Road Partners, finally edged out the frontrunners, tripping the timers just a hair faster in 56.34 seconds to jump to the top spot, but their lead wouldn’t hold. As the reigning American Gold Cup winner of the $204,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ New York CSI4*-W with D’Arnita, Cawley’s reputation preceded her, and the veteran competitor did not disappoint.
Molly Ashe Cawley on Picobello Choppin PC. Photo by Phelps Media Group
“When I walked the course, I thought it was a good course for [Picobello Choppin PC] because he’s really handy,” commented Ashe Cawley. “I watched Beezie [Madden] go and I thought, ‘Oh, no chance.’ Time and time again I think I’ve been flying but then I end up seventh because he jumps so high. Everything just came up really well for him.”
As one of the final five to take to the ring, Cawley and Louisburg Farm’s Picobello Choppin PC blazed around the Alltech Arena, carefully slicing across the track and leaving all of the rails up in a lightning fast final time of 54.20 seconds, more than two seconds ahead of the previous class leaders, to clinch the blue ribbon ahead of reserve finishers Dinan and Tarioso Manciais as well as Madden and Jiva.
“I didn’t realize I was as quick as I was until I went through the timers,” she continued. “I was able to do the leave-out to the in-and-out and then the spin back to the next to last jump stopped you so the five was really going for him, which made it faster also. Beezie was clearly the one that was going to be hard to beat. She really took a good shot to the first in-and-out, which I knew I couldn’t do, and I didn’t do, so I didn’t know if I had her or not. It was my night I guess.”
Molly Ashe Cawley and Picobello Choppin claimed The Palm Beach Masters Series $35,000 International Open Jumper Speed…
The Alltech Arena also played host to the $10,000 Junior Jumpers and $10,000 Amateur-Owner Jumpers earlier in the day. In the junior contest, Isabella Bleu and her own Jahil led the way with a fault-free jump-off effort in 32.995 seconds to edge out the reserve finishers, Mimi Gochman and Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s Street Hassle BH, with their final time of 33.809 seconds. Not far off the pace, Paige Matthies and Barbara Smith’s Dirkie Z rounded out the top three with a clean jump-off ride in 35.023 seconds.
Out of the field of amateur-owners, owner-rider Riley Newsome piloted Dakar VDL twice successfully, leaving all of the fences intact and breaking the beam in 39.783 seconds over the short course, just ahead of the time earned by the reserve champions, Addison Glerkink and Kadley Holdings LLC’s Erco Van T Roosakker, in 40.073 seconds. Haley Gassel and Quite Dark 2, owned by Westwind Equine Training Center, finished in the third position, riding to a clean and clear jump-off time of 40.791 seconds.