Nicole Shahinian-Simpson Wins $37K Restylane 1.45m FEI Welcome at Split Rock Jumping Tour’s Lexington International CSI2*

On June 19, Nicole Shahinian-Simpson rode Akuna Mattata to victory in the $37,000 Restylane 1.45m FEI Welcome class at the Split Rock Jumping Tour’s (SRJT) Lexington International CSI2*.

Out of the starting field of 73, Shahinian-Simpson was one of only seven to reach the tiebreaking jump-off by riding without penalty over the 16-effort, first-round course designed by 2016 Olympic course designer Guilherme Jorge. One rider, Jessica Mendoza of Great Britain had two of the seven and she took an early lead in the jump-off when, riding third in the order, she rode Dublin clean over the 8-jump, tiebreaker course finishing with a time of 38.63 seconds.

Nicole Shahinian-Simpson on Akuna Mattata. Photo by Winslow Photography LLC.

Shahinian-Simpson followed Mendoza on her 12-year-old, Holsteiner mare and she took over the lead with a clean ride in a blazing time of 36.53 seconds. After the next two riders faulted, Mendoza returned as the last rider with a chance to move Shahinian-Simpson out of the lead. She again rode clean but her time of 37.56 seconds on Diamants Aurora was a full second slower than Shahinian-Simpson’s time on Akuna Mattata, leaving her in second. Mendoza also finished third with her ride on Dublin.

Nicole Shahinian-Simpson on Akuna Mattata. Photo by Winslow Photography LLC.

Friday’s schedule also featured the $5,000 1.35m Winning Round class which was won by Alison Robitaille on Ginger Pop and the $1,000 Equithrive 1.30m Power & Speed Class which was won by Brooke Kemper on Rocket J. Squirrel.

Split Rock’s Lexington International CSI2* is one of the first USEF and FEI sanctioned horse shows in the U.S. since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Split Rock Jumping Tour Founder and CEO Derek Braun praised the event’s participants, officials and staff for their outstanding cooperation in following the event’s protocols and guidelines, allowing the event to proceed successfully.

“I want to commend everyone for the extra effort they are putting in to ensure that our horse show remains safe for all,” Braun said. “The safety of our exhibitors and everyone involved remains our top priority and we continue to emphasize the need to closely follow all protocols and guidelines put forth by the CDC, USEF and FEI. Working together, we can set an example of how the U.S. can safely return to what we all love doing.”

Award presentations. Photo by Winslow Photography LLC.

In addition to the $75,000 FEI Grand Prix 1.45m presented by the Kentucky Invitational on Sunday, other highlights this weekend include the $20,000 Restylane 1.35m National Prix that occurred today, Saturday June 20, and the $5,000 Animo Youngster Bowl and $2,500 Human Touch 1.25m Mini Prix, both on Sunday.

About Split Rock Jumping Tour

Now in its sixth year, the SRJT has been revolutionizing the way the sport of show jumping is presented in the U.S. and has been creating a truly “unparalleled show jumping experience” for competitors, sponsors and spectators alike. Competing in the SRJT is unlike any other American horse show experience. SRJT competitions offer top prize money, extravagant awards, special entry packages, and numerous first-class amenities not typically found at any other horse show.  For more information about SRJT, click here.