Shawn Casady & Durango VDL Conquer $35k Horseware Ireland Grand Prix at Summer in the Rockies

The fourth week of the Summer in the Rockies (SIR) hunter/jumper show series marked the halfway point of competition at The Colorado Horse Park (CHP). The summer hosts the region’s most prominent event, attracting competitive equestrian athletes and their equine teammates from across the nation. The week also welcomed Zones 7 and 8 to the United States Hunter/Jumper Association Child/Adult Hunter and Jumper Championships, noting individual and team competition.

The $35,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix took place on Saturday, June 30, boasting twenty-one entries. Shawn Casady and Durango VDL galloped to victory in a jump-off that welcomed back four teams to contest the short track.

Shawn Casady and Durango VDL. Photo by Captured Moments Photography

Durango VDL, owned by Highpoint Farm LLC, and Casady finished their lightning-fast jump-off round in 43.346 seconds. Casady, of Harriman, TN, has been riding the 2008 Dutch stallion for Craig and Tina Yates for three months and is thriving with the new partnership. “We’re still in the beginning of everything, but we’re starting to gel together,” Cassady said of Durango VDL. “I have gotten to know him a little bit. We’re still testing and tweaking things, but hoping for the best.”

Casady spoke highly of the course, designed by Marina Azevedo. “I really enjoyed the course. There were a lot of options. It asked several questions, but I think that’s good.” Casady rode to victory by way of “trimming the fat” in the jump-off. “You have to make a plan and stick with it,” he summarized.

Shawn Casady and Durango VDL in their awards presentation ceremony with CHP Director of Operations and SIR Competition Manager, Marion Maybank. Photo by Captured Moments Photography

Celso Ariani of Wellington, FL, and Dali T, owned by Ricardo Romero, raced through the timers in 43.553 seconds for reserve. The last of the double-clear rides belonged to Kayla Savard of San Diego, CA, who rode her own entry Chicago 149 for third place in 45.755 seconds. Competition continues as SIR V hosts the $60,000 Griffis Residential Grand Prix that will take place on Saturday, July 6 at 5:00 p.m. MST.