The USA’s Jessica Springsteen led a trio of young up and coming American riders in the $35,000 Hollow Creek Farms 1.50m at the Live Oak International CSI3*-W on Friday, March 10, 2017 in Ocala, Florida.
Springsteen is tough to beat in a speed round when paired with her longtime partner Davendy S, a 14-year-old BWP mare (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Pachat II), and so it was on the open grass field at Live Oak, where she became the only rider among a big entry list of 67 entries to break the beam in under 70 seconds.
“The faster you go the more confidence she has,” Springsteen said. “She doesn’t look fast, she has a big belly and just wanders around the barn, but she really turns on in the ring.”
Second only to Springsteen’s winning time of 69.73 seconds was Mattias Tromp and Avon, who filled the runner-up position with a time of 71.37 seconds.
“I thought the place to try and win it was at number 3, the skinny fence,” said Tromp. “I think one less stride at the last jump would have been good, but I don’t think it would have changed my placing.”
It’s true that the margins at the top were not as razor thin as those last Saturday, when Lucy Deslauriers won the $100,000 Suncast Jumper Classic CSIO4* at WEF. This week, 17-year-old Deslauriers is in the irons at Live Oak with her winning partner Hester, and her clear round time was good enough for 3rd place.
“I am trying to get more experience at the grand prix level and my horse performs well on grass fields so I was very happy to come here rather than stay in Wellington,” Deslauriers explained.
With 17 clear rounds it was a competitive first day at Live Oak International, but American lady riders filled out the top six, with Callan Solem, Hunter Holloway and Abigail McArdle all starting their weekend off with successful rides.
Sharn Wordley of New Zealand won the afternoon’s first show jumping competition, the $10,000 Waldron Private Wealth 1.40m Power and Speed.
The weekend will culminate with Sunday’s $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping – Ocala, which will serve of the last qualifier before the Longines FEI World Cup Final in Omaha, Nebraska.