Richard Spooner & Quirado. ph: Kristin Lee Photography.
It was a race to the finish at the Del Mar Horsepark for 39 horse and rider combinations in the $36,500 Del Mar Speed Class. Ultimately, USA’s Richard Spooner and the eight-year-old Holsteiner gelding Quirado would lead the field to come out with a 1st place victory.
Day two of the Del Mar International World Cup week kicked off on Friday, October 20, 2017, with Ireland’s Alan Wade designing the 1.45m, 14-obstacle-course for the one round speed class.
Nine pairs rode without faults, and their respective placings were determined by the clock.
Spooner and Quirado finished on top of the leaderboard in a speedy 68.42s. While Spooner is nicknamed the “master of faster,” Quirado isn’t necessarily a speed horse. “He’s really lofty, but today I got it done. He’s learning to turn and stay nice and smooth. He was fantastic today, I’m really proud of him.”
The duo have shared a partnership for the past two years, and Spooner intends to continue taking his time with the gelding. “Eventually he’ll be doing some of the bigger classes, but this year he’s just going to do some of the smaller stuff.”
Young professional Zazou Hoffman (USA) nipped at Spooner’s heels aboard Samson II, the 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding. They turned in a time only four-hundredths of a second behind Spooner to take the 2nd place spot.
Rounding out the podium in 3rd place was Ireland’s Kevin Babington and Double O Seven 7, a nine-year-old grey Dutch Warmblood gelding. The two finished in 69.04s.
All efforts will culminate in Saturday’s $100,000 – Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Del Mar, presented by Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty Equestrian Division.
The full results can be viewed here.