Eric Navet & Catypso. Ph. ©Phelps Media Group
The French flag was flying proudly over the Rolex Arena on Saturday, May 13, 2017 as Eric Navet and Catypso were victorious in the $130,000 CSI3* Grand Prix presented by Hollow Creek Farm. The pair, who have traveled to Kentucky from their home in California, bested a field of 51 athletes to take home the top prize after a double clear effort. Hollow Creek Farm’s own Emanuel Andrade came in a very close second place with Bon Jovi, while Sharn Wordley and Casper rounded out the top three placings.
Navet has been waiting for the perfect course and right venue to let his mount put all the lessons he has learned over the past few years to work. The Rolex Arena provided that perfect platform for the 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding to show his competitiveness at the Grand Prix level. The pair went early in the order of go and posted the first clear round of the night over a course designed by Marina Azevedo.
“Catypso has a big gallop but he is not a quick mover so this jump off was perfect for us,” Navet described. “I took real angles because he is so brave. The two angles I took were coming into the double and then the angle to the white oxer and then went to the longest distance I could find to the last oxer just to keep the momentum going.”
The former French National Champion and Olympic medalist has been working with Catypso since he was acquired by the Cook family as a six-year-old. Even though 2016 was the first year that Navet began regularly competing Catypso in Grand Prix classes in California, the pair qualified to compete in the 2017 World Cup Finals in Omaha, Nebraska with positive results.
“I always say that we must pick the shows with good footing and this really is all-weather footing!”
“This is a fantastic show – the stadium is remarkable and the footing is fantastic. I always say that we must pick the shows with good footing and this really is all-weather footing!” Navet commented. “For me that is the most important thing – We want our horses to last and age and to achieve that we need to jump on good footing.”
The spring Kentucky Horse Shows offered Navet with the perfect venue for his first show back since World Cup Finals. After competing in Kentucky for the first-time last year, the Kentucky Horse Park has become an ideal destination for Navet and his students because of the professional atmosphere and outstanding footing.
The $130,000 Hollow Creek Farm CSI3* Grand Prix was a truly international event, as can be demonstrated by the various countries that occupied the top three placings in the class: Navet of France, Andrade of Venezuela, and Wordley of New Zealand. In all, there were twelve different countries represented by the equestrian athletes.
The first week of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show Series concludes on Sunday, May 14, 2017 with the $50,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix and the USHJA International and National Hunter Derbies. The Kentucky Spring Classic begins on Wednesday May 17 and will feature FEI CSI3* competition including the $130,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix as well as ‘A Day in the Park’ to honor Ellen Veitch on Saturday, May 20.