Leslie Howard and Gentille Van Spieveld. ph: Winslow Photography LLC
On Thursday, September 28, 2017, USA’s Leslie Howard and Gentille Van Spieveld rode to a 1st place finish in the $35,000 CSI2* Hollow Creek Farm 1.45m Welcome Stake at the Split Rock Farm Jumping Tour Columbus International in Ohio.
A field of 77 competed for the lump sum of the winner’s purse aboard the track designed by Ireland’s Alan Wade. Howard, 74th in the original order, was forced to go in last place after Gentille pulled a shoe in the warm up, though the change of events worked in their favor.
“When we were half way through the class and there were only three clear, you had to think that maybe it was a little harder than it looked,” said Howard. “There were a lot of related distances and options. I got the luck of the draw in the jump off, getting to see most of the other rounds, and then with the lost shoe I really got lucky because I got to see everyone go.”
On the shortened track, Howard was joined by nine horse and rider combinations, piloting Gentille to a winning time of 40.95s. “I fell off of this horse at Spruce Meadows in the victory gallop, so I am a little bit leery of [the ceremony],” joked Howard. “He was good today, maybe because he was at the front of the pack and not at the back. Maybe it will be an incentive for him to keep winning.”
Venezuela’s Emanuel Andrade finished in 2nd and 4th with Ricore Courcelle and Reus De La Nutra respectively. Andrade picked up two podium placings on Wednesday, placing 2nd in the 1.30m speed class and 1st in the 1.40m speed.
In 3rd place, New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley and Caiman Des Sequoias finished their jump-off round in 41.9 seconds.
For the full results, visit this link.