Mandy Porter & Milano. ph: FEI/Kristin Lee Photography
USA’s Mandy Porter couldn’t help but hold back tears as she stood for the American national anthem after winning the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping qualifier at Sacramento CSI3*-W.
The Northern California native piloted Milano, the 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding owned by Abigail Weese, to the sole double-clear performance of the evening on Saturday, October 7, 2017. This marks Porter’s second podium placing of the week, coming off her 2nd place finish in Friday’s $36,500 Murieta Inn, Spa and Restaurant 1.45m Speed Class aboard Basimodo.
“Milano was so in-form tonight. I couldn’t have asked him to do anything better,” Porter said. “As long as I stay out of his way, he’s unbelievable. He just rose to the occasion. I wasn’t sure if he was going to be nervous with the crowd, but in reality, he thrived on it. In the jump-off, he felt solid, not nervous. He basically was saying, ‘Don’t mess this up for me today!’”
Only four of the original 29 riders were able to navigate Marina Azevedo’s (BRA) course without fault in the first round. When returning for the shortened course, Porter was in the disadvantageous position of having to go first. They were the only pair to keep the jumps up, finishing in a winning time of 39.16s.
“Milano is quite fast, and in all honestly, my strategy was not to get too excited rolling back to the vertical [at fence seven],” Porter explained. “I have a tendency to get a little excited, and I wanted to give him the chance to see [the fence] and jump it and be balanced. After that, it was a galloping game.”
The USA secured the top four spots on the leaderboard, with Jenni McAllister and Legis Touch the Sun finishing in a time of 38.34s for 2nd place.
“[Legis Touch the Sun] is growing up. He’s just turning 11, which is still pretty young, and he’s a very big horse,” said McAllister. He’s maturing, and every year he learns one more thing. Every year, he just takes that next step. I tried to sneak inside a fence to the in-and-out [in the jump-off], and it didn’t work out for me. I knew I had to be extra fast [to catch Porter].”
Richard Spooner and new mount Chatinus crossed the timers in 42.47s to finish in 3rd. Spooner has only shown Chatinus five times, and his was the 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding’s World Cup qualifier debut.
“I couldn’t be much happier [with Chatinus]. I could be two places happier; that’s about it! He was spectacular. I’m over the moon with how fast the relationship has come along,” said Spooner.
Porter’s finish moves her up to fourth-place in the standings for the west coast sub league of the North American League with 22 points. The League continues with another west coast stop in Del Mar (USA) on Saturday, October 21, 2017.
The full results can be viewed here.
The current standings for the North American Western Sub-League can be viewed here.
The current standings for the North American Eastern Sub-League can be viewed here.