Kristen Vanderveen & Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili. ph: Las Vegas National Horse Show
Thursday night’s $50,000 Las Vegas National Welcome Jumper Speed Classic, presented by Walter Oil & Gas Corporation, doubled as the qualifier for Saturday’s Longines FEI World Cup Jumping, the feature event of the Las Vegas National Horse Show CSI4*-W. The competition saw 53 entries, with USA’s Kristen Vanderveen riding to a speedy jump off time to win the class aboard the 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili (Berlin x Darco).
The competition against the clock, hosted in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, featured a 12-obstacle-course designed by USA’s Oscar Soberon and Catsy Cruz. Rails and refusals plagued a number of competitors, with the final jump on course, a red plank vertical, often causing a heartbreaking four faults.
Twelfth in the order, Vanderveen and her partner of three years rode to an unbeatable time of 54.77s.
“Having this qualifying class in a speed format definitely worked to my advantage, since we focused on speed classes in Wellington this year,” commented Vanderveen. “The secret is to keep him happy. When he’s having fun, he’s super careful – especially in the speed rounds and jump-offs.”
When asked how she mastered the indoor setting over a challenging track, Vanderveen commented, “Riding indoor’s is definitely a big adjustment, but I told myself that it’s not a whole new sport. I should walk the lines and ride like I normally do, so I really tried to stick with my pace from start to finish and be as tidy in my turns as possible.”
France’s Eric Navet and 11-year-old KWPN gelding Basimodo (Quasimodo Z x Codexco) finished in 61.83s to secure the runner up position. Closing out the podium in 3rd place, USA’s Jennifer Gates and the 13-year-old gelding Luftikus S (Levisto x Kolibri) finished in 63.50s.
The top 35 riders will be invited to compete in Saturday’s $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Las Vegas, presented by Interactive Mortgage.
The full results can be viewed here.