Molly Ashe and Picobello Choppin PC. ph: Al Cook alcookphoto.com
USA’s Molly Ashe and and nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding Picobello Choppin PC raced to the top of the leaderboard in the $35,000 Keystone Classic, sponsored by the World Equestrian Center, at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show on Friday, October 20, 2017.
“This class was our main focus for “Chops”,” said Ashe. “This was the one that I really wanted him to do well in. We won the first night in the 1.45m class and I didn’t go all out with him then, but I wanted to get him acclimated because I’ve never showed him indoors. He was amazing again tonight.”
A field of 18 horse and rider combinations took to the track designed by Bernardo Cabral. Seven yielded clear rounds in the speed class, with Ashe producing the fastest time of 54.06s.
“I had a plan. As I was warming up there was only one slow clear, so I thought I was going to back off a little bit. Francois went clear right before me like a flying ninja, so I thought ‘there goes that plan’. I ended up doing six strides from fence one to two instead of seven. He was just so handy that I was able to take off some time there. He’s just a quick horse, and he’s true to the jump, so that makes him even faster because you can take a shot.”
Switzerland’s Beat Mandli finished in 2nd aboard Dibatsja with a time of 55.81s. In 3rd place, Canada’s Francois Lamontagne and Vigo Massuere finished on a time of 56.72.
Louisburg Farm has owned Chopin since 2014.
“This horse is one of the barn favorites. He’s got so much personality, so it’s nice to have it all come together for him and turn into such a good horse,” said Ashe. “That’s what means the most to me, and I am so grateful to his owners, my sponsors and the team behind him. It’s nice to win the class for them.”
Lamontagne and Vigo Massuere were named Open Jumper Speed Champions, receiving the Showday Farm Challenge Trophy, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Ziff. Ashe and Picobello Choppin PC were Reserve Champions.
The full results can be viewed here.