Victoria Colvin Makes International WIHS Debut with a Welcome Stake Win

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h. Shawn McMillan
Ph. Shawn McMillan
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The 2015 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) hosted its third day of equestrian competition at Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C. on Thursday, October 22nd. The youngest rider in this year’s international show jumping competition at 18 years of age, USA’s Victoria Colvin jumped to victory with Cafino in the $35,000 International Jumper Welcome Stake.

The Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers also competed Thursday with wins for Taegan Long and Pollux de Shalimar in the Low division, sponsored by The Strauss Family, and Madison Goetzmann and Wrigley in the High division, sponsored by Staysail Farm. The Junior Hunters hosted the first day of classes for their divisions in the morning and will conclude on Friday. Competition continues through Sunday, October 25, with much more exciting action throughout the weekend.

Anthony D’Ambrosio, of Red Hook, NY, is the course designer for the jumpers at WIHS this year. In the day’s $35,000 Welcome Stake, D’Ambrosio saw 27 entries with 10 advancing to the jump-off and five double clear rounds. Belgium’s Jos Verlooy set the pace in 33.40 seconds aboard Axel Verlooy and Euro Horse Bvba’s Sunshine to eventually finish fourth. Georgina Bloomberg (USA) was next to clear the short course in 33.65 seconds aboard Gotham Enterprizes LLC’s Caleno 3 to place fifth. Catherine Tyree (USA) jumped the second place time of 32.86 seconds riding Mary and Joseph Tyree’s Enjoy Louis. Audrey Coulter (USA) took third place honors with a time of 32.92 seconds aboard Copernicus Stables LLC’s Domino, and Victoria Colvin completed the final clear round in the winning time of 30.40 seconds with Take the High Road LLC’s Cafino.

This is Colvin’s first year competing in the international division at WIHS and a memorable step in her young career. For the win, she was presented the Ben O’Meara Memorial Challenge Trophy, which has been hoisted by many of the greatest riders in the sport. Colvin was fearless in the jump-off, finishing over two seconds faster than her runner up. She spoke about her round, explaining that she started with a good pace, stayed tight in the turns and finally, galloped right down to the last fence, a careful vertical heading towards the in-gate. Cafino, a 12-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding (Cardento 933 x Roderik 856), was as game as his rider as they raced to the finish.

“I like to go very fast, so I was going, I was not whoa-ing,” Colvin declared of her risk to the last jump. “He is actually really good to just gallop down to big verticals, and I knew that he would jump it well.”

“…I am happy that he jumped around the 1.50m course well and now we are going to try the grand prix.”

Colvin is one of the busiest riders at WIHS this week since she has also been competing in the hunter divisions each day and will contest the WIHS Equitation Finals, presented by SAP, on Friday and Saturday as well. She has her sights set on competing in the $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, for the first time ever this weekend.

“This is the first time that I have done the international jumper division at WIHS and I love this,” Colvin smiled. “Hunters have been great; I have done that for years, but I think it has been really good to start moving forward and going on to bigger things. We also hope that Cafino will do big things. He just came back from a couple months off, so I am happy that he jumped around the 1.50m course well and now we are going to try the grand prix.”

See full results of the $35,000 Welcome Stake 1.50m at this link.

-Source: Lauren Fisher for Jump Media LLC