It was the second of seven qualifying legs for the North American Eastern Sub-League to see who will advance to the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals in Gothenburg, Sweden, next April.
Ireland’s Alan Wade, who did such a fantastic job at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ last month in Tryon, designed the dynamic Columbus course. The allowed time of 78 seconds only caught two riders out, but the final line approaching the finish kept many riders out of the jump off.
The entire course required elasticity in pacing and control, asking riders to go for broke one moment and pull their mounts back the next. Neither Madden nor the experienced Margie Goldstein-Engle were able to get the better of it, although the crowd were thrilled to see Madden’s stallion Breitling Ls in person, as the owner lives in the area.
Ten of the 36 riders were up to clear rounds, however, and went on to jump an abbreviated version of Wade’s first course in under 54 seconds.
American Charlie Jayne went first in the jump off and was clear at 49.75 seconds. Mattias Tromp of the USA, who finished third in New York last week, and countryman Andrew Welles both had rails down for 4 penalty points apiece.
Eve Jobs of the USA had a beautiful clear ride at 45.44 seconds, which put her in the lead for the moment. But with six riders still to go, Jobs was left to bite her nails and wait to see if her time would hold as the fastest.
Ireland’s Kevin Babington had a fence down, and was out of the running. But then Garza Pérez got a chance to show his stuff. Flying through the course, he stayed clear of faults and at 41.33 seconds, pulled into the lead.
American Kelli Cruciotti posted another fast time at 42.65 seconds, moving into second place.
Kristen Vanderveen of the USA, who won her first Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ event last spring at Live Oak, gave it her best shot, but brought down a rail at the Lugano Diamonds vertical. Whilst she completed the course in lightning time, the 4 penalty points left her out of the top spots.
American Molly Ashe Cawley, who took the American Gold Cup only seven days ago at Old Salem, tried to make it two in a row, but the Split Rock vertical was her nemesis, and she ended on 4 points.
Peter Lutz of the USA was the last rider to go. He cut his lines as tight as possible, and with a clear ride at 41.49 seconds, moved into second place behind Garza Pérez and ahead of Cruciotti.
In the end, Jobs took fourth place, followed by Jayne and Welles in fifth and sixth, respectively, with Vanderveen, Ashe Cawley, Babington, and Tromp in seventh through tenth, in that order.
Ashe Cawley stands at the top of the Eastern Sub-League standings, followed by Mattias Tromp and Germany’s Wilhelm Genn, who declared with that sub-league and was victorious in Sacramento this weekend.