Ansgar Holtgers Jr. Makes Quick Work of KASK CSI3* Grand Prix

February 17. 2024

There was no need for a tie-breaker in the $140,000 KASK CSI3* Grand Prix on the grass derby field at Equestrian Village on Saturday during Week 6 of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Eighteen-year-old Ansgar Holtger Jr. (USA) won his first-ever international grand prix as the only clear aboard Chanyon in the week’s featured three-star event. WEF hosts 12 weeks of FEI competition at Wellington International and runs through March 31. 

Ansgar Holtgers Jr. & Chanyon, winners of the $140,000 KASK CSI3* Grand Prix. Photo © Sportfot

Anna Catalina “Catsy” Cruz of Mexico set a track that proved tough to master. From a field of 42, Holtgers and his 16-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Chacco-Blue x Grand Canyon) owned by Gut Einhaus, LLC, led the victory gallop as the only clear of the day. 

“Catsy did a great job both days; the triple combination was the hardest part today and I think that got a lot of people,” said Holtgers, who had to change his planned approach to the combination. “It was a going five, or you had to wait a little in six. Our plan was to do five, but I didn't catch the liverpool quite right and ended up doing six. It was a big track and I got lucky enough to jump clear. 

Ansgar Holtgers Jr. & Chanyon presented as winners of the $140,000 KASK CSI3* Grand Prix by Fabio Cardarelli, CEO of KASK America; Diego Zambon, General Manager; Andrea Nannarelli, Sales Manager U.S. & Canada; Barbara Garbelli, Marketing Coordinator; and Francesca Garcia, Marketing & Sponsorship. Photo © Sportfot

“I was surprised there were no clears when I went in, and when I came out I was hoping there weren’t going to be,” laughed Holtgers. ”I’m superstitious and don’t usually walk jump-offs, and today I didn’t need to. I’m over the moon with the win. We put so much work into this sport and for it to pay off feels incredible."

Richard Vogel & OO Seven de l'Equipe. Photo © Sportfot

The fastest four-fault round belonged to Richard Vogel (GER) and 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion OO Seven de l’Equipe (Diamant de Semilly x Caesar van de Helle). They took second for owner Caroline Mawhinney. Rounding out the podium, Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts was third riding Derby de Riverland, an 11-year-old Selle Français gelding (Kannan x L’Arc de Triomphe) owned by Team Philippaerts and Pierre Cimolai.

Nicola Philippaerts & Derby de Riverland. Photo © Sportfot

The winning mount, Chanyon, joined Holtger’s string after jumping to sixth individually in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo for Japanese rider Daisuke Fukushima. “We watched him [in the Games] from home and my parents met in the kitchen that night to make a plan to ask about getting the horse.”

Holtgers recalls the first time he sat on the gelding and describes it as the best feeling he’s ever had on a horse. Today, Holtgers credits a great deal of his success with Chanyon to the dedication of his groom. Chanyon’s caretaker, Miguel Perez, was presented with the $500 Grooms Award by Double H Farm after the victory. 

Chanyon’s caretaker, Miguel Perez, is presented with the $500 Grooms Award by Double H Farm after the victory. Photo © Sportfot

“He’s been with Chanyon for two years and with me for eight,” said Holtgers. “We’ve built a great partnership. If we didn’t have grooms we wouldn’t be able to do this sport. They make everything possible; they take such good care of the horses and the horses love them. Without them, none of this would be possible.”

Vanessa Hood (USA) finished sixth with Cascalretto in Saturday's grand prix after a fourth-place finish on Thursday in the Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup qualifier. The two finishes helped Hood to secure the Martha Jolicoeur Leading International Rider Award, presented together with Michael and Wendy Smith. 

Vanessa Hood claimed the Martha Jolicoeur Leading International Rider Award, presented by Michael and Wendy Smith. Photo © Sportfot

International competition continues at WEF with the Lugano Diamonds CSI5* during Week 7. 

Top Five Results: $140,000 KASK CSI3* Grand Prix

  1. Ansgar Holtgers Jr. (USA) & Chanyon: 2008 Oldenburg gelding (Chacco-Blue x Grand Canyon)Owner: Gut Einhaus, LLC 
  2. Richard Vogel (GER) & OO Seven de l’Equipe: 2014 Belgian Warmblood stallion (Diamant de Semilly x Caesar van de Helle)
    Owner: Caroline Mawhinney
  3. Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) & Derby de Riverland: 2013 Selle Français gelding (Kannan x L’Arc de Triomphe)
    Owners: Team Philippaerts & Pierre Cimolai
  4. Nayel Nassar (EGY) & Igor van de Wittemoere: 2008 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Cooper van de Heffinck x Orlando)
    Owner: Nayel Nassar & Evergate Stables, LLC
  5. Cathleen Driscoll (USA) & Casalletto: 2014 Holsteiner gelding (Cascadello x Clinton I)
    Owners: Plain Bay Farm

Brianne Goutal-Marteau and Bianca Jump a Solo-Clear in Hermès CSI3* 1.50m Classic

Three-star jumper action continued on the Equestrian Village derby field on Saturday with another single-round result in the $32,000 Hermès CSI3* 1.50m Classic. Forty-four riders tested the initial track, designed by Ana Catalina Cruz, but only one horse-and-rider combination cleared the track, eliminating the need for the short course. 

Brianne Goutal-Marteau & Bianca, winners of the $32,000 Hermès CSI3* 1.50m Classic. Photo © Sportfot

That solo clear ride came from Brianna Goutal-Marteau (USA) and Bianca (Red Star M x Clarimo ASK), owned by Brianne Goutal LLC. While several riders were clear across the jumps, they got caught by the clock, with a time allowed of 75 seconds. Goutal-Marteau and the 10-year-old mare slid right under the time allowed, victorious with a clear 74.28 seconds. 

“She had a bit of a slow start,” admitted Goutal-Marteau. “She was a very difficult young horse apparently, and she had two foals. She didn’t have many rounds under her belt with not much mileage when I got her, so she's been a little bit of a labor of love. She had a lot of ground to gain, but so much natural talent. 

“Today was a bit of a testament to when you stick to a plan,” continued Goutal-Marteau. “I had to stick to my guns about her schedule, zone out and quiet the pressure, and move according to what I thought was right.”

Brianne Goutal-Marteau & Bianca presented as winners of the $32,000 Hermès CSI3* 1.50m Classic. Photo © Sportfot

Speaking to the mare’s technique, the pair’s plan of patience certainly paid off being only one of two riders to jump clear across both Saturday’s classes on the field. Taking second clear across the fences, but one on the clock was Mark Bluman (COL) and his own Quick Chick 3 (Quo Vados x Capitol I), with a time of 75.12 seconds. Closing the podium by fractions of a second was Richard Vogel (GER) and Hollywood V (Mylord Carthago*HN x Casall) owned by Caroline Mawhinney. The pair left up the fences but fell short on time with 75.33 seconds. 

“I have an amazing team that makes days like this possible,” says Goutal-Marteau. “Martina Natali is my right hand and puts the most work into my horses. Chon Gaytan, Bianca’s groom is so conscientious about his horses and makes sure they have all the special attention they need. Max Amaya has been at most major rings with me for the better part of 20+ years. I’m eternally grateful.”