A wave of unseasonably cold weather for Wellington, FL, worked to Darragh Kenny’s advantage during “Saturday Night Lights”, giving Volnay du Boisdeville a little extra spring in his step. Together, they topped the CHF140,000 Southern Arches CSI3* Grand Prix during week 1 of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).
A course designed by Nick Granat (USA) produced six clear rounds representing four different countries. The trailblazer in the first round, Kenny (IRL) again set the pace in the jump-off with a blistering clear round in 37. 58 seconds. His lead would not be breeched as the five challengers to follow all pulled rails.
“He’s an incredible horse and he’s better when he’s fresh,” said Kenny of Volnay du Boisdeville, a 2009 Selle Français stallion (Winningmood x Jaisco B) owned by Vlock Show Stables. “The cold weather was a good factor for us tonight because it had him a little fresher than normal.
“You can trust him at the jumps and he’s very fast in jump-offs,” continued Kenny. “I knew it was a competitive jump-off, so I just tried to go as quick as I could and hope that the jumps stayed up.”
The last to jump over the short course, Carly Anthony (USA) made a solid effort but finished on four in the runner-up position with Jet Blue for owner Portfolio Horses LLC. U.S. Olympic team gold medalist Laura Kraut rounded out the podium with Dorado 212 in the horse’s official debut in the international grand prix ranks.
“It was a magic night in the end,” said Kenny, whose owner Teddy Vlock celebrated a birthday while watching his horse bring home a CSI3* victory. “He loves this horse, and he picked a fantastic night to win.”
Volnay du Boisdeville sits at the helm of Kenny’s string and will next focus on the CSI5* during WEF 7. While the stakes are high for the horse, he’s a very simple ride according to Kenny. “He’s really simple. He’ a stallion but not a stallion at all.”
Kenny was presented to as winner by Wellington International President Michael Stone on behalf of Southern Arches. Then Quentin Judge, Cayce Harrison and Caitlin Creel gave the $500 Grooms Award, presented by Double H Farm to Vlock Show Stables groom Alejandro Suarez.
“We are really happy to do this for the second year in a row; the grooms are an integral part of the whole operation,” said Quentin Judge on behalf of Double H Farm. “We wouldn’t be able to be here if it wasn’t for the grooms, and we think it’s important to recognize them. It’s a hard job and it’s nice when your horse jumps well to recognize them for it.”
Top five results: CHF140,000 Southern Arches CSI3* Grand Prix
1. Darragh Kenny (IRL) & Volnay du Boisdeville: 2009 Selle Français stallion (Winningmood x Jaisco B)
Owner: Vlock Show Stables
2. Carly Anthony (USA) & Jet Blue: 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding by VDL Zirocco Blue
Owner: Portfolio Horses LLC
3. Laura Kraut (USA) & Dorado 212: 2013 Oldenburg gelding by Tailormade Diarado’s Boy
Owner: St. Bride’s Farm
4. Heather Caristo-Williams & Dionysos de al Vigne: 2013 Selle Français gelding (Diamant de Semilly)
Owner: QBS Equestrian LLC
Mark Bluman (COL) & Cheilane de Blondel: 2012 Selle Français mare (Non Stop x Kassidi)
Owner: BVBA de Roock Gilbert
Gochman Clinches CP National Grand Prix
The $30,000 CP National Grand Prix set the afternoon tone in the International Arena on Saturday with a win for 18-year-old Mimi Gochman (USA) aboard Cosmos BH.
The entry list included forty pairs, all very eager to put forth a clear round inside the time allowed (76 seconds). Five riders advanced to the jump-off; Laura Chapot (USA), Alison Robitaille (USA), Mario Deslauriers (CAN), Rebecca Conway (USA) and the eventual winner, Gochman.
Gochman and Cosmos BH, a 2013 Zangersheide stallion owned by Gochman Sport Horses, could not be caught. They swiftly navigated their way around the jump-off in a time of 33.955 seconds, with Conway and Kiss-Kiss van het Endhouse, owned by Hilington Farm, grabbing second place with a time of 37.062 seconds. Third place went to Canada’s Mario Deslauriers, setting the pace as the first trip of the class. He and Costa Quick PS stopped the clock at 37.559 seconds for owner Aram Ampagoumian.
“I got him at the end of WEF last year and we are starting to jump a bit bigger,” said Gochman of her partnership with Cosmos BH. “Going into the jump-off, I completely trusted him. He’s got scope and stride and he’s game. I knew one to two was a six because I had just watched Mario do it, so there was a question there, but I did six and then it was rollback tight to a vertical and I got on the inside corner. I ran over into the green across the middle, and I love jumps like that; you just run over to the gap and they take care of it.”
Gochman gushed over her budding partnership with Cosmos, saying, “I always knew he had talent and stride and scope but he’s going to be amazing. He’s one of those stallions that stands proud.”
When asked about her plans for the season, Gochman shared, “He’s going to do the U25 up to week four, and then hopefully towards the end of WEF he’ll start to dabble in some three stars.”