Hello beautiful friends,
The rain has been steadily falling in Wellington since the start of the CSI 3* Adequan Grand Prix jumpoff on Saturday night. After rain in the afternoon, it was unclear what the conditions would be like for the night class, which was moved from 7 pm to 6 pm. While the rain held out for the first phase of the class, the jump-off was a different story. The good news was that everyone was going out there on the same terms and quality of footing, which seemed to be quite nice.
Sadly, the weather wasn’t conducive to attendance by a majority of the would-be spectators. Although, I did hear that there were around 6,400 online viewers! If you don’t already know this, anyone can watch Saturday Night Lights from the comfort of their own home or wherever they may be. It streams LIVE on pbiec.coth. While you can’t beat actually being there live, it is actually an ideal option. It is quite like going to a football game versus watching it on TV. On TV, you see every angle! And in this arena, you have interesting commentary from Frank Madden and Jimmy Torano.
There were very clear pain points on course throughout the night. There were a lot of combinations that ended up with 1 or 2 time faults. Then there was the main trouble spot – element B of the triple combination. A very square oxer with white rails. It seemed to me that some of the horses were not even seeing the back rail. There were other spots that gave some of the combinations trouble, but I think that was the doozy. There were a couple of retires on course (Peter Wylde, Kevin Mealiff & Jonathon Millar) and eliminations for stops for Lillie Keenan and Conor Swail. This sadly after Conor had won the qualifier Thurs/Friday.
10 horses ended up in the jump-off and the rain greeted them with a new challenge. There were some really exciting rounds and the course lent itself to some edge of your seat moments with 2 very tight rollback opportunities. In the end, Darragh Kenny and Classic Dreams time of 42.42 couldn’t be beaten and took home the top prize of $44,220. Kent Farrington gave it his best effort aboard Baltic Star 2 and ended up 2nd in 43.23. Beezie Madden rounded out the top 3 aboard Chic Hin D Hyrencourt in 44.202. Adrienne Sternlicht and Toulago were 4th in 44.606. Beat Mandli was 5th aboard Galan S in 45.364. Cat Tyree and Catungee were 6th in 45.38. Juan Pablo Betancourt and Dreamer Des Bergeries came in 7th in 51.787. Eduardo Menezes and H5 Chaganus 8th in 43.512. Beth Underhill and Count Me In were 9th in 47.246 and 4 faults. Paul O’Shea rounded out the top 10 aboard Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu in 58.458 and 7 faults.