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Las Vegas National glitters

Top jumpers make indoor season finale memorable

Special to the Horsetrader - December 5th, 2013 - Cover Story, Show & Event News

Andrew Ramsey & Adamo van't Steenputje

Andrew Ramsey & Adamo van’t Steenputje

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Wrapping up the indoor season, the Las Vegas National offered the final FEI classes on the West Coast until February 2014. Fifty-six horse and rider pairs representing 11 different countries gave it a go Nov. 15 in the $33,000 EquiFit, inc. Jumper Classic. The course was technical and the competition fierce.

In order to accommodate a tight-turn option that ultimately determined the top placings in the class, fence 11, the skinny Las Vegas jump, was set as the last element of a line towards the gate, with an option to turn inside and gallop to the final oxer. Preceding the skinny was a triple combination out of the corner at the top of the ring. This line caused rails to fall over 30 times during the class. However, it wasn’t the only trouble spot; the tall vertical at fence 3 came down a number of times and the forward bending line into the combination at 6a-b caused rails, refusals and one dismount. The 78-second time allowed was also a factor, as 15 riders accrued faults.

Building quite a winning reputation, Egyptian show jumper Nayel Nassar laid down a seemingly unbeatable time, 61.66, on Lordan. American Saer Coulter gave it a good try, riding Carmena Z to a speedy 60.90 with one heartbreaking rail at the skinny. She was clean and a touch more conservative on her second mount, Don VHP Z, finishing in 72.68 for seventh place. With the end of the class approaching, Andres Rodriquez returned on his second mount Caballito.

Abby Barrett & Quilambo

Abby Barrett & Quilambo

“I saw a rider, (Saer), who had a nice ride with unfortunately one fence down. I really liked her track, she was really smooth, so I planned to ride it the same way,” he said. “It worked out well.” In fact, he won by only 0.6 of a second ahead of Nassar, in 61.06.

Based in Wellington, Florida, this is Rodriquez’s first season competing on the West Coast. Starting his summer in Calgary, Canada at Spruce Meadows, then on to Thunderbird Show Park, he then returned by invitation to Spruce for the Masters in September. Since there’s no stall limit or qualifying for the indoor season here, Rodriquez is able to compete on all of his horses, gaining solid miles for the younger ones while earning World Cup points on his experienced mounts.

“So many people had said good things about the indoor shows here, so we decided to stay,” he said. “I really like it. I have met so many professionals here whose names I knew and had dealt with on the phone, but I didn’t know them.”

In Saturday’s $50,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix CSI-W, Andrew Ramsay on his relatively new mount, Adamo van’t Steenputje, edged all entries in the jump-off. A California native, Ramsay spent the last four years riding in Europe.

“In hindsight, I took a bit of a gamble to the last fence, because I thought we were much tighter on the time then we were,” he said. “I knew I would be here in the States through this show, so it’s nice to finish up on a high note.”

MORE ONLINE: Http://bit.ly/1312A_Blen

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