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High hopes

Susan Artes and Zamiro outjump 28 others to win $32K Showpark Jumper Classic

Special to the Horsetrader - September 4th, 2014 - Show & Event News

DEL MAR– In designing the $32,500 Jumper Classic on Aug. 28 at the Showpark All Seasons Summer Tournament, course Michel Vaillancourt had more in mind for the riders than a traditional speed class that would award a quick time.

“Unlike most speed classes, it’s not really a test against the clock, but a test of jumping,” said Vaillancourt. “So, it’s not going to be a class where you’re going to see a tremendous amount of speed. Of course, some people will gamble on it, because there’s enough prize money to do that, but it’s truly about jumping first.”

Susan Artes efficiently piloted Alix Fargo’s 10-year-old KWPN gelding, Zamiro, (Lupicor x G. Ramiro Z) to the victory.

“It’s a class for Grand Prix horses — not just speedsters, but for powerful jumpers,” added Vaillancourt. “I set it big enough because it’s going to give me a little bit of a feel for what I have to work with for the World Cup Qualifier on Saturday.”

Twenty-nine entries competed for the top prize in the speed class, testing their skills on a technical track that tested competitors’ experience at the international standard. Jumping 16 efforts in a time allowed of 80 seconds, horses drew upon their scope and stamina to successfully navigate the expansive course.

With a double and triple combination as well as several bending lines that carried competitors over the length of the Grand Prix field, the course provided ample challenge to riders as they attempted clear rounds. Both combinations provided the most trouble, as well as fence 2, the first vertical on course, and fence 13, a wide oxer and the final fence on course.

Only two entries were able to successfully navigate the course without rails and under the time allowed. Artes and Zamiro’s clear round came in a speedy time of 71.69 seconds that would not be beaten. Jenni Martin-McAllister and Legis Venice (owned by Legisequine.com) had the only other clear round, as Martin-McAllister guided the 9-year-old Holsteiner mare (Nekton x Capitol I) through the timers in 78.23.

A time of 80.05 led to heartbreaking single time fault for Hanna Mauritzson (SWE) on Swede Equine’s Landlyst’s Leroy (Solo Landtinus x Lord Caletto), earning them third place to round out the top three finishers.

“I thought the course was difficult, and there were enough options to make you second-guess yourself. My plan was to go in and be clear, but a tidy clear, not try to win because I tend to be too aggressive sometimes. Lesson from last week!” Artes explained of her winning plan in the class. “I got Zamiro as a 5-year-old, so we did the young horse classes and started doing the smaller Grand Prix classes when he was seven. Now he’s ten, and he’s more seasoned, so I feel like this is going to be the beginning of a really good career for him.”

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