Las Vegas, NV – November 18, 2016 – Last night was the night to qualify for Saturday’s Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Las Vegas, presented by Interactive Mortgage, and the competition was fierce. Galloping in the arena in the eighth spot, Ireland’s Kevin Babington rode a tidy and quick track in 66.23 aboard the 11-year-old Hanoverian mare Shorapur, holding the lead for forty rides. Then along came Canadian Keean White, riding late in the order on his second mount, the nine-year-old Belgian mare Hera van de Kouterhoeve. Knowing what he had to do, White smoked Babington’s time, finishing in a sizzling 64.76.
Rails and refusals kept the forty horses that came after the Irishman’s top ride from taking over the lead. After negotiating the track on his first horse, the nine-year-old Dutch mare Corette, White was willing to take the risky turns on Angelstone Partner’s Kouterhoeve.
When asked about Olympic course designer Guilherme Jorge’s track, White commented, “I thought that it was difficult enough that if you wanted to win you had to take the inside options. But when doing so you risked a rail.”
Kevin Babington and Shorapur
White, who is based out of his own stable in Ontario, Canada, just started riding the mare in August of this year. “She’s very competitive and very brave,” he noted.
She proved so this evening as she blazed to the top spot, relegating Shorapur and Babington’s gallant effort to second place.
Earning FEI Ranking points with this win, White not only secures his position in Saturday’s $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Las Vegas, presented by Interactive Mortgage, but also improves his world ranking. Recently breaking into the top 100, White is moving up one win at a time.
Thirty-five of the top scores tonight will be invited to compete in Saturday’s highlight World Cup™ qualifying event. The festive evening kicks off at 7:30 p.m. with a Parade of Nations, entertainment from Playing By Air, and then the marquee class, the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Las Vegas, presented by Interactive Mortgage.
$50,000 FEI 1.50m Las Vegas National Welcome Speed Classic, presented by Park Place Foundation
Photos by McCool Photography