We are on the downhill slide with the 2018 season coming to an end in 2 weeks. Today (not night) we will walk the CSI 4* CaptiveOne Advisors Grand Prix. The prize money will be $205,000 and there will be 45 entries going for the green. We are out on the beautiful derby field and the grass is perfect and the weather is breezy but perfect for this class. Our course designer for the week has been Olaf Petersen Jr. (GER) and one of my favorite course designers.
Most of the horses in this class had last week off to be ready for this final 2 week push to the finish line. I watched the WEF classic on Thursday and it was a solid course but with rested horses and being in peak condition there was a lot clean. This is better than not enough but still too many clean.
As stated there will be 45 entries and all will compete. The time allowed is set at 85 seconds and will not be changed. On the course will see 13 numbered obstacles with 16 efforts. The course will consist of 1 double and 1 triple combination, a triple bar, a plank vertical, 1 liverpool oxer, 1 short pole vertical and the open water. We will not see a wall and we will not see a vertical Liverpool open or closed. This class is starting at 10.30am on Saturday morning and so the crowd on hand is small but enthusiastic. I believe it is now time to begin the walk of the CaptiveOne Advisors $205,000 CSI 4* Grand Prix.
#1 vertical 1.48m or 4.10ft and for the first entry it signaled the end of the day for our first rider.
#2 oxer 1.48/1.65m or 4.10/5.4ft comes on the bending left rein on no given distance was the end of the day for 2 competitors with 1 refusal for 1 rider and 1 pole finding the turf for another.
#3 vertical 1.54m or 5.1ft comes on a full turn left from #2 and resulted in 1 pole removed from the yellow cups.
#4 oxer 1.50/1.70m or 5/5.6ft comes from #3 in a straight line with a distance of 25.30m or 77ft and tumbled to the floor 1 time.
#5a vertical 1.53m or 5.1ft comes from #4 on the full turn right and here we got more difficult with 8 poles finding mother earth.
#5b oxer 1.50/1.65m or 5/5.4ftcomes from #5a with a distance of 7.90m or 25.9ft and was stained with grass 6 times.
#6 the open water 4m or 13ft comes from #5b with a small bend right and with a distance of 35m or 114ft. The water saw 6 toes in the tub and created 3 refusals. 1 entry had 2 of the refusals and therefore was eliminated. The ride to the water was 8 strides for 99% of the class on the forward ride.
#7 short pole vertical 1.60m or 5.3ft comes from the water on the left bend and with a distance of35m or 98.3ft kissed the turf 8 times.
#8 oxer liverpool 1.50/1.75m or 5/5.7ft comes from #7 on the full turn right and splashed down 8 times.
#9 triple bar 1.55/2.10m or 5.1/6.9ft comes from #8 on the full turn right and the spread was reduced 8 times. When the triple bar is used with this amount of spread this obstacle is used as a standalone effort and not as much as a set up for another test.
#10 vertical 1.60m or 5.3ft comes from #9 on the bending left rein with no given distance (8-9 strides) and took the prize as the most faulted fence on the course today with 10 poles falling to the turf.
#11a oxer 1.50/1.60m or 5/5.3ft comes in a straight line from #10 with a distance of 23.30m or 76.3ft and the flat 5 strides created 6 derailments.
#11b skinny oxer 1.50/1.20m or 5/4ft comes from #11a with a distance of 11.10m or 36.6ft and sought shelter in the short grass 1 time and 1 refusal to go there.
#11c vertical 1.55m or 5.1ft comes from #11b with a distance of 7.90m or 25.9ft and went to ground level 6 times.
#12 oxer 1.50/1.80m or 5/5.9ft comes from #11c on the full turn left and disappointed 7 competitors.
#13 vertical 1.60m or 5.3ft comes in a straight line from #12 with a distance of 20.50m or 67.6ft and as the last fence on the course in the first round it finished the day for 7 riders.
This brings us to the end of the first round of the CaptiveOne Grand Prix CSI4*. Now the final tally of the first round! There were 5 clean rounds, 1 with 1 time fault, 7 rounds of 4 faults, 1 round of 5 faults and 12 rounds of 8 faults. The remainder will compete another day. More than half of the class were within 8 faults of making the jump off.
Every fence on the course created a problem for someone. This is one factor that goes to having great results in a major grand prix. There were 5 vw’s and 1 elimination (open water). There were no falls. I believe in watching many of the classes at the derby field this year that the horses really enjoyed the grass footing and this resulted in really good sport. WEF deserves a great round of applause for maintain the grass in such great shape. This class was a perfect example of what a 4* grand prix should be and Olaf Petersen Jr. did an excellent job. He is no stranger to WEF and we look forward to his designs next year.
There is now only one more week to go in the 2018 season and next week we are back to the 5* level with the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix. Our course designer will be Guilherme Jorge (BRA). There will be one more walk this week as I am headed to Ocala tomorrow for the Ocala million and a walk of that course. I am in possession of the course from the Hits Thermal Million and will present a comparison of the two million dollar courses at the same time. Until next time I am Dave Ballard.