Upperville, Va. – June 8, 2018 – With nine athletes vying for the victory during the main event at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show (UCHS), presented by St. Bride’s Farm, on Friday, speed was key, and it was the very last combination who proved to be the very best. Ireland’s Darragh Kerins and Chill R Z, owned by Eve Jobs, were the final duo to return for the tiebreaker and overtook the leaders by one second to capture the top prize in the $40,000 Upperville Welcome Stakes CSI4*, sponsored Tim Burch – BOWA, Jim Thompson – Washington Fine Properties/Middleburg and Wiseman & Associates.
A field of 46 entries was narrowed down to just nine returning for the jump-off, which featured a double combination and a long gallop to the final vertical, which would prove costly for two of the returning athletes. Six combinations were able to clear Brazil’s Marina Azevedo’s course a second time though, making speed a deciding factor.
Catherine Tyree and Enjoy Louis, owned by Joseph Tyree, were pathfinders during the second round, clearing the track in 40.38 seconds to leave the other riders chasing them. It looked like she might take home the win with only Kelli Cruciotti and her veteran mount Chamonix H, owned by Serenity Farm, coming close in a clear time of 40.55 seconds, but the class is not over until the last pair goes.
Kerins knew he would have to take a risk with Chill R Z to bring home the win, but he trusted his experienced mount and left a stride out to the final vertical, which paid off in spades. They blazed through the timers in 39.05 seconds to take over the top spot on the leaderboard, while Tyree moved to second place and Cruciotti picked up the third place award.
Hunter athletes will take over the main arena on Saturday evening during the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, sponsored by Salamander Resort and Spa, getting underway at 5 p.m. The week concludes on Sunday at 3 p.m. with the highlight event, the $216,000 Upperville Jumper Classic CSI4*, sponsored by Lugano Diamonds and Mr. and Mrs. Michael A. Smith.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Darragh Kerins – $40,000 Upperville Welcome Stakes CSI4*
On his plan for the jump-off:
“He’s a very experienced horse, he’s been all around the world. The jump-off track kind of suited me, it was a galloping track and I was last to go and I gave it a shot and everything came up good for me!”
On Chill R Z:
“I started riding him at the end of last summer and then I rode him in Florida this winter where we just tried to get to know each other and he was quite good in Florida. He’s a stallion. He has a huge stride. He looks like a slow horse, but he’s actually quite sensitive. I had to learn his moves and he had to learn my moves, and now I feel as if we’re gelling together. I just want to thank Eve [Jobs] and her team for letting me ride a horse like this – it’s great for me.”
On the Upperville Colt & Horse Show:
“It’s my first time here. I’ve meant to come many times, but for some reason or another just never made it and I’m so glad we came. I’ve heard so many good things about it and it’s beautiful, the ground is good, the area is beautiful. I’m here with my family and it’s just great – we’ll be back!”
$40,000 Upperville Welcome Stakes CSI4*, sponsored Tim Burch – BOWA, Jim Thompson – Washington Fine Properties/Middleburg and Wiseman & Associates
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Chill R Z / Darragh Kerins / IRL / Eve Jobs / 0 / 77.16 / 0 / 39.05
2. Enjoy Louis / Catherine Tyree / USA / Joseph Tyree / 0 / 75.65 / 0 / 40.38
3. Chamonix H / Kelli Cruciotti / USA / Serenity Farm / 0 / 76.93 / 0 / 40.55
4. Brindis Bogibo / Andrew Welles / USA / Itasca Group LLC / 0 / 76.86 / 0 / 41.06
5. Nektarina B / Christine Mc Crea / USA / Candy Tribble / 0 / 77.61 / 0 / 41.07
6. Eax Run Run Ls / Ilan Bluman / COL / Blue Star Investments / 0 / 76.20 / 0 / 46.19
7. MTF Saint Simeon / Sloane Coles / USA / Morningside Training Farm / 0 | 77.19 / 4 | 38.57
8. VDL Cartello / Cormac Hanley / IRL / Heathman Farm LLC / 0 | 77.11 / 4 | 39.27
9. Cafino / Amber Harte / USA / Take The High Road LLC / 0 | 75.62 / 4 | 39.87
10. Bokai / Catherine Tyree / USA / Mary Tyree / 0 | 75.81 / –
11. Catoki’s Son Z / Erynn Ballard / CAN / Ilan Ferder / 1 | 78.38
12. Clearwater / Marilyn Little / USA / Karen O’connor / 4 | 73.92