Upperville, Va. – June 4, 2019 – The morning action at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show (UCHS) kicked off in the B&D Builders Jumper Ring I with the 1.40m Open Jumpers. Colombia’s Mark Bluman took home the top honors aboard Imagine Van De Hermitage after completing the fastest double-clear effort against a world-class field of horses and athletes.
Ireland’s Alan Wade designed an inviting course for Tuesday’s feature class, which included two double combinations and several related distances. Eight combinations produced double-clear efforts throughout the class, but Bluman set the early pace to beat with his first mount, Jenni’s Chance, owned by Melissa Wight, breaking the beam in a faultless 36.704 seconds.
A few rounds later, Peter Leone made his way around the jump-off track with Gabriella Greco’s E-Boy W, beating Bluman’s time by one second and clocking in at 35.856 seconds. Bluman was not to be outdone though, as he pushed the gas and left a stride out in the last line with his last mount Imagine Van De Hermitage, also owned by Wight, to earn a commanding victory in a clear 33.831 seconds.
Bluman is happy to be back at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show, where international competition will begin for the FEI division on Friday. The 1.40m Open Jumpers will highlight the day on Wednesday, while the $30,000 Upperville National Grand Prix, presented by the Palm Beach Masters Series, will take center stage on Thursday afternoon.Bluman began riding the 11-year-old Warmblood stallion by Darco during the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida, and the pair have had consistent top results in the 1.40m Open Jumpers. Wight’s daughter, Samantha, also often campaigns Imagine Van De Hermitage in the Medium Amateur-Owner Jumpers. The talented stallion is a top performer who is always game to win.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Mark Bluman – 1.40m Open Jumper winner
On the jump-off:
“I came in early with the horse that was third and I thought I was actually quite fast, but then Peter came into the ring and just beat me. I didn’t see his jump-off, I was just looking at the clock, and I saw that he beat me. I just tried to do the same thing that I did with the first horse, the only thing I did differently was leave a stride out in the last line.”
On Imagine Van De Hermitage:
“This is a horse that I share with the owner, Samantha Wight, and I am riding him this week. He’s always been a winner with me and he always goes well with Sam. He’s a bit of a stallion in the warm-up, but once he’s in the ring he’s in the game and he plays with you. It’s a good horse to have.”
On the Upperville Colt & Horse Show:
“I came here about eight years ago and it was still on the grass and not FEI, but I am happy to be back. I think it’s great. Every year, the sport in America is getting to a higher level and adding FEI shows everywhere. To be here at one of the most important shows in America is great.”
Place / Horse / Rider / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Imagine Van De Hermitage / Mark Bluman / 0 | 61.565 / 0 | 33.831
2. E-Boy W / Peter Leone / 0 | 59.441 / 0 | 35.856
3. Jenni’s Chance / Mark Bluman / 0 | 60.159 / 0 | 36.704
4. Charlie / Samantha Kasowitz / 0 | 62.267 / 0 | 37.384
5. Harley David / Samuel Parot Jr / 0 | 59.172 / 0 | 37.393
6. Menelik / Karl Cook / 0 | 61.949 / 0 | 37.966
7. Agana Van Het Gerendal Z / Lillie Keenan / 0 | 62.524 / 0 | 39.632
8. Iceman De Muze / Schuyler Riley / 0 | 63.477 / 0 | 40.642
9. G-Force / Schuyler Riley / 0 | 61.029 / 4 | 39.420
10. Chatman / Tomas Yofre / 0 | 60.805 / 17 | 55.361
11. UK / Anne Kursinski / 1 | 64.107
12. Dasino / Tomas Yofre / 4 | 57.809