Ohlala In The City – Lauren Hough Dominates $130,000 President’s Cup

© Rebecca Walton: Lauren Hough and OhlalaLauren Hough and Ohlala Win $130,000 President’s Cup

Washington, D.C. – Oct. 29, 2016 – It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to win in the sport of show jumping, but every athlete will admit, it also takes a little bit of luck. This week at the Washington International Horse Show, luck was on the side of Lauren Hough. After earning a major victory in Thursday’s qualifying event, she went on to win Saturday’s main event, the $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Washington President’s Cup CSI-W 4*.

“I’ve been second I think a couple of times, but I’ve never won it, so I’m excited,” expressed Hough. “I think being second a couple of times makes you a bit hungry for it. Ohlala was incredible the whole week. Thursday was a really nice warm-up for her. I ended up winning, but I tried not to take every risk in that class with having tonight still in mind. I was really lucky to be able to go last. It was just sort of one of those weeks where everything lined up.”

© Rebecca Walton: Lauren Hough and OhlalaLauren Hough and Ohlala

Twenty-eight of the sport’s top athletes turned out at the Verizon Center for the prestigious event, with seven advancing to jump-off after completing Alan Wade’s (IRL) first round track. The jump-off, which included multiple sharp roll backs and short gallops, proved to be a bigger test, with only two clear efforts.

© Rebecca Walton: Laura Kraut and ConfuLaura Kraut and Confu

Olympian Laura Kraut and Confu were the first to post a faultless jump-off effort, setting the time to beat at 37.80 with the 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding. “I wasn’t really sure what to expect because I’ve never jumped him indoors,” explained Kraut. “On Thursday he jumped very, very well. He’s not particularly quick. He’s a little bit slow in the air and he’s still a little slow across the ground. My goal tonight was to be double clear and when I saw the lineup, my ultimate goal was to be finish third. I was happy – very, very happy to be second.”

© Rebecca Walton: Beezie Madden and QuisterBeezie Madden and Quister

 Beezie Madden tried to catch the time with Quister and was able to cross the finish line a fraction faster in 36.89 seconds, but it came at the expense of rail in the combination for 4 faults. Kent Farrington really laid on the gas with Creedence, hoping to claim his second World Cup Qualifier victory, but his speed was too much in the combination for 4 faults in a blistering time of 34.28 seconds.

© Rebecca Walton: Kent Farrington and CreedenceKent Farrington and Creedence

“I think he’s made great progress,” noted Farrington. “It’s a very special horse. I think every round he’s getting better. I wasn’t able to really watch anyone go in the jump-off after the first one and I heard it was clear and pretty quick so I just tried to do a fast round because really it was competing for the win. You have one of the fastest indoor horses going last. At that point I was just trying to do what I thought would be a very competitive round and put a lot of pressure on Lauren at the end of the class. I think with his experience I should have slowed down before the last line. That’s a work in progress. I’m disappointed with the result, but very happy with my horse.”

© Rebecca Walton: Lauren Hough and OhlalaThe best of the night was the last to go. Hough knew she had the faster horse, but she needed to be careful and leave all the fences intact. A fit feeling Ohlala was up to the task, clearing each of the obstacles and breaking the beam at 36.56 seconds to capture the victory.

“It was a bit set up for me to lose tonight to be honest, going in last and with her in the form she was in,” stated Hough. “I had to stay really focused and not get ahead of myself. In the first round, she touched a couple and then jumped the end of the course very well. I was able to see Kent go, who took every risk. Having one down, I saw the difference in time between Kent and Laura and I thought it was smarter to ride the round that I knew suited her. I did one more step in the first line and also in the last line I think than everybody else, but she’s very quick across the ground. All the stars were lined up for me this week so I am thrilled!”

The night’s highlight event was one of seven events that are part of the Longines FEI World Cup North American League. The athletes were working to earn valuable points towards the Longines FEI Show Jumping World Cup Finals to be held in Omaha, Nebraska in March of 2017. Combining his points from Saturday night with his win at the American Gold Cup in September, Farrington is now tied for the lead with Audrey Coulter, and Kraut is hot on their heels in third place.

“I’d consider going,” said Farrington. “I really want to go if I feel like I have a contender for the finals. If Creedence is on form, and keeps coming on the way he is, then I’d love to take a shot at it.”

Kraut added, “I would love to do the World Cup Finals this year since it’s in our own country. My original thought for a horse would probably be to take. She’s just got a little bit more mileage. But the way Confu went tonight, you just never know. It’s a lucky position to be in to have more than one chance.”

© Rebecca Walton: Lauren Hough, Laura Kraut and Kent FarringtonLauren Hough, Laura Kraut and Kent Farrington

Hough concluded, “I haven’t ridden in a World Cup Final in some years. I think Ohlala is well suited for the format. I’m making it a big priority to try to qualify.”

Athletes will now head to Lexington, Kentucky for the fourth East Coast qualifier to be held at the CP National Horse Show, followed by the Royal Winter Horse Show in Toronto, Ontario.

© Rebecca Walton: Lauren Hough and OhlalaLauren Hough and Ohlala

RESULTS: $130,000 President’s Cup
1     63     OHLALA     LAUREN HOUGH     LAUREN HOUGH     0     0     0     59.990     0     0     0     36.560
2     68     CONFU     LAURA KRAUT     ST. BRIDE’S FARM     0     0     0     61.380     0     0     0     37.800
3     83     CREEDANCE     KENT FARRINGTON     R.C.G. FARM     0     0     0     59.140     4     0     4     34.280
4     74     QUISTER     BEEZIE MADDEN     ABIGAIL WEXNER     0     0     0     61.230     4     0     4     36.890
5     82     FINOU 4     AARON VALE     THINKS LIKE A HORSE     0     0     0     61.870     8     0     8     37.930
6     50     ENJOY LOUIS     CATHERINE TYREE     MARY AND JOSEPH TYREE     0     0     0     60.740     8     0     8     38.970
7     80     ENTRE NOUS     LAUREN TISBO     TEQUESTRIAN FARMS, LLC     0     0     0     61.090     0     0     Refuse     2.000
8     90     BALOU DU REVENTON     LJUBOV KOCHETOVA     LJUBOV KOCHETOVA     0     1     1     66.610
9     54     H & M HARLEY VAN DE BISSCHOP     NICOLA PHILIPPAERTS     LUDO PHILIPPAERTS     4     0     4     57.260
10     79     TIGER LILY     JESSICA SPRINGSTEEN     STONE HILL FARM     4     0     4     57.300
11     60     CENTO DU ROUET     DAVID WILL     DIETMAS GUGLER     4     0     4     58.070
12     41     CLEARWATER     MARILYN LITTLE     KAREN O’CONNOR     4     0     4     58.130

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