Las Vegas, NV – Nov. 19, 2017 – It was a spectacular Saturday night at the South Point Equestrian Arena as thirty competitors representing seven countries vied for valuable North American League points in the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Las Vegas, presented by Interactive Mortgage. Three riders posted clear rounds and returned for a remarkable jump-off that required the precision of Longines timing to clarify. Second to last to go, Richard Spooner (USA) aboard the 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding Chatinus, beat the leading time held by USA’s Alison Robitaille to take the win. This was the third victory for Spooner this week at The Las Vegas National CSI4*-W, on three different mounts.
International Course Designer Oscar Soberon set his course to a high-performance standard, saying, “There are a few jumps at 1.60m which are verticals. The oxers are 1.50m, with spreads of 1.50m to 1.70m, so it’s a very challenging and demanding course. The main objective is to prepare the North American riders for a great result in the Final.”
World Cup™ Champions, Olympic Medalists, and CSI5* athletes, mixed with up-and-coming horses and riders, all faced the jump challenges that included an arched wall at fence one, three scopey combinations, a triple bar in the middle of the course, and an option line to a large oxer at the end of the course. Soberon believes it’s important for the horses to see variety in the jumps: “The horses need to see more than just two or three rails in an oxer or vertical. I like to provide a different type of course than the traditional indoor; my idea is to try to design an indoor course that rides like a big outdoor arena. This arena at the South Point works very well.”
The crowd had seen rails, refusals and unexpected dismounts before twenty-first to go, Alison Robitaille, delivered the first clear round aboard Bertram & Diana Firestone’s Serise Du Bidou, an 11-year old chestnut mare.
Soon afterward, Richard Spooner completed a clear round on his own Chatinus. One other pair matched the clear round efforts, Karrie Rufer (USA) aboard Morning Star Sporthorses, LLC’s Georgie D’Auvrav EC.
Soberon’s jump-off course allowed the riders to execute long gallops, a few bending lines, and one combination. First to go, Robitaille demonstrated another well-ridden clear round, setting the bar for the two riders to follow. Spooner’s strategy, and his mount’s big stride, wowed the audience as he stopped the clock three seconds faster than Robitaille. After having a rail, Rufer retired knowing she would be third.
Spooner said he was surprised that his time was so much faster. “I was fortunate enough to watch Alison’s jump-off round, and I felt optimistic that I could beat her time if I carried a bit more of a gallop from the second fence to the third fence. After that, I was able to coast a little through the remainder of the jump-off course.”
With two events remaining on the North American Western Sub-League, Spooner leads with a total of 58 points. He is looking forward to the potential of competing in Paris at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final, but having competed at this indoor championship many times over the years, he knows the competition is quite challenging. “Chatinus and I are a very new partnership; we don’t really know each other yet. He impresses me every day, and I’ve had great success on him since the beginning of our partnership. He and I still have some work to do and some more improvements to make.”
After several top placings at Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping events this season, Robitaille leads the North American Eastern Sub-League. Returning to the international scene after having a family, she set the bar high with a goal to earn an invite to the Final. With her results in Las Vegas, it seems she may be on the path to join a host of top CSI5* competitors in Paris, France next April.
$100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Las Vegas
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Chatinus / Richard Spooner / USA / 0 | 76.98 / 0 | 37.30
2. Serise du Bidou / Alison Robitaille / USA / 0 | 77.75 / 0 | 40.20
3. Georgie d’Auvray EC / Karrie Rufer / USA / 0 | 77.09 / RT
4. Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / 4 | 71.19
5. Milano / Mandy Porter / USA / 4 | 74.27
6. Tembla / Karl Cook / USA / 4 | 74.51
7. Hilfiger van de Olmenhoeve / Emily Moffitt / GBR / 4 | 75.23
8. Kahlua / Andrew Kocher / USA / 4 | 76.46
9. Catypso / Eric Navet / FRA / 4 | 78.16
10. Legis Touch the Sun / Jenni McAllister / USA / 4 | 78.54
11. VDL Bravo S / Hunter Holloway / USA / 8 | 76.22
12. Tipsy du Terral / Ben Maher / GBR / 8 | 76.96
For full results, click here.
Longines FEI World Cup™ 2017/2018 – North American Western Sub-League
Standings following the 5th leg in Las Vegas, NV, USA
Rank / Rider / Country / Total Points
1. Richard Spooner / USA / 58
2. Mandy Porter / USA / 41
3. Jenni McAllister / USA / 41
4. Jamie Barge / USA / 35
5. Sayre Happy / USA / 34
6. Laura Jane Tidball / CAN / 32
7. Jenn Serek / CAN / 29
8. Eric Navet / FRA / 29
9. Ali Ramsay / CAN / 27
10. Jennifer Gates / USA / 24
For full rankings, click here.
Longines FEI World Cup™ 2017/2018 – North American Eastern Sub-League
Standings updated after Las Vegas, NV, USA
Rank / Rider / Country / Total Points
1. Alison Robitaille / USA / 52
2. McLain Ward / USA / 45
3. Isabelle Lapierre / CAN / 40
4. Conor Swail / IRL / 40
5. Jack Towell / USA / 38
6. Devin Ryan / USA / 37
7. Beat Mändli / SUI / 35
8. Andrew Kocher / USA / 32
9. Shane Sweetnam / IRL / 29
10. Sarah Scheiring / USA / 28
For full rankings, click here.
Richard Spooner Repeats a Win in the $50,000 FEI 1.50m Las Vegas Winning Round Classic
Earlier in the day, in a class of thirty-three entries, Richard Spooner and 12-year-old stallion Arthos R galloped into the winner’s circle in the $50,000 FEI 1.45m Winning Round Classic, presented by Park Place Foundation. Not only was this his second win of the week, it was also the second year in a row that he led the victory gallop in the Winning Round Classic at The Las Vegas National.
The course featured 16 jumping efforts, including a triple bar and one triple combination. With 25% of the class to return under FEI rules, ten returned with a clean slate, in reverse order of the slowest first round time to the fastest.
The second-round course included all the ingredients for a nail-biting finish – long gallops, big oxers, tight turns and tall verticals. Half of the returning riders posted clean rounds. Michelle Parker, first to go in the second round, set a clean and quick pace in 45.91 seconds. Karl Cook returned for the second round on Calliou and posted the exact same time of 45.91 seconds! Only in Vegas…
The young and talented Jennifer Gates didn’t let those odds take the top call. She broke that tie riding Alex, taking the lead in a speedy 45.27 seconds. But it was the final rider to compete in the second round, Spooner aboard Arthos R, who stole the show, stopping the clock in 44.39 seconds for the win.
Spooner explained how he was able to cut almost a full second off Gates’ time. “I was lucky to be able to practice the inside turn after 6B with Quirado RC [whom he also rode in the second round]. I executed the inside turn much better on Arthos. I also came out of the turn to the next oxer with more pace, which set up a nice turn for me to go out and around to get to the last fence of the jump-off. I knew that if I could get to the left side of the oxer I would be able to make the inside turn and end up with a faster time.”
Spooner and Arthos R are a fairly new pairing, but the veteran rider is quite fond of the stallion. “I began riding him in May of this year. He was a little out of shape, but now his muscle tone has improved quite a bit. He’s a very careful and scopey horse that is one of the easiest, if not the easiest, horse I’ve ever ridden. He’s like riding an equitation horse over the 1.50m jumps. His future is very bright and he continues to improve as his fitness has increased and our relationship has become closer. He is a phenomenal horse.”
Displaying exemplary style with sportsmanlike composure, Catherine Tyree was honored as the recipient of the M. Michael Meller Style of Riding Award at The 2017 Las Vegas National, CSI4*-W. Chosen unanimously by the voting panel, Tyree’s quiet demeanor, devotion to the horse and style, from the beginning of the FEI jog to the end of this week’s competition, lead to her win.
$50,000 Las Vegas National Winning Round Jumper Classic
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Faults | Time
1. Arthos R / Richard Spooner / USA / 0 | 44.39
2. Alex / Jennifer Gates / USA / 0 | 45.27
3. Vancouver / Michelle Parker / USA / 0 | 45.91
3. Caillou / Karl Cook / USA / 0 | 45.91
5. Sweet Chocolate PJ / Jenni McAllister / USA / 0 | 48.94
6. Clarinius / Ali Nilforushan / IRI / 0 | 49.68
7. Quirado RC / Richard Spooner / USA / 4 | 45.18
8. Eastern Jam / Hunter Holloway / USA / 4 | 46.17
9. Durango VDL / Tina Yates / USA / 4 | 48.12
10. Coupis / Robert Blanchette / IRL / 4 | 66.10
11. Basimodo / Eric Navet / FRA / 4 | 66.16
12. Campitello / Tina Yates / USA / 4 | 66.20
For full results, click here.
Medal Final Trifecta for Kaitlyn Lovingfoss, Winner of the 2017 CPHA Foundation West Coast Equestrian Junior/Amateur Medal Finals
Forty-one junior and amateur equitation riders came to compete in the 2017 CPHA Foundation West Coast Equestrians (WCE) Medal Finals on Friday and Saturday at the Las Vegas National.
Friday afternoon’s first round course with rollback turns and bending lines demanded an accurate ride and track. Junior rider Kaitlyn Lovingfoss topped the field with an initial score of 88, seeking to pull off her third medal final victory of the season. Natalie Dean sat in second place with a score 86.
On Saturday afternoon, every rider had the opportunity to return for the second round, but only the top 10 from the two rounds moved on to the third and final round. The second course included a triple combination and a multitude of tight turns, as well as a time allowed of 78 seconds. Sitting in sixth after day one, twenty-one-year old amateur rider Jayme Omand and her mount Zador dominated this round with a score of 83.75, with a total of 159.25 over the two days, moving into second place overall. Lovingfoss still held a narrow lead with a total of 162.75.
Having sat apart in the previous two rounds, in round three, judges Alex Jayne and Don Stewart watched and scored the top ten competitors as a pair. While maintaining their control and position, their final test was to exectute a 10-obstacle speed track. Lovingfoss came out on top with 90 points, followed by Omand, who finished with a round three score of 81.
The third medal final victory for her this season, Lovingfoss also won the 2017 CPHA Foundation Equitation Championship Final, 21 & under, and the 2017 CPHA Junior Hunter Seat Medal Final. Now having been paired with her horse Hasta La Vista for a year, Lovingfoss has now set her equitation goals even higher for 2018, looking to be top ten in the national medal finals on the West Coast and at Indoors
The champion took home gift certificates from One K Helmets, Equifit, Roeckl Sports Riding Gloves, plus a new pair of Deniro Salento Riding Boots provided by Outdoor Outfitters. Blenheim EquiSports awarded Lovingfoss a $1,500 gift certificate from English Riding Supply and a $1,500 show credit for any Blenheim EquiSports show in 2018. Her mount, Hasta La Vista, galloped off with a cooler, sash, and a carnation wreath.
All of the top ten finalists earned extraordinary prizes including a cooler, flowers, a medal, a CPHA baseball cap, saddle pads from Ogilvy and WCE, as well as gift cards from WC Equestrian, Roeckl Riding Gloves and a pair of Foot Huggies boot socks.
CPHA Foundation WCE Medal Finals
Place / Rider / Trainer / R1 Score / R2 Score / Total Score
1. Kaitlyn Lovingfoss / Jim Hagman / 88 / 82.75 / 252.75
2. Jayme Omand / Kelly Van Vleck / 80.5 / 83.75 / 240.25
3. Blake Lindsley / Jenny Karazissis / 76.5 / 83.25 / 238.75
4. Catherine Tomlinson / Liz Hutchison / 81 / 82.5 / 237.5
5. Emma Reichow / Harley Brown / 77.5 / 83.75 / 237.25
6. Nikola Barnes / Kelly Van Vleck / 77.5 / 80.75 / 235.25
7. Rollin Sykes / Nicole Husky / 77.5 / 78.5 / 233
8. Hayden Zadel / Liz Hutchinson / 83 / 78 / 231
9. Christina Vail / Kelly Van Vleck / 75 / 82.125 / 224.125
10. Libby King / Lori De Rosa / 84.5 / 787.5 / 221