Las Vegas, NV – Nov. 16, 2017 – Thursday night’s $50,000 FEI 1.50m Las Vegas National Welcome Jumper Speed Classic, presented by Walter Oil & Gas Corporation, was the qualifier for Saturday night’s highlight class, and the competition among the 53 entries was fierce. Galloping in the arena in the twelfth spot, USA’s Kristen Vanderveen rode a masterfully fast track in 54.77 seconds aboard the 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili, holding the lead for the remaining 41 rides.
Rails and refusals plagued a number of competitors, with the final jump on course, a red plank vertical, often causing a heartbreaking four faults. But Vanderveen put full trust in her partner of three years, knowing that speed classes are one of his strengths. “Having this qualifying class in a speed format definitely worked to my advantage, since we focused on speed classes in Wellington this year.”
She continued, “The secret is to keep him happy. When he’s having fun, he’s super careful – especially in the speed rounds and jump-offs.”
When asked how she mastered the indoor setting over a challenging track, Vanderveen commented, “Riding in the indoor is definitely a big adjustment, but I told myself that it’s not a whole new sport. I should walk the lines and ride like I normally do. So I really tried to stick with my pace from start to finish and be as tidy in my turns as possible.”
A nice way to make her first time showing in Las Vegas memorable, Vanderveen has also had time to enjoy the venue and the city. “This show is very convenient. I’ve never seen anything like it, I didn’t envision it would be like this,” she said. “My dad came to visit [from Chicago], so it’s been nice to spend time with him. There’s a lot to do without having to be stuck at the horse show all day long.”
Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili with (l-r) Melissa Brandes,
Mary Frances Looke, Hillary Ridland, and Robert Ridland
Highlights for Friday include Round One of the WCE Equitation Finals, the $25,000 Interactive Mortgage U25 Developing Rider Series Final, and the $40,000 Las Vegas National Speed Stake, presented by Equithrive.
Thirty-five of the top scores tonight will be invited to compete in Saturday’s $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Las Vegas, presented by Interactive Mortgage. The highlight event kicks off with Opening Ceremonies at 7:30 p.m. including a Parade of Nations, special presentations, and a singing performance by Ki-Juan Minors. The spectacular evening concludes with an autograph signing in the arena foyer.
$50,000 FEI 1.50m Las Vegas National Welcome Jumper Speed Classic
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Faults | Time
1. Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / 0 | 54.77
2. Basimodo / Eric Navet / FRA / 0 | 61.83
3. Luftikus S / Jennifer Gates / USA / 0 | 63.50
4. VDL Wizard / Callan Solem / USA / 0 | 63.75
5. Utopia / John Perez / COL / 0 | 63.92
6. VDL Bravo S / Hunter Holloway / USA / 0 | 64.00
7. Mylord Cornet / Harley Brown / AUS / 0 | 64.50
8. Cassinja S / Charlie Jacobs / USA / 0 | 68.36
9. Arthos R / Richard Spooner / USA / 4 | 58.31
10. Alex / Jennifer Gates / USA / 4 | 58.79
11. Georgie d’Auvray EC / Karrie Rufer / USA / 4 | 62.10
12. Mai Tai / Karrie Rufer / USA / 4 | 62.44
For full results, click here.
Imagination and Jamie Taylor Dominate the USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Taylor Harris Insurance Services
For the second year in a row, Jamie Taylor and Ariana Marnell’s Imagination took home the win in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Taylor, Harris Insurance Services. Not only was this a repeat victory of last year’s derby for the pair, but it’s also the third annual win for Taylor.
Of the 35 competitors that took to the ring, Imagination was one of twelve horses to qualify for the handy course. The pair received a score of 92, taking all four of the high options and the lead. The top twelve riders finished with quite close proximity in their scores, some separated by only a quarter of a point.
The second round proved to be quite the test for a handful of the competitors, resulting in a considerable change in the final placings. The handy round included a flowing bending line, many options for inside turns, and a long hand gallop to a single oxer. Taylor and Imagination made the challenges on course look easy, earning a high score of 91, making their two round untouchable total 183 points.
Along with the blue, Taylor won a pair of Roeckl Sports gloves, and earned Imagination’s owner a custom Ogilvy Equestrian saddle pad provided by Tack of the Town and an engraved pewter plate.
The mare is usually in the show ring with her owner, Ariana Marnell, in the Children’s Hunters. But Taylor explains, “She’s just a really good girl, a great horse, that steps up to the plate when we want to go do more. She likes big moments.”
As owner, Marnell won the Blue Ribbon Blankets Winning Owner Award, and Marnell’s trainer Denise Finch, a Las Vegas local, took home the Balmoral Winning Trainer Award.
Taking home the EquiFit Groom’s Award for Best Turned Out Horse was Tomas Pinajosa, who impeccably prepared Banksy for Carli Postel, who earned 2nd place honors.
Junior rider Lauren Burke won the The Plaid Horse Highest Placing Junior Rider Award.
With three horses in the class and three top twelve finishes, Alexis Meadows rode away with the One K Helmets Highest Placing Amateur Award.
$2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Score / R2 Score / Total Score
1. Imagination / Jamie Taylor / Ariana Marnell / 92 / 91 / 183
2. Banksy / Karli Postel / Grace Russo / 91 / 87 / 178
3. Believe In Me / Courtney Miller / Moonlite Beach, LLC / 86.5 / 88 / 174.5
4. Le Reve / Jamie Sailor / Riley Benvenuti / 87.25 / 85 / 172.25
5. Mr. Worldwide / Robert Blanchette / Shannon Stevens / 86 / 85 / 171
6. Legato / Alexis Meadows / Alexis Meadows / 84 / 86 / 170
7. Fair Play / Gabriela Pattinson / Carrie Silvano / 87 / 78 / 165
8. Lugano / Alexis Meadows / Alexis Meadows / 88 / 76.5 / 164.5
9. Pirouette / Nicole Kane / Heidi Kane / 89 / 75 / 164
10. Scotch on the Rocks / Nicole Kane / Kara Evanson / 87.5 / 76 / 163.5
11. Antwerp / Alexis Meadows / Alexis Meadows / 85.5 / 75 / 160.5
12. Abso Q / Ali Roesener / Ali Roesener / 83.5 / 74 / 157.5