Wrapping up this year’s Las Vegas National, CSI 3*-W and AON/USHJA National Championships in a neat package with a bow is a big task – it was a busy week full of action with top notch competition, education, awards, high-fives, shopping, congratulations, dining and more – all under the same roof at the South Point!
From fantastic FEI events to the Markel Insurance 1.45m Jumper Series Final, our new 1.40m Division, USEF/USHJA Jumper Championships, the WCE Junior/Amateur Medal Finals and AON/USHJA Derby, Hunter & Equitation Championships at all levels, the week truly highlights competitors on their year-end #PathwayToSuccess. It was a thrill to finish the season in Las Vegas as the #ThePlaceToJump for FEI@BES and the #BestofUSHJA. And in Vegas, you know you can always #BetonFun.
We are already thinking and planning for next year! The new Blenheim EquiSports’ show season has been recently unveiled – click here to plan your 2020 season with us!
Scroll down for Vegas stories, photos and video links.
WEDNESDAY: Kaitlin Campbell aboard Palina de l’Escaut, owned by Paul Tracy and Spy Coast Farm, LLC, sped to the win Wednesday’s two-phase FEI 1.45m Blenheim Welcome Jumper Classic, presented by WC Equestrian. Campbell appreciates the naturally fast and competitive nature of the mare that she has only been paired with for three months. Watch the video interview here.
THURSDAY: On Thursday night all eyes were on the seventy-one pairs testing the Leopoldo Palacios designed FEI 1.50m Las Vegas National Welcome Jumper Speed Classic course, vying to earn a slot in the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Las Vegas on Saturday night. Andrew Ramsay and The California Group’s California 62 found that fast track and topped the class. The speedy pair of Campbell aboard Palina de l’Escaut finished in second. See the side-by-side of these two rides.
Emma Catherine Reichow rode her own Forever Alve to a close second, double clear in 44.33 seconds. Ruus and Reichow were each presented with a Jeffrey Scott Fine Magnetics Bracelet for being the Leading Gentleman and Leading Lady riders in the class.
The third annual M. Michael Meller Style of Riding Award was presented on Saturday afternoon to Kelli Cruciotti (pictured center) by Erynn Ballard on behalf of Meller.
Chosen by her peers, Cruciotti earned this honor for displaying exemplary style throughout the week in Las Vegas.
Adrienne Sternlicht and Bennys Legacy
Upon completion of the victory gallop, Sternlicht’s groom, Sean Kissane, was presented with The Grooms Award.
The award, presented by The Grooms Award, Ltd. strives to continue to reward grooms for their professional commitment to the sport, and to the horse. Each of the FEI grooms with horses in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Las Vegas were also presented tote bags as a thank you for their hard work and dedication.
MAKING A MARK WITH MARKEL
The Markel Insurance 1.45m Jumper Series’ sixth season culminated with a final at The Las Vegas National. Close to 100 hundred riders earned points in the thirteen qualifiers offered from March through September in shows held at San Juan Capistrano and Del Mar, California this year. Twenty-five of those riders competed to take home the lion’s share of the $42,900 prize in the series final. Of the four horse and rider combinations that rode without faults over Leopoldo Palacios’ course, the first to go couldn’t be beat. Rich Fellers and Kathleen Waldorf’s 11-year-old Swedish mare stole the show.
Solea Equestrian awarded $500 Gift Certificates to the Leading Lady, Nicole Haunert, and the Leading Gentleman, Jason McArdle, of the Series based on total points earned throughout the season.
NEW! 1.40m DIVISION WITH INIT2WINIT
The new 1.40m division at the Las Vegas National offered another #PathwayToSuccess at the National Level. Christian Heineking consistently placed well to earn the division championship. The Leading Amateur, Laura Hite, and Leading Junior, Violet Lindemann-Barnett, in the division were also each awarded GPA Helmets.
TUESDAY: Opening up with the $10,000 1.40m Open Jumper Stake, presented by River Run Farm South on Tuesday evening, the Germans from October Hill Farm took the top two spots. The course challenged 41 pairs, but none were able to beat Mathis Schwentker and October Hill Farm Inc.’s Quind who proceeded to gallop and turn to victory early in the class. Heineking and Cento Blue, owned by Heineking Show Stables, were closest to catching Schwentker for second place.
WEDNESDAY: The $20,000 1.40m Open Jumper Classic, presented by Evergate Stables, tested 48 entries with 17 returning for the jump-off. Heineking and Cento Blue, owned by Heineking Show Stables, claimed the blue, finishing double clean and fast. See the winning jump-off ride unfold here.
Seventeen-year-old Melody Liu aboard Carnutelabryere, owned by Shelly Gambardella, earned an impressive second place, stopping the clock within .3 seconds of Heineking.
FRIDAY: The Las Vegas National was honored to host the fourth of six InIt2WinIt qualifiers, which allows four riders a chance to advance to the final in Omaha next April. With forty-two entries, Karl Cook and the ten-year-old KWPN mare E’Special P.S. galloped into the winner’s circle in the $25,000 InIt2WinIt 1.40m Jumper Speed Stake, presented by the Omaha Equestrian Foundation on Friday afternoon. Heineking and Cento Blue, the seventh pair to challenge the track, laid down a blazing fast time to take a dominating lead. The time seemed to be unbeatable, until the thirtieth entry in the order, Cook and his talented mare. Taking an inside turn early on, they were able to keep a forward pace throughout, and leave out a stride in the last line, to cross the timers almost a second faster than the leader. Click here to read the details and watch Cook and Heineking compete in a side-by-side video.
Emma Catherine Reichow showed how equitation is the #PathwayToSuccess. Of the thirty-four junior and amateur equitation riders who participated in the 2019 CPHA Foundation West Coast Equestrians (WCE) Medal Finals on Friday and Saturday of the Las Vegas National, it was Reichow who earned the win. Second to Reichow was Amateur rider Kaitlin Perry, who led the victory gallop in the Foxfield Medal Final at Blenheim in the fall.
Emerging with this victory on Saturday, the sixteenth of November, was a sweet eighteenth birthday celebration for the talented young rider. Just a few hours earlier, she placed second to Nikolaj Hein Ruus in the FEI 1.45m Las Vegas National Winning Round Jumper Classic, and a few hours later she tested her skills over a challenging FEI World Cup qualifier track. This young rider is certainly one to watch.
“Vegas is fun because I get to meet lots of new friends. I think it is really special – it adds a whole new level of competition because you have to qualify for it, and be up in the top of the Zone or National rankings in order to get here, so I think it brings an extra special part to the show.” – Skylar W., CA
“The ring is amazing, the crowd is amazing, and it is just a pleasure to be here!” – Erynn B., ONT
“I love Vegas just because it is such a different environment. It’s really a lot like the East Coast and I like that. I like the competitiveness.” – Elisa B., CA
“This is one of our favorite shows; it’s really the only show on the West Coast with a proper coliseum.” – Kaitlin C., CA
“I love being here in the climate-controlled barns. With everybody here at the end of the year, it’s a little bit of a different vibe than a lot of the shows and I really enjoy it. It’s fun, we really love coming here.” – Kendall B., OR
“This show is so vibrant and they make it so special for competitors to come here. It definitely feels like a fun indoor year-end show and it’s nice to have that on the West Coast.” – Sybil R., CA
“Having a National Championship horse show for our H/J sport is really special. Everyone tends to compete in their regional areas and having once a year that you can come together and have a head-to-head competition in a pretty special venue is really fun and really rewarding, challenging and it really helps bring our sport together.” – Marnye L., CA
JOIN US IN 2020!
Thank you to everyone – competitors, trainers, grooms, spectators, sponsors, vendors, staff – who made this year’s show such a success.
To see all results from the South Point Arena, please visit Longines Timing.
Be sure to mark your calendars with the new dates of The Las Vegas National: November 16-22, 2020… We’ll see you there!
#ThePlaceToJump #WestCoastShowcation #PathwayToSuccess