Upperville, Virginia, USA – June 10, 2021 – International show jumping kicked off at the 168th Upperville Colt & Horse Show (UCHS) Thursday afternoon with the $37,000 Power & Speed Stakes CSI 4*, presented by TTR Sotheby’s International Realty. Forty-nine athletes from six countries tried their hand over the track, with 19 combinations producing double-clear efforts. The fastest performance belonged to Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) and Venice Beach, owned by Artemis Equestrian.
Brazil’s Marina Azevedo (BRA) designed a welcoming track for the first FEI event of the week, featuring two double combinations and two liverpools. The speed phase of the course offered several options for inside turns to shave off time and top the leaderboard. Ireland’s Jordan Coyle (IRL) was seventh in the ring and set the early pace to beat in a clear 30.32 seconds with Elan Farm’s Eristov.
Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) tried to catch Ward with Louisburg Farm’s Berdien, but she was just 2/10ths of a second shy of the time, finishing with a clear effort in 29.80 seconds to take over the second-place position. In the end, Pessoa (BRA) took home the victory, while Ward (USA) and Coyle (IRL) placed third and fourth, respectively.
Olympian McLain Ward (USA) took over the lead midway through the class with Susan Heller’s Blossom Z, stopping the clock at 30.07 seconds, which would hold up for 11 more rounds until Pessoa (BRA) stepped into the B&D Builders Jumper 1 ring with Venice Beach. He and the 12-year-old Hanoverian mare by Voltaire were hoof perfect, slicing through the middle of the arena upon advancing to the speed phase and leaving a stride out to the final fence to break the beam 29.68 seconds to top the leaderboard.
Pessoa was thrilled with the mare’s performance, stepping up the pace in the second half of the course after Venice Beach jumped so well in the first round. A consistent competitor in speed classes, Pessoa and Venice Beach will return to the arena Saturday for the $37,000 Speed Stakes CSI4*.
International show jumping competition will continue at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show throughout the week. Friday’s highlight event will be the $73,000 Upperville Welcome Stakes CSI 4*, followed by the $37,000 Speed Stakes CSI 4* Saturday. The pinnacle of the competition will be held Sunday as athletes vie for the top honors in the $213,300 Upperville Jumper Classic CSI 4*.
Final Results – $37,000 Power & Speed Stake CSI 4*
1) Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) & Venice Beach – 0 / 29.680
2) Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) & Berdien – 0 / 29.800
3) McLain Ward (USA) & Blossom Z – 0 / 30.070
4) Jordan Coyle (IRL) & Eristov – 0 / 30.320
5) Samuel Parot (CHI) & Atlantis – 0 / 30.430
6) Grace Debney (GBR) & Boheme De La Roque – 0 / 31.380
7) Brianne Goutal-Marteau (USA) & Tanael Des Bonnes – 0 / 31.510
8) Grace Debney (GBR) & Zarina De Vidau – 0 / 31.680
9) Katherine Dinan (USA) & Athos D’Elle – 0 / 32.500
10) Peter Leone (USA) & Donner – 0 / 33.040
Source: Press Release from Upperville Colt & Horse Show
Photos: © Phelps Sports / Rebecca Walton / Lenore Phillips