Sonoma, California, USA – The final day of the Split Rock Jumping Tour (SRJT) Sonoma International CSI 2* highlighted what was a super week at the Sonoma Horse Park, with the $100,000 1.45m Grand Prix CSI 2* on Sunday to close out FEI competition. With only two clear first-round finishers, the class saved the best for last with 25-year-old Simonne Berg (USA) and Cooper capturing the victory ahead of Charlie Jones (GBR) and Gerko III van de Zeilhoek. The win marked Berg’s first FEI win as well as her first grand prix win, made even more special by her home venue.
The technical course set by Germany’s Olaf Peterson Jr. (GER) challenged horse-and-rider combinations over 16 efforts with a triple combination (oxer-oxer-vertical) rolling back to the famous SRJT wall around to a triple bar on the rail.
Kasey Ament (USA) and Dexter R (Namelus R x Contender), owned by Lornnah Investments, LLC, were the first pair to clear all of the fences, but their 90.35-second finish left them just a fraction over the time-allowed with one time fault. Soon after, Charlie Jones (GBR) became the first to solve all questions on course with a clear round aboard Lindsay Maxwell’s Gerko III van de Zeilhoek (Arko III x Quidam de Revel).
A jump-off was guaranteed not long after when Simonne Berg (USA) delivered the only other clear round with Berg Equestrian Enterprises LLC’s 14-year-old KWPN gelding Cooper (Viento Uno W x Voltaire). Jones had one last attempt with a second Maxwell-owned mount, Charismo Z (Cascadello x Carisma Z), clearing the fences once again while also matching Ament’s pace to finish on an identical time of 90.35 just short of the jump-off.
Jones and the 10-year-old KWPN gelding Gerko III van de Zeilhoek led the way across the jump-off track in a time of 49.47 seconds, but an unfortunate rail left the door open for Berg. The closing pair delivered despite also having a 4-fault effort, leaving a stride out to the final fence for a winning time of 48.99 seconds. Jones would settle for the remaining two podium positions, claiming second place with Gerko III van de Zeilhoek while tying with Ament and Dexter R for third place aboard Charismo Z.
The remainder of the 2021 season of the Split Rock Jumping Tour will continue to host exciting competition across the country, with the next stop taking place at the Columbus International CSI 2* on October 6-10. Other stops include the Aiken International CSI3*, the Fort Worth International CSI4*-W, and our newest location in Sarasota, with a CSI2* rating.
Final Results – $100,000 Split Rock Jumping Tour – Sonoma International Grand Prix CSI 2*
1) Simonne Berg (USA) & Cooper – 0 / 4 – 48.99
2) Charlie Jones (GBR) & Gerko III Van De Zeilhoek – 0 / 4 – 49.47
3) Charlie (GBR) & Charismo Z – 1 / 90.35
3) Kasey Ament (USA) & Dexter R – 1 / 90.35
Source: Press Release from Split Rock Jumping Tour
Photos: © Split Rock Jumping Tour / Four Oaks Creative