Wilmington, Ohio, USA – January 28, 2023 – The $30,000 Grand Prix was the highlight event of the Winter in the Midwest Series Winter Classic #7 at World Equestrian Center – Wilmington. Saturday evening in the Sanctuary Arena saw an elite group of show jumping athletes contest Bobby Murphy’s (USA) exquisite track. In the end, Megan Bash (USA) rode into the spotlight earning first and third place honors in the class.
Murphy’s technical track proved challenging for the field of seasoned professionals as only one rider jumped a clear effort.
Bash shared her thoughts on tonight’s course, “I thought that the course was fantastic. Bobby Murphy does such a good job making the courses challenging but fair. I really liked this course. On my other horse I had an unlucky four faults through the triple combination, but overall, I thought that course rode super.”
Bash entered the ring as the first to contest aboard her own Jackson VDL (Zirocco Blue VDL x Design O). Riding out of her own Cleveland Equestrian, the talented professional guided the nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding to a solid effort, with an unfortunate four faults through the triple combination landing them in third place at the end of the class.
Bash spoke on her preparation for large classes with her two talented mounts, “I typically prepare for classes like this by making sure that my horses feel their absolute best. I do a lot of flat work with my horses, and I give them regular Polyglycan. I always strive to keep them in their best shape, and it really helps them feel their best for these big classes.”
Returning as the final entry aboard her newest mount, FF Dior (Diarado), Bash needed to jump a clear round to secure the blue ribbon. The 11-year-old Oldenburg mare was nothing short of perfection, making incredible efforts over the wide oxers and staying in careful form through the combinations.
The duo jumped an awe-inspiring round leaving the crowd in silence as she landed over the final, towering oxer and galloped through the timers with a fault-free score of 75.768 seconds to best the field. Exhibitors, fellow athletes and WEC Ohio staff were eager to applaud Bash as she took her first grand prix victory on the mare.
“This is a new horse for me that I don’t know very well. I just tried to keep my cool and she jumped absolutely amazing. This win feels so great. It was unexpected. My other horse [Jackson VDL] I just know so much better and so to win today on FF Dior I feel like there is so much to come in the future,” Bash shared.
Charlotte Clark (USA) of Kendalwood Farm in Sunbury, Ohio, found her place on the podium once again with her trusted mount Kinsella (Capitalist x Jerpoint Mist). The duo returned to the Sanctuary in top form after their third place finish in Thursday evenings $10,000 Welcome Stake. With Clark in the irons, the 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare never fails to impress, and jumped a seamless round with an unlucky four faults at the final oxer of the track. The duo took the red ribbon as the fastest four faulter with 73.613 seconds.
Final Results – $30,000 Grand Prix Results:
1) Megan Bash (USA) & FF Dior, Cleveland Equestrian | 0 | 75.768
2) Charlotte Clark (USA) & Kinsella, Charlotte Clark | 4 | 73.613
3) Megan Bash (USA) & Jackson VDL, Cleveland Equestrian | 4 | 74.673
4) Lani Hutchison (USA) & Iconic, Lani Hutchison | 4 | 74.939
5) Darby Pease (USA) & Cumbaya W, Hillary Gromus | 4 | 76.128
6) Lyriss Jaeger (USA) & Fortysix & 2, Lyriss Jaeger | 4 | 78.628
7) Heather Froehlich Cortell (USA) & Celeano VH Lindenhof Z, Emily Kowit | 8 | 76.496
8) Darby Pease (USA) & Carel Van Donderen, Louisa Robb | RT
Source: Press Release from World Equestrian Center
Photos: © Andrew Ryback Photography
Categories: Results, USEF Rated, World Equestrian Center