Sarasota, Florida, USA – January 27, 2023 – In its second year at the TerraNova Equestrian Center, the Lugano Diamonds Split Rock Jumping Tour (SRJT) hosted the return of the Split Rock Sarasota CSI 2* alongside the first-ever $300,000 Split Rock Championship Series. Saturday’s feature FEI class, the $100,000 Lugano Diamonds 1.45m Grand Prix CSI 2*, welcomed an impressive field of athletes representing 15 different countries. With 48 combinations contending for the win, it was Chile’s Samuel Parot who secured a one-two finish with both his own Buga Z (Chester Z x Quality Touch Z) and Captain Z (Calvino Z x Voltaire). The third spot went to Caroline Mawhinney (USA) and her own Dance du Buisson Z (Dutch Capitol Z x Favoritas XX).
Peter Holmes’ (CAN) first-round 16-effort spread challenged riders not only with a difficult track but also a tight time-allowed of 75 seconds. The first fence, an oxer angled just out of the corner, and the sixth obstacle, a triple combination (vertical-vertical-oxer) against the rail of the B&D Builders Pavilion, proved problematic with numerous knock downs at both elements. Only five combinations were able to master the test and deliver a fault-free first round.
As the early pathfinder in round one, Parot was the first to take on the 8-effort jump-off aboard Captain Z, but his fast finish of 36.92 seconds resulted in a 4-fault round.
Caroline Mawhinney (USA) and Dance du Buisson Z (Dutch Capitol Z x Favoritas XX) followed next, hoping for a more conservative clear as she crossed the timers in 44.38 seconds, but also fell victim to one rail.
The pressure was on the remaining riders as Diego Perez Bilbao (ESP) set off on a quick pace, but finished with 8 faults. Simon McCarthy (IRL) proved the time was beatable as he finished in 34.11 seconds, but also picked up 8 faults on his way.
The first to go was also the last to go, as Samuel Parot (CHI) entered with his second mount, Buga Z (Chester Z x Quality Z), already holding the lead. Hoping to beat himself with a fault free round, Parot was conservative on time but ultimately delivered that coveted fault-free round in 41.56 seconds.
With Mawhinney in third, McCarthy would capture fourth, followed by Perez Bilbao in fifth.
“This is the first time I’ve come here [to TerraNova] and it’s an unbelievable place. Split Rock is the best in America. All of the Split Rock shows are fantastic: [Sarasota], Aiken, Kentucky – wherever you go everything is special,” praised Parot.
Competition will culminate Sunday, January 29 with the inaugural $300,000 Split Rock Championship series which will be streamed exclusively on Horse & Country TV free to the public, courtesy of The Dutta Corporation. This exciting one-of-a-kind new series will offer a $100,000 1.15m Championship, $100,000 1.25m Championship, and $100,000 1.35m Championship set to begin at 8 a.m. EST.
Final Results – $100,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI 2*
1) Samuel Parot (CHI) & Buga Z – 0 / 0 – 41.560
2) Samuel Parot (CHI) & Captain Z – 0 / 4 – 36.920
3) Caroline Mawhinney (USA) & Dance du Buisson Z – 0 / 4 – 44.380
Source: Press Release from SRJT – Split Rock Jumping Tour
Photo: © SRJT / Winslow Photograpy
Categories: CSI 2*