Ocala, Florida, USA – February 04, 2023 – Thirty rising stars of show jumping took to the WEC Grand Arena during this picturesque sunny Florida day to try their hand at FEI Level III course designer Peter Grant’s (CAN) track in the $15,000 Buckeye Nutrition Futures Prix. Lisa Goldman-Smolen (USA) posted an uncatchable time early in the order aboard her longtime partner Sovereign (Frontal x Galledent) owned by Barbara Disko to ultimately gallop away with the victory.
Ten entries posted a clear first round effort to qualify for the immediate jump-off, with six managing to jump double-clean. It was a race to the quickest time, with the top three spots held from early starters.
Jelmer Hoekstra (NED) the back-to-back winner of the past two $15,000 Buckeye Nutrition Futures Prix was the pathfinder in the first round aboard Eyckenhoeve Sales LLC’s Harold (Dallas VDL x Wajomien). Hoekstra and the 11-year-old KWPN gelding found a blistering fast track in 38.163 seconds, setting the time to beat.
Lisa Goldman-Smolen (USA) followed right behind Hoekstra aboard the 17-year-old Selle Francais stallion, Sovereign.
Goldman-Smolen discussed the first-round track, “I was able to watch the few riders go ahead of me and the course ended up looking to be a bit more challenging than I anticipated. The four-stride line looked like it rode a bit long and then the six looked pretty steady, so it was a bit of an advantage to watch right before I went in.”
The pair advanced straight to the jump-off, “I was down at the ingate when Jelmer went into the jump-off. He ended up doing an eight rather than a nine, then the seven ended up being pretty easy for him, so I decided Sovereign could probably get the six done there, which is where I think I had his time.”
Goldman-Smolen and Sovereign flew through the finish, stopping the clock at an unbeatable 37.980 seconds.
Richard Spooner (USA) and Molly Ohrstrom’s seven-year-old Argentinian Sport Horse stallion Halcon were the only other pair to come close to Goldman-Smolen’s time, after the pair found a tidy track in 39.790 seconds to ultimately secure the third-place spot on the leaderboard.
Final Results – $15,000 Buckeye Nutrition Futures Prix
1) Lisa Goldman-Smolen (USA) & Sovereign, Barbara Disko – 0 | 0 – 37.980
2) Jelmer Hoekstra (NED) & Harold, Eyckenhoeve Sales LLC – 0 | 0 – 38.163
3) Richard Spooner (USA) & Halcon, Molly Ohrstrom – 0 | 0 – 38.790
4) Brooke Kemper (USA) & Seaview Demonstration, CM Sporthorses LLC – 0 | 0 – 42.114
5) Fernando Cardenas Jr. (COL) & Cool Ray, B&C, LLC – 0 | 0 – 42.189
6) Staisha Bejarano (USA) & Boreale De Talma, Empire Show Stables – 0 | 0 – 44.081
7) Jelmer Hoekstra (NED) & Kaitlin W, Jelmer Hoekstra – 0 | 4 – 38.926
8 Celtic Lady M2S, Cady Kilmas, Jumpers Landing LLC – 0 | 4 – 39.757
9 Renkum A’Toast, Declan Egan, Declan Egan – 0 | 4 – 43.025
10) Clayton Fredericks FE Storm Trooper, Clayton Fredericks – 0 | 12 – 46.210
Source: Press Release from World Equestrian Center
Photos: © Andrew Ryback Photography