Myakka City, Sarasota, Florida, USA – March 25, 2023 – A star-studded field of 46 horses and riders, including five Olympians, tackled the Joe Rycroft-designed course in the $77,300 The Estates at TerraNova Grand Prix CSI 2* during TerraNova Hunter/Jumper Week 4. Argentina’s Tomas Yofre (ARG) aboard the Stellium Sport Horses LLC entry Cher Cheval bested the field to take the win.
Rycroft’s first-round course had a time allowed of 81 seconds over 13 numbered obstacles with 16 total jumping efforts.
“I’d like to see seven to 12 clean, but what I really want to see is the horses jumping confidently,” Rycroft said. “I never like to see a horse defeated leaving my ring. My biggest goal of the day is having confident horses leaving to go onto their next show.”
The bending line from fence three, a vertical off the right lead passing the ingate, to an oxer-vertical one stride and a forward four strides to a large oxer was an early test on course. The line set diagonally across the ring also tested the riders resulting in rails falling from the cups.
The technical first-round course proved challenging for many, with six horse-and-rider combinations moving on to the jump off. Three other pairs finished incurring only time faults.
The short course began with the ‘c’ element of a triple combination set along the rail near the VIP Pavilion galloping towards fence 11, a blue and black oxer at the end of the ring by the jumbotron. Riders then rolled back to the TerraNova Equestrian Center vertical at fence 12, a long gallop to fence 13, rolling back to the 4a-b one stride. Fence 15 was the original first fence in round one but shifted from a triple bar to a vertical, finishing with a galloping six or seven strides to the Arthramid oxer at fence two.
“I really like the jump off. It’s got a lot of turning and galloping,” Rycroft said. “It’s got everything I want when I design a jump off.”
With four riders aboard six mounts returning in the same order of go as the first round, the short track tested the competitors and delighted the crowd.
After each pair crossed the timers, it was Tomas Yofre (ARG) and the 10-year-old chestnut Holsteiner gelding Cher Cheval (Casalito x Warina I/Cristo 5) who stopped the clock in a competitive 39.59 seconds.
Barely a third of a second behind, in second place, was amateur rider Hilary McNerney (USA) and her own 12-year-old Zweibrücker mare, Zita Blue (VDL Zirrocco Blue x Baghira de Rouet/Balou du Rouet).
Yofre and his second mount, Cardora (Caretino 2 x Tamara V/Clearyway), rounded out the top three with a jump-off time of 39.98 seconds.
“He’s brave, he’s fast,” Yofre said. “I’m really happy because he’s doing really good and we ended up winning today.
“Yesterday I had one down with both horses, so I knew if I rode well I could go clear today,” he said. “I tried to do that and it worked.”
“It’s very horse friendly,” Kimberly Griffiths, Stellium Sport Horses owner, said about TerraNova Equestrian Center. “It’s a nice competitive venue, it’s nice to add to the show list. It gives the competitors a lot more choice.”
Final Results – $77,300 The Estates at TerraNova Grand Prix CSI 2*
1) Tomas Yofre (ARG) & Cher Cheval – 0 / 0 – 39.590
2) Hilary McNerney (USA) & Zita Blue – 0 / 0 – 39.920
3) Tomas Yofre (ARG) & Cardora – 0 / 0 – 39.980
Source: Press Release from TerraNova Equestrian Center
Photos: © TerraNova Equestrian Center / Jessica Buehler Photography
Categories: CSI 2*