The young Venezuelan rider wrote a new page in his short, but very fruitful career to get the top three places, beating two-time Olympic medalist Leslie Howard. (Photo © Jack Mancini)
The young Venezuelan equestrian show jumper Emanuel Andrade completed a perfect week in the 2017 ESP Holiday Final I and a historic day after winning the Open Stakes Class on Tuesday and today completed the Grand Prix with the top three.
Playing the $25,000 TrackNRider National Grand Prix at Wellington’s Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, Andrade ranked three of his fourth-place jump-off appearances, where a total of 12 pairs would return for the win, including two-time US Olympic medalist Leslie Howard, Olympic medalist and 10-time Pan American medalist Ian Millar of Canada, successful Frenchwoman Marie Hecart, while the winner of the $1 Million HITS Series Charlie Jayne, Jonathan McCrea and Pan-American gold medalist Christine McCrea were left out, as was the Olympic medalist and three-time World Cup champion Rodrigo Pessoa from Brazil.
With everything ready for the tiebreaker, where Emanuel Andrade would write a new page in his short but very fruitful career as an equestrian show jumper. The US rider Liza Finsness and the German representative Wilhelm Genn started by knocking down a pole each, making it clear that the court was very delicate and technical demanding, so that each competitor had to get the best of their riding, if they wanted to complete a clear rounds the decisive course.
It was thus that the Venezuelan representative marked the first clear, along with the mare Dipssy, with which he won the $10,000 Open Stakes Class on Tuesday and tried with his result to secure the victory with the pair. While the first clear round became a pressure factor in time of 45.35 seconds by Andrade, Jordan MacPherson completed his field in 6 fouls and Daniel Coyle beat him in time of 43.78 seconds, but he had 4 fouls that left in him third place.
Veteran and historic Ian Millar, the only human being to attend 10 Olympic Games, entered the court with 8-year-old gelding Vittorio 8 (Valentino DDH x Ramiro’s Bube), but the demand of the course would soon take 4 fouls, while Audrey Robinson finished with 8 fouls.
Second chance for Emanuel Andrade, now with 15-year-old gelding Nokia de Brekka (Quick Star x Apache D’Adriers), Venezuelan partner in the individual silver medal at the Central American Games in Mexico and to date three third places in FEI events including the CSI 5* of the Global Champions Tour in Mexico too, but ultimately turned aggressively towards the final line stopping the clock in 44.71 seconds with the second and only clear rounds course.
In a so complicated class, there was no doubt that the experience could play a key factor, being the US Leslie Howard now the one that entered in the International Arena marking a fast round from the first jump, but the moment of entering the final line came with a good pace to dethrone the Venezuelan a bad exit in the double combination charged 4 fault to the experienced rider, achieving what would definitely be the best time of the jump-off in 43.07 seconds with the 11-year-old gelding Moondoggie (Lord Continet x South Pacific).
There were three competitors remaining and the Frenchwoman Marie Hecart did not get a good presentation when she added 13 faults, leaving it out of the all possibility, missing Adam Rittenberg as the only possible candidate to beat the Venezuelan rider, who occupied the first and second place so far, and waited in the gate with his third classified horse. It would not be long until the vertical start, which secured victory Andrade, after completing Rittenberg in 18 fouls his complicated course.
Only one step left for the representative of Venezuela to write a particular story, having to add his third clear round in the tiebreaker. This was how each obstacle cleanly passed by Andrade counted for his anecdotal day with 10-year-old gelding BonJovi (Verdi x Corland), scoring a time of 45.79 seconds and securing the one-two-three.
With only 20 years Emanuel already accumulates several Grand Prix won in the United States, being its first with only of 16 years in Roanoke, Virginia, giving way to several victories finishing one-two, but now he adds his first Grand Prix conquering first, second and third place, to join him to great experiences as to dispute and to fight the bronze medal in the last Pan American Games, to classify to his first Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, his participation as the youngest rider in the World Equestrian Games of Normandy and be recognized as the best overall rider of the season at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington (the most important currently worldwide) in 2014 and 2015, where he still maintains the record with the highest number of victories achieved during a single season.