Ignacio Maurin and Unico. (Photo © Sportfot)
Richard Jeffery (GBR) set the courses on the derby field at The Stadium on Saturday. For the $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic, Jeffery saw 34 starters with five clear rounds to advance to the jump-off.
Emanuel Andrade (VEN) was first to jump-off with his horse U and dropped one rail in 45.22 seconds to eventually finish fourth. Laura Kraut (USA) was next to go with Cherry Knoll Farm, Inc.’s Constable, clocking the first clear round in 46.08 seconds for second place honors. Chris Surbey (CAN) and Linda Southern Heathcott’s Quetchup de la Roque returned next with four faults in 45.19 seconds to place third. Josephina Nor Lantzman also finished with four faults in 48.91 seconds to take fifth place honors aboard Unlimited. Last to go, Ignacio Maurin had nothing to lose with Stransky’s Mission Farms’ Unico. The Argentine rider cleared the course in the winning time of 45.51 seconds aboard the 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Odermus R x Wuzo).
Maurin first moved to the United States two years ago, working for a family in Seattle before coming to Wellington to work for Lillian Stransky eight months ago. Maurin got the ride on Unico in November and has been getting to know his mount throughout the start of WEF.
“I did this class because in WEF 4 the horse started jumping better and proving himself,” Maurin stated. “He went clean in a 1.45m and he did the Suncast class that week and had two down, so I wanted to try it again this week. I was lucky today. The horse was feeling good. He is a little older, but he is doing his job well and he was fantastic today.”
“When I got the horse at the beginning he was a little hot and nervous,” Maurin noted. “He can be strong, but as time passed by I started learning how to ride him and how to keep him relaxed. I learned to work a lot before the class to calm him down, and get him relaxed so that he does his best in the ring.”
Maurin also learned that Unico likes jumping on the grass better than sand, and used that to his advantage on Saturday. He also had the advantage of his position in the jump-off order.
“I was lucky, because I was last to go, and there were only five in the jump-off,” he detailed. “ At the beginning of the jump-off, when I saw that three of them had one down, I thought that I would go for a safe clear. But then I jumped fences one, two, and three in a good pace and knew that my horse was jumping well, so I thought I would give it a try. There was only one clear, and I did not have too much to lose if I had one down. I had my plan to go clear first, but then I felt good and decided to go for it.”
Maurin’s next goal is to compete well for Argentina in week eight’s $150,000 Nations’ Cup CSIO 4*.
“Next week the horse will just rest and flat a little bit,” Maurin said. “He might do one small class before the Nations’ Cup so he gets some confidence and feels good. We would like to help Argentina do something. We have a lot of pressure after the team did so well at the Pan American Games, so we will see what happens. After that we might aim for the Suncast® Final during week 12. The horse is 16 years old, so I am trying to save him a little bit for the good stuff.”
Final Results: $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic
1. UNICO: 2001 KWPN gelding by Odermus R x Wuzo
IGNACIO MAURIN (ARG), Stransky’s Mission Farms, Inc: 0/0/45.51
2. CONSTABLE II: 2007 KWPN gelding by Harley VDL x Lupicor
LAURA KRAUT (USA), Cherry Knoll Farm: 0/0/46.08
3. QUETCHUP DE LA ROQUE: 2004 Selle Francais mare by Quidam de Revel x Kannan
CHRIS SURBEY (CAN), Linda Southern Heathcott: 0/4/45.19
4. U: 2001 KWPN gelding by Monaco x Calypso
EMANUEL ANDRADE (VEN), Emanuel Andrade: 0/4/45.22
5. UNLIMITED: 2001 KWPN gelding by Ohorn x Hinault
JOSEPHINA NOR LANTZMAN (BRA), Josephina Nor Stables LLC: 0/4/48.91
6. S & L SAGE: 2007 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Wandor van de Mispelaere x Radiator
DAVID RAPOSA (USA), S&L Farms: 1/84.60
7. VASCO: 2002 KWPN gelding by Andiamo x Clinton
ADAM PRUDENT (FRA), Plain Bay Sales: 4/72.79
8. HALIFAX VAN HET KLUIZEBOS: 2007 Belgian Warmblood by Heartbreaker x Fetiche Du Pas
LORENZO DE LUCA (ITA), Stephex Stables and T&L NV: 4/75.70
9. CHELLO Z: 2000 Zangersheide gelding by Chellano Z x Alme Z
JOSEPHINA NOR LANTZMAN (BRA), Josephina Nor Stables LLC: 4/77.87
10. CONTENDERS XC: 2006 Oldenburg gelding by Concetto x Contender
EMANUEL ANDRADE (VEN), Emanuel Andrade: 4/80.02
11. CARTE BLANCHE: 2007 KWPN gelding by Lupicor x Goodtimes
AMANDA STARBUCK (USA), Starbuck Equestrian: 4/81.96
12. CHAPILOT: 2007 Hanoverian gelding by Chacco Blue x Pilot
RODRIGO LAMBRE (BRA), Mario Onate: 4/82.00
Source: Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.