Lexington, KY – Nov. 5, 2022 – The road to Omaha became a bit clearer Saturday, as the world’s best show jumpers took on the $215,900 Longines FEI Show Jumping World Cup Lexington CSI4*-W at the 2022 National Horse Show. The highly anticipated event stole the spotlight Saturday evening, with 35 horse-and-rider combinations representing over ten countries competing for the top prize in the third leg of the North American series. In the end, it was Daniel Bluman (ISR) and Ladriano Z who took home the Longines timepiece and secured the top spot after an impressive double-clear effort.

Daniel Bluman & Ladriano Z

Round one kicked off at 7:00 p.m. on the dot, with Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Risen first out the in-gate. Vanderveen and the 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding took down a rail on the first fence, and subsequently retired for the evening, setting an ominous tone in the Alltech Arena that kept the crowd at the edge of their seats all night long. The course set forth would prove to be challenging for all athletes, as many horse-and-rider combinations struggled to tackle the track designed by Guilherme Jorge (USA), which featured a handful of sharp bending-line variations, and one particularly difficult triple, all asking riders to account for their horse’s adjustability as they approached every obstacle.

Daniel Bluman & Ladriano Z

As the night progressed, more and more riders began to experience trouble with Jorge’s tricky track. Of particular difficulty was the triple combination, which saw many rails down at fences seven-A and seven-B. Jos Verlooy (BEL) and Igor were lost in translation before the base of fence nine and failed to take the long spot, sending the pair crashing through the triple bar. The final oxer proved to be problematic for the athletes as well, causing what was a fault-free round to end in disappointment for Aaron Vale, Mark Bluman, Heather Caristo-Williams, Jessica Leto, and Shane Sweetnam, who had a nearly perfect ride before his mount, James Kann Cruz, nicked the back rail of the final fence, eliminating his hopes of bringing home the blue.

Nick Dello Joio & Cornet’s Cambridge

The audience wasn’t able to witness a clear round until Devin Ryan (USA) entered the Alltech. Coming off his win from Thursday evening’s international speed class, Ryan cleared the course with ease aboard Eddie Blue. Alish Cunnife (USA) followed up with the second all clear round just six rides later aboard Vivaldi Du Theil. Santiago Lambre (BRA) and Chacco Blue II followed suit with the third clear round, back to back with Cunnife. At the conclusion of round one, the original 35 horse-and-rider combinations had been whittled down to a slim seven pairs for the jump-off.

Tension mounted as the world’s best show jumpers re-entered the Alltech Arena for round two. Ryan and the 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Eddie Blue, came back into focus at the start of the jump-off, setting the bar high and posting a double clear round time of 37.84 seconds. Cunniffe was second to contest, but opted to retire and save her 13-year-old Selle Francais gelding for another day after the first few fences. Lambre and the 15-year-old stallion contested third, crossing the Longines timers at 37.55 seconds, but knocked a rail at fence 12-A to land the pair in fifth place at the conclusion of the class.

Hunter Holloway & Pepita Con Spita

Bluman and Over The Top Stables’ 14 year-old Zangersheide gelding crossed under the Longines and National Horse Show arc prepared to give the Lexington crowd a show, as he secured the win with a jump-off time of 35.13 seconds. “My plan was to do a little bit of what I saw [Devin Ryan] did and try to edge him in the turns. Then when I was about to go in, my cousin Mark told me to do nine [strides] from the wall to the liverpool, and that’s pretty much how it worked out,” explained Bluman. “Jump number three was a very difficult jump in the jump-off because the horse spooks at the wall. My plan was not to take a big risk, but then I just did.”

It was a battle for the top three as Holloway and her 11-year-old Westphalian mare and Dello Joio and his 10-year-old Warmblood gelding fought for the top prize. Crossing the timers at 35.99 seconds and 35.47 seconds respectively, the duos were only able to shake up the second and third place rankings. The final ride of the night went to show jumping veteran Pessoa and his nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding, who finished the class with a time of 38.52 seconds and four faults to ultimately land them in sixth place behind Lambre.

Daniel Bluman & Ladriano Z

Competition at the 2022 National Horse Show will conclude Sunday, November 5th with the ASPCA Maclay Finals, starting at 7:00 a.m. (EST).

RESULTS

Horse / Rider / Country / Owner

  1. Ladriano Z / Daniel Bluman / Over The Top Stables LLC / 0 / 35.130
  2. Cornet’s Cambridge / Nicholas Dello Joio / The Berry Group LLC / 0 / 35.470
  3. Pepita Con Spita / Hunter Holloway / Hays Investment Corp. / 0 / 35.990
  4. Eddie Blue / Devin Ryan / LL Show Jumpers LLC / 0 / 37.840
  5. Chacco Blue II / Santiago Lambre / Santiago Lambre / 4 / 37.550
  6. Quick Step / Rodrigo Pessoa / Paseo Farms LLC / 4 / 38.420
  7. Vivaldi Du Theil / Ailish Cunniffe / Graylish LLC / WD


FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE

Daniel Bluman

On the jump-off:

“I had the chance to be able to watch Devin [Ryan] go. I thought he was very fast from what I was able to see, so my plan was to do a little bit of what I saw he did and try to edge him in the turns. Then, when I was about to go in, my cousin Mark told me to do nine [strides] from the wall to the liverpool, and that’s pretty much how it worked out. Jump number three was a very difficult jump in the jump-off because the horse spooks at the wall. So my plan was not to take a big risk, but then I just did.”

On the crowd and atmosphere of the National Horse Show:

“It’s always nice to see people in the crowd, the kids having fun and cheering. Many years ago we were those kids watching the National Horse show and cheering for the riders that we liked. So it’s always cool when people show up and the class turns out to be an exciting one like it was tonight.”

On World Cup Finals:

“My plan is actually to hopefully take both [horses]. I have never jumped a World Cup Finals. And as much as I love championships, I think that they do require quite a bit of the horses. It’s a lot of jumping. If I do go, I will go with with the both of them – that will be my plan.”​​

On Ladriano Z:

“During COVID the horse actually got injured. He wasn’t really doing that much, but that’s how the sport works. He was out for a while and we weren’t really sure what was gonna happen with his career. Last year [the National Horse Show] was the first Grand Prix he jumped, and he finished third. Since then he’s had a pretty good run and been very consistent. He doesn’t show that often – this is the tenth horse show he’s jumped this year, and it’s good to have a win. He’s been second [place] multiple times and third, but tonight he won. It’s great for the horse, I’m really happy that he gets to put his name on a prestigious horse show like this one.”

Nick Dello Joio

On the jump-off:

“My horse has a big stride so I can open him up, but the consequences are in the turn. He got down the five [stride line] really easy and I made a tighter turn, but I had to slow him down, so I think I lost a little time there. I got down the nine easy and then actually slipped, but that might have helped me a little bit for the next oxer. He made a big effort coming out and landed a little bit heavy. But I couldn’t be happier with this year and this horse’s progression – second in his first world cup! I’m really happy”

On the crowd and atmosphere of the National Horse Show:

“A lot of people turned up today and made the event that much more exciting.”

On World Cup Finals:

“We haven’t really decided if that’s our plan. I mean, this horse is in its first year really jumping higher than 1.45m. This obviously was a good start. If next week goes well in Toronto, [World Cup Finals] might be something we look at, and if that’s the case, maybe we will go to Fort Worth, and then think Live Oak. But as of right now, we’re not just trying to show him to get points, it’s more for Indoors. We were looking at it as a good experience for the horse in his development, and he just so happens to have had a great show. But it’s not that we’re trying to qualify. If we do, and it falls like that, then we’ll look at it… but that’s our plan for now.”

Hunter Holloway

On the jump-off:

“My plan might have been a little bit different just because [Pepita Con Spita] is a medium strided horse. I was planning six strides at the first one but bowed it off the left lead. That way, I could have a tighter turn back to the wall. I think that turn worked out really well for me. But maybe I was a little slower after the liverpool. And that turn, I did lose a little traction there, then I tried to be as fast as I could. But these boys really laid it down today. And they did a great job.”

On the crowd and atmosphere the National Horse Show:

“I was very happy with it, I think the more people we can get to watch the sport and the more we put it out there, the more fun it’s going to be for us. I really enjoy jumping for a crowd, and I’m sure these guys do too. And the horses always seem to rise to the occasion.”

On World Cup Finals:

“I just have one horse, so I try and space [competing] out a little better, but I also want to get my points out of the way early so I’m not worried about it because Omaha [NE] for me is only two hours from home. So that would be really cool to be able to qualify for [World Cup Finals] and be able to compete there this coming year. I’ll give my horse a week off, go to Vegas and hopefully have a good result there. And then the last one we’ll do will be Live Oak [Ocala, FL].”

Guiherme Jorge, Course designer: 

“Well, first of all, it’s always a big honor to build the courses for the National Horse Show. I think one of the most important things about our sport is the history and tradition. Whenever I put on the course plan that it’s the 139th edition [of the horse show]…that’s just fantastic. Of course, the facilities here at the Kentucky Horse Park and this arena are incredible. It gives a lot of space, but you really have to balance if you’re building [courses] outdoors or indoors, like the way you’re building the size of the jumps.

The quality of the riders is very good; it’s always a fine line to get a good number for the jump off, but give them a good experience. The sport is evolving and the quality of the horses and riders is changing. If you look at what they did in the jump off, the line from one to two was 26.5 meters, or 85 feet. In the jump off, they all did five strides. I would say that six or eight years ago, that would be a six stride – so we have to factor all the changes that have been happening in the sport.I think it was a very difficult course for the group, and I’m very happy with the result.”

Bill Weeks, Chairman of the Board of Directors 

“I was pretty happy with the audience, and I think what we saw tonight is that when you have a venue like this, and a great course designer and great athletes, you get good sport. So I loved the class, I thought it was great.”

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