Devin Ryan and Eddie Blue Jump to Blue in $213,300 National Horse Show Grand Prix
Devin Ryan and Eddie Blue win the $213,300 National Horse Show Grand Prix CSI-4*
Lexington, Ky. – Oct. 31, 2020 – Show jumping reached its pinnacle Halloween evening at the 137th National Horse Show when it hosted the highly-anticipated $213,300 National Horse Show Grand Prix CSI4* within the Alltech Arena. Tested over a masterful pattern from world-renowned course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA), entries from the seven nations of the United States, Great Britain, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, Israel and Brazil battled head-to-head for a shot at substantial prize money. Leading the jump-off from start to finish, Devin Ryan (USA) and LL Show Jumpers LLC’s Eddie Blue turned in a performance that was unparalleled, galloping to an early lead that could not be caught to clinch the lead spot in the victory gallop and the lion’s share of the purse. Earlier in the day, Raleigh Hiler jockeyed Kurt Hiler’s Cassina 64 to the top spot in the $25,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Grand Prix as the lone double-clear partnership.
For the CSI4* class, Jorge fabricated a course fit for the occasion that included 17 jumping efforts up to the 1.60m height spread strategically across the ring. With so much exceptional talent in the field, including Thursday’s Phelps Media Group $72,900 International Welcome Stake CSI4* winner Kent Farrington (USA), McLain Ward (USA), Beezie Madden (USA), Margie Goldstein-Engle (USA), Paul O’Shea (IRL), Daniel Bluman (ISR), Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA), it was anyone’s game headed into the onset of the contest. As the third pair in the original start list, Ryan and Eddie Blue served as the pathfinders with the first clear trip, and seven entries later Mario Deslauriers (CAN) ensured there would be a jump-off with his fault-free effort on Uris De La Roque. Continuing on through the order-of-go, Spencer Smith (USA) riding Quibelle, Kristen Vanderveen (USA) aboard Bull Run’s Risen and Goldstein-Engle on Dicas added more American representation to the tie-breaker round, while O’Shea with Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu and David Blake (IRL) on Keoki qualified on behalf of the Irish. Lillie Keenan (USA) and Fasther also left all the rails in their cups, but incurred one heartbreaking time fault.
Seven combinations bearing the flags for three nations earned eligibility for the second portion of the competition, which showcased another expert pattern from Jorge, this time composed of eight obstacles. Once again leading the way, Ryan piloted Eddie Blue to the pace-setting round in 35.13 seconds with all the fences still upright. Smith directed Quibelle to the second, and ultimately final, foot-perfect trip just one-tenth of a second behind the leaders’ time in 35.26 seconds. Though the rest of the pack chased down Ryan and Eddie Blue, the partner he won a team gold medal with at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games, each duo fell victim to an unlucky rail to incur faults and keep them out of contention. Smith and Gotham Enterprizes LLC’s Quibelle captured the reserve honors, followed by O’Shea and Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu, owned by Machu Picchu Partners LLC, in third place. The Irish team managed to be the quickest of the night in 33.71 seconds, but dropped a single fence. For his victory, Ryan was also pushed to the top of the leaderboard for the Leading Rider Award, presented by Audi of Lexington and Samuel A.B. Boone, for which he earned a $5,000 cash prize as the rider with the most points in the International Jumper section throughout the week. Kristen Vanderveen (USA) was honored as the Leading Lady Jumper Rider.
Immediately preceding the night’s grand finale, the $25,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Grand Prix highlighted the efforts of 24 entries over a technical course of 1.40m to 1.45m fences. The 15-fence initial course, also designed by Jorge, saw six contenders successfully complete the track without any jumping or time faults to move into the jump-off phase of the competition. As the jump-off progressed, all five of the first duos to go knocked a rail somewhere along the course, leaving the door open for the final challengers, Hiler and Cassina 64. Now with just eight obstacles standing between them and victory, the final pair to tackle the track laid down a conservative round that kept all the fences intact, securing the win for Hiler and Cassina 64. The result added to a list of top finishes for Hiler and Cassina 64 at the National Horse Show over the past few days, having already earned fourth place in the $5,000 Amateur Jumpers and second place in the $10,000 class. As the owner of the winning horse, Kurt Hiler was honored with the Jean MacColl Hart Perpetual Memorial Trophy. The 137th National Horse Show will conclude Sunday, November 1 with one of its feature classes, the ASPCA Maclay National Championship, presented by Chansonette Farm. A total of 263 riders will be seen over the first round course, which will kick-off promptly at 6:00 am.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE Devin Ryan (USA) – $213,300 National Horse Show Grand Prix CSI4* winner On the course: “Guilherme definitely put together a nice course tonight and I didn’t think as many were going to go clean. There were some tall verticals and wide oxers out there, and some of the lines rode a little technical. I thought early on was the more technical part of the course, but it took a little bit of scope out there, some of those wide oxers – and he’s a scopey horse. It was my night.” On the jump-off plan: “My plan was not to do eight strides, from one to two; my plan was to do seven but when I walked in the ring I saw the timer sort of in the way to get a good line to line up the first two jumps so I jumped fence one thinking I could get to seven. I didn’t quite see it and I should have committed to it because it was right there so I ended up doing eight. The rest of it was right on plan. My plan was if I felt I got a good jump out of the double, I was going to do the six which was a leave-out, then turn back on the vertical. There was one less stride to the vertical, but it’s quite a tall vertical to be turning back and I thought he was going to be a little flat. My plan was to leave out and do six, then do seven to the vertical. He was really good turning away from the back of the oxers in the middle of the ring there after the last jump and the second-to-last jump in the jump-off. I think that’s where he was a little quicker than some of them, he really turned for me tonight.” On coming back after a break from competition and winning tonight: “I think for anybody, if you’re not in the show ring you get a little rusty. With everything going on and with business, we went to HITS this summer up in Saugerties. I didn’t want to use him up too much, so I did a few shows up there then did the 4* last week in Tryon then brought him here. So really, he did three shows in Saugerties and these two in the fall. He hasn’t done much since Florida. Last year we were hoping to make a short list so I said ‘let’s not overdo it this year and gear him up to see if we can keep on coasting into this winter.’ We will see what happens with Tokyo next year.” On riding in their first indoor show of the season: “He has a great brain. His first indoor show of his life was Washington as an 8-year-old and by April that year we went onto World Cup Finals. He walked right in and jumped around, he didn’t care. I knew from that first indoor event that I ever took him to that was a 4*, that it doesn’t matter what atmosphere you put him in, he’s just a competitive horse.” On their partnership: “I’m a big guy, we come in all shapes and sizes like the horses. He’s a bigger horse and he fits me. He has plenty of blood when he’s in the ring, but when he’s not in the ring he’s actually sometimes a lazy horse. He always steps up a little bit going into the ring. I think for a person like me who is a big, strong guy, it is good to have a horse who can take a little bit more movement, leg or pressure. I think that’s why he suits me.” On what’s next: “I think we will wait and see what’s happening with everything going on in the world right now. There’s a couple 4* classes coming up in Wellington at the end of November that I am thinking about, because the next show after that wouldn’t be until the middle of January. I don’t jump too many smaller classes with him, I try to save his jumps. Because of his brain, he doesn’t need too many warm up classes. He can just jump right in and do what he’s good at.” On showing at the National Horse Show this year: “It was great, everything went smoothly. You had your temperature checked, everyone wore their masks and you felt really safe. Everyone is in a good mood. It doesn’t feel much different except that you don’t have many spectators.” Raleigh Hiler – $25,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Grand Prix winner On the tough competition during the week: “I felt really confident on her. She jumped great the first day and then the second day she jumped even better. The Speedclass yesterday was definitely really technical, and she is a type-y horse and great at turning, so I was really happy that I had her here for this. Since we got second yesterday, I felt amazing going in today. I went 23rd so I was watching the class and it looked like it was a little tough for some people. It was definitely tough, for sure, and she just gave me her all. I couldn’t have asked for more.” On her jump-off strategy: “I was planning on doing six strides for the jump-off from the one-stride to the orange oxer, but then my trainer and I decided to do seven because there were no clears. She will jump great if you give her that little bit of room. I was trying to be quick, but also careful and clear.” On Cassina 64: “Cassina is great. I love her so much. I have had her for about two years now. I’ve done a lot of the High classes and some CSI2* classes on her, so she is one of my best horses that I feel most comfortable on. I was really glad to have her here for that reason, and she is also great at indoors.” On finishing the season with a win: “This is the last show before Florida, so it feels amazing to finish on a high note. I’m actually in college, so for me to fly back and forth is hard. To end on this kind of note, while coming from school, is amazing!”
RESULTS Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Score / R2 Score / Total $213,300 National Horse Show Grand Prix CSI4*: 1. Eddie Blue / Devin Ryan / USA / LL Show Jumpers LLC / 0 | 76.03 / 0 | 35.13 2. Quibelle / Spencer Smith / USA / Gotham Enterprizes LLC / 0 | 76.31 / 0 | 35.26 3. Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu / Paul O’Shea / IRL / Machu Picchu Partners LLC / 0 | 75.09 / 4 | 33.71 4. Keoki / David Blake / IRL / Pine Hollow Farm / 0 | 75.05 / 4 | 35.15 5. Dicas / Margie Engle / USA / Storm RDG, Garber, Show Horses Gladewinds Partners / 0 | 77.14 / 4 | 35.48 6. Bull Run’s Risen / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / Bull Run Jumpers, Inc. / 0 | 76.88 / 4 | 36.00 7. Uris de la Roque / Mario Delauriers / CAN / Aram Ampagoumian LLC / 0 | 75.46 / 4 | 38.58 8. Fasther / Lillie Keenan / USA / Chansonette Farm LLC / 1 | 78.14 9. Carlchen W / Alex Granato / USA / Page Tredennick / 4 | 71.53 10. Gemma W / Daniel Bluman / ISR / Over The Top Stables LLC / 4 | 73.33 11. Captain Cooper / Hilary McNerney / USA / Hilary McNerney / 4 | 73.66 12. Antidote De Mars / Bliss Heers / USA / Bridgeside Farms LLC / 4 | 74.36 $25,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Grand Prix: 1. Cassina 64 / Raleigh Hiler / Kurt Hiler / 0 | 72.950 / 0 | 39.100 2. Zarina De Vidau / Grace Debney / Temple Equestrian LLC / 0 | 67.920 / 4 | 32.411 3. Delia B / Dominic Gibbs / Mountain King Ranch LLC / 0 | 69.056 / 4 | 32.640 4. Efodea / Virginia Bonnie / Nina Bonnie / 0 | 74.711 / 4 | 34.425 5. Diamond D / Natalie Jayne / Natalie Jayne / 0 | 74.010 / 4 | 35.760 6. Waliba VDL / Elli Yeager / Elli Yeager / 0 | 71.220 / 4 | 36.520 7. Ziezo / Reid Arani / Islay Jumpers LLC / 4 | 68.990 8. Rock Street / Eva Fisherman / Eva Fisherman / 4 | 69.220 9. Kennedy Vd Rechri / Julia Curtis / Julia Curtis / 4 | 69.350 10. Ace / Hallie Grimes / Can We Keep It LLC / 4 | 71.309 11. All In 9 / Kathryn Hall / Kathryn Hall / 4 | 75.990 12. Alania / Sophee Steckbeck / Sophee Steckbeck / 8 | 68.840