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BIOGEN MAPLE RIDGE WORLD CUP QUALIFIER DAY 4 (25th May 2024)

The fourth day of the Maple WCQ bore witness to an exciting 1.30m Championship class. Initially, the percentage of competitors proceeding to the jump off looked to be small as several riders were caught out with a rail here or there. The track that the talented Kate Launder set was fair but had an increased technicality that tested the riders’ accuracy and the horses’ rideability. The course, however, rode better and better, and 27 combinations ended up jumping off for the 16 places on offer.
Belinda Martin and the sensitive Branic Cassiopeia, who were out to have a nice confident round, took an early lead, doing an incredible one-stride turn back to number 2, keeping tight everywhere else and galloping to the last, coming home clear in 42.58 seconds, a time that for quite some time seemed unbeatable. Chatan Hendricks and the gorgeous Greta G gave it a go and came home less than a second off the leading time in 43.38. Olivia Garton on Cylana, Neriske Prinsloo-Hill on Van-tastique and Jorja Rohrich on Assegai Cognac who are always speedy had quicker times than Belinda, but each took a rail along the way dropping them out of contention.
Thomas van Rijckevorsel and Callaho Sha Ru Khan, who were 20th to go in the jump off finally stole the lead from Belinda jumping clear and breaking the 42-second barrier. Still on flying form from their victory in the 1.30m Championships at the 334 WCQ, Jenna Odell and her trusty Thoroughbred Finding Troy pulled off another exceptional performance, taking half a second off Thomas’ time and stealing the lead. Last to go was Janine Coetzee on Rotoflo Capital Harrison. The pair jumped a deceptively quick round and were the third contenders to break the 42-second barrier. However, a soft rail along the way dropped them off the podium, and they had to settle for the final place on offer as the quickest four-faulter.
Congratulation to all the competitors.