George Coutlis and CT’s Callaho Lord Chris were the first combination to make their way around Friday’s 1.50m Grand Prix track. The pair made light work of what was expected to be a tough and technical track, ending with 4f. As we soon learnt, the track showed no mercy, with the jumps coming in quick succession and allowing little time for recovery. A few riders chose to call it a day after having early rails, saving their horses for another day.
Tamara Rueda and the electric Regenesis Vet Callaho Liantos gave us our first clear, followed quickly by Martyn Swanepoel and Callaho Falvio, and Hannah Garton and PMH Pollyanna.
With only three clears at the halfway mark, the four faulters looked hopeful of a chance in the jump-off, as the top 25% of the 48 starters would go through to the second round.
However, the clears came flying in: Jan Kleynhans and Epol Chilliwack, Michelle Fleming on Plasticolours Masterbatch Chogori with a masterfully timed round, Ashlee Healy and Hausberger’s Eldo (who knocked out her husband Ronnie’s 4f round), Bronwyn Dos Santos on both Capital Levubu and Bibisi; and Nicola Sime-Riley on her last two rides, Rivendell Lamborghini and Insaghi DB (a fan favourite at Maple).
The first of our clears to jump off were Nicola and Rivendell Lamborghini. The young stallion in only his second 1.50m class tipped the first rail, but there are certainly big things to come from this impressive son of Callaho’s Lissabon.
The unicorn that is Capital Levubu gave us the first double clear in his usual magical way.
Michelle Fleming then stole the lead on the lovely Fidin in a time of 43.55.
Hannah Garton and Pollyanna gave it their best and would have taken a flying lead with a time of 38:45 but unfortunately took the back rail of the oxer coming out the double.
As we have come to expect, Tamara and Liantos gave it a go and were on a flying clear until an unfortunate miscommunication at the last fence.
Last to go in the class were Bronwyn Dos Santos and Bibisi; they had looked as if they were in a class of their own from the first round and surely proved they were, cantering effortlessly (and perhaps surprisingly to Bronwyn) into the lead in 42.00 secs!
It truly is amazing to witness the calibre of horses we currently have here in SA!
1st Bronwyn Dos Santos & Bibisi
2nd Michelle Flemming & Plasticolors Masterbatch Fidin
3rd Bronwyn Dos Santos & Capital Levubu
4th Ashlee Healy & Hausberger’s Eldo
5th Nicola Sime Riley & Sunny Park Stables Insaghi DB
6th Hannah Garton & PMH Pollyanna
7th Nicola Sime Riley & Rivendell Lamborghini
8th Jan Kleynhans & Epol Chilliwack
9th Lisa Williams & Protein Feeds Campbell
10th Lisa Williams & Regenesis Vet Perouges
11th Martyn Swanepoel & Callaho Favlio
12th Tamara Rueda & Regenesis Vet Callaho Liantos
13th George Coutlis & NCT’s Callaho Lord Chris