Harrisburg, Pa., Oct. 20
Charlie Jayne made Mario Deslauriers’ job a bit easier in the $40,000 Big Jump at the Pennsylvania National.
They were the only two out of 32 starters to quality for the jump-off, and Jayne had to jump off first with Pony Lane Farm’s Waldman Z. The bay gelding got a bit careless in the jump-off, and the arena echoed with thud after thud as three rails hit the ground.
Jayne hadn’t set the bar high, but when a few thuds sounded during Deslauriers’ round on Cella as well, he started to get nervous. “Charlie did me the favor of giving me a three-rail cushion, but I didn’t expect to have two myself!” he said.
“She didn’t have much time between the two rounds because I’d gone late in the first round. So she was a bit tired, and I didn’t get her revved back up. Coming to the last, I said to myself, ‘I’d better make sure she picks up her legs over this oxer!’ And it was a big oxer,” Deslauriers explained.
But Cella tucked her gray legs up tight, and Deslauriers finished with an 8-fault round more than 5 seconds slower than Jayne’s.
Deslauriers is very excited about Cella. This was the first indoor show for the Belgian Warmblood mare. “For a big horse, she’s very adjustable. She’d got a lot of blood, so she’s not a lethargic horse. She’s easy to handle even on a tight course,” he said. “She’s very scopey, careful and straightforward. She’s got lots of power and the whole package is there.”
Jane Clark bought the 9-year-old (Cento—Usha van’t Roosakker) this winter. She’d been ridden to the 1.50-meter level by Belgian rider Kristof Cleeren. Deslauriers showed her at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (Fla.) and then at the Spruce Meadows (Alberta) venue this summer. Deslauriers plans to take Cella to Europe this winter for more indoor showing.
Cella wears a nose-net, which was passed on by her former rider. “She hates bugs, so she wears it when she’s outside. When we bought her, they told us to keep it on. It gives her a little bit of comfort. So we just kept it on for indoors; it’s part of her routine,” Deslauriers said.
Check back in on Sunday to see how Cella and Deslauriers fare in the $75,000 Grand Prix de Penn National CSI-W.