Monday, Jul. 22, 2024

Hot Bobo Can’t Be Caught At The Lexington Cosequin CCI4*-S

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Lexington, Ky.—April 30

Heading into show jumping for the Lexington Cosequin CCI4*-S, Karl Slezak wasn’t sure how his sometimes spooky mare Hot Bobo would handle the crowds in the packed Rolex Stadium, especially going in last as the overnight leader. But rather than be worried by the electric atmosphere, she rose to the occasion, putting in one of nine double clear rounds over Steve Stephens’ track to take the title.

“She handled it amazing, even when I was doing victory gallop being so close to the crowds cheering,” said the Canadian. “She was just up. I was pretty excited about it. Definitely going forward [I’ll be] very confident with her in any championships or in that situation.

“She felt great in the warm-up,” he added. “Any time she show jumps after cross-country she’s much sharper and a bit amped up. That really gives you a good feeling going into the ring, thinking if I make a mistake she’s ready to shuffle and do the fancy footwork. I was pretty excited going in there. She didn’t let me down.”

Karl Slezak and Hot Bobo. Kimberly Loushin Photos

Hot Bobo, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (Arkansas VDL—Taneys Leader XX, Supreme Leader XX), was the only horse to finish on her dressage score, 29.3. She and Slezak won over Tamie Smith and Solaguayre California, and Sydney Elliott and QC Diamantaire claimed third. 

Slezak headed into the final day just 0.7 points in the lead over Smith.

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“I definitely was nervous, but I tried to put as little pressure on myself as possible,” said Slezak, who said he slept quite well after a bit too much post-cross-country celebrating. “What will be will be. It usually works out better that way. She just felt great. She was more confident going into the ring. She just felt great, so I was definitely more pumped going into the ring.”

Slezak teamed up with the mare six years ago, and just moved her up to advanced in February. He said he should have done more with her last year but he was focused on another top horse—Fernhill Wishes—who was based in Europe for the season.

Tamie Smith and Solaguayre California.

Smith and Solaguayre California added nothing to their score to finish in second.

“When I show jump my mare on the third day, she’s always much better,” Smith said. “She’s quite spicy. She was a show jumper before she evented. Shockingly she’s oddly spooky. I went from the [fourth fence] before I rolled back to [Fence] 5 and she darted sideways at flowers. She’s so funny.”

Sydney Elliott and QC Diamantaire.

Elliott was thrilled to move up from fifth to third with a double clear round.

“He’s very quiet,” she said of QC Diamantaire. “The last two years he got quite nervous going in [the Rolex stadium]. This year, his third year in a row, in this ring he was more like himself. He was very settled. I was thrilled.”

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Both Smith and Elliott used the division as their last preparatory run before heading to Europe. Smith pointed out that having the four-star division alongside the feature competition was a boon to horses in her situation.

“I wanted to make sure she handled all of this well,” she said. “We have the month of May to decompress, then we’ll go to Luhmühlen [Germany].”

Tamie Smith and Solaguayre California.
Liz Halliday-Sharp finished fourth with Cooley Be Cool after dropping a rail and adding some time to their overnight score.
Dan Kreitl was thrilled to jump clear over the fences—adding just 1.2 time penalties—to finish fifth with Carmango.
Jacob Fletcher and Fabian finished sixth.
Phillip Dutton and Azure were seventh.
James Alliston was eighth with Karma.

Looking for more info? Check out what you need to know here.

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The Chronicle is on-site at the Kentucky Horse Park with reporters to bring you everything you need to know at coth.com, so you don’t have to miss a minute of the action. You can find all of our coverage from the week here. You can also follow along on InstagramTwitter and Facebook. Be sure to read our May 22 Kentucky Results issue for more in-depth coverage and analysis of the event. 

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