Wednesday, Jul. 24, 2024

Jacquin’s Young Jumpers Dominate At Hampton Classic

Lisa Jacquin and her young horses braved one of the Hampton Classic's stormiest days during the $20,000 SHF Enterprises 5-Year-Old Young Jumper Championship and the $30,000 Split Rock Farm 6-Year-Old Young Jumper Champion-ship finals. But despite a muddy, puddle-spotted ring and 30-mph wind gusts toppling jump standards and potted trees, Jacquin claimed top honors in both classes in Bridgehampton, N.Y., Aug. 27-Sept. 3, aboard her 5-year-old, Talisman, and 6-year-old, Amis de Kannan.

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Lisa Jacquin and her young horses braved one of the Hampton Classic’s stormiest days during the $20,000 SHF Enterprises 5-Year-Old Young Jumper Championship and the $30,000 Split Rock Farm 6-Year-Old Young Jumper Champion-ship finals. But despite a muddy, puddle-spotted ring and 30-mph wind gusts toppling jump standards and potted trees, Jacquin claimed top honors in both classes in Bridgehampton, N.Y., Aug. 27-Sept. 3, aboard her 5-year-old, Talisman, and 6-year-old, Amis de Kannan.

“I think all of the horses were a little spooky out there, but that’s one thing that’s really nice about [Talisman]; he’s really brave. He’ll walk into any setting and nothing really bothers him,” said Jacquin. “You could take him into New York City and he would be like, ‘Oh this is cool.’ He’s a good character that way.”

And it took a brave and especially mature 5-year-old to hold his or her own through three rounds of level 5 jumping. Jacquin noted that the wet footing, which contributed to the difficulty, might have shaken the confidence of some of the young horses.

Only the top 15 horses were invited back for the final round. Jacquin easily qualified for both the 5-year-old and 6-year-old divisions, topping the results with the fastest and cleanest performances.

As Talisman and Jacquin took their final trip for the 5-year-old division, they sought to finish with fewer than 4 faults to uphold their top standing. Talisman knew his job and seemed to have fun, leaving every rail untouched, becoming the only horse to post three faultless rounds.

“He’s a stallion, young and cocky. He can do anything,” Jacquin said with a laugh. “But he’s also very careful and has been very consistent all year.”

Carlo Zimmer, of Ferme Beaulieu Farm in Québec, Can., bred Talisman and Jacquin bought the bay stallion (Toulon–Armandine, Alexis Z) last December. “I think he’ll be able to do grand prix level pretty easily. He has the attitude and the jump,” said Jacquin.

She looks forward to competing him next year in the 6-year-old championship and perhaps pulling off another double victory like Amis de Kannan, last year’s 5-year-old champion, did.

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Jacquin also found this Canadian-bred, Dutch Warmblood mare with Laskin (Kannan–Pigala, Sioux de Baugy). She was purchased as a 2-year-old and is now owned by Trestle Tree Farm.

Of the top 15 in the 6-year-old division, four horses advanced without faults into a jump-off.

Kirsten Coe and Tappie put in the first effort but also put a rail in the mud, giving them 4 faults and a 29.98-second finish. David Tromp and Tiffany jumped next but dropped two rails.

The last combination attempting to unseat Jacquin and Amis de Kannan was Tiffany Cornacchio and Blast Off, the horse Amis de Kannan out-jumped in 2005 for the 5-year-old championship. Blast Off and Cornacchio finished in 28.90 seconds, but left with 4 unfortunate faults.

As Amis de Kannan stepped sprightly into the ring, Jacquin worried little. “She’s careful. I just had to go clean. It’s rare she ever has a jump down,” she said. The mare lived up to last year’s title, touching no rails and crossing the finish line in 29.18 seconds.

“I think she’ll be everything,” Jacquin said. “She’s a natural. She’s got scope, she’s careful; a good horse is a good horse.”

In comparison to Talisman, Amis de Kannan is “a bigger and rangier horse. She worries a little bit more than he does and is very aware of her surroundings so I go a little slower with her. But in the end, she’s just a super good horse,” said Jacquin. “I’m lucky to have both of them.”

The 7- and 8-year-old division is still up in the air for Amis de Kannan. Jacquin plans to start her there next year but believes the horse’s talent could take her above and beyond that level before next year’s young jumper finals.

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This year, it was Nos Na Gaoite and Irish rider Michael Kearins who took a piece of $30,000 and FTI Consulting 7- and 8-year-old Young Jumper Champion-ship bragging rights.

Nos Na Gaoite is no stranger to the young jumper winner’s circle. This 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse, bred by Michael Duignan (Cruising–Lucky Ladybird, Ceredigion) earned Ireland’s version of the 5-year-old young jumper championship (Royal Dublin Society) two years ago.

Nos Na Gaoite built a strong foundation under the ride of Irishman Richard Kerns. Then Kearins–who’s been in the United States for 11�2 years and rode for Margie Engle before starting at Heritage Farm for Andre Dignelli–bought the mare last December and brought her across the pond. Since then, only two fences have fallen under Kearins and Nos Na Gaoite throughout the entire season. Needless to say, they left every rail in its cups all three rounds.

By Sunday morning, the sand in jumper ring 2 hadn’t healed much from Saturday’s heavy rain and wind. Still, most of the 7- and 8-year-olds managed strong rides as seven advanced to jump-off. Like Jacquin and her two mounts, Kearins enjoyed the last go for the group.

After five clean efforts in the jump-off, Kearins’ time topped the class. “She is a pleasure to ride and enjoys it,” Kearins said. “She anticipates each move and is very careful.”

After this year’s decorated graduation from the 7-year-old young jumper division, Kearins plans to jump-start Nos Na Gaoite’s show jumping career beyond young jumpers.

Joshua A Walker

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