Thursday, Sep. 21, 2023

Shark Takes A Big Bite Out Of $50,000 Grand Prix At Split Rock



Shark and Australian Rowan Willis looked like they might be the only clean round in the $50,000 FEI 1.45-Meter Grand Prix held during the Columbus International CSI** at the Brave Horse Show Park, in Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 30.

Midway through the class of 41 original starters, theirs was the only fault free round. It was not until Christine McCrea and Dali De Vy, the 29th horse and rider combination to test Anderson Lima’s course, that another faultless performance was turned in. It took another ten rides before Liza Finsness and Shiver added their names to the good list. Chippendale’s Boy DZ and Sloane Coles made it a foursome to return for a jump-off.


Rowan Willis and Shark. Photo by Winslow Photography.

Lima designed a track that was challenging, a tight time allowed, 74 seconds, as well as a triple bar to a double combination felled quite a few competitors.

Willis and Shark, a 10-year-old bay gelding, set the tone of the jump-off, posting a clear round in a quick time of 45.52 seconds. McCrea tried to catch them with Dali DeVy, but while they were penalty free, the time was not fast enough at 46.19 seconds. Chippendale’s Boy DZ and Sloane Coles had the time, 45.05 seconds, but it was at the price of a rail down. Liza Finsness and Shiver also dropped a rail and finished in a time of 48.06 seconds.


“I think this was a good course,” said Willis after the win. “It asked questions all over the place and there were a lot of faults in different areas, not just one jump causing problems. That is the sign of a good course builder.

“Shark is a great horse. I have had him since he was five,” continued Willis. “He is out of the same mare as my good horse Blue Movie, and by Arko III, so he is bred to do the job, and he did the job today.”





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