Thursday, May. 23, 2024

Video: Wireman And Tornado Are Back And Winning After World Cup Final



In their first competition since April’s Longines FEI Show Jumping World Cup Final in Saudi Arabia, Skylar Wireman and Tornado stormed to victory May 18 in the $50,000 Surf & Turf Grand Prix at the Sur & Turf Classic held at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center.

Wireman, 19, and the 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding (Diarado—Chiquitita, Chacco-Blue), with whom she finished 10th in first round of the World Cup Final, were the fastest in a nine-horse jump-off over Michel Vaillancourt’s course on Saturday night, but just by a hair with a less than 0.2-second lead over second-placed Kaitlin Campbell, riding Camille Leblond’s Kaiser Van Het Lambroeck.

“They intentionally left a jump in the way, so you either had to try to go inside to the last line, or you had to go all the way around,” Wireman said. “Everyone went inside, but it definitely tightened up your track. It made it tighter, so it was really down to the wire as to who was going to get the win because the track was so similar for everybody! I thought [Vaillancourt] did a really good job course designing.”

Skylar Wireman and Tornado topped a nine-horse jump-off to win the $50,000 Surf & Turf Grand Prix on May 18 at Los Angeles Equestrian Center. McCool Photography Photos

When Wireman and Tornado entered the Equidome at Los Angeles Equestrian Center as the final combination to return for the short course, Campbell held the lead with a time of 32.97 seconds. 

Wireman’s jump-off track closely mirrored Campbell’s, but as Wireman flew over the final white oxer, the crowd erupted into applause as the timers flashed 32.83 seconds.

Watch side-by-side videos of Wireman’s and Campbell’s jump-off rounds:

“Tornado was awesome,” Wireman said of the gelding she has been partnered with for roughly a year. “He was so good at World Cup, and I just wanted to make sure that he was all good and had a nice, easy class.”


In Riyadh, Wireman opted to retire Tornado before the third round of the Final, feeling the final round asked a bit too much of the horse for his age and relative lack of experience. His performance in his first show back Saturday helped Wireman confirm the wisdom of that decision.

“I think that horse just has the biggest heart in the world,” she said. “He just wants to please. He tries his hardest, and he always wants to learn. He tries to soak it all in like a sponge, so it’s a really great characteristic about him. In Riyadh, he learned a lot. Certainly, the jumps were bigger and wider, and now, I feel like I tapped into a whole new horse with him. He came back [from Riyadh] with so much good knowledge and is just jumping even better now. I’m really proud of him.”

With Wireman taking the win, Campbell was second, and Camilo Rueda was third with his own Indus Van Het Keysereyck (33.738 seconds).

“He came back [from Riyadh] with so much good knowledge and is just jumping even better now,” Wireman said of the experience 10-year-old Tornado gained jumping at the Longines FEI World Cup Final (Saudi Arabia). “I’m really proud of him.”

All three riders were joined in the awards presentation by the staff at Blenheim EquiSports who worked tirelessly to move the Surf & Turf Classic from the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano, California, to the Los Angeles Equestrian Center on short notice, after the original venue was closed due to stormwater management issues that had not been abated. Show management announced over the weekend that they have reached an agreement with Orange County Coastkeeper that will allow competition to resume at Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park.

“I thought Blenheim did a fantastic job putting the show on,” Wireman said. “I did the first week, and I was only planning on bringing one horse back the second week. I ended up bringing five back. I was thrilled with the first week and had a lot of fun. The crowd was great. They did such a good job making it special. Everyone showed up from around the city and came to cheer—horse people, non-horse people. I thought they did a really good job, and L.A. did a really good job with everything.”

For full results of the $50,000 Surf & Turf Classic Grand Prix, click here.



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