Wednesday, Jul. 24, 2024

Watch Why They Won: 6 Years Later, Ladriano Z Repeats In Hampton Classic CSI5*

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Six years after his first win in the class, Ladriano Z repeated the feat in the $425,000 Longines Hampton Classic CSI5* Grand Prix, in the process making Daniel Bluman among the winningest riders of the Hampton Classic Horse Show’s marquee class.

Only two horse-and-rider combinations made it to the jump-off Sunday in Bridgehampton, New York: 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games team gold medalist Adrienne Sternlicht of the United States and two-time Olympic veteran Bluman of Israel. 

In the end, only Bluman finished on a double-clear score, claiming the Hampton Classic Grand Prix title for the second time aboard his 2022 FEI World Championship and 2023 FEI World Cup Finals mount, Ladriano Z. Bluman is now one of four riders to have won the grand prix on three occasions, having topped the field in 2017 with Ladriano Z and 2021 with Gemma W.

Daniel Bluman and Ladriano Z. Kind Media Photo

The class began with 40 starters representing 12 countries tackling Alan Wade’s highly technical track, which featured 17 jumping efforts set at 1.60 meters. Spectators waited a long time for a clear round, as the first 30 riders racked up faults around the ring. 

Sternlicht was the first to successfully jump clear aboard Starlight Farms 1 LLC’s 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Faquitol-S (Verdi TN—A Capitola-S, Carolus H). Bluman wasn’t far behind with the 15-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Lawito—Gambelle, Baloubet Du Rouet) he co-owns with Blue Star Investments and Over The Top Stables LLC, guaranteeing the crowd a jump-off. 

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“Ladriano Z is a veteran of the sport,” Bluman said. “He’s been around and felt amazing the other day in the qualifier. I actually like when the course goes with not too many clear rounds. Ladriano is a big horse, and I had to take a lot of risks to try to win, so I was actually more motivated to see just Adrienne’s clear round before me.

“Adrienne had a beautiful round, so I just focused on what I had to do,” he continued. “I had to ride a very fast track around the course in case I knocked one down so I could still finish in second. Ladriano is a very special horse, and it’s been rare in his entire career that he has more than one rail down. I was very confident and very grateful for this horse today.”

Watch their winning jump-off round, courtesy of ClipMyHorse.TV:

Sternlicht’s partnership with Faquitol-S only began at the end of 2022, and despite being an older horse, he completed his first five-star grand prix with her in April. 

“He’s the only horse I have jumped to this level this year,” Sternlicht said. “I think he keeps getting better. For me, it’s so rewarding to see the horse improve, and it gives me more confidence in myself because I believed in him from the start. I was just thrilled for him and my team today. 

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“I think the course was pretty delicate everywhere,” she added. “Alan is such a master at course building, and part of the reason is because every single fence comes into play out there. That’s a huge testament to his designs.”

Finishing third with the fastest 4-fault round in 79.70 seconds was Venezuela’s Luis Fernando Larrazabal aboard Condara, an 11-year-old Mecklenburg mare owned by Victoria Heurtematte. 

Prior to the grand prix, spectators were treated to a special occasion in the retirement ceremony for show jumper McLain Ward’s legendary 17-year-old Belgian mare HH Azur. Ward announced “Annie’s” retirement earlier this summer following an eight-year partnership that spanned 25 FEI grand prix wins at the four- and five-star levels. Among her many accolades, Annie helped Ward secure team silver at the 2016 Olympic Games, gold at the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup Finals in Omaha, and team silver at the 2017 FEI Nations Cup Final. 

“She always had a real regal way about her, which is why I call her the queen,” Ward said. “I’ve been lucky enough to have some great top horses. She’s in the top two or three at the very least; one could even argue that she’s the best. I’m very privileged to have gotten this time with her.” 

See complete class results here.

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