Sunday, May. 19, 2024

Watch Why They Won: Holloway Sets The Pace At Old Salem

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In their first outing since winning bronze at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final (Nebraska) in April, Hunter Holloway and Pepita Con Spita proved uncatchable in Sunday’s $200,000 Empire State Grand Prix CSI4* at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows (New York). Using their longtime partnership to her full advantage, Holloway sliced and diced her way to victory with the 12-year-old Westphalian (DSP Con Spirt—Pamina, Come On) mare owned by Hays Investment Corp. (Get to know “Pepita” here.)

A field of 31 competitors representing 11 countries initially tackled a snaking, 1.55-meter track set by Ireland’s Alan Wade. Nine moved on to jump off for the top prize, with Holloway first up as pathfinder. 

“I had plenty of fast riders coming after me, so my plan was to just lay down the fastest, cleanest round I could,” Holloway said. “I know my horse very well, and we have a great partnership.”

Hunter Holloway and Pepita Con Spita won the $200,000 Empire State Grand Prix CSI4* on May 21 in North Salem, N.Y. SEL Photography Photo

The pair jumped clean and set 39.40 seconds as the time to beat. That score held through all the riders to follow, with only Colombia’s Mark Bluman coming close to catching it with his time of 39.97 seconds. 

“She’s naturally quick over the ground; I have a lot of trust in her and just put pedal to the metal today,” Holloway said of Pepita. “I did get a little lucky in the first round with only a light rub on the final line, but she was fantastic. I couldn’t be happier.”

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Bluman took second aboard Ubiluc, Over The Top Stables LLC’s 11-year-old Mecklenburg gelding. Although faster than her competitors over the initial phase, American Mimi Gochman secured third place after stopping the clock in 41.50 seconds during the jump-off with Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s 13-year-old Holsteiner mare Celina BH

Watch Holloway’s winning jump-off round, courtesy of ClipMyHorse.tv:

See complete results here.

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