Santiago Lambre and Comtess 202 Claim Victory in $100,000 1.50m Grand Prix CSI3* at SRJT Aiken International
Crowds gathered Saturday at Bruce’s Field to watch the venue’s second-ever FEI Grand Prix as the Split Rock Jumping Tour (SRJT) returned to Aiken to host the $100,000 1.50m Grand Prix CSI3*. The feature event also marked the conclusion of the week’s FEI competition as thirty combinations set forth to challenge Peter Holmes’ (USA) technical track. It was once again an international victory at the SRJT Aiken International as Brazil’s Santiago Lambre raced to the top spot aboard Mario Onate’s Comtess 202.
The first-round track, consisting of 16 jumping efforts, challenged athletes with several delicate verticals including a triple combination (vertical-vertical-oxer) ahead of the final oxer on course. Michelle Braun (USA) was the first to answer all of the questions over the fences with Split Rock Farm’s Quinn, but crossed the timers just over the 83-second time-allowed on 83.17 to finish on one time fault. A clear effort was not delivered until sixteenth in the order when Brooke Kemper (USA) entered the ring with Apreggi after which four combinations would follow.
Jump-off competition saw five combinations return to contest Holmes’ shortened track of 7 elements. First to go was Kemper, who was also in jump-off contention during Thursday’s $50,000 Restylane Welcome CSI3*. The pair succumbed to an early rail on course, leaving the field wide open for the remaining four competitors. After a double-clear effort from Chloe Reid (USA) and Crossover 4, Thursday’s winner Aaron Vale (USA) tried his hand aboard Elusive. Vale, a crowd favorite in Aiken, crossed the timers at 38.14 seconds to take over the provisional lead. However, his position wouldn’t last as Lambre entered the ring next with Comtess 202, a 10-year-old Westphalian mare by Comme Il Faut 5. Utilizing not only immense speed between fences, Lambre also impressed crowds with tight turns in all areas of the course, finishing it off with a long gallop to the last fence to stop the clocks at 36.87 seconds. Jonathan McCrea (USA) was last to go with Fantasy BB, and despite a good fight through the course, fell just shy of Lambre’s time to ultimately claim second place on the podium, with Vale ending in third.
First I would like to say thank you to Derek for putting on these shows. They are always at the best facilities and well done so I always try to make it to these shows,”
The grand prix today was a really nice design – there were not so many clears and so five in the jump-off was perfect for a three-star. Jump-offs are always tough and I just try to do my best and today it paid off. I was glad that Aaron [Vale] didn’t go after me, because if he goes last he always finds places to take the time off. It’s important to go at the end and today was my lucky day for that! It’s wonderful weather here and it was so nice to have a supportive crowd so I just want to say thank you to everyone and all the sponsors.”
The Aiken International CSI3* will continue into Sunday, November 14 for its final day of competition which will highlight the $20,000 Restylane 1.35m National Prix scheduled for 1 p.m.
The final stop of the year for the Split Rock Jumping Tour will see FEI Jumping World Cup™ competition take center stage at the Fort Worth International CSI4*-W in December while the season will continue into 2022 with our newest location in Sarasota, hosting a CSI2* rating and taking place January 26-30. Visit our website to learn more about our exciting tour and to complete entries for all tour stops.