October 20, 2011-- Mario Deslauriers rode Cella, owned by Jane Clark of New York, NY to victory in the $30,000 Pennsylvania National "Big Jump" Open Jumper class, sponsored by M & T Bank, at the 66th Annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show on Thursday evening.
"Jane has been so great to give me all these nice horses," said Deslauriers also from New York City. "This is my first show indoors with her and she did great. She can jump anything."
For a while it looked like no one would jump anything clear on the Steve Stephens designed course, but finally Charlie Jayne of Elgin, IL, going 22nd out of the field of 32, left all the rails up on Waldman Z, owned by Pony Lane Farm of Bluffdale, UT. Deslauriers made it a contest also going clear and created a need for a jump-off.
Jayne went first in the jump-off and left the door for open for Deslauriers knocking three rails down out of the eight jumping efforts for 12 faults. Deslauriers gave everyone a scare including him by knocking down two rails with one fence still to go.
"I watched Charlie and I knew I had a three rail cushion, but I didn't expect to have two myself, so I said 'oh boy!' to myself going into the last fence. I better make sure she picks up her legs going into the last fence!"
Deslauriers felt that he was at a slight disadvantage because he went late in the order, which left little time between the first round and the jump-off.
"She was a little tired because I didn't have too much time between the two rounds," said Deslauriers. "But she got her breath back and it worked out great."
Cara Raether had the fastest of the one time fault rounds for third place on Saskia 269, owned by Trelawny Farm LLC of Bedford, NY.
Competition at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg continues through October 22 with Saturday's featured event, the $75,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix de Penn National.