October 9, 2016 -- Audrey Coulter and Capital Colnardo entered the jump-off with a plan and executed it to perfection to claim the win at the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Sacramento at the Sacramento International Horse Show CSI3*-W. Capital Colnardo, an 11-year-old stallion owned by Copernicus Stables, LLC, was all business and exuded confidence coming off a win earlier in the week. “He’s such a special horse. He can jump anything. He gives me all the confidence in the world. We have been working on the speed a little bit because he wasn’t the fastest to begin with. He picks up on it quickly. This is our first major win and I am very happy,” Audrey stated of her ride. Click on the right pointing arrow below to hear more of what she had to say.
Course designer Guilherme Jorge’s creation was one of tight turns and technical elements that truly challenged the competitors. The triple combination took center stage with an oxer, then two strides to another oxer and one stride to a vertical. The 16-fence course was set to exemplify athleticism and skill. Guilherme’s course saw rails fall over several elements, proving it was a well thought out and planned track for the indoor setting. The compact course rewarded the athletes’ rideability, speed and precision. Conversely, it penalized the horse and rider combinations that exhibited even the slightest hesitation or error.
Under the lights and gathered in the stands, spectators had incredible visibility to watch as the tough course caused a bit of drama for some of the riders. Anthony and Ayma de la Demi Lune had an unfortunate martingale break upon entering for competition. After picking up 16 faults and time penalties, the pair would not make it to the jump off. Guy Thomas and Jonkheer Z made sparks fly when Jonkheer’s hind shoes clashed and gave a flash of light in the sand. The first clear round was given by a stellar trip from Christopher Surbey and Arezzo. With two horses retiring, and gravity’s unrelenting hand taking a toll on the rails, the course only allowed for eight to continue to the jump-off.
Christopher, with a stunning first round, came in with winning on his mind. He and Arezzo were careful and fast with a first clear jump-off and a time to beat of 42.47 seconds. Although Georgina Bloomberg and Lilli were clear, their time was not enough to edge out Christopher and Arezzo. With the eye on the prize, Olympian Eduardo Menezes from Brazil atop Catalina were not going to take the cautious route. They came in with speed and nimbleness to post a clear round and a time of 40.84 to take over the lead. Guido Klatte jun. and Qinghai had a refusal which knocked them out of contention, but a great effort was seen from the scopey little chestnut.
The 20-year-old stallion, Flexible, and Richard Fellers entered the ring to applause and accolades. The horse and rider pair didn’t bat an eye. The veteran couple showed the crowd what teamwork between horse and rider is all about. With an amazing round off the inside track, and sneaky speed, the team had the fastest time of all with a 39.74 seconds. An unfortunate rail coming out of the two-stride combination on the outside wall put them sadly out of the win.
With a previous victory already in their pocket from earlier in the week, Audrey and Capital Colnardo entered the jump-off with confidence. With his rhythmical breathing heard throughout the building, these two tackled the jump-off with gusto. Taking a sharp inside turn, the crowd knew these two were headed for a fast round. A gallop to the last fence and a jump perfectly out of stride clinched the win. Edging out Menezes by 0.9 seconds, Audrey and Capital Colnardo had secured the victory. "When I got on him to warm up for tonight’s competition, I could feel he had the fight in him for tonight," said Audrey after the class.
A California native, Audrey splits her time between Belgium and San Francisco. “It’s really great to be here, back on home turf,” said Audrey. “I grew up coming to this show all the time, so it’s nice to be back and have a win.”
Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Sacramento was the first major win for the duo and a qualifier for next spring's Longines World Cup™ Jumping Final in Omaha, Nebraska March 29—April 2.