Sharn Wordley and Guy Thomas have been in the winners’ circle on either side of the United States at the weekend with each celebrating a Grand Prix victory.
Sharn and Any headed home the $50,000 Hats Off Rood & Riddle 1.50m Grand Prix in Kentucky with Guy and his stallion Jonkheer Z taking out the $35,000 1.45m Silver Tour Grand Prix at the Showpark Racing Festival in California.
The Hats Off Rood & Riddle Grand Prix was the feature event of the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, with nine qualifying to come back for the jump-off over the Marina Azeveo (BRA) designed course. Sharn was early out aboard his other horse Rye val de Mai, going double clear in 41.902 seconds. Last to go in the field was Any, the 11-year-old Holsteiner mare he has competed aboard since just May. The Kiwi combo flew around the course, coming home all clear in 39.876 seconds to take the win with Sharn also taking sixth place with Rye val de Mai.
“She was really good tonight,” said Sharn. “She is a really promising young horse who is fairly new to my string.” The two had previously been second in a Grand Prix and he was confident she had a win in her.
“I took her to Tryon and I jumped her under the lights a little too quickly and she got a little fazed by it just because she hadn’t done it much. I gave her one little school at home and she was back to being right. She’s smart, careful, scopey and obviously very fast.”
Sharn tipped his hat to Tommy-John Russell who had produced the horse. “I love the horse,” he said. “It is a very exciting horse for the team.”
He is now considering taking Any to the $1 HITS Million.
On the other side of the country, Guy Thomas and his 17-year-old stallion Jonkheer Z were winning the $35,500 1.45m Silver Tour grand Prix at the FEI CSI2* at Showpark.
Eight of the 36-starters came back for the jump-off over the Anderson Lima (BRA) designed course with just two going double clear – Guy in 39.2 seconds and runner-up John Pearce (CAN) aboard Firestone S who stopped the clock at 39.81 seconds. Guy and Jonkheer Z were the first combination to go clear in the opening round, making it look easy. They were first out in the jump-off and Guy knew he had some quick horses and riders following. “I just trusted Johnny,” he said. “He has a tremendous stride and I figured I would use that to our advantage. I am incredibly fortunate to ride such a great horse – he is 17 and acts like he is six.”
The horse details:
Any – owned by Arnoud Dobber
Rye val de Mai – owned by Sharn Wordley
Jonkheer Z – owned by Emily Livermore
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison