The second day of the 2017 Rolex Central Park Horse Show featured international show jumping competition, showcasing top equestrians from around the world on Thursday, September 21, in the heart of New York City’s Wollman Rink. The evening was presented by CSX, highlighting the $40,000 U.S. Open CSX FEI Speed Class, which saw a win for USA’s Hardin Towell and Lucifer V.
Thirty horse and rider combinations took to the course designed by Brazil’s Guilderme Jorge, including USA’s Kent Farrington, McLain Ward, and rising talent Lucy Deslauriers, who finished in a competitive 5th place.
Last in the order, Towell guided Evergate Stables’ Lucifer V, a 2006 Westphalian gelding (Lord Pezi x Grandina) to a winning time of 53.53s, improving upon their 3rd place finish from the previous year.
“I felt the course was nice. It had a twisty turning start, but it wasn’t so big and my horse has been jumping big classes all year,” said Towell. “Tonight was a very competitive class, but I had a lot of confidence in my horse, so I took some shots and it was fantastic. I felt he was pretty quick to the second to last jump, and I thought my turns were nice. Last week at the Gold Cup I only got 3rd, but I didn’t trust my horse or myself through the first line and in the second line I had the third jump down. I would’ve ended up third even if I’d gone clean, so today I decided to believe in my horse. I felt fast today and I knew it was quite good.”
Towell and Lucifer V have been partnered together for several years and amassed top finishes around the globe in international competition. The pair has excelled during the summer season, and Towell felt that the size and structure of the ring helped the duo secure the win and spoke to the versatility of Lucifer V.
“He’s a very diverse horse. In big fields like Spruce Meadows, he’s also great. He doesn’t have the biggest stride, so in an arena like this it’s even better because he’s quicker in the turns, but this is quite a good ring. I’d also like to add that Daniel is one of my very close friends and we’re very competitive, so it’s always fun to win, but to beat one of your friends is even better,” laughed Towell. “I’m not going to lie, the reason I really tried was because Daniel was winning, and he’s won enough the past couple of weeks.”
Israel’s Daniel Bluman and Bacara D’Archonfosse, a 2007 Belgian Warmblood mare (Asca Z x Queen D’Archonfosse), stopped the timers in 55.75s for an eventual 2nd place.
“The mare jumped really well again tonight. We’ve been jumping great the past few shows and winning some classes. I walked the course and like Hardin said it wasn’t too big,” said Bluman. “I got to see Kristen [Vanderveen] go after me and she had a beautiful round and was super fast. At that point I figured Hardin would get me at the end. He’s a competitive guy. We work together and grew up together, and I knew he was going to try and he got me, so I’m happy for the 2nd place, happy for him, and looking forward to tomorrow.”
USA’s Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili, a 2005 Belgian Warmblood stallion (Berlin x Bijous Van De Vijfheide), were incredibly close to stealing the win and used the tight course to their advantage, posting the third fastest time despite knocking the first rail at the one-stride combination. They finished in 3rd place with a fault converted time of 55.98s.
“He is super fast and the small ring here actually plays to his advantage because he’s really quick on the turns. I felt that we were very tight everywhere and he ended up catching me off guard by the end of the course,” said Vanderveen. “He was so ready for the turns that I cut him a little too aggressively at the combination and it caught up with me. But I was very pleased with him tonight. He’s so rideable for me. He’s listening all the time and asks where I want to go, and that really helps in a ring of this size, and with his size as well. He’s right where I want him.”
The evening’s competition also featured the U.S. Open $50,000 Spy Coast Farm Puissance, which saw Emanuel Andrade (VEN), Kama Godek (USA), and Todd Minikus (USA) split the victory three ways after each cleared the traditional brick wall at a height of 6’9″ inches. Visit this link to see the photo of the day.
The Rolex Central Park Horse Show runs through Sunday, September 24, with four days of multi-discipline equestrian sport for Arabians, jumpers, arena eventing, and hunters. The U.S. Open $216,000 Grand Prix CSI 3* presented by Rolex will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network on Tuesday, September 26, from 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. To see the starter list, click here.
For the full results, visit this link.