Karl Cook and The Flying Ham Soar to Victory - Wednesday Evening Winning Round Welcome Class Sizzles
Las Vegas, NV -
With forty-six starters in the $10,000 Winning Round Welcome, presented by Bruno Delgrange, the competition in the South Point Equestrian Arena was fierce. Since the 10 riders with the least number of faults and fastest times from the first round are brought back with a clean slate for round two, going clean was key. Returning first but knowing what he had to do, Karl Cook piloted The Flying Ham to a fast finish for the win.
Karl Cook and The Flying Ham
The Olaf Petersen, Jr. course featured 15 efforts in a time allowed of 66 seconds. Demanding a decisive track, the course had tests from beginning to end. Peterson was pleased with the result. "It was a winning round class - ten come back and we had ten who didn't have a rail. So for me it was perfect. The jumps that did fall were all over the course, so it was a good test and I am very satisfied."
The second round track offered options to leave out strides and make tight roll back turns. Returning on two horses, Cook voluntarily moved up on his first ride, The Flying Ham. Stopping the clock clean in 35.16, Cook challenged the remaining riders. Matias Fernandez, aboard the small but mighty mare Alegria (Dusty Blackwood, owner) was the one who gave Cook a run for the money. Clean and quick in 35.78, the pair was a mere half a second slower, picking up second place.
Cook commented on the course. "There were a lot of fences in very close succession, one after another, but that's the nature of jumping indoors. You just have to keep your head up and ride your track. You really have to stay focused the whole time."
With his horse in mind, he had a specific plan for the jump-off. "The goal is just to go fast, to see how fast you can go within comfort because there are still classes to jump this week. You can't go absolutely crazy."
Karl Cook with Kelsey Murray of Bruno Delgrange,
and Blenheim EquiSports VP of Marketing, Melissa Brandes
Cook will be joined by a host of top national and international riders in classes throughout the week, including today's $35,000 FEI Speed Classic, presented by Park Place Foundation. With more than 50 horses scheduled to compete, the top 30 will qualify to return for Saturday's $100,000 FEI Longines World Cup™ Jumping Las Vegas.
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ABOUT THE LONGINES FEI WORLD CUP™ JUMPING NORTH AMERICAN LEAGUE
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The North American League began in August of this year across seven East and seven West Coast venues in three countries: the United States, Mexico and Canada. The Las Vegas National Horse Show is one of only 14 events chosen, and this is the only leg of this prestigious tour that will be hosted in this city.
Notably, eleven of the events chosen for the leagues, including the Las Vegas National Horse Show, were featured in the North American Riders Group Top 25 rankings.
The North American League boasts a minimum of US $2.4 million prize money across the series, and offers the best Jumping athletes from North America and around the world the chance to qualify for the jackpot of more than US $1.4 million (€1.3 million) on offer annually at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final.
A total of 14 athletes from the new North American league will qualify for next year's prestigious Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final, which will take place in Gothenburg (SWE) from March 23-28, 2016. The top seven athletes from the East Coast U.S., top three from West Coast U.S., and the two best-placed athletes from Canada and Mexico, will qualify for next year's Final, alongside winners of 15 leagues around the world.
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ABOUT BLENHEIM EQUISPORTS
An equestrian event management company based in San Juan Capistrano, CA, that produces equestrian events in three locations: San Juan Capistrano, Del Mar and Las Vegas, NV. This includes USEF "Premier" and "National" rated hunter-jumper shows featuring multiple grand prix events, a Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League event, USHJA International Hunter Derbies, Pony Finals, Medal Finals and more.