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The $50,000 FEI 1.50m Las Vegas National Welcome Speed Classic, presented by Park Place Foundation, Goes to Canadian Keean White and Hera van de Kouterhoeve

Keean White and Hera van de Kouterhoeve

Las Vegas, NV - Last night was the night to qualify for Saturday's Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Las Vegas, presented by Interactive Mortgage, and the competition was fierce. Galloping in the arena in the eighth spot, Ireland's Kevin Babington rode a tidy and quick track in 66.23 aboard the 11-year-old Hanoverian mare Shorapur, holding the lead for forty rides. Then along came Canadian Keean White, riding late in the order on his second mount, the nine-year-old Belgian mare Hera van de Kouterhoeve. Knowing what he had to do, White smoked Babington's time, finishing in a sizzling 64.76.

Rails and refusals kept the forty horses that came after the Irishman's top ride from taking over the lead. After negotiating the track on his first horse, the nine-year-old Dutch mare Corette, White was willing to take the risky turns on Angelstone Partners' Kouterhoeve.

When asked about Olympic course designer Guilherme Jorge's track, White commented, "I thought that it was difficult enough that if you wanted to win you had to take the inside options. But when doing so you risked a rail."

White, who is based out of his own stable in Ontario, Canada, just started riding the mare in August of this year. "She's very competitive and very brave," he noted.

She proved so this evening as she blazed to the top spot, relegating Shorapur and Babington's (pictured right) gallant effort to second place.

Earning FEI Ranking points with this win, White not only secures his position in Saturday's $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Las Vegas, presented by Interactive Mortgage, but also improves his world ranking. Recently breaking into the top 100, White is moving up one win at a time.

Thirty-five of the top scores tonight will be invited to compete in Saturday's highlight World Cup™ qualifying event. The festive evening kicks off at 7:30 p.m. with a Parade of Nations, entertainment from Playing By Air, and then the marquee class, the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Las Vegas, presented by Interactive Mortgage.

Click to watch a video clip of the winning ride

Keean White and Hera van de Kouterhoeve with Hillary Ridland, Melissa Brandes,
Adrienne Flemming, and Lauren Davis

Click the image below for full class results.


$50,000 FEI 1.50m Las Vegas National Welcome Speed Classic, presented by Park Place Foundation

Photos by McCool Photography

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The North American League
is one among sixteen taking part in the highly successful and global FEI World Cup™ Jumping series, which has been in existence since 1978. This season includes 115 qualifiers in 43 countries, leading to the star-studded Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Omaha, Nebraska from March 29 - April 2, 2017.

A minimum of $2.4 million prize money is up for grabs across the North American League series and the chance to qualify for the jackpot of more than $1.4 million on offer annually at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final.

A total of 14 athletes from the North American League will qualify for the Final, alongside the winners of the 15 others leagues around the world. The Las Vegas National was one of only seven shows on the West Coast chosen to be part of this prestigious league. More at

Based in Southern California, Park Place Foundation was formed to promote and embrace a healthy lifestyle for children and teens as they embark into their journey toward adulthood. It strives to make changes in how society perceives and treats addiction and mental illness through education, increased awareness and sharing the personal stories of peers. Learn more at



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