Rancho Murieta, California–Consistency paid off for U.S. rider Karl Cook with a win in the CSI3*-W $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Sacramento. Riding the 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding Caillou, he bested a six-horse jump-off to record his first World Cup victory of the season.
Last to go, Cook positively flew through the timers of Marina Azevedo’s (BRA) shortened course, finishing in 36.75 seconds. Conor Swail (IRL) finished second aboard the talented 9-year-old Koss van Heiste with a time of 37.35 seconds, while Guy Thomas (NZL), first to contest the jump-off, was third aboard Jonkheer Z; that duo’s final time was 38.95 seconds.
“It’s always fun going last. You know what you have to do. It gives you a better feeling when you ride, because you know that whatever you do, you stay there,” said Cook after his win.
Just two combinations were able to advance to the jump-off in the first half of the class, but four of the final six combinations produced a clear first round, including Cook, whose confidence was made evident by the relative degree of ease with which he navigated the challenging indoor track. In the jump-off, he used his position in the lineup to his advantage and planned a wider, yet efficient turn to the last fence that set him up for a strong gallop to the finish.
“Conor went inside [to the last fence] and did [one less stride], which I very well could have done,” Cook said, “but I saw how the turn after was, so I said I’d go around and do [one extra stride] and turn after quicker.”
After jumping well in Vancouver and finishing second in New York, Cook firmly cemented himself atop the west coast sub league standings of the North American League with 37 points. Zazou Hoffman (USA) sits second with 19 points, two points ahead of Kelli Cruciotti (USA) with 17 points.
“I’m really happy, because I feel like [Caillou] has been consistently there,” Cook said. “That’s what makes me the most proud.”
The North American League completes a double-header of weekend action on October 6th, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio (USA).
About the NAL
Now in its fifth year, the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League consists of 14 venues in three countries – the United States, Mexico and Canada. Each venue will host qualifiers to determine the North American riders who will compete in the Longines Jumping World Cup™ Final in Las Vegas, Nevada, April 15-19, 2020. A minimum of $2.4 million in prize money is up for grabs across the North American League series.
Follow the action before, during and after each qualifier with #FEIWorldCup, #Longines and #JumpToGreatness.