A horse that used to spook in the cross-country phase has won the Cosequin® Lexington CCI4*-S. Hot Bobo and Canadian rider Karl Slezak jumped a double-clear round in Sunday’s show-jumping phase at the 2023 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event in Lexington to maintain their lead on cross-country and finish on their dressage score of 29.3.
Tamie Smith (USA) and Solaguayre Califoria also jumped a double-clear round to remain in second place with a score of 30.0. With their clear round, Sydney Elliott and QC Diamantaire moved up two places to capture third with a score of 34.9. Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Be Cool, who were in third overnight, had one rail and 1.2 time faults to finish in fourth. And Mia Farley and Phelps, who were in fourth overnight, had three rails and .8 time faults to drop down to 13th place.
“I definitely was nervous,” Slezak said. “But I tried to put as little pressure on myself as possible. And it usually works out better that way,” he said.
The Show Jumping Course
The final day saw 35 horses and riders tackle stadium course designer Steve Stephens course. Eight horses jumped clear within the time allowed of 87 seconds. Ten horses and riders cleared the rails but had time faults. The course 12 numbered fences/15 jumping efforts. It included a choice of two fences at Fence 4 and an in-and-out and finished with a triple combination.
Thirty-nine horses were presented at the Second Horse Inspection before the show jumping. Dani Sussman withdrew Jos Bravio before the inspection.Three horses were held. Two were passed upon reinspection: Anna Loschiavo’s Fernhill That Guy Jack and Leah Lang-Gluscic’s AP Prime. Sara Kozumplik’s Rubens D’Ysieux did not represent.
Slezak and Hot Bobo
Bobo is new to the four-star level, moving up to it in February. Slezak was confident in her abilities but said you never know what’s going to happen until you ride it. “She felt great. Anytime she show jumps after cross country, she’s much sharper and a bit amped up,” he said. “And so it just definitely gives you a good feeling going into the ring. I mean if I made a mistake, she’s ready to shuffle and do the fancy foot work, so I was pretty excited to go in there. She didn’t let me down.”
Slezak bought the 10-year-old Hot Bobo at a horse auction in Ireland when she was almost 5 years old. While he originally bought her to sell her, nobody wanted to buy her because of her spooking on cross country. But he thought, “perfect” because he enjoyed her. “She’s lovely. She just always goes to work,” he said after the dressage phase. “She tries really hard. Bit spooky here and there. But mostly very workmanlike. She just wants to please. It’s just fun to ride her every day.”
They did have their challenges, though, as he brought her up the levels. “We’ve had some ups and downs. I broke my wrist on her as a young horse in one of our first Preliminaries. But I really believed in her.”
Solaguayre California and QC Diamantaire
Smith was also pleased with her Solaguayre California in the arena. ” When I jump my mare on the third day, she’s always much better. She’s quite spicy, and she was a show jumper before she evented. But shockingly, she’s oddly spooky. Like I went from the brick before I rolled back to the Fence 5, and she started sideways with the flowers … she’s so funny. But she’s always so much better on day-three show dumping. Then this atmosphere and being able to have the four star here is just so great for our horses.”
Sydney Eilliott said QC Diamantaire is a bit different than Hot Bobo and Solaguayre California. “He’s very quiet. So the last two years, he actually got quite nervous going in here. So this year being a third year in a row in this arena, he was actually more like himself and very settled day today. So I was thrilled.”
The next event for Solaguayre California and QC Diamantaire is the Longines Luhmühlen in Germany in mid-June. Slezak says he will be taking Hot Bobo to the Tryon International Three-Day Event in May.
To catch up with CCI4* reports posted throughout the week:
Dressage Day 1, click here
Dressage Day 2, click here
Cross-Country, click here
Thanks to Cosequin Equine for our coverage of the 2023 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, including rider interviews, competition reports, horse spotlights, photos, videos and more!