October 29, 2015—Open jumpers at the CP National Horse Show had the opportunity to showcase their skills in the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping $35,000 Open Jumper Faults Converted class, presented by The Dobbs Family. After finishing second in the previous day’s $35,000 International Open Jumpers Welcome Speed, Lisa Goldman of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois, continued to prove herself at the top level of the sport. She and her quick mount Morocco bested Olympian McLain Ward of Brewster, New York, who was riding one of his top mounts, HH Carlos Z, owned by Double H Farm.
Ward was the first rider to beat Ireland's Conor Swail, who had gone second in the class on Susan and Ariel Grange's Martha Louise. They had a clear round in 54.92 seconds, which looked almost unbeatable throughout most of the class. Ward just narrowly edged them out of the lead when HH Carols Z cleared the course in 54.68 seconds near the end of the event, but it would not be good enough for the win. Goldman and Morocco galloped without holding back, and the careful gelding took over the top spot by 3/10ths of second when he stopped the clock at 54.37 seconds.
“I watched Conor go early in the class, and he was so smooth and so beautiful. I thought he had it,” said Goldman. “I don’t worry about the speed too much with Morocco because he is so fast. If I'm on, I generally have the time. I wasn't sure if I had it, but I knew it was going to be right there.”
Beating world-class riders like Ward and Swail marks a major moment in Goldman's budding professional career. “It’s a feeling you can’t even explain,” she expressed. “It’s something you watch every week when you’re a kid. I can’t believe that I’m here with my little Morocco. My horse is fast as McLain Ward’s. I can't believe it. It’s such an honor to be here with the best in the world and for Morocco to be right up there with them.”
$130,000 CP Grand Prix
When 15 horses qualified for the jump-off during the $130,000 CP Grand Prix, presented by Copernicus Stables, later that night, it was clear that it would require more than just scope to win. For Kent Farrington, the need for speed paid off because his mount Willow is always ready to race. The duo's faultless and fast jump-off round topped the leaderboard, with Japan's Karen Polle taking home second on With Wings, while Laura Kraut and Deauville S rounded out the top three.
“The National Horse Show has always been a big deal in the U.S.,” smiled Farrington. “It’s always great to win here. It was a fast jump off tonight. Laura Kraut put down an early winning time that I thought was going to be difficult to beat. Karen and her horse have really been on form lately. It’s a fast horse; I thought she put in a great round. I had to work today to win some money. Willow was fantastic in the ring, and I couldn’t have asked him to go better.”
Many of the riders are now focused on Sunday’s main event, the $250,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Lexington, presented by CP.