Upperville, Va. – June 7, 2019 – With nine athletes vying for the victory during the main event at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show (UCHS), presented by St. Bride’s Farm, on Friday, speed was key, and it was the fifth combination who proved to be the very best. The United States’ Alex Granato and Carlchen W, owned by Page Tredennick, were one of the first pairs to return for the tiebreaker and set an unmatchable pace to capture the top prize in the $71,200 Upperville Welcome Stakes CSI4*, presented by the World Equestrian Center.
A field of 55 entries was narrowed down to just 19 returning for the jump-off, which featured a double combination and a quick gallop to the final vertical, which would prove costly for many of the returning athletes. Ten combinations were able to clear Ireland’s Alan Wade’s course a second time though, making speed a deciding factor.
Only three athletes managed to finish in under 38 seconds with all of the fences intact, starting with Granato clocking in at 37.20 seconds by slicing fences and leaving out strides. Switzerland’s Beat Mändli and the Grand Road Partners’ Simba were the first to come close, breaking the beam at 37.90 seconds. They would eventually settle for third place as the last to compete made a bid for the win. Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) and Louisburg Farm’s Balous Day Date skimmed the top of each fence as they raced for the finish, and their effort earned them a time of 37.38 seconds, just six-tenths of a second behind Granato for the second place award.
This marks Granato’s first trip to the Upperville Colt & Horse Show, and with one win already under his belt, it is proving to be a great venue for him and the 11-year-old Mecklenburg gelding. Granato has taken his time with Carlchen W, and his patience has paid off with a breakout year thus far in 2019, including a victory in the $208,200 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Wellington CSI4*-W earlier this year at the Palm Beach Masters Series. The duo continued to showcase their partnership and talent with a world-class jump-off effort to lead the lap of honor on Friday.
Hunter athletes will take over the B&D Builders Jumper Ring I on Saturday evening during the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, sponsored by Salamander Resort & Spa, getting underway at 4 p.m. The week concludes on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. with the highlight event, the $208,200 Upperville Jumper Classic CSI4*, sponsored by Lugano Diamonds.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Alex Granato – $71,200 Upperville Welcome Stakes CSI4*, presented by the World Equestrian Center, winner
On the jump-off:
“I was really happy with him in the jump-off. We started a little slow because he got a little bit fussy coming to the first jump, so it was not totally planned. I knew the six-stride was going to be steady for him if we came in too big, so I just built my canter for the first line. From there, it really was just knowing the horse well and some luck on my side. Everything came up out of stride in a great rhythm and he rode perfect for me today. It worked out really smooth.”
On Carlchen W’s progression:
“He has come on really strong through this entire winter. He’s really gotten consistent at the 4* and 5* level — he had a great WEF. I did a 3* a couple of weeks ago in Kentucky and that was our warm-up show after Mexico for here. He just has such a drive, I don’t think I’ve ever worked with a horse like Carlchen — that has as much drive to go in and win as I do. He’s been really special to me.”
On the UCHS:
“I love the venue, it’s my first time here. I’ve been trying to get here for two years, so I’m glad we made it! [Carlchen] felt phenomenal today. I think the venue is beautiful. I love it — all of the rings are great and the course designer has done a great job, I like Alan Wade’s courses. It’s an interesting new ring to ride in and he’s doing a nice job building through the week. I am having a great time.”
$71,200 Upperville Welcome Stakes CSI4*, presented by the World Equestrian Center
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Carlchen W / Alex Granato / USA / 0 | 74.000 / 0 | 37.200
2. Balous Day Date / Molly Ashe Cawley / USA / 0 | 72.970 / 0 | 37.380
3. Simba / Beat Mändli / SUI / 0 | 73.680 / 0 | 37.900
4. Shorapur / Kevin Babington / IRL / 0 | 69.530 / 0 | 38.160
5. Roulette BH / Amanda Derbyshire / GBR / 0 | 74.440 / 0 | 38.500
6. Charming Force B / Erynn Ballard / CAN / 0 | 74.390 / 0 | 38.750
7. BEC Lorenzo / Catherine Tyree / USA / 0 | 72.620 / 0 | 39.450
8. Robin De Ponthual / Schuyler Riley / USA / 0 | 73.960 / 0 | 39.930
9. Skyhorse / Lillie Keenan / USA / 0 | 74.890 / 0 | 41.170
10. Cadans Z / Adrienne Sternlicht / USA / 0 | 74.530 / 0 | 42.060
11. Confu / Laura Kraut / USA / 0 | 72.780 / 4 | 38.900
12. Akuna Mattata / Nicole Shahinian-Simpson / USA / 0 | 70.440 / 4 | 39.430