Lillie Keenan and Be Gentle won the Hollow Creek Farm U25 Grand Prix.
Wellington, Fla. – Jan. 22, 2017 – Lillie Keenan and Chansonette Farm LLC’s Be Gentle claimed the win in Sunday’s FEI $25,000 Hollow Creek Farm U25 Grand Prix at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida.
The 20-year-old topped the field of 66 young riders to bring home the blue after a competitive five-horse jump-off. While only Keenan, Lucas Porter, Kerry McCahill, Taylor Land and Jennifer Gates successfully navigated the first-round course, four additional riders came very close, each missing the mark by just a single time fault.
Lillie Keenan and Be Gentle
“In the first round, I just thought about the time because a lot of people were struggling with the time,” Keenan said. “I had an advantage because I went late in the class. I have a lot of confidence in Be Gentle; I’ve jumped her in some bigger classes, and we have a lot of experience together. She’s a quick horse, but I did think about the time.”
Taylor Land and her family’s For Edition were the first to deliver a clear round, and subsequently the first to attempt the short course. The duo crossed the wire on 0 faults in a time of 43.564 seconds to eventually secure the fourth place spot.
Taylor Land and For Edition
Lucas Porter and Sleepy P Ranch’s Diamonte Darco were the second to return for the jump-off, where they also went clear and finished with a time of 40.749 seconds.
“I’ve had a lot of experience with Diamonte Darco,” Porter said. “She’s a super competitive horse, and our team feels that she jumps the best at this height. These classes are usually really quick, so she’s learned how to go quite fast against the clock; she’s a perfect fit for the U25 classes.”
Lucas Porter and Diamante Darco
It seemed their time would be unbeatable after Kerry McCahill stepped up to the plate with Kerry Anne LLC’s Cadensky, falling short of Porter’s lead with their 43.43-second effort and settling for third place.
Kerry McCahill and Cadensky
Keenan and Be Gentle returned fourth in the order, where they laid down an efficient clear round in 39.852 seconds to take over the top spot, leaving Porter to finish in second.
“In the jump-off, I had an advantage because I got to see Lucas go,” Keenan said. “I think where I made up time was on the turns. I’ve had experience going very fast on Be Gentle, and that was something that I was trying to fine-tune throughout the year, and now we’re putting it together.”
The final challengers, Jennifer Gates and Evergate Stables LLC’s Cadence, took home the fifth place spot after lowering two heights across the course to finish on 8 faults in a time of 42.745 seconds.
Jennifer Gates and Cadence
Class : 99 Hollow Creek Farm U25 Grand Prix
First Round Jump Off
Pl Nbr Horse Rider Nat Faults Time Faults Time
1 327 BE GENTLE LILLIE KEENAN USA 65.51 39.85
2 2379DIAMONTE DARCO LUCAS PORTER USA 65.02 40.74
3 3210CADENSKY KERRY MCCAHILL USA 65.34 43.43
4 4863FOR EDITION TAYLOR LAND USA 66.74 43.56
5 1724CADENCE JENNIFER GATES USA 65.39 8 42.74
6 2833NIGHTFIRE 25 KIRA KERKORIAN USA 1 68.00
7 2353ALL IN KATHERINE STRAUSS USA 1 68.25
8 2178HUCKLEBERRY COCO FATH USA 1 68.87
9 1366CORTINA 186 EMANUEL ANDRADE VEN 1 69.16
10 4534ANICMO PAIGE JARDINE AUS 4 64.48
11 5390ARMANI SL Z EUGENIO GARZA MEX 4 65.34
12 1169CHAPLIN W EMILY MOFFITT GBR 4 65.51