Beth Underhill goes one-two in $25,000 Fall Finale Grand Prix to close out 2016 season at Caledon Eq
Former Canadian Olympian Beth Underhill closed out the 2016 Caledon Equestrian Park season with a bang, claiming first and second place in the $25,000 Fall Finale Grand Prix on Sunday (Oct. 2)
Underhill led off a field of 17 entries, going clear on her horse Codaline to kick things off before a second flawless round on Sandy Lupton’s, Count Me In, later in the class.
Joining Underhill in the jump off were Laurie Bucci on her mount Black Berry, and Sean Jobin riding Kathy Dixon’s Zindloma. Bucci and Jobin would finish third and forth, respectively.
Underhill would best her jump-off time on Codaline by just under four seconds on her second attempt riding Count Me In to win the class for the pair. Underhill and Count Me In will be competing at the Canadian Show Jumping Championship at the Royal Winter Fair next month.
Beth Underhill and Count Me In win the $25,000 Fall Finale Grand Prix.
“It’s great that we had the opportunity to jump indoors because both of my horses are a little light on experience with indoor jumping,” said Underhill, who had no trouble transitioning from the outdoor rings to the indoor arena for the season’s last show. “It really helped give my horses exposure. It was a good learning experience, so that was appreciated.”
Brazilian Guilherme Jorge — fresh off a successful Rio Olympics as course designer — didn’t make things easy for the field of experienced riders, with many struggling through the triple combination in the first round.
“When you finish with a triple it’s always a question of how focused the horse is. This one was after a big oxer and had to go by the in-gate, so I think that may have distracted some of the horses,” he said.
The situation didn’t trip up the winner, however, as Underhill seemed to have Jorge’s number on the day, going clear through all four of her trips.
Beth Underhill and Count me in competing during the $25,000 Fall Finale Grand Prix.
“Guilherme is a fantastic course designer, just coming back from a fantastic Olympics. We were really fortunate to have him here to build the courses for us,” said Underhill. “They were very technical but fair for the horses. I thought my horses all improved as the week went on, as did my students’, and that’s a sign of a good course designer.”
“I couldn’t be more pleased with my horses this week,” she added.
With the conclusion of the Fall Finale Sunday, the 2016 Caledon Equestrian Park show season officially comes to an end as competitors ready for the Royal Winter Fair in November.
The action in Palgrave will start up again in March with a pair of indoor shows.
In the meantime, visit www.caledonequestrianpark.com for a full list of 2016 results and highlights. Stay tuned all winter long as Caledon Equestrian Park readies for what is sure to be an exciting 2017!