Speed demon Will Coleman is now a back-to-back winner of the $20,000 Ocala Horse Properties Eventing Prix Invitational, this year with TKS Cooley.
A careful clear secured Will and the 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Vivaldo Van Het Costersveld x Badgerhill Cruise, by Cruising), owned by the TKS Cooley Syndicate, a spot in the jump-off. They followed that up with a dead accurate speed round that put them out front in 41.68 seconds.
“I just had a plan for what lines I wanted to ride and how I wanted to execute the course. Anytime you get in the ring with an atmosphere like this, it’s good for you. It’s good for your horse,” Will said. “When there’s money on the line, everyone wants to win. That’s the sort of competitive thing you can’t practice enough. Personally, I really enjoy it, and I had a blast today.”
Will also led his team, “Black List,” which included Buck Davidson, Lauren Kieffer and Matt Brown, to a win the team competition.
“Then I had all my teammates behind me giving me expert guidance — showing me the way,” Will smiled. “We were just having fun. It was just a good time.”
Jennie Brannigan set out in a blaze around the Chris Barnard’s 1.30m track with I Bella, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood/Holsteiner owned by Nina and Tim Gardner. Her time of 43.61 seconds gave her second place.
Finishing on an identical 46.58 seconds in the jump-off, Matt Brown and Leslie Law shared the third place finish. Matt rode Bob and Valerie Fish’s Talking Point BCF, a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse, and Leslie was partnered with Tre Book’s Voltaire de Tre, a 10-year-old Selle Francais (Gentleman IV x Jasmina du Fresne, by Socrate de Chivre).
Buck Davidson was the final rider in the group who achieved two clear rounds aboard Natalie Sander, Lisa Darden, and Carl & Cassie Segal’s Erroll Gobey, a 9-year-old Holsteiner (Cassini II x Ulla II, Contender) . They were fifth on a time of 46.73 seconds.
Fourteen of the 35 starters jumped clear in the first round to return for the jump-off. Despite the unusually chilly day in Florida, fans still flanked the sides of the arena to cheer on their favorite pairs. A huge thank you is due to Scotty Keach and Max Corcoran for hosting what has become a favorite among competitors and spectators on the Ocala calendar.
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