America’s most prestigious horse show came to a thrilling climax, with 31 international athletes battling it out in the $216,000 Grand Prix at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show.
It was Ali Wolff who took the title in the Upperville Jumper Classic CSI4*, with a blazing round, to score the biggest win of her career.
Ali and her long-time partner Casall were last to go out of eight combinations in the jump-off and the 29-year-old used this to her full advantage. Knowing where she could save valuable seconds, Ali took out a stride to the first fence and maintained a fast pace throughout.
They galloped across the finish line 1.5sec ahead of Ireland’s Kevin Babington and Shorapur, who was competing in her first major competition following an injury. This put Kevin in second place, with fellow Irishman Cormac Hanley just 0.8sec behind him in third riding VDL Cartello.
Cartello is one of many top showjumpers bred by the famous VDL Stud in the Netherlands. A number of top riders compete their horses, including Maikel and Eric van der Vleuten, Leopold van Asten, Gei Gullikson and Michael Hendrix.
Ali’s partner Casall also has impeccable breeding as he is out of the legendary showjumping stallion Casall ASK, who was competed by Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson.
Ali and Casall IV have enjoyed great success together, competing on USA’s Nations Cup teams and consistently topping the grand prix rankings. However their win in Upperville is the biggest of their career.
“We couldn’t be happier with our Casall,” said Ali on her Facebook page. “He is one in a million and is now off to a well deserved break! All of this couldn’t be done without the help of our entire team.”
Upperville Colt & Horse Show (UCHS) celebrates its 165th anniversary this year. It started out as an event to encourage better care of young horses and improve certain breeds, and has gone on to become America’s ‘Horse of the Year Show’.
This prestigious event sees the nation’s top ranking hunters and showjumpers compete alongside local ponies, sidesaddle riders and racing Jack Russell terriers.