The $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m kicked off competition in the International Ring on Friday morning with a win for Hardin Towell (USA) and Jennifer Gates LLC’s Pepperpot. Course designer Luc Musette had 66 entries jump his one-round speed track with eight clear entries. Second to go, Towell laid down a time of 60.48 seconds that would go unbeaten.
Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Spy Coast Farm LLC’s Eregast van’t Kiezelhof clocked in three rounds later with a time of 61.53 seconds to eventually finish third. Richard Spooner (USA) came 54th in the order with a time of 61.41 seconds aboard Little Valley Farms’ Chivas Z to take second place honors.
Owner Jennifer Gates purchased Pepperpot, a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (Heritage Fortunus x Diamonds Are Trumps), following the Spruce Meadows Summer Series in 2015. The experienced mare previously competed under Egypt’s Sameh el Dahan, followed by USA’s Caitlin Ziegler, and Canada’s Tiffany Foster.
“She is just a great horse,” Towell stated after his win. “Jenn and I have both shown her. When we first got her, and Jenn and I were away, my girlfriend showed her a little bit to get her in the ring. She is just a really nice horse.”
“I jumped the mare last week in the grand prix, and she was very good,” Towell continued. “Today I went early in the class. The strides did not suit a big-strided horse because they were all a little bit waiting, but then it was hard to do the leave-outs, so it actually suited her because she has a bit of a choppy stride. All of the lines just ended up really smooth. After I went, I really did not feel like I was that quick, but she is just naturally a quick horse.”
“I watched some rounds at the beginning, but I did not see the end,” Towell noted. “I know Mclain (Ward) said he had my time, but he had a rail. I just stayed on the rhythm and tried to be smooth. I think I did the same strides as most people, but she is just quick. I went in there early in the class, and did not have any thoughts about what I had to beat, so I just went around and the mare jumped really well.”
HARDIN TOWELL (USA), Jennifer Gates LLC: 0/60.48
RICHARD SPOONER (USA), Little Valley Farms: 0/61.41
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm, LLC: 0/ 61.53
SHARN WORDLEY (NZL), Ashland Stables: 0/63.03
SAMUEL PAROT (CHL), Samuel Parot: 0/63.06
ALI WOLFF (USA), John C. Wolff: 0/63.06
JORDAN MACPHERSON (CAN), JEM Stables Inc: 0/64.45