A Bejeweled Night for Olivia Brown and Bling VD Duvelsh

A Bejeweled Night for Olivia Brown and Bling VD Duvelsh

Olivia Brown faced an A-list of jump-off competitors in Saturday night’s $50,000 HorseFlight National Grand Prix at Desert International Horse Park (DIHP). Up against some heavy hitters with arguably their top horses, she didn’t let the pressure get to her, despite being on a less experienced mount. With Caroline Burke’s Bling VD Duvelshoeve Z, she clinched the win in a blazing fashion.

“I went in there in the mindset that it was a 1.20m course and it would be easy, and it was,” Brown shared regarding her strategy for the jump-off. “If I told myself it’s not big and not under lights, and there would be less pressure. I wanted to win but I didn’t want to get too excited and do something crazy.”

The strategy proved effective. At the time she went in for the jump-off, up against six other pairs that jumped Alan Wade’s first-round track clear, Kyle King led with his first of two qualifying mounts, clocking in at 35.681 seconds and appearing to not leave much on the table.

Brown had something to say, however, with the 10-year-old Zangersheide mare (Bamako De Muze x Cicero Z) and whittled the time down just a hair further, setting a new target at 35.364 seconds. None of the remaining pairs could catch her time, ultimately. As the class wrapped, King took second with Kerri Volek’s Ittolo and Kaitlin Campbell ended up third with Palina De L’Escaut, owned by SWS Training & Sales. Skylar Wireman and Coolio 23, owned by Shayne Wireman, claimed the EquiFit U25 victory as the fastest jump-off time but with one rail down.

“I started riding her last September so we’ve just stepped up to this level,” Brown said of her relationship with Bling VD Duvelshoeve Z. “Tonight’s course was a nice introduction to night classes. We did one in December which was a little bigger and tougher but this kicked off the year for us.”

She knew the leading time would be tough to catch, but she wasn’t exactly sure just how tough. “I didn’t get to watch but I listened to the first couple go and they were clear,” she remarked. “I went out into the ring and saw the tracks everybody had taken so I knew I had to be tidy and quick, so I just went for it. I’ve never gone that fast on her so it was really fun.”

Read more:

A Bejeweled Night for Olivia Brown and Bling VD Duvelshoeve Z – Desert International Horse Park (deserthorsepark.com)