December 6, 2022

Karl Cook Clinches the Win in Friday’s $74,000 Douglas Elliman CSI5* Grand Prix Qualifier

Karl Cook Clinches the Win in Friday’s $74,000 Douglas Elliman CSI5* Grand Prix Qualifier at the 2022 Hampton Classic Horse Show

Mimi Gochman Has 1-4 Finish in the $10,000 Lugano Diamonds Junior/Amateur Welcome Stake 

As 35 competitors representing nine countries rode over Alan Wade’s (IRL) 16-effort, 1.60m course in Friday’s $74,000 Douglas Elliman CSI5* Grand Prix Qualifier, it seemed none would be able to put in a fault-free round, let alone that there would be a jump-off. Then Aaron Vale (USA) secured the elusive clear within the last ten rides of the order, and fellow American Karl Cook, the final rider on course, was quick to join him. In the end, Cook came out on top, piloting Kalinka Van’t Zorgvliet to the afternoon’s only double-clear round.

The Hampton Classic, August 28-September 4, is one of the world’s most prestigious horse shows, offering more than $1 million in prize money during a full schedule featuring competitors at every level from young children in leadline to Olympic, World, and World Cup Champions. The Classic also has competitions for riders with disabilities.

“The first round was highly technical today,” Cook said. “There were some really technical parts, and the time allowed was super tight, making it even harder. Since there was only one clear before me, my goal was just to get clear. My mare is also very hot, so sometimes getting the exact right speed is hard. She was so good in the first round and again in the second round, and I couldn’t be happier.”

Cook piloted Signe Ostby’s 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare with ease through the intense first-round course. The double combination near the VIP tents and the triple combination through the middle of the ring, which had been the most influential throughout the class, didn’t faze him and Kalinka. They returned with what seemed to be endless energy for the shortened jump-off track.

“I watched a few before I rode (the first round),” Cook said. “You could just hear ‘Time fault, time fault, time fault,’ or they were within the time but with four faults. I knew I had to go as quickly as I could within the turns because I couldn’t make it up in the lines, and I just hoped that that was fast enough.”

With eight faults in the jump-off, Vale and his mount Prescott, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Thinks Like A Horse, finished with second-place honors. Only one time penalty in the initial round kept Ireland’s Richie Moloney from joining them for the tiebreaker, placing him and Equinimity LLC’s 10-year-old Holsteiner mare Coco Beach in third.

Vale has reclaimed the lead in the $30,000 LONGINES Rider Challenge with a total of 200 points, knocking Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) into second with 198 points. Moloney maintains third place with 175 points. The Challenge, which awards $30,000 and a LONGINES watch to the winner, will be awarded Sunday following the $410,000 Hampton Classic 5* Grand Prix.

Immediately following both Grand Prix Qualifiers was the evening’s final jumper class, the $10,000 Lugano Diamonds Junior/Amateur Welcome Stake. From a field of 29 entries, Mimi Gochman of New York, NY, rode to top honors over Alan Wade’s 15-effort, 1.40m course with a double-clear time of 32.302 seconds aboard Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s Gabbie BH. She also took fourth in the class with Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s Happyfee in a time of 34.818 seconds.

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