Kyle King Goes Two for Two, Winning $100,000 Marshall & Sterling Grand Prix

Kyle King Goes Two for Two, Winning $100,000 Marshall & Sterling Grand Prix

The feature event of National Sunshine Series 2, presented by Marshall & Sterling, put Kyle King in familiar territory. Just the week prior, he had won the $100,000 Grand Prix aboard SIG Chiari, and during week two, in the $100,000 Marshall & Sterling Grand Prix, he was back in contention aboard a different mount, Odysseus. Last time, he jumped off last. This time, he went first. That didn’t change the result.

With Patricia Vasey’s speed demon, King put in the round he needed to, and the remaining six jump-off contenders couldn’t catch him, though they came very close. In a time of 40.038 seconds, King captured the second of two grand prix victories in just a week’s time.

Kyle King and Odysseus. Photo by High Desert Sport Photo

Barely off the pace was Trent McGee, who came home with second place aboard Caracas, owned by Archie Cox. Their time of 40.138 was scary close, just missing the mark but still earning them the Surrey U25 bonus. In third place was Charlie Jones with the Morning Star Sporthorses entry Capitale 6, having wished to move up the leaderboard from second place the week prior, but having just a few too many milliseconds on the clock to do so.

“For sure confidence breeds confidence,” King said of his winning performance that lasted two weeks in a row. “I knew ‘Odie’ was ready; he’s been knocking on the door lately and last week he jumped wonderfully out here with just one down. I was excited because he’s my fastest horse, so I was happy to have him tonight.

Kyle King and Odysseus. Photo by High Desert Sport Photo

The biggest difference from week one was that King didn’t have the advantage of seeing any other jump-off rides before he had to go in and try to claim the win. “I don’t like going first; it’s never a great advantage but honestly I knew what was coming behind me so I think I was pretty quick. That horse can really turn on the burners. He’s like a little sportscar,” he said.

Odie and King were ones to watch out for in speed action last season, but this year the horse is stepping into an entirely new space, certainly as one to watch in both National and FEI action to come.

“Odie’s been coming along. Patty Vasey rode him for his whole career and then handed me the reins a little over a year ago and we quickly found success,” King explained of his relationship with the 12-year-old American-bred Holsteiner gelding (Osilvis x Riverman). “I didn’t know how much scope he had but it just keeps growing and growing. He’s a real weapon because he is so fast and his technique is so pure. He’s relaxing and trusting me so I’m really excited about the future with him.”

The crowd was electric at Desert International Horse Park for the final night session of the 2023 National Sunshine Series. The already excited stands lit up even more when King crossed the finish timers.

“Half of it’s probably my own staff; we have a good group of people and I have a lot of friends here because this is my base for the winter,” he said of the cheering squad. “That definitely helps and makes it feel a lot better when you pull it off in front of people who care about you.”

King bases right onsite at DIHP during the winter season, so he is truly winning on home turf. As the season goes on, the field of competitors will evolve to feature a truly international scene, but King is hopeful his results might not change too much “The schedule is great. There’s a lot of good prize money on the line,” he said of what he’s looking forward to. “We’ve got some real serious jockeys coming in for the winter season so it’s not going to be easy, but it never is. It’s going to be very competitive this season. It’s going to be fast jump-offs but I’m excited because I’ve got some really nice horses and young ones coming up. We’ve got a big business here and this is home.”

See full results from the $100,000 Marshall & Sterling Grand Prix here.

The second week of the National Sunshine Series comes to a close Sunday, which features the $30,000 1.40m Marshall & Sterling Open Classic.

Read more:

Kyle King Goes Two for Two, Winning $100,000 Marshall & Sterling Grand Prix – Desert International Horse Park (