Santiago Lambre Sails to Third Win in $138,600 Southern Arches CSI3* Grand Prix
Santiago Lambre (BRA) claimed his third victory of the week Sunday afternoon as he took top honors in the $138,600 Southern Arches CSI3* Grand Prix. To add to the impressive hat trick, he captured each win aboard a different horse throughout the opening week of the Tournament of Champions, this time with Chacco Blue II.
Lambre had the advantage of jumping late in the order in both the first round and the jump-off, coming in aboard the 15-year-old Oldenburg stallion (Chacco Blue x Cincaba Rouge) second to last in the starting order. He jumped one of six clear rounds over Michel Vaillancourt’s (CAN) course.
Shane Sweetnam (IRL) jumped off right before Lambre with Sweet Oak Farm’s Namaste van het Eyckeveld and set a new time to beat as the first double-clear effort in 38.10 seconds. It appeared all but won as Lambre stepped in and took every opportunity to subtract strides, picking up a full gallop to the last and ultimately crossing the timers in an impressive 36.69 seconds.
Lisa Goldman-Smolen (USA) was the last to jump-off with Barbara Disko’s Ivaro N and recorded just the third double-clear round, capturing third and also placing fourth aboard Sovereign, her second mount owned by Barbara Disko.
Sunday marked the third major victory in four days for Lambre during the first week of the Tournament of Champions, following a win in Thursday’s CSI3* Speed with Comtess 202 and in Saturday’s National Grand Prix with Pampero. The rider is in top form with a powerful string of horses and is certainly one to watch as action heats up for the American Gold Cup CSI5*.
“All week the horses jumped amazing in this ring,” Lambre commented. “Every time I come here I have good results. I came here early to prepare for the [American] Gold Cup and the horses are fresh and feel very good.”
Lambre acquired the ride aboard Chacco Blue II last year in preparation for the Olympic team selections. Though he missed out on Tokyo 2020, he has since changed nationalities from Mexico to Brazil and hopes to make the Brazilian team for Paris.
“He is a fantastic horse,” Lambre said of Chacco Blue II. “He’s 15 now, but he’s really fresh and I hope he’ll jump a few more years. He can jump 1.60m like it’s 1.45m. He’s really scopey, brave, and easy to ride.”
The stallion has been blind in his left eye for the majority of his life due to a field injury sustained early on in his life. “He’s been blind since he was two years old,” Lambre explained. “He’s an amazing horse. He was jumping the CSI5* grand prixs in Wellington. He’s a horse that I will prepare for the [American] Gold Cup and try to qualify next year for [FEI] World Cup Finals.”
Though Lambre doesn’t change his ride often to make up for the horse’s left side blindness, it did almost play a role Sunday at the skinny vertical late in the jump-off. “In the beginning, I called Luciana Diniz (BRA), who was riding him before, and she told me I don’t need to ride thinking that he’s blind,” he continued. “You turn to the left and he focuses on the jumps. I think it doesn’t affect him. Today the left turn [to the skinny] was difficult because it was a skinny jump and it’s harder to jump the middle. I turned a little short and he looked a little but he jumped. Normally I don’t think about it.”