Aiken, South Carolina – Venezuela’s Angel Karolyi put in an impressive performance to claim victory in dramatic fashion in the $15,000 Open Jumper Classic on Saturday, September 14, at the Aiken Fall Festival II in Aiken, South Carolina.
Nine of 15 horse and rider combinations would advance through the first round to tackle the shortened jump-off track set by designer JP Godard. Seven would go on to put in double clear performances, making time the deciding factor. Karolyi advanced to the jump-off aboard two mounts, S-Acorada Donaldson, the eventual winner, and Undercover.
Returning first aboard Undercover, Karolyi put in a solid clear round good enough for seventh place. He and the 12-year-old gelding by Heartbreaker have only recently begun competing together.
“I’ve had him since mid-summer and we’ve really only done a few 1.20m classes together,” noted Karolyi. “I haven’t shown him as much as some of my others because we were getting him more fit. He jumped beautifully and this was a great class for him to get more exposure and for me to get to know him a little better. He’s a lot of fun to ride and has a very flashy style over the jumps.”
As the final competitor on course, Karolyi knew he and S-Acorada Donaldson would have to put in a near flawless performance to take the lead from Mario Garcia and Pacha de Nantuel, who had set the time to beat at 38.508 seconds. Rising to the challenge, the 11-year-old Holsteiner mare performed beautifully for Karolyi, shaving 0.146 seconds off Garcia’s time to earn the win.
“It was a very good round for us,” remarked Karolyi of his winning ride. “The jump-off was tough since the lines were set so you couldn’t really do anything but the correct number of strides. We had to find other places to cut time. I knew I was really going to have to push to get the victory, and she really rose to the occasion.”
Karolyi has also only been paired with S-Acorada Donaldson since mid-summer, but the partnership has already produced a number of exciting results. In addition to Saturday’s win, they also finished fifth in the same class a week earlier. Both S-Acorada Donaldson and Undercover are owned by Hollow Creek Farm, a large training business Karolyi operates in Aiken with business partner Andrea King.
Karolyi’s student and fellow Venezuelan Victor Segovia also enjoyed success in the $15,000 Open Jumper Classic, capturing fifth aboard his veteran grand prix mount Romeo. He and the 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, owned by The Romeo Group, captured third in the same class during the Aiken Fall Festival I.
The Hollow Creek Farm team will next head to Argentina where star student 16-year-old Emanuel Andrade, also from Venezuela, will contest the FEI South American Junior Jumping Championship, running September 17 to 22.
Hollow Creek Farm has the unique distinction of winning three prestigious titles at the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL. Andrade was named the Leading Jumper Rider, King was named the Leading Jumper Trainer, and Hollow Creek Farm was named the Leading Jumper Owner.