Bridgehampton, NY – Only 15 years of age, Venezuela’s Emanuel Andrade scored an impressive win at the CSI4*-W Hampton Classic in Bridgehampton, New York, taking victory in the $15,000 North Star Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic on September 1 riding Tiny Tim.
Only three entries from the 39-horse starting field qualified for the jump-off over the 1.40m track set by internationally renowned course designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil. Two of those horses belonged to Andrade, who got the jump-off underway by posting a fast time of 36.83 seconds, but at the expense of two rails down with La Fe Forli. Jean Sheptoff was next in, posting a clear round in 40.55 seconds to take over the lead riding Ami des Gemmes. As the final challenger, Andrade knew exactly what he had to do to win. Shaving more than three full seconds off the leading time, Andrade and Tiny Tim left all the rails in place, stopping the clock in 37.28 seconds to claim victory.
“He made a couple of mistakes in the jump-off with his first horse, which he analyzed for his ride with Tiny Tim,” explained trainer Angel Karolyi, a Venezuelan Show Jumping Team veteran. “He knew what he needed to do in order to win the class. He didn’t need to go too fast and risk making a mistake, but he knew that he had to do just enough to beat the time.”
In addition to claiming the win, Andrade and Tiny Tim were also named the High Junior Jumper Reserve Champions. The partnership is still developing as Tiny Tim, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, was only purchased earlier this year from 2012 Olympic team gold medalist, Nick Skelton of Great Britain.
“There is a lot of pressure at the Hampton Classic and, by Saturday, Emanuel had figured out how to manage it,” explained Karolyi who operates Hollow Creek Farm in Aiken, South Carolina, with Andrea King. “He rode beautifully and with a lot of patience, which resulted in two clear rounds in the Classic. He was very calm and relaxed, which allowed him to think very clearly, and the horses were in good shape and ready to perform. It all came together for a great result.”
Andrade also claimed the Low Junior Jumper Reserve Championship title with Casanova Junior, a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding. As usual, Andrade dominated the Low Junior Jumper division, placing three horses in the top 10 on both Wednesday and Thursday.
On Wednesday, Andrade emerged victorious over 52 entries to win the $2,500 Low Junior Jumper class with Casanova Junior, also placing second with Mikos, a horse that had been Andrade’s mount in the children’s jumper divisions in his native Venezuela. For good measure, he guided Luky des Rocquelines, a 13-year-old selle francais gelding, to a sixth place finish.
“Emanuel has had Casanova Junior for about a year and a half now,” said Karolyi. “This is a horse that is usually in the top three in his division. He doesn’t appear to be as fast as he is, and he very rarely makes a mistake by having a jump down. His own natural way of jumping is to slow himself down at the jump, regardless of how fast he is ridden to it.”
On Thursday, Andrade qualified the same three mounts for the jump-off in the $5,000 1.30m Low Junior Jumper Classic. Double clear performances placed Casanova Junior second and Mikos third, while Luky des Rocquelines placed tenth in the final standings.
Despite his young age, Andrade has also begun competing in the Open Jumper division against professional riders. In Thursday’s $7,500 1.45m Prudential Douglas Elliman Open, won by two-time Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward, Andrade posted the fastest four fault effort with Walter 61, a 10-year-old gelding purchased in May.
“We all forget how young Emanuel is, and it is very impressive for a 15-year-old to be achieving what he is achieving,” said Karolyi. “It is a real learning experience for Emanuel to step up and compete in the Open Jumper division. He is in the Open division because he wants to be there, but it also teaches him that he can’t miss steps on the ladder to get to where he wants to go. He has to take it step by step, and shouldn’t get too far ahead of himself.
“It was his second time competing at the Hampton Classic, and the pressure that he felt as an athlete was high,” continued Karolyi. “You could see that he was struggling with the pressure at the beginning of the week but, in the Low Junior division, he dominated very strongly, as he so often does. I was very proud of him at the end of the week when he came through mentally and dominated. It was a great experience this week for Emanuel.”
The fall tour for Hollow Creek Farm includes competitions at the Kentucky Horse Park, the Washington International Horse Show in October, and the Alltech National Horse Show in Lexington from October 31 to November 4.