Lisa Goldman and Centurion B Ride to the $5,000 Welcome Stake Victory at Equifest II

RELEASE: August 1, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

Lisa Goldman and Centurion B rode to the top of the Equifest II Welcome Stake this afternoon as they captured the victory in 35.029 seconds (Kendall Bierer/PMG)
Lisa Goldman and Centurion B rode to the top of the Equifest II Welcome Stake this afternoon as they captured the victory in 35.029 seconds (Kendall Bierer/PMG)
Wayne, IL
-  The Grand Prix Ring was alive with excitement as Lisa Goldman and Centurion 3 rode to the top of Equifest II's $5,000 1.40m Welcome Stake victory. Eager spectators gathered at the Lamplight Equestrian Center to watch the country's top riders compete during the $5,000 1.40m Welcome Stake, and the riders left nothing to chance as they soared over the fences and completed the stake with an exciting four-horse jump-off. Holly Shepherd and Silverstone followed closely on their heels to pick up the second place award, while Lilly Ross and Pako took third place.

Guilherme Jorge of Brazil set a technical track for Thursday's competitors, utilizing a vertical-oxer-vertical triple combination, vertical-oxer double combination, bending lines and hard rollbacks. Only four riders conquered the course, leaving all rails intact and advancing into the speed round. The jump-off consisted of a single vertical with a wide left turn across the ring to an oxer. It was that oxer that gave the majority of the riders trouble during the first round. From there, they made a tight right turn to a vertical set on the outside of the ring, and then showed over the double combination. They then made a sharp right and took a green-and-white oxer set down the middle of the ring, racing toward the penultimate vertical and onward over the final oxer set just passed the in gate. 

Lisa Goldman was the first to test the short track with Centurion B, owned by Mary Goldman. They showed no trepidation as they sped around the turns, shaving the seconds with a tight inside turn from the troublesome oxer to the vertical. Although she wasn't sure about taking the turn prior to the class, she took her chances with Centurion B. Their quick turns combined with their large stride allowed them to break the beam in 35.029 seconds, riding to the first double-clear effort of the class.

"I have had Leo since he was 2," Goldman explained. "He is my rock, my super star. I took his first jump with him, and brought him along. It is really exciting to see him come this far-he is so perfect. He is really point and shoot, we know each other so well, and have such a good partnership, that all I really have to do is line him up to the jump. In the bigger classes I will keep a little feel in the air, but he is definitely point and shoot. He loves his job, and loves to go fast, we both have fun out there."

Goldman continued, "The course was good, it was definitely appropriate and fair. It had enough tricky spots and challenges to test the riders today and get them prepared for the Grand Prix."

Although Lillie Ross and Pako, owned by Allison Ross, attempted to best the speed demon's time, Goldman's 35.029-second finish stood steadfast. Ross earned four faults for a rail down over the green-and-white oxer during the jump-off, riding to the third place position in 35.569 seconds. Shepherd returned to the ring aboard Skymiles, owned by Patterson, to take the fourth place position with four faults in 38.087 seconds, as well as the red ribbon for her earlier efforts aboard Silverstone. Goldman would claim the winning title, and her mind is already focusing on Saturday's $35,000 Grand Prix de Lamplight.

"I have been coming here my entire life, this is my home base. When I was young I used to look in the Grand Prix ring and imagine when I would have my chance," Goldman smiled. "This place is really something special, it keeps me coming back. The footing is perfect, they did a really nice job with it, and I am really looking forward to the Grand Prix."

The jumper action will continue in the Grand Prix Ring Friday where riders will continue to compete in the Open Jumpers, and the Amateur-Owners and Junior riders will shine their boots as the Junior/Amateur-Owner divisions get underway. All eyes will turn to the hunter ring Friday morning as the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby gets underway. The jumpers will return to center stage this Saturday when they compete in a race against the clock for the lion's share of the prize money in the $35,000 Grand Prix de Lamplight.