Daniel Geitner and Trading Places Triumphant Again
RELEASE: June 1, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Robbi Meisel
Daniel Geitner and Trading Places, owned by Kyle Register, chalked up another victory by overtaking 7 jump-off competitors in the twisty, lightening-fast finish of the $10,000 Tryon Premier Jumper Classic hosted by Equus Events.
The Aiken, SC-based owner of DFG Stables has been on a winning streak with the nine-year-old Argentine-bred gelding since the spring season’s start. “He [Trading Places] had the majority of the winter off to simply relax after a rigorous fall campaign,” Geitner began. “Places had been really good then, but since returning to work he’s been just super. We [Geitner and Register] are convinced he was itching to get back into the ring—bored with vacationing,” a laughing Geitner said. Since March the pair have won four of their six grand prix entered.
Pulling double duties, show manager JP Godard also designed the challenging courses for Saturday evening’s featured attraction. “I tried to make it a little technical everywhere, not a lot technical anywhere, just tried to spread it out over the whole course. I wanted to create something that even the less experienced riders could still rise to the occasion for and have a good round, but keep those more experienced ones working to win it, ” commented Godard. The 87-second allowance to navigate the 13 obstacles of the first round was generous enough to prevent time faults, yet technical enough for the cream of the crop to rise. “It was plenty tough-with the three doubles [combinations].” Geitner began, “It was a little spooky with the shadows of a night class. My other mounts [Neville, Olivia-owned by CDS Stables and Baldato Van’t Merelsnest owned by Janet Peterson] are young horses, and I think that’s what got them into a little trouble in places, but it was a nice course.” The “ole pro,” a title Trading Places is growing into, turned in a clean 79.383 first-round time.
A mere eight horses qualified for what would prove to be a heart-stopping dash for the cash finale. “You want a decent size jump-off when there’s a good crowd,” Geitner said in reference to the sideline bleachers full of spectators who came out to enjoy a perfect evening of show jumping thrills. The abbreviated 43-second round was as Geitner described, “Tricky—there were two inside turns, to the second jump and to the liverpool, that were really tough. You had to have a horse that sights in on them early, and as usual, he [Trading Places] was up to it.”
Given the pressure that rider Angel Karolyi added with a hair-raising explosion of speed down the last line that climaxed with a Superman leap in a single bound over the final obstacle to stop the clock at 38.180, Geitner knew the challenge was on. “I saw him [Angel] and thought, 'That’s going to really tough to beat,'" Geitner said.
Before getting his crack at the leader, local junior rider-owner Sara Ketcham blasted into the ring with Annismindes Caesar to take over the top spot with a jaw-dropping clear performance time of 38.174. “She [Sara] was super! She has a fast, small, very cat-like horse. She rode great, it was impressive.” Geitner complimented of Ketcham’s ride. Soon after Trading Places crossed through the gate with ears pricked and eyes surveying the floor. The gelding moved with the precision of a ballroom dancing star as he glided around the course. “The best place I felt we’d be quicker was from #1 to #2;fence #2 was a bit of a blind turn, and he [Trading Places] just trusted me, saw it, and went for it,” Geitner said. Their crescendo came as the clock registered an official clean time of 37.805, and the audience squealed with delight. Three others would try but fail to unseat Geitner and Places from the top spot. “Great class, great competition and a great partner. What more could I ask for,” Geitner added on his stroll back to the barn with an affectionate pat on Trading Places’ shoulder.
Earlier in the week Geitner picked up top ribbons i