Rafael Jose Contreras wins the $33,000 CSI2* Hollow Creek Winning Round at Live Oak International

RELEASE: March 24, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Starting Gate Communications

Rafael Jose Contreras of the Dominican Republic flies to the finish riding Valencio R.A.G. in the $33,000 CSI2* Hollow Creek Farm Winning Round at the Live Oak International on Sunday, March 24, in Ocala, FL. (Mark Astrom)
Rafael Jose Contreras of the Dominican Republic flies to the finish riding Valencio R.A.G. in the $33,000 CSI2* Hollow Creek Farm Winning Round at the Live Oak International on Sunday, March 24, in Ocala, FL. (Mark Astrom)
Ocala, FL
- A newcomer to the international show jumping ranks won the $33,000 CSI2* Hollow Creek Winning Round competition on Sunday afternoon.  The format saw the top 10 riders, regardless of faults, advance to a second ‘winning round’ where everyone starts with a clean slate.  From the starting field of 29 entries, eight riders posted clear rounds and were joined in the winning round by Sharn Wordley of New Zealand and Kim Prince of the United States, both of whom had incurred one time fault in the opening round.

With the winning round underway, speed was the name of the game over the track set by two-time Olympic course designer Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela.  The times grew progressively faster until Andre Thieme of Germany took over the lead with a time of 47.60 seconds riding Clitschko 4.  With only one rider left to challenge, hopes were riding high on Rafael Jose Contreras of the Dominican Republic.  The 20-year-old did not disappoint, treating the crowd to an exuberant performance riding Valencio R.A.G. and stopping the clock in 44.91 seconds, almost three seconds faster than Thieme.

“It’s my first FEI win!” said a thrilled Contreras.  “I’ve had my horse for four years, and he’s a great horse.  He’s really spooky, but a good spooky.”
A college student in Santo Domingo, Contreras has been traveling back and forth to the United States for the past five years to train with Paulo Santana.  2013 marked his first trip to the Live Oak International, but he’s already making plans to return.

“I’ve never been here before, but for sure I’m going to come back!” promised Contreras.  “It was really, really nice, I enjoyed it here.  The course design and the footing are really good.  The owners are really nice people.”

Jerry Parks Insurance Group recognized Contreras as the Leading Amateur Rider, awarding him a $1,000 bonus, while Chloe Reid, daughter of Live Oak International Co-President Juliet W. Reid, was named the Leading Junior Rider and also received a $1,000 bonus.

Having won the $5,000 1.30m Waldron Wealth Management Power &Speed, the $10,000 E2 Show Jumpers Welcome Stake, and Saturday’s $50,000 CSI2* Live Oak International Grand Prix, it was no surprise that Todd Minikus of Wellington, FL, was awarded the $10,000 Leading Rider bonus, presented by G&C Farm.

For the first time, live coverage of the Live Oak International show jumping and driving competition was offered on the USEF Network at  The Live Oak International is the only event in North America to feature both international show jumping and driving events.

$33,000 CSI2* Hollow Creek Farm Winning Round – Sunday, March 24, 2013
      Rider                                        Country                          Horse                           Faults     Time
1.   Rafael Jose Contreras            Dominican Republic        Valencio R.A.G.            0            44.91
2.   Andre Thieme                         Germany                         Clitschko 4                    0            47.60
3.   Chloe Reid                              United States                  Victor E                         0            47.73
4.   Sharn Wordley                        New Zealand                  Derly Chin de Muze      0            48.32
5.   Kim Prince                              United States                 Windbreaker                  0            48.39
6.   Samuel Parot                         Chile                               AL Calypso                    0            52.70
7.   Victor Segovia                        Venezuela                      Romeo                           4            46.45
8.   Francois Lamontagne            Canada                          Coolio 17                        4            49.04
9.    Mark Bluman                        Colombia                        G&C Lepanto                 8            44.60
10.  Manuel Fernandez Hache    Dominican Republic       Maribel H                       8            47.87