Mandy Porter and Milano jumped to the top of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Sacramento and 16 places up the North American League ranks on Saturday.
Porter (USA), a Northern California native, and the 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding were the only pair to post a double-clear performance to capture the qualifier at Sacramento International CSIW 3*.
“Milano was so in-form tonight. I couldn’t have asked him to do anything better,” said Porter. “As long as I stay out of his way, he’s unbelievable. He just rose to the occasion. I wasn’t sure if he was going to be nervous with the crowd, but in reality, he thrived on it. In the jump-off, he felt solid, not nervous. He basically was saying, ‘Don’t mess this up for me today!’”
Only four riders were able to navigate Marina Azevedo’s (BRA) course without fault in the first round. Porter had the disadvantage of going first over the shortened course.
“Milano is quite fast, and in all honestly, my strategy was not to get too excited rolling back to the vertical [at fence seven],” Porter explained. “I have a tendency to get a little excited, and I wanted to give him the chance to see [the fence] and jump it and be balanced. After that, it was a galloping game.”
Their blazing time of 39.16 seconds wasn’t just good enough to win, it would have held had her competitors jumped cleanly.
Porter’s top finish moves her up to fourth-place in the standings for the west coast sub league of the North American League with 22 points. The League continues with another west coast stop in Del Mar (USA) on Saturday 21 October 2017.
You can expect to see Milano and Porter there.
“We’ll go home [from here], and he will have a little bit of an easy week next week, and then we’ll be at Del Mar for the Qualifier,” said Porter. “We’re going to keep plugging away one [show] at a time. This is still new for Milano, too—the indoor shows.”
Jenni McAllister (USA) and Legis Touch the Sun were second in Saturday’s World Cup Qualifier. Richard Spooner (USA) and new mount Chatinus finished third.
Catch all the FEI classes at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Del Mar on HorseNetwork.com/live, October 18–22, 2017.