Show Jumping

Claire Mckean Tops a 19-Horse Jump Off to Claim Her First International Victory

©Cara Grimshaw/tbird

They had two time faults in Wednesday’s CSI2* class.

One time fault on Thursday.

And ended with an international win on Saturday!

USA’s Claire Mckean and Eregast van’t Kiezelhof were clearly headed in the right direction this week at Thunderbird Show Park in Langley, BC. The 20-year old rider captured her first international victory with the $35,500 CSI2* Jump for Uryadi’s Village Grand Prix.

“Today one of the biggest things going into the course was staying within the time allowed,” said the Texas based rider, who trains with Canada’s Tiffany Foster. “He has such a big stride, and sometimes getting all the right strides in the lines is hard, so it makes me have to go slower everywhere else. So everywhere I had the chance, I made sure to gallop away.”

Some 64 competitors contested the Peter Holmes designed 1.45m course. Of those, a total of 19 qualified for the jump-off.

Mckean had the luck of the draw.

Last to go, she rode a tight turn back to the third fence, an oxer with a natural liverpool, and did eight strides to the final oxer to stop the clock in 38.90 seconds. It was just over one tenth of a second faster than runner up John Perez (COL) and Extra Minkus’s time of 39.02 seconds.

John Perez and Extra Minkus. ©Cara Grimshaw/tbird

“I wasn’t expecting to win in a 19-horse jump-off, as my horse is one particularly on the slow side, but I decided to give it all I got today, and it worked out,” said Mckean.

“I trusted my horse’s scope. I tried my best at it, and he produced immensely, and he was so good to me. Everywhere else, too—he just jumped amazing today.”

Sofía Larrea Burrllo (MEX) and Gigolo finished third in a time of 39.16 seconds.