Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) competition at the Las Vegas National CSI4*-W came to a thrilling conclusion on Saturday, November 20, as Hunter Holloway and Pepita Con Spita hit the jackpot with the win in the $150,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Las Vegas, presented by Walter Oil & Gas Corporation.
Finishing in second place behind 23-year-old Holloway was 22-year-old Natalie Dean aboard Chance Ste Hermelle, another young U.S. rider with an increasingly impressive resume, and the only other rider to produce a double clear effort on Saturday night. Third place went to the USA’s Laura Hite and Calypso VD Zuuthoeve, owned by HF Farms LLC.
From a starting field of 29 entries, the additional riders to join in the jump-off besides the top three included Australia’s Rowan Willis on Blue Movie, Canada’s Erynn Ballard aboard Billy Alpen, and Portugal’s Luis Sabino Gonçalves with Argan de Beliard.
As rails fell for Willis, Hite, Ballard, and later Gonçalves, the door was left open for Holloway, and she flew right through it. Utilizing tight turns and slick inside tracks, Holloway and Pepita Con Spita sped over the short course set by internationally renowned Olympic and World Cup course designer Guilherme Jorge, stopping the clock in 37.77 seconds.
“That mare is super consistent going quick, and the faster she goes, the better she is,” said Holloway who has been partnered with Pepita Con Spita since 2019. “So, I was always going to go for it. That was my plan from the start with her, to give it my best go and really put the pedal to the metal. She only gets better the more we go with her.”
Dean and Chance Ste Hermelle, owned by Marigold Sporthorses, LLC, returned next and followed an inside track similar to Holloway’s, but the time to beat would prove tough to catch, with Dean finishing in second place on a time of 40.83 seconds.
Following her victory, Holloway has her sights set even more on the 2022 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Leipzig, and her win at the Las Vegas National CSI4*-W puts her into ninth place in the North American League standings.
“It’s something that we’re aiming toward with that horse,” said Holloway, who hails from Topeka, KS. “She’s a perfect age for it, so we’re excited to keep going with her and see how things shake out.”
Dean similarly hopes to qualify for the World Cup Jumping Final, and she currently sits in third place in the North American League standings.
“It’s a really big honor for me,” said Dean of sitting in the top three on Saturday night. “The World Cup Final is definitely a big goal for us. To be so consistent and be clear on all three of the [World Cup Qualifiers] that we’ve done so far this year is really rewarding.”
For Blenheim EquiSports president and U.S. show jumping chef d’équipe, Robert Ridland, Saturday night’s class represented top sport and a promising future for American show jumping.
“This is really exciting, seeing three American flags here,” said Ridland of the top three riders. “I would say that this is the best indoor facility in the world for our sport. It’s amazing what we’ve been seeing all week in all the divisions. It’s on an upward trajectory, and to be honest, I had no idea this many people would show up! That was amazing.”
Jorge added, “When we work together, me and Robert, I know that the aim is always on the top sport. We have really good conditions here. It’s a really nice size arena for an indoor ring. For us, as course designers, it’s always nice to see the horses jumping well. The faults were all spread. Everybody I think can go home with a good experience.”
To view the full results from Saturday’s $150,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Las Vegas, presented by Walter Oil & Gas Corporation, click here. To watch the live rebroadcast, tune in to CBS Sports Network on Monday, November 29, at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST.
Competition at the 2021 Las Vegas National CSI4*-W culminates on Sunday, November 21 with the conclusion of the Marshall & Sterling/USHJA National Championships. To learn more, visit www.TheLasVegasNational.com.
provided by Las Vegas National