Hillary Dobbs rode her speedy mount Marengo to victory in Friday morning's $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival . Other top finishers for the day included Conor Swail and Donatello, in the $32,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Classic. Laura Chapot and Umberto won the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class.
Ten entries out of 74 jumped clear in this morning's $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge showing over a course set by Michel Vaillancourt, of Aiken S.C. Hillary Dobbs and Marengo, owned by The Dobbs Group, had the fastest time by almost four seconds in 59.736 seconds to earn the top prize.
Laura Chapot and Elizabeth R, owned by Chapot and Barbara Rockford, were the first pair to clear the speed track and set the time in 63.947 seconds, which would eventually finish third. Second place went to Michael Murphy and Audi's Allouette Van Het Lambroeck, owned by Murphy & Team Rakowsky, with their time of 63.840 seconds.
Class winner Hillary Dobbs has made a great comeback this season after some significant time off in 2011. Dobbs had knee surgery over the winter and did not ride for almost six months. She started showing again in Vermont at the end of the summer, but missed indoors after being out for most of the year.
Marengo is a fourteen-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Quantom x Lesanto. He is known for his speed, and has galloped to many victories throughout North America with Dobbs in the irons. After a long break from the show ring, the gelding is back to his winning ways.
"He felt great today. He started out the circuit fresh and strong and won classes the first three weeks that we showed," Dobbs recalled. "We had a little bit of a dry spell there for a few weeks, but these last weeks we have started getting into our groove again. Today he felt just like his old self. He came out fresh and just the way he is when he is in top form. He makes my job easy; he is so fast and ready to turn and competitive. He is as competitive as I am and having a horse like that really makes your job so much easier."
For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.
Final Results: $6,000 Spy Coast Farm Speed Challenge 1.40m
1. MARENGO, HILLARY DOBBS, THE DOBBS GROUP: 0/59.736
2. AUDI'S ALLOUETTE VAN HET LAMBROECK, MICHAEL MURPHY, TEAM RAKOWSKY & MICHAEL MURPHY: 0/63.840
3. ELIZABETH R, LAURA CHAPOT, LAURA CHAPOT & BARBARA ROCKFORD: 0/63.947
4. ACLETTE Z, CHARLIE JAYNE, PONY LANE FARM: 0/63.953
5. VITESSE, TIFFANY FOSTER, ARTISAN FARMS & TORREY PINES LLC: 0/67.342
6. LARGO, RAMIRO QUINTANA, MAVERICK VENTURES LLC: 0/69.037
7. APRIL, SAER COULTER, COPERNICUS STABLES: 0/69.585
8. CASADORA, LAUREN HOUGH, LAURA MATEO: 0/70.965
9. LANDLYSTS LEROY, LJUBOV KOCHETOVA, LJUBOV KOCHETOVA: 0/71.749
10. EREGAST VAN'T KIEZELHOF, SHANE SWEETNAM, SWEET OAK FARM: 0/72.106
11. QUIRINUS, DANIEL ZETTERMAN, FAMILY KINNESON: 1/74.116
12. S & L SLINGBACK, DARRAGH KERINS, S&L FARM: 1/74.884
Source: Press release from Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.