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Henrik Gundersen and Complete Take the Blue in the $75,000 Footings Unlimited Grand Prix at HITS-on-the-Hudson.….Lynndee Kemmet reports for PhelpsSports.com
Saugerties, New York – August 6, 2006 – Henrik Gundersen finished his tour at HITS-on-the-Hudson with another Grand Prix win. That makes for three and this last win came on Complete.
The final week in the HITS-on-the-Hudson series will be held August 30 - September 3, but Gundersen said he won’t be around for that one.
“I have to go to California to do a series of shows in order to promote my treadmill. But I’ve had a good time here at HITS and would love to come back next year,” he said.
Indeed, he sees his three Grand Prix wins at HITS as evidence that his treadmill is a successful method for conditioning horses.
“It really makes them strong over the back and when the horses get tired you get a little extra scope,” Gundersen said.
Of course, having a good horse also helps and he said Complete, an 8-year-old Danish gelding owned by The Ridge Farm, is one of the best.
“I saw him last year and found him very interesting. And this year we agreed on me riding this horse for The Ridge Farm and it’s proven to be a successful combination. He’s done seven Grand Prix and taken five blues,” Gundersen said. “He’s a fantastic horse. He’s very careful and very scopey and that suits me because I like riding careful horses.”
Gundersen’s other Grand Prix wins at HITS were with Darvin Garbo. The pair won the $25,000 Grand Prix on June 1 and on July 27.
Gundersen was one of 30 riders in the $75,000 Footings Unlimited Grand Prix. And while the weather was relatively cool compared to the blistering heat of earlier in the week, a good number of the horses seemed a bit tired from dealing with those hot days. The winners of Thursday’s Grand Prix, Molly Ashe and Cocu, withdrew mid-way through round one.
Of the starting field, seven went clear to make the jump-off. Gundersen said the first-round course, designed by Anthony D’Ambrosio, was challenging due to a time allowed of only 89 seconds.
“The course didn’t walk that big and I thought there would be a lot of clear rounds, but the time allowed was very tight and that puts pressure on. That’s the reason I had faults with Darvin Garbo,” he said.
In round run, Darvin Garbo crashed into the seventh fence and nearly sent Henrik over his head.
Gundersen and Complete were one of only two to go clear in the jump-off. The other pair was Federico Sztyrle and Fatalis Fatum with a time of 44.26. Gundersen and Complete finished in 41.64 seconds.
Callan Solem and Allison both took a spill in the jump-off when they attempted a sharp turn the right after coming off a double combination and heading toward the sixth fence. They didn’t make the turn. Allison lost her footing and went down taking Solem with her. But both horse and rider walked out of the ring.
Results - $75,000 Footings Unlimited Grand Prix
1 1079 COMPLETE – Henrik Gundersen – 0-0/41.64
2 716 FATALIS FATUM – Federico Sztyrle – 0-0/44.26
3 33 SUN GOD – Pablo Barrios – 0-4/41.38
4 455 ALIAS – McLain Ward – 0-4/44.79
5 844 PINA COLADA – David Raposa – 0-4/46.16
6 829 POLYGRAAF – William Lowry – 0-8/46.44
7 895 ALLISON – Callan Solem – 0-eliminated
8 532 CATARA ASK – Ramiro Quintana – 2/90.508
9 77 SAMANTHA – Laura Chapot – 4/80.34
10 74 LITTLE BIG MAN – Laura Chapot – 4/82.32
11 1083 HALBI D’ARIANE – McLain Ward – 4/82.88
12 770 ARMANI – Jeffery Welles – 4/87.93