Wayne, Ill. – Aug. 8, 2019 – The third and final Welcome Grand Prix of the 2019 Chicago Festival of the Horse took place on Thursday, August 8, in the form of the $5,000 Open Welcome Grand Prix. Twenty-two competitors and their top mounts were given one final shot at claiming the Welcome Grand Prix title and the lion’s share of money. Making the most of the final opportunity to win the class was Taylor Flury and her very own Calano Z.
The 1.40m course designed by Paul Jewell, a sought-after “R” course designer in both hunters and jumpers, was comprised of 13 obstacles. Windy conditions and a complicated track were no match for the 8-year-old Zandersheide stallion and Flury, who showed no mercy through tight turns and open areas in the course, stepping on the gas every shot they had. A faultless ride in the first round and a time of 77.964 seconds meant that the pair would move straight onto the jump-off. Over the shortened course, Flury and Calano Z put in another clear ride and a time of 42.079 seconds thanks to their open gallop from fence four to five, which shaved seconds off of their time. Their need for speed set the tone for the remainder of the class, but was not to be beat.
Calano Z is a breeding stallion that has been under the ownership of Flury since he was a foal. The handsome stallion’s record includes accomplishments such as qualifying for Lanaken World Championships for Young Horses, USEF National Horse of the Year in the 5-year-old Jumpers, champion of the 6-year-olds at the Winter Equestrian Festival and first place in the Tryon Welcome Stake in April.
Coming in just over half a second after Flury was Michael Burnett and Chagrand, his 10-year-old Oldenburg. The gelding covered ground quickly throughout both courses, leaving all of the rails up as well. For a moment, it seemed that Burnett was going to beat Flury’s time, but as they landed from the final jump of the seven obstacle jump-off they stopped the timers at 42.719 seconds, sliding them into the second place position and leaving Flury on top.
For Beyaert Farm, Tiffany Hammack rode Crack Elle Chavannaise to the third place ribbon. The 11-year-old Belgian Sporthorse mare jumped two clear rounds and tripped the timers at 43.858 seconds during the jump-off. On Wednesday, Hammack rode Crack Elle Chavannaise to second place in the 1.40m Open Jumpers.
Jumper competition at the Chicago Festival of the Horse will resume on Friday, August 9, at 8:00 a.m. with the 1.20m Jumpers.
Taylor Flurry – $5,000 Open Welcome Grand Prix winner
On Calano Z:
“Both [Calano Z] and [Carrasca Z] are actually breeding stallions and I’ve owned both of them since they were foals. I’m the only one that has ever shown [Calano Z]. We just got back from Spruce Meadows and then he had a little break, so we came up here to get a nice couple of rounds in because we’re going to the Hamptons in a few weeks. I showed yesterday, but I felt a little rusty because I separated my shoulder last week.”
On the first round:
“[Calano Z] can get a little shifty off of the ground, so I wanted to be straight and carry a good rhythm because I have a tendency to pull. My goal was to be smooth, carry a good rhythm, try to be straight off of the ground and try to be a little more organized in my own riding. He was really good and followed the plan. He tried really hard today, so it’s always good when they try and help you.”
On the jump-off:
“With my first horse, [Carrasca Z], I added in two of the lines. He had a bit of a break and now he’s just coming back, so I wanted to be smooth. On [Calano Z] I felt like I was able to leave out the strides and go forward a little bit more. He walked the lines and I just tried to be smooth and tidy everywhere and it worked out!”
On Lamplight Equestrian Center:
“We haven’t been here in a few years just because it hasn’t worked in the schedule. This year I was home, and I tried to come last week, but with my shoulder I couldn’t, so we came this week instead! I live 45 minutes from here, so I grew up at Lamplight. I love Equifest – they always set good tracks so that you can get good practice. They understand that the jumps need to be built to size, it’s good footing, nice people and good management, so I think we will definitely be back next year!”
On her plans for Calano Z and Carrasca Z moving forward:
“These horses are both young, [Calano Z] is 8 years old and [Carrasca Z] is 9 years old, so my goal this year has been to try and keep getting smoother and keep moving up the ranks. They will both compete in the grand prix this Saturday and then I’m hoping we will be able to do the 1.45m division at the Hamptons.”
$5,000 Open Welcome Grand Prix:
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults / Time / R2 Faults / Time
1. Calano Z / Taylor Flury / Aliboo Farm, Inc. / 0 / 77.964 / 0 / 42.079
2. Chagrand / Michael Burnett / Michael Burnett / 0 / 78.506 / 0 / 42.719
3. Crack Elle Chavannaise / Tiffany Hammack / Beyaert Farm Inc. / 0 / 76.702 / 0 / 43.858
4. Carrasca Z / Taylor Flury / Aliboo Farm, Inc. / 0 / 76.331 / 0 / 44.339
5. Z Diamanti / Taylor McMurtry / Looking Back Farm / 0 / 76.794 / 0 / 45.426
6. Hudson VDL / Amanda Flint / Amanda Flint / 0 / 80.325 / 1 / 45.643
7. Anos Veros / Stellar Swarr / High Hopes Farm LLC / 0 / 78.002 / 4 / 43.390
8. Casisus 74 / Stephen Foran / Freedom Woods / 0 / 75.048 / 8 / 40.905
9. Jahil / Isabella Bleu Baxter / Isabella Bleu Baxter / 0 / 77.290 / 27 / 63.748
10. Escasa 289 / Taylor McMurtry / Taylor McMurtry / 3 / 84.424 / – / –
11. Al Pachini / Shannon Hicks / Helen Gilbert / 4 / 73.999 / – / –
12. Zarkava / Steve Schaefer / Steve Schaefer / 4 / 74.331 / – / –