WELLINGTON,Fla.--Charlotte Jacobs on Pablo C had two clean rounds to win the $25,000 Seven-Year-Old Young Jumper Final in the International Arena on Friday, March 17, taking the final title.
“This series is unbelievable for a young horse,” said Jacobs, who stopped the clock with only fractions to spare in 41.963 seconds. “Pablo was a pretty experienced 7-year-old for his age when we got him, and he just keeps getting better and better. I’m incredibly excited for him.”
For Jacobs, young horse development is a family affair and one that the whole Jacobs family and their own North Star Sport Horses dedicates much of its efforts to.
“We plan our whole season around this for the young ones, and they make it a big deal now which is really great,” said Jacobs, who also rode Pablo C to a six-year-old final win at WEF in 2022. “We had eight horses showing this week and were knocking on the door all day, so to get the win in the seven-year-olds was great.”
IN A NINE HORSE jump-off, Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire and Israel’s Nataly Leibovitz placed second and third.
Derbyshire was less than a second behind Jacobs on Billy Legend in a time of 42.275 seconds.
“This was definitely a competitive field today and I knew the jump-off was going to be fast,” said Derbyshire. “He’s still a bit green for a 7-year-old, but I’m incredibly pleased with how he handled everything today especially considering I’ve only shown him three times this season.”
Leibovitz on Cheers N wasthird, a bit over a second slower than Derbyshire in 43.831 seconds.
“Cheers is amazing,” Leibovitz said. “She came to us about four months ago, and she is incredibly rideable for her large size. I was very proud of her today because this is the first jump-off we really tried to win and she was game. She was on it, and she seemed to be loving it.”
Ireland’s Senan Hayes celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by winning the $15,000 North Star Six-Year-Old Young Jumper Final on Mischievous.
The top 25 horses from the six-year-old division competed, with 10 advancing to the jump-off.
Mischievous was clean in 38.168, Alice Tapper of Sweden on Ccstud’s Money Maker second in 38.252, and Alexis Bodo on Timeless third with a time of 39.397 seconds.
“Cody Parker, the owner, bred Mischievous here in the USA and she jumped his dam in the high amateurs,” said Hayes. “I was asked during the summer if I’d take him on even though he had not done much yet in his career. I got him around June this summer and have been bringing him along.”
While Parker starts her family and recently welcome a new addition to the family, Hayes will focus on continuing to develop Mischievous.
“We started schooling on Tuesdays and then came to WEF and straight into the six-year-olds,” said Hayes. “He’s brave, careful and scopey so he’s been a pretty straight forward horse to bring along.
“These young horse classes are great for development,” said Hayes. “It was great to get the horses in this ring today. This season has offered a great range and change of scenery for the younger horses. These classes are brilliant.”
“There’s a reward with bringing along the younger ones just from day one where the 4 year olds are learning how to canter, and then getting them into the shows as 5 year olds, and then you really get to see the development when they are 6," said Hayes. "All of a sudden, they are 7 and you are starting to get a real horse, which is a nice progression to be a part of.”
Andrew Barone dominated the $10,000 Five-Year-Old Young Jumper Final, riding Valcor ODF to win and Wizard ODF to place second.
From the qualified top 25, eight advanced to the jump-off.
Barone on Valcor ODF finished clean in 34.191 seconds, three seconds faster than Wizard ODF, clean in 37.093 seconds.
Third place went to Juliana Starbuck on GR Trophy Wife, clean in 38.93.
“I went and tried horses at Alex Jayne’s farm at the end of August and he has nine 5 year olds right now, so I picked a couple I really liked and went partners on them and the rest I’m showing for him,” said Barone. “Alex and I have done business now for over 30years, so it’s been a natural progression.”
“Surprisingly enough, neither of these horses had ever been to a horse show before January of this year in their lives," said Barone. "It’s been a process of trial and error which is the honest truth. They’re all very well-bred horses and ride quite well. It was a matter of figuring out bits to use on them and what they are familiar with versus what they are afraid of.
“Today was definitely a finals course,” said Barone. “It certainly tested everybody. I love these classes at WEF because it allows us to bring them along nicely, and they have been in several different rings now, so they are getting a lot of invaluable exposure.”