Hunter Holloway triumphs at World Cup in Las Vegas
Hunter Holloway (USA) knew she had a talented mount in Westphalian 10 year old mare Pepita Con Spita long before raising her to World Cup level last month in October. But the 23-year-old professional insisted on waiting before allowing her mare to take a new step in her career. In fact, it took six international Grand Prix victories in 2021 to convince her. Patience paid off, as it only took three World Cup starts for the duo to win the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup ™ Las Vegas (USA) at the South Point Arena, just minutes from the iconic Las Vegas Strip. Las Vegas.
Holloway dominated an all-American, all-women podium in Vegas, finishing ahead of 21-year-old Natalie Dean (USA), who won a third World Cup in as many starts aboard her own Chance Ste Hermelle. Laura Hite (USA) finished third after skipping the first clear round of her World Cup career aboard longtime partner Calypso van de Zuuthoeve.
“She’s been a fantastic horse to ride,” Holloway said. “I hope she will be a team horse for the future so this is something that we look forward to. Building a relationship with her has been great. gets better and better with each class every year. “
Guilherme Jorge (BRA) designed the course for Saturday night’s flagship event in the South Point Arena, one of the most unique locations in the North American League in that the competitive arena is located in the South Hotel Point. Rails fell all along its twisty track, which featured technical testing at every turn, especially on the final line. The last vertical of 1.60m fell for Conor Swail (IRL) and Vital Chance de la Roque, who kicked off the 2021/2022 NAL season with wins in Vancouver (CAN) and Sacramento (USA).
Six other combinations advanced on the shortened track, but clear runs were still difficult to achieve. Holloway was the first to produce a clear double and set a stiff standard at 37.77 seconds. Only Natalie Dean had a clear second, but she was content with second place, more than three seconds (40.83 seconds) behind the winner.
“This mare is super consistent and fast, and the faster she goes the better she is,” Holloway said. “So I was always going to go. It was my plan from the start with her, to give my best.”
From there, Holloway focuses on the future and continues with the NAL with the confidence that her mare is fully prepared for more important tests to come.
“[The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final] is something that we are aiming for with this horse. She’s the perfect age for it, and she’ll be really ready for it by then, “Holloway said.” We’re excited to continue with her and see how things turn. “
If Swail did not make the jump-off, his 11th place allowed him to regain the lead in the NAL standings with 43 points. Tiffany Foster (CAN) is in second place with 42 points, while Dean moved up to third place with 41 points. The North American League continues in Fort Worth (USA) on December 18, 2021.
Source: FEI press release
Photo: Andrew Ryback Photography