By Catie Staszak
Mandy Porter couldn’t help but hold back tears as she stood for the American national anthem after winning the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping qualifier at Sacramento with Milano.
Porter (USA), a Northern California native, and Abigail Weese’s 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding were the only double-clear performers on the evening. Jenni McAllister (USA) and Legis Touch the Sun were second, and Richard Spooner and new mount Chatinus (USA) finished third.
“Milano was so in-form tonight. I couldn’t have asked him to do anything better,” Porter said. “As long as I stay out of his way, he’s unbelievable. He just rose to the occasion. I wasn’t sure if he was going to be nervous with the crowd, but in reality, he thrived on it. In the jump-off, he felt solid, not nervous. He basically was saying, ‘Don’t mess this up for me today!’”
Only four riders were able to navigate Marina Azevedo’s (BRA) course without fault in the first round, and when returning for the shortened course, Porter was in the disadvantageous position of having to go first. Not only were she and her mount the only ones to keep all the jumps up, but their blazing time of 39.16 seconds was also good enough to win even if her competitors would have also jumped cleanly.
“Milano is quite fast, and in all honestly, my strategy was not to get too excited rolling back to the vertical [at fence seven],” Porter explained. “I have a tendency to get a little excited, and I wanted to give him the chance to see [the fence] and jump it and be balanced. After that, it was a galloping game.”
Porter’s finish moves her up to fourth-place in the standings for the west coast sub league of the North American League with 22 points. The League continues with another west coast stop in Del Mar (USA) on Saturday 21 October 2017.
1. Milano, Mandy Porter (US) 0/0 39.16
2. Legis Touch the Sun, Jenni McAllister (USA) 0/4 38.34
3. Chatinus, Richard Spooner (USA) 0/4 42.47
4. Dolinn, Sayre Happy (USA) 0/4 44.04
5. Utopia, John Perez (COL) 4 70.74
Full results can be viewed here
Facts and Figures
A total of 29 riders competed in the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Sacramento representing six nations. All four jump-off riders were from the United States.
Richard Spooner has only shown his mount Chatinus five times. This was the 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding’s World Cup qualifier debut. He was formerly campaigned by Timo Beck (GER) and David Will (GER).
It took seven riders before Fences 11a-b were cleared successfully. A clear round was not achieved until Porter at 10th in the order.
Sayre Happy is the highest-ranked rider in the North American west coast sub league standings to have competed in Sacramento. Her fourth-place finish moved her up to second with a total of 26 points, three behind leader Jenn Serek.
Mandy Porter (USA) – 1st
“We’ll go home [from here], and [Milano] will have a little bit of an easy week next week, and then we’ll be at Del Mar for the [Longines FEI World Cup Jumping™ Del Mar]. Then, we’ll definitely make it out to Las Vegas. I don’t know if we’ll make it out to Calgary, but we’re going to keep plugging away one [show] at a time. This is still new for Milano, too—the indoor shows.”
Jenni McAllister (USA) — 2nd
“[Legis Touch the Sun] is growing up. He’s just turning 11, which is still pretty young, and he’s a very big horse. He’s maturing, and every year he learns one more thing. Every year, he just takes that next step.”
“I tried to sneak inside a fence to the in-and-out [in the jump-off], and it didn’t work out for me. I knew I had to be extra fast [to catch Porter].”
Richard Spooner (USA) — 3rd
“I couldn’t be much happier [with Chatinus]. I could be two places happier; that’s about it! He was spectacular.”
“I’m over the moon with how fast the relationship has come along.”
Standings: Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League — West Coast
1. Jenn Serek (CAN) 29
2. Sayre Happy (USA) 26
3. Jamie Barge (USA) 25
4. Mandy Porter (USA) 22
5. Chris Surbey (CAN) 17
5. Jenni McAllister (USA) 17
7. Richard Spooner (USA) 15
8. Laura Jane Tidball (CAN) 15
9. Ali Ramsay (CAN) 12
9. John Perez (COL) 12
Full standings can be viewed here
Standings: Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League — East Coast
1. Conor Swail (IRL) 20
1. Devin Ryan (USA) 20
1. Isabelle Lapierre (CAN) 20
4. Keean White (CAN) 20
5. McLain Ward (USA) 17
6. Alison Robitaille (USA) 16
7. Heather Caristo-Williams (USA) 15
7. Jack Towell (USA) 15
9. Brianne Goutal (USA) 13
9. Juan Manuel Gallego (COL) 13
Full standings can be viewed here