Seven countries were represented in Saturday’s $37,000 FEI 1.45m Jump-off at the 2022 Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows, with 36 entries tackling the 16-effort course designed by Ireland’s Alan Wade. With only eight making it to the jump-off and five going double clear, American Adrienne Sternlicht flew above the rest, riding to a blue-ribbon finish in 31.150 seconds.
Second to last in the initial order and the final challenger in the jump-off, Sternlicht focused not on her competitors’ rounds but on the ride underneath her: Lafayette Van Overis, an 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding owned by Starlight Farms 1 LLC. The pair shaved 1.22 seconds off Rodrigo Pessoa’s (BRA) time to beat with their effortlessly smooth and speedy round.
“I didn’t watch Rodrigo because of the setup, just because there was not a lot of time between my first round and my second,” Sternlicht said. “I just wanted to stick to my plan with this horse. He’s really fast, and over everything together so far, we’ve been in the top few. I deliberately went quite conservative in the 1.45m class on Thursday with the intention to save him up for today, and I just stuck to my plan.
“I’ve had him for about a year and a half,” she added. “He initially was not my ride. It took a bit of time to figure him out, but I knew that it was worth putting in that time because he’s an unbelievable competitor. When he’s in top form, you know that with any class you go in, you have a real chance to compete, and that’s a really special thing. It’s so valuable to have a horse like him in your string when you’re competing week in and week out against some of the best, fastest riders in the world.”
Pessoa ultimately finished in second place with his time of 32.270 seconds aboard Artemis Equestrian LLC’s 10-year-old Westphalian mare Chili. Katie Dinan (USA) took third, stopping the clock at 34.210 seconds aboard Athos D’Elle, Grant Road Partners LLC’s 12-year-old Selle Français stallion.