Alex Granato rode Carlchen W to the win in the $135,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Columbus CSI3*-W Presented by CaptiveOne bringing a close to the Split Rock Jumping Tour's (SRJT) two-week stay at Brave Horse Show Park in Johnstown, Ohio.
SRJT's event at Brave Horse is one of just 14 events selected by the FEI to be part of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League that helps determine which North American riders qualify to go to the 2020 Longines FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas next April.
Twelve of the 40 first-round riders were fault-free over the 16-effort course designed by Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany. The jump-off field was comprised of Olympians and top international competitors: 10 riders from the United States, one from Colombia and one from Ireland.
Nicole Shahinian-Simpson blazed an early lead aboard the speedy mare, Akuna Mattata, setting the time to beat at 46.910 seconds. Granato, positioned in the middle of the jump-off field, took the lead with a time of 44.260 seconds aboard the 11 year-old German Warmblood, Carlchen W. U.S. Olympic veteran Margie Goldstein-Engle and Dicas, looked to challenge Granato's time, however it was not to be as the duo turned in a clean round in 46.200 seconds for second place moving Shahinian-Simpson into third.
"I know I have a quick horse and I wanted to stay focused in the jump-off," said Granato, of his strategy. "This season my whole focus has been the World Cup Finals and I have two more qualifiers this year so that is where I will continue to put my attention."
Riders had nothing but praise for the Petersen course, Brave Horse Show Park footing and the SRJT organizer efforts of Derek Braun and his team. "It's a testament to Derek that so many riders came to Columbus for this World Cup qualifier with so many other events happening. It was a great event," said Engle.