A total of 22 riders contested the first-round course designed by Ken Krome (USA), with six pairs returning for the jump-off. “The course was really good,” Tafur explained. “It was a little technical. The course designer is very fair and very technical. All the horses jumped great, and I think the best horse won!
“I [was up against] Todd Minikus, Santiago Lambre, Samuel Parot, and Juan Ortiz; every single one of them is a fast rider. I wanted to do my fastest course while trying to leave the jumps up, and everything just worked out for me,” Tafur shared of his strategy heading into the jump-off.
Although Tafur and the 2008 Dutch Warmblood mare (Van Gogh x Animo) owned by Walkman Horses BV were competing in the 1.50m divisions in Wellington this past winter, Tafur’s winter injury resulting in a broken knee put him and his mount out of the show ring for almost ten weeks. “This is her [Dena Sienne’s] second show back and finally she’s getting back into the groove [of things]. Sometimes, for horses that’s a little hard,” he continued. “She’s not ready for the Grand Prix this week. I have another one that’s going in it, but this one has had three days in a row [of showing] and I think that’s enough until the next show.”