The final ‘Saturday Night Lights’ was a very exciting night of show jumping. There were a total of 40 horses and riders and amoung them several of the best in the world. But the course designed by Guilherme Jorge was full of difficult questions for these riders . The second pair to go Richard Vogel of Germany and Cepano Baloubet had a clear round and would be going on to the Jump Off. The fifth pair Bertram Allen of Ireland and Pacino Amiro also went clear.
Then horse and rider number 7 Karl Cook of the and Kalinka Van’t Zorgvliet of the USA went clear also.
Carlos Hank Guerriero and his mount ‘Just the Music’ were the 10th combination and they also went clear.
Then we had to wait for Roberto Teran Tafur and Dez’Ooktoff, who came in number the number 20 position, to have a clear round. I had seen two well known Canadians have rails down: Tiffany Foster and Mario Deslauriers as well as many other riders who were not able to get clear rounds.
It was during the break between the two sections of 20 horse and rider combinations that the rain began. It has not rained here in Wellington for weeks. If anything there have been drought conditions. I stayed outside for a few mintues and then retreated to the Media Center. It’s possible to take photos from the center and be out of the rain. That huge lens you can see is not mine.
In the second 20 combinations there were only 2 clear rounds. Alessandra Volpi and her horse Berlinda ( in photo below)and McLain Ward
McLain Ward and HH Azur.
Having started at around 7:45 pm it was 9:30 when it was time for the jump off.
Richard Vogel was the first and he set off at a cracking pace.
He knew Cepano Baloubet could do it . But nearing the end of the shortened Jump Off course he asked a very difficult question of his horse. Look at this photo. You can see there is a vertical fence at right angles to the fence they are jumping.
He swept his horse round that jump and with only two strides asked him to jump it. When they cleared it a huge gasp rose from all the hundreds of spectators. Watch for it on this video.Click on the link below.
Richard Vogel had a very fast time 40.53 seconds! And no other rider would be able to beat that. Although some tried. Roberto Teran Tafur of Colombia and Dez’Ooktoff were 9 seconds slower for second place.
Mexican rider Carlos Hank Guerriero and H5 ‘Just the Music’ tried but came in 7th place. That’s nothing to be ashamed of at this level of competition.
So Richard Vogel was the winner. The announcer told us several times that this meant Richard would be taking home $165,000 as his share of the $500,000 Prize money. I do think that the horse’s owner Veronica Tracy will be getting some of it to help pay for the very considerable expenses of transport and care for Cepano Baloubet as a top athlete.
There were also some things for families ; A petting zoo, and a carousel, and also the stilt people who greeted me when I arrived.
The stilt people.
And so the final Saturday Night Lights came to an end. But I will be back next year and I have decided to do my photo taking from the comfort of the media center.
I’d love to hear from you!