Catherine Tyree and Bokai Race to Win in $40,000 International Jumper Welcome Stake
The $40,000 Welcome Stake was held as a “winning round” format, where the top 10 riders, regardless of how many faults they had in the afternoon’s first round, were invited back for the second round which was held in the evening session. Tyree and Bokai came back seventh in the order of the top 10 and put down a fast, clear round in 34.88 seconds for the win. They followed the 2018 FEI World Cup Jumping Final winners Beezie Madden (USA) and Abigail Wexner’s Breitling LS, who would finish in second place in 35.00 seconds.
Tyree said it was watching Madden from the in-gate that gave her the plan to win.
“Bokai is so quick, and I had the advantage of seeing Beezie go before me. She is so tight in the turns, so I was able to count some of her strides, and I really just wanted to try and do what she did,” said Tyree. “She did six [strides] to the last [jump]; I got a good gallop, and I kept going in five. I really got lucky there; my horse gave an amazing effort, which he shouldn’t have done. He just has a huge heart and he wants to win. He just rises to the challenge when it matters.”
Third place in the class went to this summer’s FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) team gold medalists, Devin Ryan (USA) and Eddie Blue, owned by LL Show Jumpers LLC, who had a time of 35.76 seconds. Cormac Hanley (IRL) and Alma Z, owned by Heathman Farm LLC, were fourth in 37.82 seconds, while fellow WEG team gold medalist Laura Kraut (USA) and St. Bride’s Farm’s Confu were fifth in 38.25 seconds.