Articles: Press Release
Georgina Bloomberg Captures $50,000 Knockout Over Great Britain's Michael Whitaker in Las Vegas
PHOTO CREDIT: Georgina Bloomberg and Nadia race to Las Vegas Knockout win. Photo by Peter Llewelyn, Split-Second Photography.
Kenneth Kraus of Phelps Media Group, Inc. at (561)
753-3389 or at email@example.com
Las Vegas, NV - October 17, 2005 - Georgina Bloomberg of New York City topped a field of sixteen of the best riders in the world to win the $50,000 Knockout competition at the inaugural $1 million Las Vegas World Invitational CSI 5* at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV on Friday.
The exciting class, featuring riders going head to head, racing over identical courses, had a field of sixteen starters who qualified for the finals during a morning class on Friday. The riders battled each other until only two riders remained for the final match-up.
2004 Olympic Individual Gold Medalist and three time World Cup Champion Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil and four time Belgian Olympic veteran Ludo Philippaerts both made it through to the semi-finals, but in the end, Great Britain's Michael Whitaker, also a four time Olympian, faced off against Bloomberg a relative newcomer to international action.
Bloomberg, a key member of the United States Equestrian Team's Samsung Super League championship this past summer, joined the international ranks just a couple of years ago.
Bloomberg outraced fellow American riders Lauren Hough and Schuyler Riley in the first two races and then Brazil's Rodrigo Pessoa in the semi-finals to advance to face Whitaker.
The two show jumping stars started out neck and neck, but when Whitaker and his mount, Iqbal des Hayettes, crashed through the fourth fence, he left the door wide open for Bloomberg. Cheered on by the crowd, the New York City native did not hesitate, urging her mount Nadia over the fences and through the timers to claim victory and $16,000 in prize money. Nadia, a 10 year old Dutch mare, is owned by the Gotham Enterprizes of New York City.
Bloomberg talked about facing the veteran Pessoa in the semi-finals. "That was amazing. I wasn't expecting to win that heat at all," said a smiling Bloomberg. "I just went all out in that one. I knew he was going to be very fast. He was on a very fast horse. I felt I had to leave out a couple of strides to beat him and the fences just came up for me perfectly."
According to Bloomberg, the race against Whitaker came down to her being able to come home with a fault free ride. "I didn't know Michael's horse, but I knew he was a big horse and would be eating up the strides, and in the other races that was my advantage," Bloomberg explained. "So in the final I knew I had to make up time in the turns. But, when I heard the rail crash on his course, I slowed it down a bit and went for the clear ride."
Bloomberg, who just returned to action following a broken collar bone sustained at the American Gold Cup in September, said that although she's not one hundred percent, she's getting more physically fit every day. "It's a little touch and go. I'm a little weaker than I'd like to be, a little less prepared for this type of event," she admitted. "But the pain isn't too bad. It's something I can put up with until I get stronger."
Bloomberg praised the first year event, especially for the creative courses and jumps. "The jumps they've built for this event bring a whole new element to show jumping and I'm sure the crowds will enjoy them." Olaf Petersen of Germany is the Course Designer for the Las Vegas Invitational.
Earlier in the day, Bloomberg and Nadia finished as the highest placed American duo in the $25,000 Las Vegas Stakes, the qualifying event for the Friday night Knockout.
Ludo Philippaerts of Belgium claimed the victory with a winning time of 45.77 seconds, almost two seconds faster than second-place finisher Marcus Ehning of Germany. Bloomberg clocked in at a time of 47.73 seconds to finish third.
THE $50,000 KNOCK-OUT -International Jumping Competition - FEI Art. 272 Table C 1m45 -Friday 14 October, 2005
1 - Georgina Bloomberg USA
2 - Michael Whitaker GBR
T3 - Ludo Philippaerts BEL
Rodrigo Pessoa BRA
T5 - Jessica Kürten IRL
Laura Kraut USA
Schuyler Riley USA
Christian Ahlmann GER
Ian Millar CAN.
Las Vegas Stakes - International Jumping Competition - FEI Art. 238.2.1 Table A 1m50 - Qualification for the Knock-Out - Friday October 14, 2005
1 -Tauber VH Kapelhof - Ludo PHILIPPAERTS (BEL) - 0.00 45.77
2 -Gelha's Junior - Marcus EHNING (GER) - 0.00 47.43
3 -Nadia - Georgina BLOOMBERG (USA) - 0.00 47.73
4 -Iqbal Des Hayettes - Michael WHITAKER (GBR) - 0.00 47.83
5 -H&M Tamina - Malin BARYARD-JOHNSSON (SWE) - 0.00 47.90
6 -Royal Charmer - Markus FUCHS (SUI) - 0.00 48.01