Articles: Press Release
Another Victory for Canada's Jill Henselwood
Photo Credit: Cealy Tetley
For Immediate Release:
August 22, 2004.
Lexington, Kentucky: Forty horse and rider combinations gathered this past weekend to contest the $30,000 Rood and Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix, but it was Canada's Jill Henselwood (Oxford Mills, Ontario) who emerged victorious for the second time in as many weeks, on the mighty Dutch mare Callisto.
Eight competitors mastered the first round, sixteen obstacle course set by native Canadian Pierre Jolicoeur. Henselwood had the fortune of being last in the jump-off and by the time she returned for the timed phase, knew exactly what she was up against; four of the seven competitors ahead of her had fast clear rounds.
Aaron Vale held the lead with a quick, fault-free round in a time of 48.58 seconds on Town Creek Investments' Romulus. Three clean rounds followed, including fellow Canadian Team member Harold Chopping with the talented mare, Kathleen 16, who was in third position just behind American Tony Font and L. Waola. Former U.S. Olympian Lisa Jacquin and Wildcat were in forth place.
Eager to improve his third place standing, Chopping rode a determined round with his second mount Rabaila, and improved Vales time by almost two full seconds, but unfortunately dislodged the last jump in the process. "I saw Aaron go and he looked quick enough, but after I saw Harold on his second horse, I knew Aaron's time could be beaten, so I decided to ride the same tight track and gallop strongly to the last jump," remarked Henselwood. "Callisto is really "on her game" right now, so I fully believed she would be successful."
Successful she was, as Henselwood executed a perfectly planned jump-off, breaking the timers in 46.99 seconds and capturing her sixth major grand prix victory this season. "What a year," commented a jubilant Henselwood. "I just can't praise the performance of my horses enough! They've each won three grand prix this year.that's a great accomplishment." Henselwood and the sensational gelding, Special Ed, finished in ninth position with the fastest of the four fault rounds.
The Bluegrass Festival in Kentucky marked the last stop on Henselwood's eastern tour before heading to Calgary, Alberta, where she will be representing Canada at the richest show jumping tournament in the world, The Spruce Meadows Masters.