Samuel Parot (CHI) achieved something Sunday that very few riders can say they have ever done: he scored a 100% win rate in the FEI division over the span of a week. Coming out strong Thursday, he won the opening Speed with David Guetta, then followed it up Friday with a win aboard Cap West in the $38,700 Welcome, and brought it home Sunday with David Guetta yet again in the $77,300 Southern Arches CSI2*Grand Prix.
“It’s crazy because it’s not normal,” Parot, a past Olympian, reflected. “It’s not easy to win. One time in Kentucky, Todd Minikus and Quality Girl won all three FEI classes. Today, before I jumped the Grand Prix I thought maybe I’ll be lucky enough to do the same thing. It’s not easy.. The horse is good but you need everything [in your favor]. Today is my day, and it’s been my week.”
As the second to last pair of seven to jump off, Parot and his 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding David Guetta blazed around the short course unseating then leader Tomas Yofre (ARG) with Cher Cheval. Just one competitor remained though, and it was one thirsty to top Parot. Francisco Goyoaga Mollet (ESP) had come second to Parot twice already, so he sought revenge, but came just shy with Icarus, taking second a third time, while Yofre took third.
“The first round course was not easy,” Parot said. “The line with the liverpool was hard because you had a very short five [strides] and then a four you had to ride really well. The combination too had an eight or nine [stride] option, but nine would be too short because the oxer is wider and you need the scope. It’s a good course for the two-star I think.”
Parot knows the horse has big things ahead, and he’s already jumped the highest level, including CSI5* World Cup Qualifiers in the past. As a championship rider himself, he sees this horse as a top contender as he eyes more championship events in his career.
“The horse is so fast,” he continued. “He’s very quick. The first day he won and I did two seconds less than the second place. I saw Tommy – I know him all his life – and I thought my horse would be quicker. I had nice turns and did six [strides] to number three, where he did seven. There my horse was faster. I try to win every day when I go to the ring but it’s never an easy win.”
Parot is a familiar face in Traverse City, where he’s been an avid competitor since the beginning, but will now set his sights firmly on the Pan American Games on home soil in Quillota, Chile.
To cap the day, Traverse Bay Pony Club was presented with $1,125 from ticket-sale proceeds as part of Traverse City Horse Shows Charity Ticket Program.
The Silver Oak Jumper Tournament kicks off Wednesday, September 6, with CSI3* and National show jumping during the second week of fall competition at Flintfields Horse Park.
Jacob Pope Brings Home Hunter Derby Victory Aboard Jagerbomb
Jacob Pope has big hopes for the Tournament of Champions, considering there is significant prize money for hunter derby riders, an arena he excels in. He got off to a great start Sunday by winning the first derby of the fall season, the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby aboard Jagerbomb.
“I rode Jagerbomb for the first time this week,” Pope said. “He’s owned by Isabelle Ehman and Don Stewart, who are the same owners as another derby horse I’ve won a lot on, San Pedro. He is such a special horse so it’s really cool that I got to ride another one from the same owners.”
Despite being a new partnership, Pope and Jagerbomb pulled out a 96 in round one, impressing the judges and putting them in a strong position to take the win.
“He’s a really ‘typey’ hunter,” Pope explained of how they were able to walk away with the leading score. “He’s beautiful, he’s a nice mover, and he jumps great. He usually does the Junior Hunters with Elle and I think they wanted me to take him over this week to get him going for Elle for the indoor season and try to focus on getting to know a couple of Don’s horses for the big money class during week three.”
Going in for the handy, Pope knew he had a strong lead, but handy turns and risks are part of his nature as a top hunter and hunter derby rider.
“I trust Don 100% of course, so I trusted what he said,” Pope shared about his plan for the handy. “He said the horse was a great handy horse. We were coming back on a pretty big margin so I didn’t take a ton of risks. I did jump the high options and took a pretty good shot at hand galloping the last jump. I don’t know the horse but I definitely trust the program and whatever Don tells me I know will be possible.”
Ehman herself captured second aboard Yung Gravy, while Pope also claimed third with Story Hour. All three top horses were owned by Stewart.
“I definitely have my sights set on the $100,000 3’ Pro Hunter Derby, which is such a nice feature of the third week at the American Gold Cup,” Pope said of his hopes for the rest of the season in Traverse City. “I hope to have a few entries of Don’s in that class and also probably my horse Unbelievable too. I’m looking forward to hopefully a podium finish there.”