Aiken’s DFG Stables’ Daniel Geitner had two rides in Friday afternoon’s Progressive Show Jumping’s March Madness Week No. 2 $5,000, 1.25 meter Welcome Stake at Highfields Event Center, and he would go double clear on both entries, Booth Parker’s Colline Z and Ann Ritter’s Jumbo Jet.
The field for the class was composed of 17 rider/horse combinations, and the first round track featured 11 obstacles and 13 jumping efforts, with double combinations at five and seven, and there would be eight fault-free first rounds. The jump-off course featured seven obstacles. The only rider/horse combination exercising the option to come out of the show ring and not do the short course immediately following their tour around the first round track was Caitlyn Ivey and Penninsula Emerald Lass.
Micahel Kocher and Watch Me, a late entry into the class, was the first to go in the order and went clear as they tripped the wire in 77.410. They would also turn in a fault-free effort in the jump-off stopping the timer in 47.493 seconds.
But, it would be Geitner and the Warmblood mare Colline Z, who would go third, and the horseman’s efficient ride had the combination finishing well under the time allowed as they completed the first round track in 71.322. They were just as adept on the short course, with Geitner shaving time off between the first and second, and second and third jumping efforts.
“She was great, she’s so naturally quick on her feet anyway,” said Geitner. “I just kind of have to steer her and not get in her way. In the first round she got a little bit strong at the beginning, but after a few jumps she started to take a breath, and settled right in and did it all on her own in the jump off. I just made the turns, and she’s just naturally that quick across the ground.”
It would be Geitner and another Warmblood that would move into the second position as the veteran gelding Jumbo Jet was supremely fast and careful in the first round, stopping the timer in 72.763, and would be equally impressive on his short course tour as the combination tripped the wire in 41.723.
“I went a little wide in three to four in the jump-off,” said Geitner. “I jumped three and clucked a little and that got him going too fast, so we fish-tailed around the turn. He was super as always. He tried hard and was careful, He was only a half second behind Colline Z. Casey was in there a tenth of a second slower. It was a close class.”
However, a horse that had previously evented went next in the order, August Vettorino’s Konstantine, who would be ridden by Aiken’s Casey Mason, and the combination would turn in the fastest first round completing the course in 70.768. Mason and the scopey Konstantine would go double clear tripping the wire well under the time allowed for the short course at 41.309, .103 second off the time of Geitner and Colline Z.
Ivey and Peninsula Emerald Lass would return with the fifth double clear round of the class, stopping the timer in 47.321, and placing fourth.