Granato and Mullaghdrin Rado win Grand Prix
The size of one’s physical stature isn’t necessarily indicative of the dimensions of an individual’s heart.
Page Tredennick’s Mullaghdrin Rado may not have been as big as some of the other horses in Sunday afternoon’s Aiken Spring Classic, $25,000, The Carolina Real Estate Grand Prix, but he was more than up to the challenge, as the combination of Alex Granato and Mullaghdrin Rado would earn the blue ribbon, in a competitive field of 22 horses, with nine qualifying for the jump-off and four going double clear.
“It was nice,” said Granato. “It was a good course today. It wasn’t really big. It was challenging in the way it was set. They really spread it out around the field, which was nice. They made good use of the whole ring. The hills definitely added a different element than most of the horses are used to. They’re usually on the flat sand or GGT Footing. The hills and the grass definitely add something new for the horses and riders.”
The course designed by Aiken’s J.P. Godard, first round track featured 12, 1.40 meter obstacles and 15 jumping efforts, featuring a number of roll backs and turns, and the jump-off course was composed of seven obstacles and eight jumping efforts. A change in tack seemed to play a role in the Irish Sport Horse’s success.
“We actually play between two bits,” said Granato. “He usually does a pelham for a lot of the bigger classes. Today, we did him in a just a leather hackamore, which gives him a nice shape. It can be a little trickier to turn him. He rode really well in the first round. I was happy with that. In the jump-off there was an early tight turn to the combination. I was a little concerned about that, turning in the hackamore, but he did it really well and jumped really well. I was thrilled with him.”
Hollow Creek Farm’s Angel Karolyi would qualify all three of his horses to return for the short course track, Cita Z, Wings and Si Como No. Another Hollow Creek rider, Emanuel Andrade, was equally impressive and would come back with Walter 61 and Wilco. Harold Chopping and Basje, Susan Knoblauch and Carnevale and Mario Garcia and Corona Du Domaine Z would qualify for the second round. Andrade and Walter 61 would turn in the first round track’s fastest time as they completed the course in 71.42.
Andrade and Walter 61 would be the first combination to go double clear. They would be followed by Knoblauch and Carnevale, who appeared to be on the way to going fault-free, but they would have the last element down on the final jumping effort, an oxer. Karolyi would be next on McClain Ward’s Wings, and they would establish the target to run at as they stopped the timer in 36.636.
However, it was Granato and Mullaghdrin Rado, a son of Radolin, who returned to exhibiting this past week, after having a month off and would be .339 seconds faster than Karolyi and Wings.
“I was really happy with the Treddenick’s horse,” said Granato. “I’ve been riding him for a little bit under a year. We had a good circuit in WEF with him. I was really happy with him. He’s very scopey and has a little bit of a different jumping style.”
The class was far from over and Karolyi and the 8-year-old Si Como No returned, but would have to settle for fourth, with a fault-free round, stopping the timer in 38.384.