Fairy Tale Ending for Casady & NKH Cento Blue in CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix
Langley, BC — The stars aligned for Shawn Casady (USA) Friday afternoon at Thunderbird Show Park, as the 28-year-old recorded the biggest victory of his career with NKH Cento Blue in the CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix.
It took nearly a third of the class for a clean round to materialize over Peter Holmes’ (CAN) track, and it was Langley, BC’s own Samantha Buirs to lay it down with Chic D Emma Z. Once she did, World No. 10 Shane Sweetnam (IRL) followed suit with Out of the Blue SCF. But a trend it was not.
While fences fell in relatively equal measure, the last fence, the Longines vertical (‘unlucky’ 13) fell seven times. Just two more clears joined the jump-off: Canada’s Kara Chad with Igor GPH and the last pair in the ring, Casady and Cento Blue.
First to return over the short course, Buirs had an unfortunate refusal, costing her a chance at victory. Sweetnam laid down a clean round to put the pressure on, stopping the timer in 43.05 seconds. Elimination befell Chad and Igor, it was all down to Casady.
According to Jumpr App, Casady and NKH Cento Blue have performed with 4 faults or less 80% of the time in 2023, so it was only a matter of time before they had their turn in the winner’s circle. Today was the day, as they posted a clean round in 42.46 seconds.
Watch Shawn Casady and NKH Cento Blue’s winning round.
“I didn’t see Shane’s whole jump off,” Casady explained. “[I was] just wanting to be double clear and consistent. For a big horse, he covers so much ground. I think that’s kind of where we were. We snuck in.
“I could have been fourth at the worst and it would have been a good day. I was just I was so proud of him,” he continued. “We were walking up to the ring together, and he knew we had a big a big day ahead of us.”
$235,000 CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / Country / Faults / Time
1. NKH Cento Blue / Shawn Casady / USA / October Hill Sales Limited / 0/0/42.46
2. Out of the Blue SCF / Shane Sweetnam / IRL / Spy Coast Farm, LLC / 0/0/43.05
3. Chic D Emma Z / Samantha Buirs / CAN / Samantha Buirs / 0/17/66.28
4. Igor Gph / Kara Chad / CAN / A.J. Postma / 0/EL
5. Sea Topblue / Andrew Bourns / IRL / Andrew Bourns, QBS Equestrian LLC / 4/74.19
6. Oakingham Lira / Alison Robitaille / USA / Alison Firestone LLC / 4/75.54
7. Equine America Ivanhoe GPH / Sam Walker / CAN / 4/75.56
8. Rincoola Milsean / Charlotte Jacobs / USA / North Star / 4/75.99
9. Greya / Kent Farrington / USA / Kent Farrington LLC / 4/76.23
10. KS Coradina / Susan Horn / CAN / Kingsfield Farm / 4/76.52
Photo ©tbird/Cealy Tetley – Shawn Casady and NKH Cento Blue | Press release Thunderbird Show Park
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