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  • Writer's pictureCatie Staszak

Can’t Catch Keith in tbird Grand Prix

Kassidy Keith and Havana. Photo ©tbird/Kady Dane Photography

Langley, BC — You’d be hard pressed to find a sport more difficult to predict than show jumping.

That is, unless you’re watching Kassidy Keith (CAN) and Havana jump 1.40m at Thunderbird Show Park.

“I would say that at 1.40m, Havana is always on her game. I can trust her 100%, and I can always count on a clear round,” Keith says.

Keith and Havana captured the tbird Grand Prix 1.40m Saturday at tbird’s Spring Festival, securing victory in the show’s feature class for the second consecutive week.

Even more impressive is that this is the second year in a row in which the pair has accomplished this feat, also doing so at the same two shows last year in kicking off the tbird show season. On this occasion, the pair bested a six-horse jump-off and won comfortably, crossing the timers of Kirsten Rodel’s (CAN) short course in 40.83 seconds.

Laura Jane Tidball (CAN) and Ruby finished second (41.92s), with Jaehee Jeon (KOR) and Bless You third (48.92s).

“I just tried to keep [the jump-off] smooth, because [a lot of people] had rails.” Keith said. “I kept it smooth, kept the turns efficient and kept a good canter.”

The round appeared seamless, and the numbers back up an exceptional proficiency at the level. According to Jumpr App, this duo has jumped clear at 1.40m 60% of the time throughout their career, finishing in the top three at an impressive 25% clip.

“We’ve had a lot of building up and bonding through the U25 classes at 1.40m,” said Keith, a two-time MarBill Hill U25 series champion at tbird. “[Havana] is so comfortable and confident at 1.40m, and this is just her favorite place to show.”

This year marks Keith’s first season out of the U25 division, having turned 26 in February. She continues to ride and train professionally alongside her mother Cheryl at their Keepsake Farms, just down the road from tbird in Langley.

It’s a little different [for me this year], because I have to set different goals and look at the schedule closely,” Keith said. “For Havana, I want to get consistent and start jumping the three, four and five star [events] more. I want to do the World Cup qualifiers [in the fall], so maybe I can qualify to go to World Cup Finals next year.”

The preparation has started early. Keith spent her winter a bit differently with Havana, bringing her to California to jump two international competitions in February and March.

“I jumped some quite-big tracks in Thermal with Havana, and I think it helped. It put her that much more ahead to start the season here,” Keith said. “[Havana has been] able to come here and not do too many classes, and then she’ll have a break before May tbird.

tbird Grand Prix 1.40m Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Havana / Kassidy Keith / CAN / Kassidy Keith / 0/0 40.83

2. Ruby / Laura Jane Tidball / CAN / Thunderbird Show Stables / 0/0 41.92

3. Bless You / Jaehee Jeon / KOR / Brother Fortune Equestrian Ltd / 0/0 48.92

4. Kadans van de Mispelaere / Jaehee Jeon / KOR / Brother Fortune Ltd / 0/4 41.87

5. Jane Avril des Terdrix / Hannah Evans / USA / Hannah Evans / 4 41.95

6. Fenelon WF / Kassidy Keith / CAN / Cheryl Anne Keith / 5 59.84

7. Gallup / Shauna Cook / CAN / Gallup Syndicate / 1 88.69

8. Samba de Landetta / James McDonald / CAN / Diana McDonald / 3 90.77

9. Calloway / Ayla Martinoff / CAN / Ayla Martinoff / 4 78.14

10. Glacier ZF / Shauna Cook/ CAN / Zeidler Farm Canada 2017 Ltd / 4 81.92


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