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  • Writer's pictureCatie Staszak

Chawke Best Again in tbird Winning Round 1.40m

James Chawke (IRL) and Liaraldra. Photo ©tbird/Kim Gaudry

James Chawke (IRL) admits, he doesn't know much about Liaraldra. 

He learned Sunday that the 8-year-old KWPN mare can most definitely win.

One of the last to jump in the tbird Winning Round 1.40m, the pair swept to the top of the class and couldn't be caught, clocking in with a winning time of 26.96 seconds. Sarah Lottis (CAN) and Rhapsody finished second (28.86s), narrowly edging out Ashlee Bond (ISR) and Tangassini (28.87s). 

"[Liaraldra] is very quick. I don't really know her that well. I've only jumped her a couple of weeks," Chawke said. "I would say, I did one less [stride] down the last line than most people, and I was quite quick to the double."

Make that three feature class wins for Chawke, on three different horses. This horse, however, is one that the Irish rider owns himself. He purchased Liaralda at the end of November, but the mare developed an illness after traveling to North America from Holland, which set her competition schedule back most of the winter season.

“She only showed at the very end of the Desert Circuit—maybe the last week or two—and this is our first show back since then, because I was traveling,” Chawke shared.

The Winning Round competition is among the more unique formats in show jumping sport and is a competition of opportunity. The top 10 first round performers, regardless of score, return for a jump-off-type track on a clean slate, with the best first round result returning last. On Sunday, seven of the top 10 combinations jumped clear in the first round, and all seven of those combinations would jump double-clear.

As the class winded down, it appeared as though Lottis was going to pull out a victory, but Chawke felt confident enough in his equine partner to test some buttons and allow her to showcase her speed. In a class where second and third were separated by one-hundredth of a second, Chawke managed to cross the timers of Colm Quinn’s (IRL) course nearly two full seconds fastest.

From here, Chawke plans to keep Liaralda at the national level as he continues to get to know her and build up her strength. With a strong group of horses in his string at the moment, he is afforded more competitive options—and can truly enjoy the ride.

“It’s been great,” Chawke said. “I have some really good horses, so it’s fun.”

tbird Winning Round 1.40m

Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Liaraldra / James Chawke/ IRL / James Chawke / 0/0 26.95

2. Rhapsody / Sarah Lottis / CAN / Kevin Lottis / 0/0 28.86

3. Tangassini / Ashlee Bond / ISR / Lily Lee / 0/0 28.87

4. Montserrat OS / Charlie Jones / GBR / Stone Ridge Farms LLC / 0/0 28.8

5. Adare Ya To / Sutton Fresisen / CAN / Sutton Fresisen / Baystreet Equestrian / 0/0 29.43

6. Grandeur WP / Bretton Chad / CAN / Stone Ridge Farms LLC / 0/0 29.55

7. Nico 1427 / Kylie Martens / CAN / Kylie Martens / 4/0 31.3

8. A Crown Royale / Ayla Martinoff / CAN / Ayla Martinoff / 0/0 33.33

9. ESI Jet Set / Carly Stevens / CAN / Susan Stevens / 1/4 30.63

10. Maria 111 / Samantha Buirs-Darvill / CAN / Bryonry Reid / 4/4 30.98


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