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  • Writer's pictureCatie Staszak

Chawke Saves Best for Last in CSI4* 1.45m

James Chawke and One Edition. Photo ©tbird/Kim Gaudry

Langley, BC — With one horse-and-rider combination remaining in the CSI4* 1.45m at Thunderbird Show Park, it appeared as if Nayel Nassar (EGY) would lead another victory lap aboard Ivory TCS, who won the CSI5* Winning Round 1.50m competition less than a week ago in the Thunderbird Arena. 

But James Chawke (IRL) had other ideas.

Last to go in the 43-strong field, Chawke and Vanessa Mannix's One Edition swept straight to the top of the speed competition, crossing the timers of fellow Irishman Colm Quinn's (IRL) track in 60.8 seconds. 

Nassar settled for second (61.46s), followed by Kyle King (USA) and Odysseus (61.72s), who led for much of the class.

The objective of the round for Chawke was to test out some higher gears with the 9-year-old One Edition as he helps develop the exciting talent for Mannix, his longtime student. Chawke and his colleague Conor Swail scouted the mare a little over a year ago in Europe through a trusted friend and dealer, Deluxe Sport Horses. Over the course of the last season, Mannix and Chawke have taken turns bringing the mare into the show ring.

"Vanessa rode her last summer, and then I jumped her a little bit in the fall and a little bit over the winter in California. Then Vanessa actually took her back for a show, and then I jumped her last week [in CSI2* competition at the Canadian Premier]," Chawke detailed. "Originally, we thought maybe Vanessa would take her back this week, but we just agreed that I'd jump her one more week."

Chawke had some valuable intel on the track, thanks to a strong effort aboard his first mount, Nacara van Berkenbroeck Z, who ultimately finished fourth. The key to the course, he deduced, was getting down the lines in the most efficient number of strides possible.

“In my first round, I added in three places that I didn’t want to—two of the rollbacks and one of the lines,” Chawke explained. “I figured if I could do the correct steps on [One Edition], that would save me.”

Overall, the plan was both the winning move and a positive training exercise for his mount.

“A class like today was perfect for her, to just try and teach her to go a little bit quicker at this height.”

Chawke plans to jump One Edition in her biggest class yet on Friday, the CSI4* FOBI Qualifier 1.50m. Having been a regular at tbird over the course of the last decade, Chawke has used the venue to develop a long list of accomplished equine talent, in both the expansive grass Fort Grand Prix Arena and the more stadium-style Thunderbird Arena on sand.

“We’ve been coming here for a long time. We’re always here in May, August and September, [and] it’s really useful [for younger horses],” Chawke said. “The courses are nice, and there are great rings.”

CSI4* 1.45m 

Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. One Edition/ James Chawke / IRL / Vanessa Mannix / 0 60.8

2. Ivory TCS / Nayel Nassar / EGY / Evergate Stables / 0 61.46

3. Odysseus / Kyle King / USA / Patricia Vasey / 0 61.72

4. Nacara van Berkenbroeck / James Chawke / IRL / Alison Locke / 0 62.22

5. Catinka 25 / Vanessa Mannix / CAN / Vanessa Mannix / 0 62.6

6. Sig Chiari / Kyle King / USA / The Chi Group / 0 62.76

7. Garfield / Ashlee Bond / ISR / Grace Russo / 0 63.32

8. Elka de la Pomme / Ashlee Bond / ISR / Ashlee Bond / 0 63.68

9. Capitale 6 / Charlie Jones / GBR / Morning Star Sporthorses, LLC / 63.84

10. GCS Athena/ Amy Millar / CAN / Brookstreet Stables Corporation / 0 64


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