TJ O’Mara captures first Grand Prix and FEI win with Kassiodam in $50,000 1.45m Grand Prix CSI2*
Competition for CSI2* athletes concluded on Sunday in the Walnut Ring with the $50,000 1.45m FEI Grand Prix, where TJ O’Mara (USA) and Kassiodam, owned by Caroline Blake, emerged victorious after besting an eight-horse jump-off.
Tackling Anderson Lima’s 16-effort track, Victoria Ketchum and Isaac 22 were the first pair to contest the course and also the first to deliver a clear round. She was followed by 16-year-old athlete, Caroline Mawhinney who rode a quick, clear round with her own Stella Levista to ensure an exciting jump-off. Six more athletes would follow to add their names to the jump-off list.
Over an adjusted course, Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam as the fourth to go set the bar with the first double-clear round in a quick time of 40.21 seconds. Athletes to follow would continue to shave fractions off of his time before O’Mara and the 10-year-old mare by Luidam tackled the course. Making up time during the long gallop to the final fence, the pair proved faster than all of the rest, crossing the timers at 40.03 seconds. Sunday’s result marked not only O’Mara’s first FEI win but also his first grand prix win as well.
With only a total of .38 seconds separating the top four placings, it was the $100,000 Lugano Diamonds 1.55m Grand Prix CSI3*, presented by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, winner Shawn Casady who would capture second place with another Rabbit Root Stables LLC-owned mount, Sunny Boy 372, while Jonathon Millar and Isotropic Shadow rounded out the top podium placings. Sweetnam would ultimately settle for fourth place.
CSI2* competition will resume with the second week of the Split Rock Hunter Jumper which begins June 14 once again taking place alongside a CSI3* rating to feature a $50,000 1.45m FEI Grand Prix.