Omaha, NE (April 5, 2019) – Mathis Schwentker of Germany swept the top two places in the $100,000 RFD-TV InIt2Winit Speed Jumping Series Championship before a packed crowd at the 2019 Burlington Capital International Omaha.
Schwentker moved into the lead on NKH Carrido midway through the faults-converted class with a clean ride in 53.268 seconds over the 13-jump, 1.45m course designed by Bernardo Costa Cabral of Portugal. His lead held until he returned for the night's penultimate ride on NKH Caruso, winner of the Championship last year with Christian Heineking in the saddle.
Schwentker again rode flawlessly and he earned the win over the 28-horse field with a time of 52.493 seconds, dropping NKH Carrido into second. Third place went to Femke Courchaine on Dereusa S who had a time of 54.378.
"Both my horses have been going great," said an elated Schwentker who rides with Heineking. "Caruso is a little faster horse, he's more experienced and more competitive. We took a couple of tighter turns so I was even able to add a stride a couple of times. I'm very proud of both horses. It was a lot of fun!"
Friday also featured the first round of the $50,000 Dressage Team Challenge, featuring teams comprising a Senior or Amateur rider paired with a Youth (Junior or Young Rider) and a Para rider. The race for the lead is incredibly close between a team with international veterans and a team with two of its three riders from nearby Lincoln, Nebraska.
Heading into Saturday afternoon's Freestyle, the team of Senior rider Karen Pavicic (2014 World Equestrian Games veteran), Young Rider Tillie Jones of Lincoln (North American Junior and Young Rider Championship medalist), and Para rider Kate Shoemaker (2018 World Equestrian Games veteran) have a score of 67.312, just slightly ahead of the 67.287 earned by the team of Senior rider Gracia Huenefeld of Lincoln, Junior rider Raegan Lingenfelter of Lincoln and Para rider Deb Stanitski who recently completed a successful season at the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, FL.
"The Team Challenge was the idea of our Dressage Manager, Thomas Baur, and one of its goals is to give Midwest riders the chance to ride with national and international riders to help them as they strive to reach the next level," said Lisa Roskens, chairman of the Omaha Equestrian Foundation, host of the International Omaha. "We believe that this will help elevate the level of dressage in the Midwest which is a key part of the mission of the Omaha Equestrian Foundation and I commend Thomas for this great idea!"
Other action on Friday saw wins in jumping by Kristin Hardin on Eminent over a 35-horse field in the $1,000 Open 1.10m class, Doug Boyd on Calvigo over a 28-horse field in the $2,000 Open 1.20m class, and Kyle Perkovich on Hit Me Van't Zorgvliet over a 25-horse field in the $5,000 Open 1.30m class.
Friday also featured International Omaha's Dressage Foundation Educational Showcase with Show Jumping Hall of Famer and famed equestrian coach, George Morris and internationally known dressage rider and trainer, Katherine Bateson-Chandler, who was a member of the U.S. Dressage Team at the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games™ and trains with Olympic Gold and Silver medalist Carl Hester of Great Britain.
In what may be the first clinic for both equitation and dressage, Morris and Bateson-Chandler worked with equitation riders Sydney Hott of Defiance, MO; Sydney Kinstler of Overland Park, KS; Ainsley Wade of St. Louis, MO; and Mary Roskens of Omaha, NE; and dressage riders Missy Fladland of Griswold , IA and Gracia Huenefeld of Lincoln, NE. Both showcase experts were also giving free demonstrations and mini-clinics in the “Triple Crown Horse Discovery Zone” throughout the weekend.
The 2019 Burlington Capital International Omaha, the ‘Midwest’s Largest Horse Event,’ runs April 4-7 at the CHI Health Center arena in Omaha, Nebraska, home of the highly successful 2017 FEI World Cup™ Finals. Now in its seventh year, the Burlington Capital International Omaha hosts everything under one roof – stabling, warm-up, competition arena, educational and exhibit area, demonstrations, dining venues and shopping for both the horse aficionado or anyone just looking for a unique gift.
Featuring the Baird Holm Tailgate Lounge and food service area, the Boutique Shopping Village encourages shoppers to shop, eat, and then shop some more as they peruse the boutiques and shops while watching the top caliber horses and riders prepare for the competition. Grown-ups and children alike can wander through the Triple Crown Horse Discovery Zone (Education Expo) free of charge all weekend long to learn about the equine industry, health and science of horse management, and the unique aspects of various breeds in International Omaha’s Gallery of Breeds exhibit.
In addition to the final round (Musical Freestyle) of the $50,000 Dressage Team Challenge, Saturday also features the $100,000 International Omaha Grand Prix. Further information is available at www.internationalomaha.com.
The Omaha Equestrian Foundation, a certified 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit foundation, has been committed to building a world-class equestrian experience, the International Omaha, a nationally sanctioned equestrian show jumping and dressage experience now going into its eight year. The successful growth of this event helped secure the bid to host the highly acclaimed 2017 FEI World Cup™ Finals which brought athletes and fans from all across the world to Omaha.