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Sharn Wordley Returns from Europe to Win HITS Culpeper V $40,000 Grand Prix

Culpeper, VA —New Zealand native Sharn Wordley returned from another trip to Europe to claim two of the top spots in the $40,000 Grand Prix during the final week of the HITS Culpeper show series. Wordley finished first on the Selle Francais gelding, Epsom Pierrerille. This partnership has been nearly unbeatable this year with wins in the $25,000 Ox Ridge Grand Prix and the $25,000 Fairfield Grand Prix as well as victories in four Welcome Stakes. Wordley also claimed the third spot on Mr. Flanagan behind Tracy Magness who earned second place over Jamie Alder’s course.

Nine competitors qualified for the jump-off from the original 25 entries. Wordley was first to go on Mr. Flanagan. “I knew I had to be fast and clear in order to make the others chase us,” Wordley commented. The strategy worked until Magness shaved a few hundredths of a second from Mr. Flanagan’s time. That left Wordley and Epsom Pierrerille, whose barn name is “Rocket,” in the position of needing to be faster still. Wordley stuck to his original plan of making a tight turn to fence 3, an obstacle that claimed three riders in the jump-off. The strategy worked and Wordley collected the top prize.

Wordley describes Rocket as “always very fresh and very hot. He’s a true Grand Prix jumper. He loves what he does.” To keep the 15 year old fighting fit, Wordley employs regular exercise and careful course selection. “Rocket only jumps in the Welcome class and the Grand Prix. The rest of his work is on the flat,” he explains. Rocket, like the rest of Wordley’s stable, including 17-year-old Mr. Flanagan, spends ample time on the horse walker twice each day. Along with a daily hack and time in the paddock, Rocket stays fresh and in shape. “Keeping them fit is the key to keeping them jumping the big jumps,” Wordley says.

Wordley and his stable will head to HITS Saugerties.

About Sharn Wordley:

Wordley, a native of New Zealand, has represented his country in numerous Nation’s Cups and has competed in 22 countries. In June 2007, he helped qualify New Zealand for the 2008 Olympics at CSI Balve. He previously qualified for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and was the young rider champion in New Zealand earlier in his career. In addition to his victories as a rider, Wordley has coached riders who have gone on to represent their countries in the Olympics, World Cup Finals, World Championships and the Pan American Games.

Photo: Sharn Wordley and Epsom Pierrerille

Photo Credit: 2007 Jennifer Wood

 

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