Parker, CO - July 12, 2017 - Week five of the Summer In The Rockies Series (SIR) concluded at The Colorado Horse Park (CHP) on Sunday, July 9, after another successful week of top hunter, jumper, and equitation competition. Alex Granato of Wellington, FL, and Carlchen W kicked-off their competition stretch at CHP with victories in the $20,000 Carolina Arena Equipment Welcome on Thursday, July 6, as well as the $70,000 Ariat® Grand Prix for the Mayor's Cup, the highlight class on Saturday, July 8.
On Saturday, July 8, the combination bested a competitive class of 23, to take the win in the $70,000 Ariat® Grand Prix for the Mayor's Cup, after stopping the jump-off timers at 44.245 seconds. Second place was captured by the quick Katharin Gualtieri, of Morrison, CO, and Castalano, owned by Sandwillow Farm, with a jump-off time of 46.260 seconds. Derek Braun of Lexington, KY, rode Lacarolus, owned by MRN Family Corp, to third place with a jump-off time of 47.249 seconds.
"The jump-off was competitive. After going fast and winning the Welcome Stake the other day, my biggest goal, as I know already that he's naturally fast, was just to keep his focus as we kept a quick speed and not get too crazy myself," he continued.
Granato and the 2008 Mecklenburg gelding (Chacco-Blue x Celline-W) owned by Page Tredennick, started off their week by dominating the $20,000 Carolina Arena Equipment Welcome Stake, completing the jump-off with a speed round of 39.702 seconds.
"I was really pleased with him. He's still a young horse with only really a year of experience doing competitive upper level classes. He's really stepped up and is having and awesome year. I couldn't ask for more," commented Granato.
"I got the start with him as a five-year-old," he continued, "The Tredennick's purchased him and really let me take the time to develop him. This is our first real season doing the bigger classes. We've done some FEI this season and he's turned into a good competitor. We took a slower pace through his seven and eight-year-old years, used that time to focus on the future, and it's paying off for him."
The duo has steadfast goals for the future, and Granato plans to continue with his competitive streak. With a few more FEI competitions on the horizon, Granato is eager to continue their education.
"Our biggest long term goals are definitely to continue stepping up," he said. "Right now we've got some national classes that we're doing now to give him some time to cool down after he has come out of the three-star competitions. We did about three weeks of FEI between the Winter Equestrian Festival. Our current plan is to just keep it more level until the fall, where we will move back up and do some FEI to get ready for the next Wellington show season and he's ready for those four-stars."
Alex Granato and Carlchen W earned top honors in the $20,000 Carolina Arena Equipment Welcome Stake earlier in the week, while second place was awarded to Bjorn Ikast of Parker, CO, and Chestina Z, owned by Ikast, after a solid first round, followed by a jump-off time of 41.535 seconds. Ikast also clinched the third-place spot with Colorado, also owned by Ikast, after a quick jump-off time of 43.048 seconds.
Describing his ride aboard Carlchen W, Granato said, "This is the first class that I have jumped with Carl out here, so he's a bit fresh today. He did feel really good though. He was a bit strong in the first round but he finished up well so I thought that I could take a good shot in the jump-off. I think the biggest place that made the difference with us was the first line. After the first roll-back I did a seven from the oxer to the vertical, where most riders did eight. I just tried to stay at that pace and keep it as quick as I could."