There was just one clear round in the $1,500 New Stride TB Jumper Challenge Friday afternoon. Maya Pedersen (CAN) and From the Ashes executed their two rounds on a confident, forward rhythm to secure the victory in the .85m competition, exclusively for Thoroughbreds.
The winning time was 37.83 seconds. Kim Boyle (USA) and Split the Difference finished second with a single rail in the jump-off (4/31.25). Mikayla Lippert (CAN) and Nevada secured third with five faults in the first round.
“It was about going in [the ring] and going through [the course] nice and forward,” said Pedersen, who trains with Jonathan Mahon. “We had a forward and flowing round, and it was a fun course to ride.”
Pedersen purchased From the Ashes, aptly nicknamed “Phoenix,” after the horse was restarted as a sport horse following two seasons of racing. Foaled in Kentucky, he made his way to Hastings Racecourse in Vancouver for his racing career and ultimately remained in the province. Last year, Pedersen and Phoenix finished second in the New Stride TB Jumper Challenge Finale at tbird.
New Stride is a registered charity dedicated to finding adoptive homes and new careers for former Thoroughbred racehorses. To date, they have re-homed 180 Thoroughbreds.
“I’m just so happy with the whole experience [today],” Pedersen said.
Competition at the April Season Opener continues Saturday with the Emily Sandhack Realty Open Classic 1.35m and the Desert International Horse Park Canadian Hunter Derby.
All classes in the Thunderbird Jumper Arena stream live daily on tbird.ca.