Las Vegas, NV – Nineteen-year-old Skylar Wireman has won at the Las Vegas National Horse Show in the junior equitation, the hunters, the national-level open jumpers, and now, as of Saturday afternoon, in the CSI4-W division. Aboard Citoki, she topped a 32-horse field to take the win in the $39,000 CSI4-W Las Vegas National “Double or Nothing” Speed Stake at the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa in Las Vegas, NV.
Olaf Petersen Jr. set a challenging track in the South Point Arena that saw only three riders jump without penalty, and it was not until the 19th in the order that Alexis Sokolov (USA) proved that a clear round could be produced. She and Fasole du Seigneur, owned by Hot Horses LLC, stopped the clock in 70.97 seconds to take over the leaderboard – and ultimately, the third-place spot.
Five trips after Sokolov, Wireman and Citoki made short work of the leading time, blazing through the finish in 63.83 seconds for the win. Finishing between Wireman and Sokolov with a time of 65.53 seconds was one of Wednesday’s winning duos, Kaitlin Campbell and Sun Warrior, owned by Linda Starkman.
“[Citoki] was incredible,” said Wireman of the 17-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Wireman and her mother, Shayne Wireman. “I know that he has a really big stride, so often times, I’ll find myself leaving strides out. I actually don’t think anybody else did this, but I did seven in one of the lines that walked kind of an up in eight; my other horse actually did nine [in that line].”
Wireman jumped in, saw the seven, and made the game-time decision to go for it.
“It was an incredible feeling,” continued Wireman. “The course was great. It had lots of galloping lines to leave out and some turns as well, so it was really well balanced.”
A year ago today at the Las Vegas National, Wireman won the WCE Medal Finals – while simultaneously making her FEI debut at the show and dreaming of the day that she would be in the CSI4*-W winners’ circle.
“I’ve always loved this show; it’s one of my favorite shows,” said Wireman, who estimates that she has been competing at the Las Vegas National for the past five years. “I’m always like, ‘I can’t wait to go to Vegas.’ I started here in the 3’3” junior hunters and have watched these FEI classes for years. To finally be doing them is an amazing feeling.”
What is also amazing is that Wireman is doing her winning with 17-year-old Citoki. Two years ago, the gelding broke his pelvis in three places while jumping an open water at a show in Michigan.
“We didn’t know what was wrong; there were like six vets trying to figure out what was wrong with him, and they were not sure,” explained Wireman. “We did the rehab; we had him on stall rest for 45 days. He was tied so that he wouldn’t lay down so that he wouldn’t displace [the pelvis] if it was broken – which it was. After 45 days, they rescanned it, and they found three calcifications, so it broke in three places. That was his first real comeback.”
Wireman continued, “Then, earlier this year, his right eye actually went a bit blind on us out of nowhere. We don’t really know exactly what happened – some sort of uveitis or immune thing. He got most of his sight back, but it kind of comes and goes. The right eye gets a little bit worse and a little bit better, but he still loves his job and he’s happy as can be. He loves to jump. He’s definitely my miracle horse. We’ve been through a lot together. It’s a great feeling to win on him.”
For the win, Wireman received an Ethel M Chocolates Premium Chocolate Gift Basket, an Ogilvy saddle pad, a Blenheim EquiSports coolerette, a Topline Design Ribbon Wreaths custom picture frame and gift certificate and horse treats, courtesy of Horseflight.
Also recognized with a win on Saturday afternoon was Charlotte Jacobs. Following the conclusion of the Speed Stake, the U.S.-based rider was named the recipient of the M. Michael Meller Style of Riding Award. The award, presented annually at the Las Vegas National and at horse shows around the world, is given to the rider who exhibits the best combination of horsemanship, skill and presentation while competing at top international venues.
For full results of the $39,000 CSI4*-W Las Vegas National “Double or Nothing” Speed Stake, click here.
The Las Vegas National CSI4*-W, featuring the Marshall & Sterling Insurance / USHJA National Championships, continues through Sunday, November 19. Learn more about the Las Vegas National CSI4*-W at TheLasVegasNational.com.