Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Chris Kappler, VDL Oranta capture American Invitational equestrian event in Tampa

VDL Oranta, with Chris Kappler aboard, captures the American Invitational title. It is the third win in Tampa for Kappler.

KENNETH KRAUS | PhelpsSports.com

VDL Oranta, with Chris Kappler aboard, captures the American Invitational title. It is the third win in Tampa for Kappler.

TAMPA — Fences were knocked down, horses refused jumps, one horse and rider fell, and no one made it clear through the first round of the $200,000 American Invitational on Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium.

A group of seven riders and their mounts, each of whom had knocked down just one fence, returned for a jumpoff.

The winner was Chris Kappler on the 13-year-old Dutch-bred mare, VDL Oranta.

It was the third time Kappler, 42, of Farmington, N.J., won the event. His first victory was in 1995 aboard Seven Wonder and the second in 2003 with Royal Kaliber.

"She was phenomenal tonight," Kappler said of his horse. "This is my first really big win with her. We were second in 2006 and fifth last year."

"I really enjoy her," Kappler said. "She's a good, tough mare."

As for the Invitational, Kappler said, "It's one of the best events in America. It's a privilege to come here."

Kappler earned $60,000.

Second place went to Todd Minikus aboard Pavarotti, a 12-year-old Dutch-bred horse.

Minikus, who won $44,000, said he was pleased. "He jumped fabulously," he said. "He's proven time and time again that he's a class horse."

Thirty-four horse and rider pairs competed on the challenging course designed by Steve Stephens. A triple combination of fences was the biggest trouble spot on the twisting, turning course of 17 obstacles. The second fence in the combination came down more than 20 times.

"Steve Stephens is an excellent builder," Kappler said. "He always builds an Olympic-caliber track."

HONOR: Eugene Mische, who started the American Invitational in 1973 at Tampa Stadium, was honored during preshow ceremonies for his long career.

He established Stadium Jumping, a horse show production company, in 1973 in Tampa. The company produces the $450,000 Charlotte Jumper Classic, the Lake Placid Horse Show and the American Gold Cup.

Mische, who owns Imperial Farm in Palmetto, began training horses in the 1950s and moved on to managing horse shows.

Chris Kappler, VDL Oranta capture American Invitational equestrian event in Tampa 04/04/09 [Last modified: Saturday, April 4, 2009 11:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rowdies settle for draw at home

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  2. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  3. Rays journal: Cesar Puello, who has one major-league game, claimed off waivers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Looking to add punch to their right-handed lineup, the Rays claimed OF Cesar Puello off waivers Saturday from the Angels.

  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Mariners game

    The Heater

    SS Adeiny Hechavarria doesn't always look like he's going hard, but he showed impressive reactions Saturday in reversing field to catch a ball that clanked off the catwalk then firing to second to double up Guillermo Heredia on an attempt to tag up.

  5. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends

    Bucs

    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Simeon Rice works with defensive end Noah Spence (57) after practice at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.