Highlights From Blenheim Red, White & Blue Classic

The Hutch is on Fire!

After an impressive win last week in the $30,000 Copa de Amistad Grand Prix at the Blenheim June Classic III, the exceptionally consistent team of Susie Hutchison and El Dorado 29’s Cantano snatched up the top prize in the $25,000 Red, White and Blue Grand Prix presented by the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort & Spa. Top honors also went to Hutchison aboard Veronica Tracy’s Muscadet de la Saveniere in the $30,000 Blenheim Classic Grand Prix held during the first week of the 2009 June series. Of the four grand prix events hosted at Blenheim during June, Susie Hutchison walked away with three for three – she entered three and won each one.

Last season Susie and the little bay wonder Cantano had another awesome winning streak. In April 2008 they conquered a field of 39 in the $35,000 Spring Classic II Grand Prix, their first outing at this level.  Next came the glorious summer – when this pair won the $25,000 Red, White & Blue Grand Prix, the $25,000 July Theme Grand Prix and the $25,000 Racing Festival Grand Prix. Repeat performances in 2009 include winning the Spring Classic II and Red, White & Blue Grand Prix events.  We’ve not seen the last of this dynamic duo.

The Grand Event

Third to show in round one and once again first to go clean (see write-up for last week’s Copa de Amistad Grand Prix), Keri Potter and her 13-year-old gelding, Rockford I, put down a solid trip. Fifth and sixth entrants, Erin Duffy aboard Lionel, (Elizabeth Oliver, owner), also second clean last week, and Susan Hutchison riding Playboy (Ellen Spalding, owner), both managed fault free rides. As did Leslie Steele in the irons of her own, A.W. Butterfly Hula, Daniel Silverstone and Cindarco (Rebecca Lewis, owner), Michelle Parker atop Socrates (Cross Creek Farms Inc., owners), and sixteenth to go Erin Duffy earning a second spot in the jump off with her partner Kir Royal. The second to last pair to gallop onto the grass in the first round, Cantano and Hutchison effortlessly laid down a clean trip to secure their second spot in the jump off as well, bringing the total to eight.

First back was Rockford I and Potter. The pair jumped well through the first half of the shortened course, but picked up four faults midway through, finishing with a time of 48.38, earning them fifth overall. Duffy and Lionel were up next and gave the crowd what they were looking for – a clean round, but in the end, only good enough for second, a few seconds too slow for the win. Hutchison’s first horse in the jump-off, Playboy was the third to return, but after clipping rails at fences 5 and 9, earned eighth. The next three horses to enter the ring left with four faults a piece. Steele and A.W. Butterfly Hula were clear until fence 12, the second to last obstacle for four faults in a time of 49.15, earning the duo sixth place, Silverstone aboard Cindarco had a rail at fence 9 for seventh, and Socrates with Michelle Parker in the tack, brought down 6b in a time of 46.41 to grab a hold of fourth position. Duffy directed her second mount, Kir Royal, to another clean trip in a time of 52.44, adding a third place finish to her already great second place performance. With only one horse and rider left to negotiate the course, onlookers watched in anticipation as Hutchison and Cantano made their way onto the grass. In it to win it from the buzz of the timers, Hutchison expertly piloted the 9-year-old stallion around the course with ease, shaving seconds off the clock for the win.

Not quite making the jump-off, but rounding out the top twelve was Jenni Martin-McAllister aboard Union Jack (Alain Van Ryckeghem, owner) who went clean but exceeded the 90 second time allowed and picked up three time faults for ninth. Fastest of the four-faulters, Paige Dotson and Friponnier II CH (The Dotson Family, owners), had only 6b down in a time of 84.40 for tenth. Pulling a rail at 8b with a time of 85.12 was eleventh place pair, Holly Scapa and her mount, Country Girl, followed by Ashtin’s Obsession (Ashtin Holdings Inc., owners) and Kristin Russell who clipped the top rail of 11a for four faults in a time of 87.11 to take home twelfth.


presented by St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort & Spa

Susan Hutchison
El Dorado 29

Erin Duffy
Elizabeth Oliver

Kir Royal
Erin Duffy
Erin Duffy

Michelle Parker
Cross Creek Farms Inc.

Rockford I
Keri Potter
Keri Potter

A.W. Butterfly Hula
Leslie Steele
Leslie Steele

Daniel Silverstone
Rebecca Lewis

Play Boy
Susan Hutchison
Ellen Spalding

Union Jack
Alain Van Ryckeghem
Jenni Martin-McAllister

Friponnier II CH
Paige Dotson
The Dotson Family

Country Girl
Holly Scapa
Holly Scapa

Ashtin’s Obsession
Kristin Russell
Ashtin Holdings Inc.

A Sunday of Prix and Ponies

Twenty-three horses came out to play on Sunday, June 21st in the $30,000 Copa de Amistad Grand Prix during the third show of the Blenheim June series. Seven entries jumped without fault over the course designed by Canadian Peter Holmes, first of which was Keri Potter’s Rockford I, the sixth horse to enter the ring. Ninth to show, Erin Duffy and Lionel (Elizabeth Oliver, owner) forced a jump off, followed by clean rounds from the next two entrants, Becky Smith aboard Ashtin’s Obsession (Ashtin’s Holdings Inc., owners), and Grafin with Jill Humphrey in the irons (Leone Equestrians Inc., owners). Three more clean rounds totaled seven, including the fabulous pair of Susan Hutchison and Cantano (El Dorado 29, owners), Molly Talla and Camaron Hills Shanroe (Camaron Hills Farm, owners), and last to go, Jill Humphrey aboard her third mount, Corralino (Cathy Harris, owner).

The first two to show over the shortened jump off track, Potter and Duffy, both had four jumping faults and times of 41.12 and 40.51 respectively which earned them fifth and third positions overall. Next in, Smith and Ashtin’s Obsession rode a carefully clean trip in 44.99 seconds, putting them into first position with four left to go.

Humphrey followed with her first of two rides in the jump-off, Grafin, but the pair encountered a bit of trouble and finished with 12 faults, taking home seventh place. Fifth team to enter the ring, Hutchison aboard Cantano zipped around the course, leaving all of the rails in their cups in a time of 40.98, beating Smith by four seconds. Two more riders tried to catch Hutchison but couldn’t – Talla and Camaron Hills Shanroe had the time, 40.86, but clipped the rail at the liverpool for fourth and Humphrey riding Coralino ended up with eight jumping faults and a sixth place finish. Hutchison secures her second grand prix win in the Blenheim June series, two weeks ago piloting Muscadet del la Saveniere (Veronica Tracy, owner) and this week with Cantano.

Harley Brown and Cassiato (Oak Park Group LLC owners) just missed the jump off, exceeding the time allowed by .93 seconds and picking up one time fault for eighth place. The fastest of the four faulters, Joie Gatlin with her longtime partner SunCal’s King, garnered ninth. Tenth place honors went to Hutchison and her second mount, Playboy, who brought down a rail at fence three for four faults, eleventh place went once again to Gatlin, this time aboard Twindoline who were flawless except for the rail at fence 11, and picking up the remainder of the prize money, also with just one jump down, was Leslie Steele on her own A. W. Butterfly Hula.

Zone 10 Pony Finals

While the Grand Prix was a perfect way to bring Sunday afternoon to a close, the ponies were the best way for the day to begin. The Zone 10 Pony Hunter Finals wrapped up on the West Grass Field Sunday morning with the over fences phase of the competition, leaving the ponies with one final chance to strut their stuff. The young riders piloted their small, medium, and large mounts around the hunter course and added another score to the mix, having already shown in the model and under saddle during the previous day’s competition.

First in the ring was small pony, Helicon Take Notice (Newmarket Inc., owners) ridden by Pearl Theodosakis. The pair started the morning off right by laying down a solid trip, earning them a score of 84. It wasn’t until the second to last rider, Tara Spencer, trotted onto the field aboard Rainbow Canyon (Wild Sky Farm, owners), that spectators saw another score in the eighties, this time an 88, bringing the team’s total to an impressive 261. Rainbow Canyon’s nearly flawless round secured a blue ribbon in the class and Champion honors in the Zone 10 Small Pony Hunter division. Pearl Theodosakis scored a 78 on her second mount, Made For Me (Marigot Bay Farm LLC, owners), taking home Reserve Champion in the division with an overall total of 251.

The medium ponies were next and proved to be quite competitive when out of the twelve entrants, four earned scores of 80 or better. The class winner, Truly Noble, ridden beautifully by Mitchell Endicott in his scarlet hunt coat, scored an 89. Skylar Nelson and her classy mount Macy Grey (Wild Sky Farm, owners) were second, with a score of 83.5 and when added to their already solid total, clenched the Championship for the division. Destry Spielberg was in the irons on As You Wish (Pegasus Show Stable LLC, owner) and rode the pony to a score of 82 and a third place finish. When points were tallied for the mediums, the duo received Reserve Champion.

Tara Spencer and Romeo (Marissa Platt, owner) were the first to show in the large division and quickly became the pair to beat with a score of 80. Third to go, McKenna Skelton and Balthazar had a rebuttal to Romeo’s round, taking over the top spot and earning a blue ribbon in the class with a score of 81. With their second place over fences added to their Saturday scores, Spencer and Romeo were Champions in the large division. Additionally, Spielberg finished third aboard Love And Laughter (Olivia Jack, owner), to secure another Reserve Championship.

The Zone 10 Pony Final Grand Champion was small pony Rainbow Canyon, ridden by Tara Spencer, and Grand Reserve Champion was medium pony Macy Grey, with Skylar Nelson in the tack. Hats off to Wild Sky Farm, the Nelson family and trainers Archie Cox and Richard Slocum for taking home the top honors.

Congratulations to all ponies – large, medium, and small – on a job well done.

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