EquestriSol News: November 29, 2011

Happily living in both California and Kentucky, we have a wide range of cool projects in development. We are pleased to announce some of our latest releases from ads to web. Nighthorse Farms went through several changes in 2011, including a new ad campaign and a facelift to their web site. The Facebook feed in their new News section allows them to keep a fresh web site while updating their Facebook page. Something to consider if your web site needs an update but your latest news is on your Facebook page. We are happy to help implement some fresh new innovations to your current site…

Lauren Hester had a fabulous finish to the 2011 season, including a Grand Prix win at Sacramento earlier this month. Her new web site at Hester Equestrian is live.

We’ve already started work for Blenheim EquiSports 2012, from Holiday Gift Certificates to new season sensations, so keep an eye out. Before 2012 kicks in with a big bang we will be releasing several more web sites that are underway.

We are looking forward to a stellar 2012, as we enter into some new strategic partnerships, develop new ways to do what we do best and enjoy the journey. What can we do for you?

Highlights From The Summer and Fall Blenheim EquiSports Show

Summer Into Fall
Blenheim EquiSports hosted a month plus of shows to wrap up a very busy southern California season. Beginning at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano for two weeks in August, down to Showpark in Del Mar for two weeks and with one week off returning to San Juan Capistrano in September. From IHF classes to USHJA Hunter Derbies and Young Jumper Championships to World Cup Qualifiers as well as the start of end of the year excitement with finals for Junior Hunters and Equitation riders, it was a jam-packed month of equestrian excellence.

The final fanfare will be in Vegas at the Las Vegas National, November 3-7. With a schedule for both hunters and jumpers, the Blenheim Team along with the South Point added a list of new perks for both competitor and spectator to savor.
As we think about the end of summer and head into fall – another year is flying by – we welcome you to August with Blenheim EquiSports. Once again several hundred horses, riders, owners and trainers enjoyed picture perfect weather and fabulous footing. So read on to enjoy the highlights of the summer season.

August 14, 2010: Blenheim Summer Classic I: $25,000 Summer Classic Grand Prix

Thirty-five horse and rider combinations galloped onto the International Field to compete in the $25,000 Summer Classic Grand Prix during the first week of showing of the Blenheim Summer Classic Series. With twelve horses returning to the grass for the jump-off, the last to go proved to be best, Mexico’s Otavio Penedo and his partner Don Arturo Equisearch. The pair went fast and clean to clinch the win.

Patrick Rhodes designed a flowing course with several technical elements for a total of 16 efforts in a generous time allowed of 92 seconds. “It was a good field. Maybe a few too many clean, but overall I was happy,” commented Rhodes.

John Perez aboard Daniel Rihan’s Abel was the first go clean. The next two competitors were also fault-free, Joie Gatlin on Camaron Hills Quick Dollar (Camaron Hills Farm, owner), one of only two women in the jump-off, and Eduardo Sanchez Navarro on his own Virgo.

The clean rounds kept coming from the Mexican riders. Tenth in the ring, Francisco Pasquel riding his own Calavda Z, advanced to the second round. With a total of four rides for the afternoon, Perez also qualified his own Utopia as well as Daniel Rihan’s Twister for the jump-off. Galloping onto the grass sixteenth, Juan Jose Bancalari and Villeneve (7) made it seven. Sanchez Navarro and Centinaio 2, Rodrigo Lambre riding Carpaccio and Eduardo Menezes aboard Percynality Mercedes Benz, all posted clean rides. The other female representative in the jump-off was 17-year-old Californian Jocelyn Neff, competing in her first grand prix on Gaga 20 (Donna Neff, owner).

Only four of twelve riders managed double clear rounds. With the advantage of watching eleven of his fellow competitors precede him in the second round, Penedo knew what he and his 10-year-old mount had to do for the win. “I had to take all of the risks and it paid off.” The winning duo navigated the jump-off track in a time of 36.41, almost two seconds faster than the previous leading time, to secure the top prize.


Sponsor Stories

By Jackie McFarland

Greg Mech & Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
The Causes that We Care About
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management  Aside from being responsible for the Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Business and Strategy for the Southwest Region of Merrill Lynch as well as the Market President for Bank of America acting as the senior executive for local businesses, civic and philanthropic leadership for Bank of America in Orange County, Greg Mech loves horses.

“I actually ride!” he exclaimed during our interview. “I ride with Dana Smith, a trainer who has been in San Juan Capistrano for 27 years and operates a wonderful teaching facility.”

Sponsorships support our community, in this case the community of show jumping. To be involved in a community connects you to the heartbeat and nothing raises the heartbeat like watching a Grand Prix.
Greg Mech and Atlantic
Help2 Support Sport 
Mech shares, “Merrill Lynch is proud to return as a sponsor. Grand Prix Show Jumping is such an incredible sport, the horses and riders are truly amazing athletes.”

Those of us on the inside often forget to step back and look at our sport. It is extraordinary – from the horses that develop into top performers to the riders of all ages and aspirations committed to show jumping. This is the only Olympic level sport where men and women compete equally, both horse and rider. And we will witness that during the $30,000 June Classic Grand Prix, made possible by Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.

Help2 Give Back to the Community
Mech went on to explain that the sponsorship reflects the firm’s commitment to the community of Orange County, as well as their admiration for the sport. Giving back to the community benefits clients as well as the corporate employees that in turn support Merrill Lynch.

“We’ve been in Orange County for more than forty years and are dedicated to serving the needs of our investors. We are also proud of our long-standing relationship with Blenheim EquiSports, which has lasted more than a quarter century.”

Again for those of us who live within a community and enjoy the offerings generated by sponsorship, we don’t always realize all the people behind these events and the relationships they’ve formed that lead to a fabulous Grand Prix and Kids Day.

Help2 Achieve
“In the past year of economic turbulence, it was challenging to encourage clients to be more rational than emotional.” Mech admits. “Despite the challenge, we have been successful in helping our clients feel more confident about the recovery by keeping them informed about the markets through our top research analysts.” The leading wealth management and investment services firm is taking charge in developing new ways to guide clients in re-evaluating their priorities in a new world. Focusing on what matters most, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management is centered on the enduring relationships with their clients.

“Our clients bring us more than their financial needs – they look to us to help make their lives better. It’s our job to foster that relationship and champion their interests by being one step ahead.”

Providing comprehensive solutions and sound advice has never been more critical. With their extensive resources, Merrill Lynch Financial Advisors are prepared to help you achieve your goals no matter what storms the economic climate has in store.

Conversations With Course Designers: Olaf Petersen Jr.

By Jackie McFarland

Olaf Petersen, Jr.
 You could say that course designing is in his blood. Following in his father’s footsteps, yet making his own distinct tracks, Olaf Petersen Jr. is in that elite group of sought after course designers. Although he has traveled all over the world, his dream is to settle in our own southern California. During one of his visits here designing for Blenheim EquiSports, we had a chance to sit down and learn a bit more about the man behind OP Worldwide.

EqSol: How did you become a course designer? What is your horse history?
 My father, Olaf Petersen Sr., started course designing when I was 10 years old. He has course designed all over the world, including the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece and the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea. My mother was a dressage rider, so my parents were a strong influence in my horse history. I competed up to the 1.50m level and trained several young horses from four-year-olds to 1.50m. Olaf Petersen, Jr.

My course design career started in 1990 and in 2002 I received my FEI International credentials. I now design about 15-20 weeks per year – there’s not time for more in my current schedule.

EqSol: Your course design mentors?
 My father, of course, and Dr. Arno Gego. I also worked with other top designers, including Leopoldo Palacios and Linda Allen. I was fortunate to assist at two Summer Olympic Games, 1996 in Atlanta with Linda Allen and 2004 in Athens with my father.

EqSol: How the course evolves for you…
Outdoor: The 2009 $40,000 Summer Grand Prix at Showpark
OP: Like other course designers, I watch the horses, know the material and the footing. You plan and move the materials to make it work best for the horses.

The quality of the field makes a difference. Last summer when I built at Showpark in August, we had a wide field of 56 riders in the grand prix. A group ready for the 2009/2010 World Cup qualifying season to start, including top West Coast and Mexican riders mixed with young riders moving up at the end of the season.

The footing at Showpark is excellent – we had 250 rounds on the grass that week – that’s a lot. So I tried to make it work for everyone. I knew some would be jumping a tough indoor course the next week at the first CSI-W of the season. So I thought out of 56 riders I would like to have 10-15 clean rounds.
[There were 14 clean. See write up in the EquestriSol August Showpark Edition.]

I will say that I can see a big difference from when I came here three or four years ago. The gap is not so big from east coast to west coast, the level has really come up.

Indoor: The last CSI-W on the West Coast, the $50,000 OC Register Grand Prix
OP: Of course I can’t give away my course plan for this week’s Grand Prix but I do know a few riders here are vying for their final qualifying points. The results will determine the list of west coast riders invited to go to Geneva for the 2010 FEI World Cup in a few weeks. So the course will reflect enough challenge for those competitors but also consider that these horses and riders have already been tested quite a bit throughout the qualifying season.

EqSol: Along with course designing across the world – what else do you do?
I am a partner in a business called The Wegener Group. We produce invoice envelopes for corporate use – banks, insurance companies, etc. We have offices in Germany, Poland & France and soon Vietnam and employ 400 people. I also have a company that produces jumps and other equipment for stables. The web site is www.op-worldwide.com.

OP Worldwide Custom Jump

EqSol: Your course design goals… and your future plans?
 I have had some great experiences in the last two years, from the Mexican Championships in December with Equsport to the NAJYRC in both 2008 and 2009. I have had the opportunity to design for some big events like the Asian Games and several big shows in Europe – and I aspire to build in Aachen and at an Olympic Games. I think every course designer has the Olympic Games as a goal.

I really like coming here to Blenheim and Showpark. Not only is the show management excellent, but also it is my dream to live on the coast in southern California. I love the lifestyle, restaurants, the people, the weather. The Wegener Group is thinking of expanding into the U.S. Maybe then I can make my move…

  Thank you Olaf for your time and we hope your California dreams come true.

Highlights From Oaks Blenheim April 2008

Keri Potter and Rockford I win the $50,000 Orange County Register CSI-W World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix

Kudos to the Keris (and a Karazissis) this past week!

Keri Potter garners the win in the $50,000 Orange County Register CSI-W World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix and secures a spot for the World Cup if she chooses to head to Sweden. And in the hunter arena Keri Kampsen topped the field in the $10,000 USHJA Hunter Challenge riding On Top, owned by Monarch International.

Second to go, Potter entered the jump-off thinking ‘just go for it’ which clearly paid off – she was fastest by just over ½ a second. Guy Thomas put in a great ride with a time of 31.28 but couldn’t beat Potter’s 30.71 seconds.

Jenny Karazissis wins the First Annual Arthur Hawkins Award of Excellence.

“The Blenheim EquiSports team has been great and I always enjoy coming to these shows. Riding in the indoor ring here is great practice for future indoor competitions,” Potter commented.

Kampsen was glad to be riding the Hunter Challenge in the covered arena as well. “It was a totally different feel indoors – it worked out well for me.”

“The entire event was well done from start to finish. It was great that it was for Artie Hawkins. Artie judged me when I rode small ponies.”

A final congratulations highlight for Week I of the Oaks Blenheim Spring Series goes to Jenny Karazissis. Recipient of the First Annual Arthur Hawkins Award of Excellence, Karazissis was honored for her contribution to the show hunter discipline.

Keri Kampsen and Monarch International’s On Top win the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Challenge.
Photos © Captured Moment Photography

This week Oaks-Blenheim will host what might be the most interesting event of the entire year. The “You Thought You’d Never Ride Again” Professional Challenge will take place on the main Grand Prix field on Saturday afternoon immediately following the Spring Classic II Grand Prix. With $5,000 in prizes awarded to the winners, this might be your one and only chance to root on some legendary trainers as they hark back to their youth in a two round jumper/equitation competition.

Highlights From Oaks Blenheim March 2008

Photo © Vinton Karrasch

We start off our Spring Series with a bang, as we host the final West Coast Qualifier for the World Cup Finals in Gothenburg, Sweden as well as two North American Young Rider Trials. During our Spring Classic I and June Classic II shows we will host the newly created USHJA International Hunter Challenge Derby.

In addition, and back by popular demand, we will once again present the Open Equitation Classic at the Spring Classic III Horse Show, to be followed the next evening by the exhibitor party and the Grand Prix. But what might be the most interesting event of the entire year will take place on the main Grand Prix field immediately following the Spring Classic II Grand Prix, the “You Thought You’d Never Ride Again” Professional Challenge.

This might be your one and only chance to root on some legendary trainers as they hark back to their youth in a two-round jumper/equitation competition!

Our horse shows are divided into three categories. Tournaments will offer Grand Prix events of $50,000 or more in prize money and “AA” rated hunters. Classics will offer grand prix events with prize money between $25,000 and $35,000 and “AA” rated hunters.
Festivals will feature jumper classics and “A” rated hunters.

In addition, our website showpark.com will continue to provide class start times and next day’s orders. Be sure to register your e-mail online so that we can send you our newsletter.

We are working diligently to exceed your expectations as we plan another exciting and challenging year of competitions. Enjoy the Oaks Blenheim Newsletter. We look forward to seeing you in 2008.

Best Regards,

The Blenheim EquiSports Team