Highlights From Spring 2010 Del Mar

This time last year we were singing the praises of the 2009 Rolex FEI World Cup in Las Vegas, proud of the super competition and offering congratulations to Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, McLain Ward and Rich Fellers.

What a difference a year makes! This year we congratulate Meredith and Markus on their new daughter Brianne, now over 11 weeks old. We wish McLain could have a re-ride in this year’s World Cup. And we congratulate Rich (as well as Harry and Mollie Chapman) on his top twelve World Cup finish and his double grand prix victory at the Del Mar National earlier this month.

The beautiful grass grand prix field at Showpark set the stage for two main events this week at the Ranch & Coast Tournament. On Friday afternoon, the hunters were the stars as they competed in the $10,000 Chronicle of the Horse/USHJA International Hunter Derby and on Saturday afternoon, the jumpers took the spotlight in the $50,000 Grand Prix of California presented by Mary’s Tack & Feed.

Hail to the Hunters
In the open hunter divisions, tri-colors went to Truman (Mary Sweeney, owner) ridden by John French in the Green Conformation Hunters, and to Ashley Pryde’s Victory Road in the First Year Green Hunters also with John French in the irons. Iwasaki & Reilly’s Small Affair dominated the Second Year Green Hunters again with John French aboard. Exupery (Stephen Borders, owner) with Keri Kampsen riding earned the Regular Working Hunter championship, and in the Regular Conformation John Bragg rode Cunningham (Mary Slouka, owner), to the championship. 

Thirty-eight horses hunted around the Derby course designed by Scott Starnes, which included three 4’ options and a diagonal line across the field with two verticals and two oxers. The early part of the line rode easy in five strides then continued to flow in four strides and finished with three strides. As always, the course took its toll on a few, a spooky cut-out wall leading into the combination at fence eight stopped a handful in their tracks and others had hard rubs or a rail in the diagonal line. But for the top twelve of the day, the scores were in the eighties and even nineties. Watching those rounds flow around the course was hunter poetry in motion.
[Read full Blenheim EquiSports press release with results]

The post derby Tango Party at the San Diego Polo Club complete with Argentinean Asado, Tango demonstrations and fundraising fun was another fabulous affair. See our photo gallery for the social details. Cha cha cha!

Photo © CapturedMomentPhoto.com

Chef Leopoldo
As Leopoldo Palacios explained to us last season, course designers are like chefs. They take all the ingredients including height, distance, scope, time allowed, the materials, positions of the jumps, shadows, terrain plus a dash of this or that – and analyze those who will be tasting this creation, the riders, to bake the perfect grand prix course. Ideally a varied group of horses and riders will return with a clean plate and jump off for a second round of Chef Leopoldo’s course creation.

The afternoon event opened with a polo demonstration provided by four riders from the San Diego Polo Club. With a fabulous location just across the street from the Del Mar Horse Park, the polo season begins this month.

Fifty-one horse and rider combinations went for the win in the $50,000 Grand Prix of California presented by Mary’s Tack and Feed on a cool Saturday afternoon. The early rider got the prize, as Canadian John Pearce galloped on the field third in the order and was the first to ride clean on his 14-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, Chianto. Next clean in the first round was New Zealand rider Guy Thomas and 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Carino. Riding seventh in the class, Thomas navigated the course smoothly and accurately. A handful tried to master the course without success until two talented and gutsy young women, Lucy Davis on Old Oak Farm’s Nemo 119 and Ashlee Bond on Little Valley Farm’s GZS Cassir Z, went sixteenth and seventeenth in the order and clean.

Of the thirty-four horses remaining, including Gold Medalist Will Simpson on Archie Bunker (Linda Smith, owner), Rich Fellers on the famous Flexible (Harry and Mollie Chapman, owners), Susie Hutchison aboard El Dorado 29’s Cantano, Joie Gatlin riding Camaron Hills Quick Dollar, and other well-known competitors, only the final entry in the ring went clean, S.F. Shakira and Michael Endicott. Happy to have him join the elusive four, the crowd burst into an exuberant cheer as he completed the course.
[Read full Blenheim EquiSports press release with results]

Photo © CapturedMomentPhoto.com

Media Mentions
Blenheim’ is honored to have their own tab on PhelpsSports.com alongside all the show jumping news from around the world. If you’re not a member of Phelps, now is the time.

Join Blenheim on Facebook and get connected with the latest updates, announcements and news. If you’re a tweeter follow Blenheim on Twitter.  A great place to follow the horse show scene, during Ranch & Coast we posted the details of the main events as they were happening.

EquestriSol News: September 13, 2009

USHJA EAP Level II Session Summary

Previous to the start of this week’s Fall Tournament, the USHJA hosted the EAP Level II Sessions in the Blenheim covered arena. Bernie Traurig and Lisa Baldassari worked with a group of selected riders over two days. While Bernie instructed them in the arena, Lisa, who has worked with Hap Hansen for many years, was the expert back at the barn, overseeing all aspects of horse care. Unique to this session, on the second day riders all walked the course with Bernie in the morning and then individually rode at their chosen height as if competing in a class. Bernie then blew a whistle to indicate the start of the jump-off, and the participant rode the shortened course. Upon completion Bernie asked each rider to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of their ride. And then he would follow up with his comments.

An invaluable educational experience for all involved, the next step for EAP is to choose the riders for the National Training Session. The National Training Session will include a Nations Cup Format plus extensive instruction with riding sessions, nutritionists, veterinarians, blacksmiths and sports psychologists. The top two individuals selected from the National Training Session will each receive a grant for one month of advanced training.


We wrote a piece on this past weekend for PhelpsSports.com that includes some great photos from CapturedMomentPhoto.com and JulieBlairPhotography.com. Thank you to both photographers for staying up late and getting us photos in a timely manner!

In this Issue

Congratulations to the CPHA Foundation Medal Final Winners – Hannah Von Heidegger in the 14 & under, Sophie Verges in the 21 & under and Karrie Rufer in the 22 & over division. Read more about the experience of riding in the finals in our Amateur Spotlight. The West Coast has a solid group of up and coming riders – we spoke to one, Laura Teodori, after her trip to Europe this summer. Plus we have the details on the upcoming Del Mar International and Sacramento International horse shows.

Next newsletter is next week! See you at the LA Intentional Jumping Festival for the USEF Talent Search Finals and the $50,000 LA International World Cup Qualifying Grand Prix and much more.

If you’re on Facebook, view past articles and become an EquestriSol fan here.


Highlights Oaks Blenheim April 10, 2008

$35,000 Spring Classic II Grand Prix

Susie Hutchison and El Dorado 29’s Cantano
win the $35,000 Oaks Blenheim Spring Classic II
Grand Prix on Saturday, April 5th.
Photo © Bryan Gray for
Captured Moment Photography

With technical questions ranging from a tight time allowed to tight lines and rollback turns, the Richard Jeffrey course was a solid horse and rider test. Second to go, Amanda Tallman sailed around the course without a fault, setting the pace. Not until the 17th horse went, Laurus with Sarah Baldwin, did Tallman have a challenge for the jump off. Out of a field of 39, three more women joined this fault-free group – Cantano and Susie Hutchison, Lionell ridden by Erin Duffy and Heather Olson on Latina.

Congratulations to Susie Hutchison and El Dorado 29’s Cantano on a beautiful, clean ride in 48.28 for the win.

The grass hill, bleachers and VIP Medal Club were filled with exhibitors and spectators who came out to enjoy an afternoon of show jumping plus a Kids’ Day which included bounce houses, mini-golf, food & vendor booths.

Oaks Blenheim Spring Classic III

This week the thrills move back to the Blenheim Covered Arena for the Open Equitation Classic on Friday, April 11th at 7pm. On Saturday, April 12th, enjoy an Exhibitor Party at 6pm followed by the $35,000 Oaks Blenheim Spring III Grand Prix at 7pm.

Exhibitor Party Details

Who: All Blenheim horse show exhibitors are welcome
What: Gourmet hot dogs, mini-sliders, fries, beverages
Where: Blenheim Covered Arena in the VIP area
When: Starts at 6pm – First come, first served for food & seating
Note: Be certain to bring your ID. We will need proof of age to serve alcohol