Highlights From The August 28, 2010 Blenheim EquiSports Show

With September right around the corner and school starting again for many competitors, it came time to say goodbye to summer and welcome the new fall season. The outdoor grand prix events came to a close in late August at the Showpark Summer Classic as a large group of show jumpers took to the field in the $40,000 Grand Prix of Showpark, presented by California Horsetrader. Medal finals continued with the CPHA Foundation competitors going for the year-end title. The young horses took the outdoor stage as Blenheim EquiSports proudly hosted the Sallie B. Wheeler/USEF National Hunter Breeding Championships, International Hunter Futurity Classes and the $45,000 Wild Turkey Farm Young Jumper Championships.

September started off with some exciting indoor competition at the Showpark All Seasons Summer Tournament. The 2011 FEI World Cup hopefuls and more competed on Thursday in the $30,000 Showpark Jumper Classic, presented by Royal Champion, On Saturday evening the $50,000 Grand Prix of Showpark, presented by EquiFit, inc. was once again a competitive indoor World Cup qualifying class.

Saturday, August 28th, 2010: $40,000 Showpark Summer Classic Grand Prix
Sixty horse and rider couples were eager to gallop onto the grass for the $40,000 Showpark Summer Classic Grand Prix, presented by California Horsetrader. A diverse group of fourteen duos returned for the jump-off and the top six ribbon winners jumped double clean. The speedy pair of Jaime Azcarraga and Celsius bested the rest of the field for the win.

German course designer, Olaf Peterson Jr. created a challenging track consisting of sixteen efforts. With a large field of rookies and veterans alike, Peterson Jr. wanted to design an inviting course to suit the variety of entrants. “It was a difficult field to set for,” he noted. “There were young horses, young riders, and also experienced couples; they all had to be considered.”

Marking the halfway point in the lineup of sixty horses, Azcarraga and Celsius were the thirtieth to attempt the course, and the ninth team to advance to the jump-off round. “This course by Olaf was nice but also difficult,” the triumphant Azcarraga said. “I think the 14 clean says something about the quality of competitors coming to this show. [Showpark] is a beautiful place to bring the horses and compete.”

Fault-free in both rounds and crossing the timers in 37.00 in the jump-off was the gifted eight-year-old horse Bristol (Grey Fox Farm, owner) and his pilot Rusty Stewart for fifth place. Seventeen-year-old Lucy Davis qualified two mounts for the second round but was eliminated on her first ride, Nemo 911. The young hot shot from Los Angeles redeemed herself and finished fourth by turning in a double clear ride aboard Old Oak Farm’s Hannah. Rounding out the top three was the super scopey Chello Z with his partner Josephina Nor-Lantzman. Less than a second away from the winner’s circle was Joie Gatlin who piloted Camaron Hills Quick Dollar (Camaron Hills Farm, owner) to a second place finish.

While there were many vying for the top position, it was the 10-year-old German bred Celsius and Azcarraga’s well thought out plan that secured the win. “With 14 in the jump-off, I really had to go for it,” Azcarraga said. “I took the five strides to the combination and I think that paid off.”

Designer Peterson Jr. had a feeling Azcarraga would give his competitors a run for their money and was happy with the winning ride. “The jump-off was difficult because of the turns, but Jaime was the best and his horse was super careful,” he remarked. “This is a newer horse for Jaime. It was nice to see him win.”

August 28-29, 2010: CPHA Foundation Finals
During the Showpark Summer Classic, equitation riders in three divisions – 22 & over, 21 & under and 14 & under – vied for the CPHA Foundation Championship title.

Kristi Siam riding her own Krosus topped the adult group. Placing third in the first round of the final and first in the second round, Siam’s stellar trips earned her the top prize. Siam trains with Karen Healey.

In the 21 & under division, the talented Cayla Richards, trained by Archie Cox, blew the competition out of the water by winning all phases of the event aboard Presidio. Last week’s CPHA Adult Medal Final winner Adrienne Dixon rode Julie Nagler’s Vincenzo to a second place finish.

In the youngest age division, Alexandra Ladove topped the class of 24 in the tack of her partner Littlewood, clinching the win in each phase of the competition under the direction of her trainer, John French.

Highlights from the ASPCA Regional Finals Saturday evening – September 12, 2009

The ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship class was first held 76 years ago, and has remained one of the most prestigious competitions for junior riders (ages 17 & under). Past winners and top finishers include recognizable West Coast names such as such Bernie Traurig (1961), Fred Bauer (1970), Francie Steinwedell-Carvin (1977), Lauren Kay (1990), Keri Kampsen (1997), Nicole Shahinian Simpson (1992), Richard Spooner (Reserve Champion, 1988), Matthew Sereni (2003) and Jamie Taylor (Reserve Champion, 2002). Riders who competed in the Region 8 (CA, HI, NV) Maclay Regionals on Saturday qualified by earning 25 points as of August 31, 2009.

Medal riders had to pick and maintain a marching pace to master the course that Scott Starnes set for Saturday night’s Regional Finals. Of the twelve efforts, the toughest part seemed to be fences four through eight, which included a short turn off the corner to a hay bale vertical in three long strides to an oxer-vertical one stride directly to another three stride line, followed by a right hand turn to vertical-vertical one stride combination to a sharp right bend in a long five to a fan oxer.

After thirty-four rounds, judges Chrystine Tauber and Leo Conroy brought back twenty-eight riders in two groups of fourteen for the flat phase. In this final the flat counts for 50% of the total score. At the conclusion of the second group, five riders were asked to remain in the ring – Jocelyn Neff, Lucy Davis, Saer Coulter, Theo Boris and Cayla Richards. The work-off included six jumps, a difficult counter-canter turn, a halt and a hand gallop to the last fence. Neff nailed it. Surprisingly Davis had some trouble that included losing her counter canter. Coulter also lost the counter lead in the final two strides. Boris rode in his usual soft yet confident style. However his halt was a bit brief and his bold hand gallop took him slightly past his distance. Fresh off her CPHA Medal Final win, Richards kept her cool and performed all the tests flawlessly for the win.

Click the results link for a list of the 16 top placings, who are invited to compete at the National Championship held at The National Horse Show on October 31st in Syracuse, New York. Good luck to all those who are heading east later this fall.