September 22, 2014 - San Juan Capistrano, CA - Southern California's summer-into-fall show season was the ideal place to be with young horses this year, as Blenheim Equisports offered multiple developing equine finals in both the hunter and the jumper rings.
NEW in 2014 - Blenheim Young Jumper Championships - Four and Seven-Year-Olds
The final rounds of the $25,000 Blenheim Four and Seven-Year-Old Young Jumper Championships wrapped up on Sunday, September 21st on the International Grand Prix Field at the Blenheim International Jumping Festival.
Three horses put on their bravest faces to jump the final round of the Four-Year-Olds. Last to go, Trudi Fletcher piloted Jolon (owned by Jennifer Mclaughlin) to a steady round in 75.89 seconds with a single rail to earn the championship. Second place was awarded to Michelle Parker and CCF Yasur (Cross Creek Farms, Inc, owner) with eight faults in a time of 81.96.
Every entry completed the course in the Seven-Year-Old Final - with the lowest average total score, the win went to Peter Petschenig and Colour Your Life (owned by Pam Bilek and Peter Petschenig). Reserve champion went to Michelle Parker and Cross Creek Farms, Inc's Cupilor, a Dutch Warmblood sired by Lupicor. Rounding out the top three was Guillermo Obligado and Orchard Hill Farm's Carinja 14, an Oldenburg sired by Cartogran.
NEW in 2014 - Five and Six-Year-Olds at Blenheim Fall Tournament
The Five and Six-Year-Old Divisions were a Sunday highlight at last week's Blenheim Fall Tournament. Jason McArdle, already holding a winning track record in both the Five and the Six-Year-Old Young Jumper Championships Western League Finals, added another title to his repertoire with Fairbanks Valley Farms, LLC's Elrito in the Blenheim Five-Year-Old Jumper Finals.
McArdle was the only rider to pilot his horse to a zero-fault score throughout three rounds of competition. The win in the Six-Year-Old Division went to Kristin Hardin on Con Caletto Enterprises' talented mare Americana, who bested a field of four in the jump-off to take home the title.
International Jumper Futurity Western Regional at Blenheim Fall Tournament
C Deja Vu II (Con Caletto x Contender) earned first place in the 2014 International Jumper Futurity Western Regional. Owned by Con Caletto Enterprises and ridden by Kristin Hardin, the dark bay Holsteiner stallion won all three IJF phases: Best Scope/Technique, Best Movement/Type, and Most Consistent Performance. Second place went to Titanium (Carbon G1 x Du Gateau) owned by Gwen Strickland and ridden by Britt Harley, and third to Caballito (Caballo x Corradino), owned by Willow Tree Farm and ridden by Guy Thomas.
Young Jumper Championships Western League Finals at Showpark All Seasons
Down in Del Mar, Blenheim hosted the Five, Six, and Seven & Eight-Year-Old Divisions of the Young Jumper Championships Western League.
Jason McArdle aboard Fairbanks Valley Farms, LLC's Elicole rode a smooth and fault-free course, the only pair to earn zero faults across all three rounds to claim the Five-Year-Old Division title. S Schaper Tilstra bred the KWPN mare out of Hamlet.
Five of the entries in the Six-Year-Old Division finished with fault-free scores throughout the three rounds, leading to a jump-off for the top prize. Fresh off a win in the Five-Year-Olds, not only earlier in the day, but also on Fairbanks Valley Farms, LLC's Da's Mooi Man in 2013, Jason McArdle returned to the jump-off on the champion mount. Proving his young horse program is working year after year, Da's Mooi Man jumped clean and quick with McArdle to take the lead and the Six-Year-Old title.
Of the twenty-two total entries in the Seven & Eight-Year-Old Division, five qualified with fault-free scores from all three rounds for the jump-off. The final seven-year-old to return was Cross Creek Farms, LLC's Cupilor, with Michelle Parker in the irons. They zipped around the course to take home the top title. Similarly to Da's Mooi Man repeat win, Cupilor earned the Six-Year-Old Young Jumper title in 2013.
The Young Hunters Shine in Sallie B. Wheeler and IHF Classes at All Seasons
Not only did the Showpark All Seasons Tournament host the Young Jumper Championships, it also welcomed developing young hunters for the Sallie B. Wheeler (SBW) Hunter Breeding Championships and the International Hunter Futurity (IHF) Hunter Breeding classes on Wednesday and Thursday.
Sue Lightner had a successful blue-ribbon week with her young horses, leading Autumn Hills Farm's Rivercity Blues to the title of Best Young Horse in the SBW Hunter Breeding. Lightner's Rodeo was crowned champion in the IHF Hunter Breeding Best Young Horse with Marisa Metzger, while Barbara J. Dunning won Best Amateur Handler with Lightner's Rosebud. Rosebud also won the Three-Year-Old Hunter Breeding class with Emily Esau-Williams.
Hero, owned by Liz Warren, won the Hunter Breeding Best Young Horse with Marisa Metzger. Last year, Tish Quirk's Good Luck by More Than Luck won every Two-Year-Old Hunter Breeding Class and was the Sallie B. Wheeler and IHF Best Young Horse, as well as Top Dutch Horse in the Sallie B. Wheeler Championship. She continued her winning ways this year as well, winning the Three-Year-Old Fillies in the Sallie B. Wheeler/U.S. National Hunter Breeding Championship. Carleton Brooks and Emily Esau-Williams handled her in the Hunter Breeding divisions and John French rode her over fences and under saddle.
Blenheim EquiSports supports young horses not only through the special classes and championships offered above, but also by reducing stall fees by $100 and offering free entry fees in the Young Jumper qualifying classes at twelve horse shows throughout the season. With the completion of the Blenheim Young Jumper Championships in San Juan Capistrano, the 2014 season for developing young equines is a wrap.