A Colorful Weekend of Jumping at Gold Coast April

Michael Leon and Carrera win the ,000 USHJA Hunter Derby. Photo: Flying Horse Photography
Michael Leon and Carrera win the 1,000 USHJA Hunter Derby. Photo: Flying Horse Photography

4/9/2015 - Easter weekend was a hopping good time at Gold Coast April (3-5). This was the second Gold Coast Show Series show of the 2015 season, sponsored by LEGISequine.com, so many points are still up for grabs for year-end awards. Here are just a few of the riders who enjoyed a great Easter weekend of competition and fun.

Michael Leon and Carrera and C Coast Z, Champion and Reserve Champion, $1,000 USHJA Hunter Derby
After winning the last $1,000 USHJA Hunter Derby at Gold Coast February with C Coast Z, Michael Leon was back to win it again— this time aboard a different horse. Michael won the derby at Gold Coast April aboard Carrera (Piñon West, owner) and followed closely in second place with C Coast Z (Anna Sophia Lotman, owner).

Had Michael won the derby again aboard C Coast Z, the pair would have earned a $500 LEGIS Hunter Rider Bonus check. “I’m perfectly okay with that,” he commented about not getting the bonus this time. “Carrera just moved up to 3’6’’ level this year. I’m trying to develop her for the national and international derbies. We went second on course and she just opened up her nice, big, quiet stride. She was soft off the ground and jumping in excellent form.”

Robb Peters celebrates his wins
Robb Peters celebrates his wins

In general, Michael considered his Easter weekend to be quite a success. “It was so exciting to be first and second then to have my client, Robb Peters, in third place,” he said with a smile. “Robb worried me for a moment that he might beat me. All three horses jumped around the course really well. The first course was open enough to show the horses’ movement as well as their jumping style, and the second had good options to make it more technical.” Michael plans hopes to win a LEGIS Hunter Rider Bonus check later this year with Carrera.

Robb was happy with his placing on his Celano. “I actually just bought him last week,” Robb shared. “It was my first show riding as his owner. It was also my first time in years showing at the 3’6’’ height. I just stuck with the plan—the same plan Michael did with his horses—and it proved successful. I was really amazed to get scores in the low 90s and high 80s, just a couple points behind Michael.”

The Boudreau Sisters
Mila Boudreau and A La Carte, Reserve Champions, ‘B' Equitation, 12 thru 14
Marina and Maliblue, Reserve Champions, Pony Equitation and Small/Medium Pony Hunters
Marla and Snapchat, Winner-Pony Hunters, Second-LEGIS Mini Medal Class

Twelve-year-old Mila Boudreau (Chad Mahaffey, trainer) has been riding ever since she was five when her parents got a pony for her and her two sisters, Marla and Marina, although she has since moved up to horses. “The horse I've been riding for the last year or so is an experienced thoroughbred named A La Carte,” she shared. “He has been a great teacher and I really love him. He's been a great first horse to learn how to do the bigger jumps on. I'm working on the 2'9 and going onto 3' for next year. It’s really nice to have my family’s support because they understand what I'm going through when I lose or when I win.”

Chad Mahaffrey poses with the Boudreau girls
Chad Mahaffrey poses with the Boudreau girls

Nine-year-old twins Marina and Marla competed against one another in some of their classes. However, the pair didn't let competition get in the way of their sisterly bond. “It felt really amazing to win the ribbons at Gold Coast because this was only my second show with Maliblue and we’re getting better each time,” Marina said. “We are working on my lead changes with him. I've got one side down, and I'm working on strengthening the other. It's really fun to show with my sisters because we fool around and tease each other about who's going to win the class.”

Marla also had fun competing alongside her sisters. “I really like showing with my sisters because they're always around to cheer me up when I did not have a good day,” Marla admitted. “Sometimes it gets frustrating and annoying though if my twin sister beats me in the flat classes. But I'm always happy for her anyways. I'm just working on being consistent and using my corners at the shows. I feel like I'm really getting the hang of it.”

Tallulah Tepper and Uma Thurman
Tallulah Tepper and Uma Thurman

Tallulah Tepper and Uma Thurman, Winner, ASPCA/Maclay Medal Class
Tallulah Tepper (Shauna Pennell, trainer) has a lot of accomplishments under her belt— being accepted to University of Virginia, where she plans to join the equestrian team after graduating from high school this spring, and now winning a Maclay Medal Class for her first time. “My horse, Uma, has come a long way in the past couple years,” Tallulah commented. “We just recently started making it to the top four and the work-off phases of medal classes. In the flat phase they asked us to reverse with a simple change of lead and extend at the right-lead canter. Uma just moved right up when I asked her. It’s my last year riding as junior so I plan to just ride my heart out. Uma’s an amazing horse and Shauna is the best trainer I could wish for. I’m so grateful.”

Lara Sachdeva and Upolu
Lara Sachdeva and Upolu

Lara Sachdeva and Upolu, Champion, 1.00M Low Children's-Adult Amateur Jumpers
Fourteen-year-old Lara Sachdeva (David Sterckx, trainer) earned the championship in the 1.00M Low Children's-Adult Amateur Jumpers aboard her Upolo. “The first time I rode her, I actually broke my arm.” Lara recalled with a laugh. “We’ve come a long way together. She always gets so excited when she hears that buzzer and knows it’s time to go.” Lara wants to keep progressing and move her way up the 1.10M height.

Upcoming LEG Events
Verdugo Hills - April 10-11
Woodside Spring Preview -  Apr 22-2
Verdugo Hills - May 15 – 17
Memorial Day Classic Horse Show - May 22 - 256




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