Del Mar, CA - May 12, 2013 - On two gorgeous southern California afternoons, two fabulous rides earned the lead in the high performance victory gallops for the $60,000 Grand Prix of California, sponsored by Equ Lifestyle and presented by Ferrari & Maserati of San Diego, and the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, both on the grass Grand Prix Field. The competition was fierce with almost forty entries in both classes.
Before the Saturday afternoon class commenced, course designer Oscar Soberon of Mexico made a wise prediction. "I think since it's $60,000, it should be tough enough, not too tough, but appropriate for the amount of prize money given today. Because we have really good horses and riders I think we will get to see a good class. I'm expecting somewhere around four to eight clear rounds."
Thirty-seven couples gave the course their best effort, with only four men managing to master the questions asked. The fifth entry, Saint Quentin and Austrian Peter Petschenig; the tenth to go, Calavda with Brazilian Eduardo Menzes; then fourteenth to gallop in, Quilebo du Tillard and Mexico's Enrique Gonzales; and finally the eighteenth horse in the ring, Signe Ostby's Jonkheer Z with Karl Cook aboard, were the fourth and final to go clean. Nineteen more attempted, but no other team could touch that fault free score. Nine ended the day with a four fault round, rounding out the top twelve plus one, so the slowest four faulter just missed getting a prize.
Course questions included a skinny wall early on at fence two, a skinny oxer with rainbow rails and a liverpool as the third obstacle as well as another skinny vertical off a tight turn at fence ten. Lines required adjustability with the final line towards home a challenging tight six strides, some attempted to open up in five but for most that option was not successful.
Petschenig, first to go in the jump-off, had a rail in a time of 51.71, leaving the door open for the next three riders. Menezes answered with a double clean ride in a speedy 46.17, certainly the time and score to beat. Gonzales tried but had two rails. Cook went for the win but with four faults in a fast 47.79, neither his score nor his time could quite catch Menezes. The win and a victory ride in a Ferrari went to Eduardo Menezes and Calavda.
When asked about the challenging course and his great mount, the winner explained, "I actually was happy with the course. I'd rather have a difficult course with fewer in the jump-off. I've had Calavda for about two and a half years now and we've won a few Grand Prix classes together. He's a nice one."
The fastest eight of nine who had just four faults in round one finished fifth through twelfth. Australian Lane Clarke on Granville Equine's Casseur de Prix earned fifth with four in a time of 81.11, Canadian Ben Asselin rode Attache Stable's Makavoy to sixth with a single heartbreak last jump rail in 82.00. The ladies clocked in at seventh and eighth with American girls Saer Coulter on Don Vhp Z (owned by Copernicus Stables, LLC) and Ashlee Bond on Little Valley Farm's Wistful scoring four in 83.38 and 83.49 respectively. Grey Fox Farm's Bristol and Rusty Stewart also had just the last jump down for ninth in 83.94. Another Attache Stable entry, Showgirl with Jonathan Asselin aboard, picked up four in 83.95 for tenth. Alix Fargo's Zamiro ridden by Susan Artes brought home eleventh when lowering the height of just the final jump in 85.48. Rounding out the top twelve was Cross Creek Farm's Socrates de Midos and Michelle Parker with four in 86.17.
A Sweet Victory for Hope Glynn & C.R. Haribo in the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
On Friday, Joe Lombardo's inviting derby course offered the riders long flowing options in the Classic Round and some tight turns with a challenging trot jump in the Handy Round. Judged by the honorable Debbie Sands, Betty Oare, Frank Willard and Steve Wall, the high performance hunter class had thirty-eight entries. Top score in the Classic Round went to Blenheim Spring Derby winner Nick Haness on Gelato with a total of 174, followed closely by Hope Glynn on Woodstock at 172 and Glynn again on C.R. Haribo with a 171. A score of 170 put Come Monday and Christa Endicott in a close fourth position.
Once again the challenges of the Handy Round changed the placings of the top twelve. The victory gallop went to birthday girl Hope Glynn on C.R. Haribo, while Haness bumped down to ninth with a disappointing rail in the second round. Woodstock finished fourth when Endicott's two mounts, Come Monday and Fabricio, both shined in the handy to earn second and third overall.
Glynn commented on the course and her winning horse. "In the first round with C.R. Haribo, I ended up taking the lower options but in the second round I knew that to beat Nick and Christa I was going to have to push it a little bit more. He's a smaller horse at 15.3 hands but has a great jump in him so he just needed to be able to show off a little. I thought that second round derby course allowed us to do that. It was a really tough course with that trot jump down the hill so I tried to revert back to my equitation days [she laughs] to ride that."
Blenheim EquiSports returns to San Juan Capistrano to welcome the summer season with the June Series, featuring a grand prix every weekend, more CashCall Futurity classes, social events and another $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby.
$60,000 Grand Prix of California, sponsored by Equ Lifestyle and presented by Ferrari & Maserati of San Diego
Place - Horse - Rider - Owner - Faults/Time
1 - Calvada - Eduardo Menezes - Eduardo Menezes - 0/0/46.177
2 - Jonkheer Z - Karl Cook - Signe Ostby - 0/4/47.792
3 - Saint Quentin - Peter Petschenig - Peter Petschenig - 0/4/51.715
4 - Quilebo du Tillard - Enrique Gonzales - Enrique Gonzales - 0/8/47.434
5 - Caseur De Prix - Lane Clarke - Granville Equine - 4/81.113
6 - Makavoy - Ben Asselin - Attache Stables - 4/82.008
7 - Don Vhp Z - Sear Coulter - Copernicus Stables LLC - 4/83.387
8 - Wistful - Ashlee Bond - Little Valley Farms - 4/83.493
9 - Bristol - Rusty Stewart - Grey Fox Farm - 4/83.947
10 - Showgirl - Jonathan Asselin - Attache Stables - 4/83.959
11 - Zamiro - Susan Artes - Alix Fargo - 4/85.485
12 - Socrates de Midos - Michelle Parker - Cross Creek Farms Inc - 4/86.173
$10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
Place - Horse - Rider - Owner - Total Score
1 - C.R. Haribo - Hope Glynn - Emma Townsend - 365
2 - Come Monday - Christa Endicott - Davlyn Farms - 364
3 - Fabricio - Christa Endicott - Davlyn Farms - 361
4 - Woodstock - Hope Glynn - Sabrina Hellman - 359.75
5 - Soldier - John French - Elizabeth Gabler - 354.5
6 - Nigel - Hope Glynn - Eleanor Hellman - 350
7 - King's Peak - Hope Glynn - Emma Waldfogel - 347
8 - Comet - Emily Esau- Williams - Theresa Boucher - 338.25
9 - Gelato - Nick Haness - Conor Perrin - 283
10 - Illusion - Destry Spielberg - Oscany Inc. - 267
11 - Ninja - Paul Haunert - Nicole Haunert - 259
12 - Chapel Hill - Morgan Dickerson - Pegasus Show Stable, Inc. - 244