Parker, CO - John Pearce had a winning week at the Colorado Horse Park during Summer in the Rockies II. First clinching the victory in the $10,000 Open Welcome Stake and then again during the $25,000 Littleton Equine Medical Center and Platinum Performance Grand Prix when he finished first and second. Twenty-two talented pairs faced the challenging Danny Foster course, but only three turned in phenomenal, clear, first-round performances.
"I love the look of riders working hard," Danny Foster, FEI I course designer, said of his track. "Just like any other sport, spectators want to see athletes performing." Foster used CHP's bank and a long gallop to the last jump among his tools to separate great from good riding.
Though Foster, a Pan-American Games gold medalist during his competitive career, agreed that the track was challenging, he had hoped that more riders would master the questions and advance to the jump-off. "As a designer you want to encourage them, but if you don't have scores, you don't have sport," he explained. "So, I need to create scores without causing a loss of confidence in the horses or riders. I don't want to take away any heart."
With a time element and a variety of obstacles, only two riders were able to be fault free in the first round--John Pearce with two horses, and John McConnell. Pearce claimed first and second place, with Johnny B Good and Chianto, respectively.
When asking Pearce how it felt to win both first and second place, he enthusiastically replied, "It feels great -- How could it feel any less?" Though Pearce was satisfied with his riding, he mostly raved about his horse Johnny B Good, with his very first Grand Prix win at CHP.
"He never ceases to amaze me," exclaimed Pearce. "At first he was not very interested in the sport, but I showed him the way and he's really taken to jumping like a duck to water." Pearce also expressed praise for Colorado and the horse park stating, "I have a lot of options for summer events, but I come here. I love river rafting, shooting, and fishing... I just love Colorado."
Finishing in third place was John McConnell with his beautiful mare, Katie Riddle. According to McConnell, he thoroughly enjoyed the course and felt that he and Katie Riddle became increasingly in sync as the competition progressed.
Susan Griffis, of Larkspur, Colorado, was kept out of the jump-off with a single time fault. Riding Wurion, Griffis placed fourth.
For more information, visit us at www.coloradohorsepark.com or visit our Facebook page.
We would like to thank our generous sponsors: Parker Adventist Hospital, Parker Hospital Foundation, Littleton Equine Medical Center, Platinum Performance, Griffis Residential, Guaranty Bank, Murdoch's Ranch and Home Supply, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Friends of Walden Farm, Suzy Sweitzer, Gesco Nursery, Bessemer Trust, Holiday Inn, Super 8, Hampton Inn, Norstar Industries, Nutrena, Pfizer, Grand Meadows, A Bit of Tack, Horse Connection, Equine Comfort Products, Days Inn, Sidelines, Comfort Suites, Chronicle of the Horse, Jump 4 Joy and Wild Ranch.
Results $25,000 Littleton Equine Medical Center and Platinum Performance Grand Prix
John Pearce - Johnny B Good
John Pearce - Chiatno
John McConnell - Katie Riddle
Susan Griffis - Wurion
Allison Kroff - Little Miss Sunshine
Nick Gegen - Sancerre
All photo credits: Flying Horse Photography