Parker, CO - The first half of the Colorado Summer Circuit came to a close this weekend and was highlighted by the $25,000 Summer in the Rockies IIII Grand Prix. Eighteen horses and riders competed for first place and a large cash prize at the Colorado Horse Park (CHP). This was the third Grand Prix in the series of six events, with the action continuing the week of July 2 with Summer in the Rockies IV. John Pearce has had an exceptional three weeks, winning two out of the three Grand Prix.
The riders raved about Saturday's course by international designer Marina Azevedo of Brazil. The track took advantage of the large derby field at CHP, and included a triple combination toward the crowd and an oxer along the VIP seating area, making it exciting for the spectators. "Today's course was the best of the circuit by far. [The designer] was great; she is one of my favorites," exclaimed winner, John Pearce. Azevedo had the perfect number of five horses in the jump-off: Pearce and Bjorn Ikast with two rides each, and Christian Heineking of Wylie, Texas.
The jump off was a nail-biter with Heineking laying down a scorching clear trip. Neither Pearce with Johnny B Good or Ikast with Brave Heart could catch Heineking. With his WEG mount Chianto, Olympian Pearce gave an exciting, determined ride that somehow managed to cut .58 seconds off Heineking's seemingly unbeatable time. Ikast and his second mount, Colorado, were unable to duplicate Pearce's efforts and finished in fourth place.
In addition to his wins in the Grand Prix, Pearce has won a $10,000 Welcome Stakes in week II, along with many other top placings. He attributed his success on Saturday to the track. "All that was really different this week was the course, and the course was great, and my horse was great," shared Pearce.
Finishing in second was CHP newcomer, Heineking. He jumped into second place with River of Dreams (Riverman x Merano). The 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding is owned by Caroline Jahr, and has been training with Heineking for four years. The pair has had an impressive season thus far, winning six Grand Prix events.
Want to watch Christian and John's rides? Visit the Colorado Horse Park Youtube channel. For more information, visit us at www.coloradhorsepark.com, visit our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.
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, Friends of Walden Farm, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, 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 Summer in the Rockies III Grand Prix
PL Horse Owner Rider
1 Chianto Forest View Farm John Pearce
2 River Of Dreams Caroline Jahr Christian Heineking
3 Brave Heart Bjorn Ikast Bjorn Ikast
4 Colorado Bovee Limited Liability Partnership Bjorn Ikast
5 Johnny B Good (aka Verrochio) Forest View Farm John Pearce
6 Washington Allison Kroff Allison Kroff
7 Balthazar Marianne Marshall Mark Mead
8 Vernon G Kelsey Van Ackeren Kelsey Van Ackeren
Photos: John Pearce & Chianto; John Pearce Award Ceremony L-R Whitney Stahl, Brian Curry and John Pearce Photo credits: Jon Kassel