San Juan Capistrano, CA - As the temperature soared in Southern California, so did the four entries who battled it out in the jump-off of the $30,000 June Classic II Grand Prix, presented by ACE Equestrian. Congratulations go to Josephina Nor Lantzman and her own Chello Z, who, despite the heat, were blazing hot for the win.
FEI Course Designer Mauricio Garcia of Puerto Rico designed a tough track for the highlight class of twenty-six entries. Although he said that each jump could be a challenge, he noted that he always builds "one solid jump, one light jump, and one wide jump." On this course, the 'light' jump at fence four, a black and white jump with a black plank on top, lowered in height for quite a few riders. However, rails did fall throughout the course, as Garcia had predicted.
Impressed with what he had available for the build, he said, "The material here is amazing. You have every type of fence to use and can do something different with it everyday."
Second and third in the order, Chris Pratt aboard Epic Group, LLC's Concorde and Lantzman on Chello, both rode fault free. Sixteen rounds later, Friday's CardFlex Classic winners Jenni McAllister and Legis Touch the Sun (owned by Legisequine.com) were also clean. Joining the group towards the end of the class, the fourth to go clean were Daniel Zilla and Contiano B (owned by Branscomb Farm, LLC).
Three riders finished with only a time fault, just missing the chance to join the jump-off group. Last week's June Classic I Grand Prix winner, John Pearce and Chantico (co-owned by Karen Ball); Nicole Haunert on NJK No Regret; and last to go, Delaney Flynn and Taxia de la Nutria (Irish Rose Stables, owner) each had only a heartbreaking time fault, ultimately finishing seventh, sixth and fifth respectively.
An exciting jump-off ensued. Neat and clean in 40.59, Pratt set the precedent for the three to follow. Not new to this setting, Lantzman and her veteran mount knew what to do, going clean in 38.00. Though also clean, neither McAllister nor Zilla could catch that time.
Lantzman commented on the track, "It was a little bit tricky with some uneven lines, but a good test. Definitely more technical than scopey. But we mastered it, so it worked out."
On how she rode to the win, she said, "I just had a good pace from fence one and I kept it going. There was one option for an inside turn and Chris Pratt didn't take it, so I thought that it was my shot. It worked and we jumped clean, and we are so happy to win on Father's Day!"
Lantzman has a unique relationship with her father. "He plays a huge role in my riding. We work together; he is my coach, and my dad. We have a lot of fun. It brought tears to my eyes - this win was extra special."
And she added a nod to Chello, the sponsors and to show management. "Also, to my horse, who has won so many classes and at 16 years old, he just keeps on winning. That's pretty cool. And a big thank you to ACE Equestrian for sponsoring the class, and to Blenheim for always putting on nice shows. After being in Florida this past winter, I truly appreciate these shows."
Next week's June Classic III offers a USHJA National Hunter Derby on Friday, an exciting, new Six Bar Challenge, presented by Park Place Foundation on Saturday, the Zone 10 Pony Challenge on Saturday and Sunday, as well as a Markel Insurance Grand Prix and Interactive Mortgage U25 Qualifier on Sunday.
$30,000 Blenheim June Classic II Grand Prix,
1. 720 - Chello Z - Josephina Nor Lantzman - Josephina Nor Stables, LLC -0/0/38.002
2. 291 - Legis Touch The Sun - Jenni McAllister - Legisequine.com - 0/0/39.441
3. 506 - Contiano B - Daniel Zilla - Branscomb Farm, LLC - 0/0/39.648
4. 617 - Concorde - Chris Pratt - Epic Group, LLC - 0/0/40.597
5. 920 - Taxo de la Nutria - Delaney Flynn - Irish Rose Stables - 1/82.097
6. 235 - NJK No Regret - Nicole Haunert - NJK Show Jumpers, Inc. - 1/82.123
7. 612 - Chantico - John Pearce - John Pearce/Karen Ball - 1/82.737
8. 324 - Saint Quentin - Peter Petschenig - Pam Bilek and Peter Petschenig - 4/74.776
9. 350 - Carli de Sabette - Chris Pratt - Edesa Horse Promotion, Inc. - 4/77.208
10. 204 - Kiwi Iron Mark - Jeffrey Fields - June Berrington - 5/82.921
11. 311 - Vancouver 45 - Michelle Parker - Cross Creek Farms, Inc. - 6/83.346
12. 405 - Venice B - Daniel Zilla - Branscomb Farm, LLC - 6/83.677