MINDEN, NEVADA (July 7, 2001)-Mandy Porter, 35, of Solana Beach, California, won the $5,000 PCHA Jimmy Williams Classic at HITS Tahoe in Minden, Nevada, today, aboard La Roc, besting a field of 13 horses. Porter purchased the German-bred gelding less than two months ago, and as owner/rider, she took home $1,500 in prize money. Apollo Farms and John Endicott sponsored the class. Michael Curtis of Tucson, Arizona designed the course.
For Round One, Curtis built a 13-jump course that included a double at Fence No. 3, another double at Fence No. 6, and a triple combination at Fence No. 13. Time Allowed was set at 100 seconds. Four horses had clear rounds and moved on to the jump-off.
First on the short course was Damian Gardiner of Rancho Santa Fe, California, on E-Mail who set the pace with a clear round in 29.817 seconds, well under the 40-second Time Allowed, but he ended up in third place. Julie Winkel of Reno, Nevada, was next in the order on Mr. Acobat, who chased Gardiner and caught him with her clear round in 29.667, taking the lead, but in the final placings, her time was only good enough for second place. Next to go was Fergus Coburn of Rancho Sante Fe, California, on Royal Imperial, who went off course, relegating him to fourth place. Last to go was Mandy Porter on her La Roc, who tripped the timers in 29.507 for the win.
"The Round One course was a little bit easier than I thought it would be, which is perfect for what I needed for this horse-just to keep his confidence. It rode nicely, no big tricks, and it flowed," said Porter. The jump-off was a different story for her. "Honestly, I did not ride Fence 1 to Fence 2 very well. I was a little bit backwards, a little bit slow. I made it up with a nice turn to the double. Then I went forward and had a wrong distance at Number Four. It came out well at the end. It was a horse race in the jump off. There weren't a whole lot of options, so you just needed to keep your flow going. I was surprised that I was faster because I didn't have the flow going in the beginning."
La Roc is a seven-year-old Holsteiner gelding sired by Lavall who is by Landgraf. He was imported from Sweden as a five-year-old and had been shown in preliminary classes until Porter purchased him. "I don't know him very well. He's still very, very green," said Porter. "He's not very tall, he's just stout. He's only 16.1 but he carries himself like a very big horse and he's got a really big stride."
Porter spent seven years in Europe and returned to live in the United States 18 months ago. "In Switzerland I worked for a dealer and then for a private owner in Italy. I rode in a lot of international shows and I watched a lot of fantastic riders. When you're competing, you try different techniques, so I went to shows to watch and learn. The people are very friendly there and a lot of the top riders are willing to give you a hand, a little bit of assistance, tips-and they're fun to work with."
Porter brought nine horses to HITS Tahoe for Weeks I and II, along with two clients. "I came last year for a couple of weekends with a Grand Prix horse we had, but I don't have a Grand Prix horse this year. La Roc is just a fraction too inexperienced. He needs just another six months and he'll be all right."
Porter is a graduate of Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo with degrees in Animal Science and Agricultural Business Management. She plans to stay in the U. S. and develop a selective group of horses and clients. "I don't want a huge barn. I have no desire to have 20 horses in training all the time. I moved home because that's where my family is and it's where I want my life to be. When I was in Europe, all I did was eat, breathe, sleep, ride-it was just all horses. I would like to do another European tour sometime. I enjoy having young horses to bring along. If I had a string of really nice Grand Prix horses then I would do more, but I did enough of it in Europe that I'm quite content to just go to some shows that I like to go to for now. If everything fell into place I would make the Olympics a goal, but right now I'm happy with the way it's going. The Olympics is not out of the question, it's just not my number one priority." $5,000 Jimmy Williams Classic, July 7, 2001
HITS Tahoe, Minden, Nevada
Course Designer: Doug Russell
Pl#/Horse/Rider/Owner/Prize Money/Rd 1 Faults/J-O Faults -Time
1/La Roc/Mandy Porter/Mandy Porter/$1,500/0/0-29.817
2/Mr Acobat/Julie Winkel/Nicole Brown/$1,000/0/0-29.667
3/E-Mail/Camian Gardiner/Cheri Hartman/$700/0/0-29.817
4/Royal Imperial/Fergus Coburn/Patrick Dwyer/$500/0/E
5/All That Jazz/Carol Wright/Tamara Hoss/$400/4/NA
6/Fee Des Forets/Macella O'Neill/High Ridge Ranch/$350/4/NA
7/Blackmail/Rusty Stewart/Dana Levin/Pebble Beach Ventures/$300/4/NA
8/The Real Thing/Jenni Martin/Jenni Martin & Steve McAlister/$250/4/NA
Number of horses who competed in this class: 13
Class Prize Money: $5,000