Del Mar, CA - An international field contested the $50,000 Surfside Grand Prix presented by ShowBiz Magazine Friday evening at the Del Mar National Horse Show. Of the 26 entries in the class, six combinations were members of the USEF Long List for the U.S. Show Jumping Team for the 2012 Olympic Games. The prestigious California horse show, held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, serves as the first of four 2012 US Show Jumping Team Observation Events. Leading the victory lap tonight were Rich Fellers and Flexible, having bested the five horse jump-off, which included three long listed combinations.
Lauren Hough was the first member of the USEF Long List for the U.S. Show Jumping Team for the 2012 Olympic Games to produce a fault-free effort over the first round. Riding Robyn Parsky's Blue Angel, the Wellington, FL resident jumped a tidy, efficient round over the initial course. In the jump-off the 10-year-old Anglo-European mare looked on her way to producing a second clear round but slicing the turn to the penultimate jump resulted in four faults. They finished in fourth place.
Three rides after Hough in the first round, 19-year-old Lucy Davis demonstrated how she earned a 15th place standing on the long list guiding Nemo 119 to a clear round. In the first round Old Oak Farm's 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding produced an immaculate clear. Returning for the jump-off Davis (Los Angeles, CA) executed all the inside turns to stop the timers at 31.75 seconds; resulting in a second place finish.
Fellers and Harry and Mollie Chapman's Flexible were the third combination from the USEF Long List for the U.S. Show Jumping Team for the 2012 Olympic Games to qualify for the jump-off. Fellers (Sherwood, OR) and the 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse stallion are fresh off a win at the 2012 Rolex/FEI World Cup Final in 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. Flexible and Fellers bounded to a clear first round over Marina Azevedo's 13 obstacle track.
The pair of 10 years were the final to go in the jump-off and the only ones that could best Davis' time. And they did just that jumping another fault-free effort in 30.26 seconds.
Fellers was extremely pleased with Flexible's first show back from his huge win in Holland.
"He was super and couldn't have gone any better. This is the first time he's jumped since the World Cup." Looking towards the remainder of the 2012 US Show Jumping Team Observation Event classes, Fellers stated. "He'll jump tomorrow night and then do two more at Spruce Meadows."
Karl Cook (Woodside, CA) led things off tonight with Signey Ostby's 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion, ASB Conquistador. The pair finished with four fault total after having the top-rail of the narrow vertical at fence three. Cook returned to the Del Mar Arena later in the class riding Ostby's other long listed horse, JonKheer Z. He piloted the 10-year-old Zangersheide stallion to a 13 fault round; lowering the heights of fence thee and 8B and C.
Saer Coulter (San Francisco, CA) and Copernicus Stables' Springtime were the final members of the long list to contest the first round. Coulter and the 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding faulted at fence three and collected one time fault in an otherwise polished effort.
The second class of the 2012 US Show Jumping Team Observation Event held at the Del Mar National Horse Show, the $100,000 Hermes Grand Prix of Del Mar presented by Intuit, begins Saturday, May, 5 at 6:45pm PST in the Del Mar Arena. This class will be live streamed on the USEFNetwork.com presented by Smartpak.
For live streaming, news, photos and to follow the 2012 U.S. Show Jumping Team visit: http://www.usefnetwork.com/featured/2012Jumping/
For more information about the Del Mar National Horse Show including Order of Go and Results visit: http://delmarnational.com/hunter_jumper.php
Per the USEF Selection Procedures, in order to remain in consideration for the U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Team, athlete/horse combinations are required to compete at two of the following Observation Events listed below:
The Del Mar National Horse Show
Del Mar, California May 1-6, 2012
Kentucky Spring Horse Show
Lexington, Kentucky May 8-13, 2012
The Devon Horse Show
Devon, Pennsylvania May 29-June 2, 2012
Calgary, Alberta Canada June 13-17, 2012
Following the completion of these observation events, FEI Nominated Entries will be submitted to the FEI on June 17. Twelve athlete/horse combinations can be named to the FEI Nominated Entries. The USOC Final Entries will be submitted no later than July 6, 2012.
The 2012 Olympic Games will take place July 27 - August 12.
Photo: Rich Fellers & Flexible (Rick Osteen Photography)