Del Mar, CA - There are times when the first horse and rider in a grand prix gallop in and get the job done without a fault. Most often this is the entry to set the pace, with more clean rides to follow. However, first to go Josephina Nor Lantzman and Unlimited (owned by Josephina Nor Stables) were the only ones to master the track set by internationally renowned course designer Leopoldo Palacios. As the only clean, they took the top prize in the $50,000 Grand Prix of Showpark, presented by EquiFit, inc.
Similar to Thursday's challenging Markel Insurance Grand Prix, Palacios set a tough track with a tight time allowed. With several distance questions, this ride required precise timing with no room for error. Riders had to make choices that suited the course as well as their horse's stride. "I have long distances, short distances and normal distances," Palacios said of the course. "This is a national level, 1.50m course. I have one oxer at 1.60m, the last one with a little bit more spread."
Set on a straight line parallel to the in-gate, the last line on course was a triple combination, vertical-oxer-vertical, followed by a tight six strides to the final 1.60m oxer Palacios mentioned. Certainly one of the toughest questions, half the class had one or more of the elements down.
Earlier in the course, the brown 1.50m skinny vertical at 6, approached off a tight hairpin turn, caused several rails. The more careful of horses jumped very high and slow over the vertical which made the already forward four strides to the next combination at 7a-b even farther away. Many seasoned grand prix riders, such as Jenni McAllister, Hannah Mauritzson and Jill Humphrey, found this line to be difficult.
It wasn't until Lantzman returned on Chello Z, fourteenth to go, that another pair was clean approaching the last line. As they were jumping through the triple, Lantzman pulled a touch in preparation for the tight six strides afterwards, causing a refusal.
Eduardo Sanchez Navarro and his own Pacifico entered the ring as the twenty-first in the order. Once again, clear until the last line, Navarro had an awkward ride into the combination, causing a rail to come down at 12a, and a stop at 12b, where unfortunately horse and rider parted company.
The fastest four-faulter, Enrique Gonzalez and his own Felline, finished in the second position. Rounding out the top four, also with four-fault scores, were Jenni McAllister aboard LEGIS Venice in third and Susan Artes with Alix Fargo's Karina 445 coming in fourth.
"Going first actually doesn't bother me. I actually like it because I don't really need to watch anyone. I would rather just stick with my plan and go for it," Lantzman said.
Lantzman has led many victory gallops in recent years aboard her mount Chello Z. But this is the first time that she shared a national Grand Prix win with her relatively new mount, a 2001 KWPN gelding by Ohorn and out of Pinold. "We just bought Unlimited a year ago. He's just now coming into his prime with us and he's been very good. We are excited about his future." Lantzman also thanked her father Fabio, husband Justin and her sponsors Voltaire, LubriSyn, Equ Lifestyle Boutique and Heritage Gloves.
Dickerson Claims CashCall Mortgage U25 Qualifier
Morgan Dickerson and his NAJYRC mount Balou Blom answered almost every one of the questions asked by course designer Leopoldo Palacios in the $7,500 CashCall Mortgage U25 class. The only entry to ride without having a rail, he came in just over the time allowed for a score of one time fault. Last to go, Dickerson knew a clean round would claim the top prize.
Meila Gross aboard Zoe were second with a score of four faults, lowering the height of fence eight, in a time of 80.37. Nayel Nassar on Dunsoghly Junior picked up third, with four faults in the triple combination, in 81.02.
RESULTS $50,000 Grand Prix of Showpark, presented by EquiFit, inc.
Place - Entry - Horse - Rider - Owner - Faults/Time
1. 495 - Unlimited - Josephina Nor Lantzman - Josephina Nor Stables, LLC - 0/83.812
2. 568 - Felline - Enrique Gonzalez - Enrique Gonzalez - 4/83.612
3. 267 - LEGIS Venice - Jenni McAllister - LEGISequine.com - 4/85.837
4. 623 - Karina 445 - Susan Artes - Alix Fargo - 4/85.990
5. 543 - Luebbo - Jamie Barge - Kylieco - 6/87.492
6. 301 - Albert II - Michelle Rodal - Morgan Hill Partners - 7/88.411
7. 477 - Landlyst's Leroy - Hanna Mauritzson - Swede Equine, LLC - 7/88.420
8. 474 - Con Spirit - Nathalie Manning - Nathalie Manning - 8/82.449
9. 112 - Zuidhoeve - Kasey Ament - Kyu Jin Whang - 8/85.295
10. 355 - Allstar 5 - Misti Cassar - Gavin Brodin - 8/85.464
11. 646 - NJK No Regret - Nicole Haunert - NJK Show Jumpers, Inc. - 8/85.924
12. 173 - Amiracle - Michael Endicott - DP Racing - 8/89.307