February 7, 2016–Spectacular competition and superior prize purses continue as the ever-present theme in Week III of the HITS Desert Circuit. Jumpers vie for the money in the $100,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix and the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix.
$100,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix
Desert Circuit III was in full swing as the $100,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix kicked off an exciting weekend at HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal, California. Riders and horses were chomping at the bit for a chance to win the blue ribbon and a winning purse of $30,000.
Eight were able to maneuver through the first round course fault free over Portugal course designer, Bernardo Cabral’s 15 jumping efforts. When the jump-off was over, the team to beat was Purina® sponsored rider Rich Fellers of Sherwood, Oregon, aboard Lux Lady owned by Harry & Mollie Chapman of Wilsonville, Oregon. Second-place went to Thursday’s $65,500 Wilmington Trust Grand Prix winner Eric Navet riding from Panileuse, California, and Catypso, owned by Signe Ostby. Los Angeles rider, Chris Pratt, took home third-place with Edesa’a Basantos, owned by Edesa Horse Promotions Inc
First into the Grand Prix Stadium for the jump-off was Susie Hutchison of Temecula, California, and Ziedento, owned by St. Bride’s Farm. Hutchison put down a fast, clear jump-off round galloping through the timers in 43.097 seconds to set the tone for the jump-off field of eight.
Next to test the shortened course was Jenn Serek of Calgary, riding her own Okapi De Printemps. Serek navigated the course with ease but could not capture the lead as they crossed the timers in 49.520 seconds.Two trips went with four faults for both Jill Henselwood and Harley Brown. Henselwood ultimately earned seventh and Brown was eighth.
Chris Pratt and Edesa’s Basantos entered the jump-off next to reignite the streak of clear jump-off rounds. They jumped fault-free to claim the temporary lead, crossing the timers in 40.410 seconds. Fellers and Lux Lady entered the jump-off second-to-last. With his eye on the prize, Fellers sped through the jump-off to finish in a speedy 39.052 seconds, where the lead would remain.
Navet and Catypso moved through the jump-off beautifully and quickly. As Navet cleared the final obstacle, he fell behind Fellers by a fraction of a second, crossing the marker in 39.505 for second-place.The top five on the leader board was finalized with Hutchison’s round for fourth-place and Serek’s round for fifth-place.
“After a year off for Lady Lux because of an injury, I could not have asked of anything more from her. She felt super,” said Fellers. “It was also very special to me that Purina®, not only sponsors me and my horses, but also sponsored this Grand Prix with that amount of prize money.”
Place Horse Owner Rider Prize R.1 Faults JO Faults JO Time
1 Lux Lady Harry & Mollie Chapman Rich Fellers $30,000 – – 39.052
2 Catypso Signe Ostby Eric Navet $22,000 – – 40.250
3 Edesa’s Basantos Edesa Horse Promotions Inc Chris Pratt $13,000 – – 40.410
4 Ziedento St. Bride’s Farm Susan Hutchison $8,000 – – 43.097
5 Okapi De Terlong Jenn Serek Jenn Serek $6,000 – – 49.520
6 Lordan Nayel Nassar Nayel Nassar $5,000 – 4 39.505
7 Farfelu Du Printemps John Madigan Jill Henselwood $4,000 – 4 40.200
8 Apex Emma Catherin Reichow Harley Brown $3,000 – 16 61.963
9 Basimodo Signe Ostby Karl cook $3,000 4 – –
10 Tembla Signe Ostby Karl Cook $2,000 4 – –
11 Concorde The Epic Group Chris Pratt $2,000 4 – –
12 Cat Balou Tamie Phillips Tamie Phillips $2,000 4 – –
$25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix
A jam-packed weekend of big money classes continued with Desert Circuit III’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix. A 16-effort course set by course designer, Bernardo Cabral, of Carnaxide, Portugal, tested each horse and rider but only one would emerge victorious.
Jeff Campf of Canby, Oregon, and Chevejo NB, owned by Double A, LLC, took home the blue and the first-place prize. Second was awarded to John Pearce from Bermuda Dunes, California, and Chantico, owned by Forest View Farm and Karen Ball. Kasey Ament of Agoura Hills, California, and Arthos R, owned by Montis Horse Management earned third.
The course included rollback turns, bending lines and two mid-course combinations. Clearing the fences seemed to be the challenge of the day, but seven horses and riders conquered the first-round course to advance to the jump-off.
First to return to the ring was Beverly Hills, California, equestrian Gavin Brodin and Allstar 5, owned by No. 44 Sport Horses, LLC. Brodin navigated the shortened course smoothly until his mount refused the vertical that served as a prelude to the home-stretch combination. They finished with four jumping faults and four time faults, totaling eight faults in 59.997 seconds.
Peter Petschenig, riding out of Murrieta, California, and Pamela Bilek’s Uppercut Charannais, followed to take their chance on the jump-off. Unfortunately, several rails early in the course would earn them 16 jumping faults as they crossed the timers in 53.055.
Next in the order was Marc Grock of Olivenhain, California, and Little Gancho, owned by Moonlite Beach, LLC. They clocked in at 54.159 seconds with four jumping faults after an unfortunate rail at an oxer in the middle of the shortened course.
A clear round for the jump-off had not yet been seen, but John Pearce and Chantico would soon prove that it could be done. They powered through the course, clearing the last fence as the crowd cheered for a fault-free round in 47.876 seconds to take the lead.
Petschenig returned to the jump-off with his second mount, Saint Quentin. Petschenig beat out his own time but could not take the lead away from Pearce as they crossed the markers in 45.672 seconds with eight jumping faults.
Pearce’s lead would not remain as Campf and Chevejo NB followed to take their turn at the 8-fence jump-off course. They crossed the timers a full second faster in a fault-free time of 44.826 seconds to take the lead, putting Pearce in second-place.
The final horse and rider to test the jump-off was Kasey Ament and Arthos R. As they galloped toward the last oxer of the course, a speedy win was on the horizon, but a heartbreaking rail at the final fence earned them four jumping faults as they crossed the timers in 42.376 seconds for third-place.
Place Horse Owner Rider Prize R.1 Faults JO Faults JO Time
1 Chevejo NB Double A, LLC Jeff Campf $7,500 – – 44.826
2 Chantico Forest View Farm& Karen Bell John Pearce $5,500 – – 47.876
3 Arthos R Montis Horse Management Kasey Ament $3,200 – 4 42.376
4 Little Gancho Moonlite Beach LLC Marc Grock $2,000 – 4 54.159
5 Saint Quentin Peter Petschenig Peter Petschenig $1,500 – 8 45.672
6 Allstar 5 No. 44 Sport Horses Gavin Brodin $1,250 – 8 59.997
7 Uppercut Charannais Pamela Bilek Peter Petschenig $1,000 – 16 53.055
8 Luebbo Kylie Co. Jamie Barge $750 4 – –
9 Brisbane Barbara Phillips Susan Hutchison $750 4 – –
10 Thumb’s Up Linda Starkman Joie Gatlin $500 4 – –
11 Hopscotch Poseidon Stables Karianne Boyce-Lockhart $500 4 – –
12 Camerino Wells Bridge Farm LLC Paul Rohrbach $500 4 – –
Thermal Senior Rider Meeting with Robert Ridland & Lizzy Chesson
Thursday, February 11 at 5pm – location, TBA
• 2016 Olympic Games Selection & Preparation
• 2016 European Nations Cup Plans
• 2016 North American Nations Cup Plans
Thermal Developing Rider Meeting with DiAnn Langer & Lizzy Chesson
Friday, February 12 at 5pm in the Wilmington Trust Platinum Club
• 2016 Development Nations Cups
• Understanding Ranking Lists
• FEI, Rolex/USEF, U25/Junior/Children
• Planning & Scheduling to Achieve Your Goals