Carol Wright & Conejito Rise to the Challenge and Win the $40,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix
Written by CRM
Monday, 29 July 2019 00:00

Lugano Diamonds, sponsor of the $40,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix, launched this year's event with a spectacular champagne reception held on the berm overlooking the Grand Prix field. Center piece to this beautiful party was an ice sculpture which complemented the exemplary diamond jewelry on show.


Lugano Diamonds offers beautiful jewelry collections, which includes a wonderful selection of equestrian inspired pieces, "We are now in our 11th year with a strong connection to the equestrian world," explained Stuart Winston, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Director of Retail,  "and we will continue to grow our relationship with horse shows throughout the country. Our home base is New Port Beach, California so when we discovered Sonoma Horse Park we were really excited and thrilled because it is so close to home. We were in attendance for the 2018 season. It was so enjoyable, and we are excited to be back again this year. Tonight's party was our way of thanking Ashley Herman and her team, and a way to introduce ourselves to the people we did not meet last year."


Carol Wright and Conejito. Photo: ©Alden Corrigan Media

Winston continued and provided insight into the history of Lugano Diamonds and the equestrian industry, "The brother of Moti Ferder, our founder and owner, is Ilan Ferder. He was a professional show jumper in Europe and is now a leading horse trainer and trader here in the US. As young boys, they grew up on a horse farm, so the equestrian world has always been very close to them as a family. This ensured, that as a business, we found a way to be supportive of the equestrian world, it made good sense to us."

Sponsorship is very special and important to equestrian sport and the success of Sonoma Horse Park, Winston shared Lugano Diamonds's experience, "Ashley (Herman) does an amazing job and Sarah (Appel) is incredible, they both work very, very hard, which we certainly appreciate. As a sponsor, we know the people here and appreciate their dedication, too. We love and appreciate all of our clients and are delighted to support a sport so dear to their hearts and connect directly at venues as they compete in their sport. We also enjoy our involvement in supporting the arts and children's charities in all of the places that we conduct business."Twelve horses completed a clear round to take them through to a thrilling jump off in the Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix. Harley Brown on Katherine Anne Brewer's Mylord Cornet had laid down a solid pace to sit in first place with a speed of 44.037 seconds, having knocked Kaitlyn Lovingfoss and Deejay, owned by Oakland Ventures LLC, off the top spot with their time of 44.711 seconds. So far the jump off had only produced two clear rounds.

However, Carol Wright and her own Conejito were now entering the ring. As last to go, the final results now rested on the performance of this dynamic duo. Taking a steady pace to the first couple of jumps and executing tight turns, it was soon clear that they were covering ground, the crowd began to cheer as they landed head to head on time with Brown over the second to last fence. Carol put her foot down and trust in her horse and galloped to the huge Lugano Diamonds oxer. Conejito soared over the fence and galloped through the finish line to a time of 43.997 seconds. Screams of delight came from the audience on the berm. All were elated to see Carol win her second Grand Prix of the year on a horse she had steadily brought through the ranks.

After Carol had untacked and readied Conejito to head off for a roll in the sand and a well deserved bath, she shared their story, "It was a large field this evening and I did not go into the class with any preconceived notions. I was going to see how it all played out and as we moved into the jump off and many were not going clean I thought I should probably just aim for a clear round and see what I get. Then I thought, well what if I have a rail then I am behind everyone. So my approach was, don't try and win it just try to be in there and keep practicing going faster and faster, and it all lined up exactly how I had it planned."

Carol has had 17-year-old Conejito for just over seven years and he had not been going clean for a long time because he was a difficult horse to bring along, "We couldn't steer, so when we got the steering down we got time faults, then when we picked it up and didn't get time faults we would take a rail, and in the last year we have really just put it together"

Carol was presented with a Lugano Diamonds necklace as one of her prizes,"I want to thank this evening's class sponsor Lugano Diamonds, of course all the sponsors are so amazing, they make every class feel special. However, Lugano was especially exciting, I received a beautiful necklace that was just my style and I will wear it with pride. I also want to say thank you to Maddie who helped me groom, Carly Swank my assistant trainer who runs everything at home to allow me to travel for competition 28 weeks a year."

Carol and Conejito will be back again for next week's Giant Steps Charity Classic, they will be exciting to watch.

Press release provided by Sonoma Horse Park.