June 2018 - Winner's Circle
Written by CRM
Thursday, 31 May 2018 18:28

Tali Dejong and Amadeus. Photo: McCool Photography

97th Annual Flintridge Horse Show

At the 97th Annual Flintridge Horse Show, Tali Dejong and Amadeus emerged victorious in the Grand Prix. Finishing in second place, less than one second behind Dejong, was Alyce Bittar and Lara Croft B. Coming in third was The Flying Ham ridden by Carly Anthony. The USHJA National Hunter Derby saw 38 horses with Limequyl and Savannah Jenkins taking the top spot with a score of 183.

Savannah Jenkins and Limequyl. Photo: McCool PhotographySonoma Horse Park Spring Classic


Kylee Arbuckle’s excellent performance aboard Dito in the Equestrian’s Concierge Open Equitation Challenge brought home the win. Her success continued later the same day with her win in the USHJA National Hunter Derby aboard Arianna Snowdon’s lovely grey, Ask Anyone.

“Arianna has had Ask Anyone for two years now. I am very grateful for her support. He is only seven years old, and we have taken it slow with him. He has been giving us some great jumps, and today it all came together. Arianna also successfully shows him in the low adult hunters, and he loves her,” explained Arbuckle.

Amanda Flint and Baltimore VDL. Photo: Grand Pix Photography

Amanda Flint and Baltimore VDL, second in the order for the $7,500 Two Bits Equestrian Welcome Prix, set an unbeatable pace as they flew home with a time of 39.923 to take the blue. Toward the end of the class, Carol Wright and Conejito pulled out all the stops to take second, while Rachel Fields and Chakira made a valiant effort to place third.

Flint was delighted with Baltimore VDL’s performance. He was imported in November from Argentina and had been competing at 1.40m. “We only recently moved him up to compete in 1.50m classes at the beginning of the year,” explained Flint. “On Wednesday, we started to go a bit faster, and he took home a second place, and today he was awesome. He will make an amazing young rider horse in the future. He is a great 1.50m horse, and he just tries his best every time you ride him.”

Robert Blanchette and Mr. Worldwide took home the blue in the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. Joey Pedroni and Frederick followed closely behind in second, and third place went to Patrick Seaton and Carson.

Mattias Ekeroth and Dacarlos. Photo: Grand Pix Photography

Mattias Ekeroth is also off to a great start for the Sonoma Horse Park 2018 season. It’s not often that the first and second place ribbons are presented to the same rider. In a field of 23 riders in the $25,000 Tack Warehouse Grand Prix, only four made it through to the jump off. Junior rider Hayden Zadel on Triskel De Kerliven made an excellent attempt to take the lead with a time of 45.250 seconds, however the last rail came down as she raced to the finish and the 5 second advantage was missed. Amateur rider Vanessa Haas Hood and Stockholm placed fourth with 8 faults. When Ekeroth ultimately entered the ring on Dacarlos, he only had his own time of 50.314 seconds to beat from his ride aboard Hautesse Van’t Zorgvliet. The feisty Dacarlos did not put a foot wrong and took home the blue.

As Dacarlos jogged back to barn aisle, Ekeroth explained how delighted he was with the results. “Tonight the course was tricky. There was always something coming up to deal with. Both horses jumped so well. Of course, the footing is always wonderful here at Sonoma Horse Park, and the jumps are amazing. The cool thing about competing here is that anyone can win. Today was just my lucky day to take home first and second. I would like to thank Tack Warehouse and Brenda Stack for their wonderful sponsorship. I am so grateful for their support. I wish to thank my wife, Allison, and my wonderful groom, Rolando. It is all about teamwork.”

Allison watched from the berm and shared her feelings on her husband’s achievement. “I am really proud. It takes a lot of work, and when everything comes together it is just amazing. It certainly does not go like that every day.”

Ranch & Coast Classic

Jason McArdle and Elicole. Photo: Captured Moment Photography

Before a busy series of shows at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park at San Juan Capistrano in June, Blenheim EquiSports hosts one special week in Del Mar, the Ranch & Coast Classic. Packed full of special events, Blenheim EquiSports and supporting sponsors awarded over 50 special awards including 24 SmartPak Awards to High Scores and Grand Champions in all the WCHR divisions, multiple classics, a USHJA International Hunter Derby, a Markel Insurance 1.45m Jumper Classic, a U25 Jumper Classic, the Interactive Mortgage Horses 10 & Under Futurity and The Grand Prix of California, presented by Equ Lifestyle Boutique.

Out with a recent injury, John French was missed as the reigning WCHR Regional champion and winner of the USHJA International Hunter Derby in 2017. Nick Haness rode one of his mounts to take the Derby title in 2018 aboard Skyhawk. Skyhawk was made for derbies! Haness also picked up the SmartPak High Score Conformation Hunter on Boss with a score of 92.

Nicole Buie and I Love Lucy. Photo: Captured Moment Photography

Jason McArdle won the Interactive Mortgage Futurity Horses 10 & Under on a mare he’s brought along through the Young Jumper pathway – Elicole, owned by the Buies of Fairbanks Valley Farm. Another exciting award for both the McArdle and Buie families was when Nicole Buie earned the Child’s Pony SmartPak Grand Champion, riding I Love Lucy.

Still new to the horses she’s riding for Neil Jones, Carly Anthony came the closest to mastering the difficult track built by Leopoldo Palacios for The $60,000 Grand Prix of California. Aboard Chacco, she was just .23 seconds over the time allowed to win with 1 time fault. Next best was Richard Spooner, who noted it had been a decade since he had seen a class with no jump off. He clocked three on the clock with no rails down aboard Quirado RC.
Katie Cook took home a SmartPak Grand Champion Award in the Adult Hunters aboard With A Twist.

Katie Cook and With A Twist. Photo: Captured Moment Photography

Michelle Cobb’s Really is definitely making an impression in the hunter ring, earning the high score Performance Hunter Award with Jenny Karazissis riding. That duo won the USHJA International Hunter Derby earlier this spring. The pair tied with Skyhawk, who also scored an 89. Speaking of Skyhawk, owner Laura Wasserman earned the SmartPak Grand Amateur Owner 3’6” Hunter award and the SmartPak High Score Amateur Owner 3’6” Hunter award.

Rich Fellers and Steelbi. Photo: Captured Moment Photography

Rich Fellers and a hot-blooded woman ran away with the win in the Markel Insurance 1.45m Jumper Classic. He was double-clean and speedy on the young mare Steelbi. Fellers was also third in the class with HTH Crazy For Crown. The aforementioned winning pair of McArdle and Elicole were second.

Reports excerpted from press releases from West Palms Event Management, Sonoma Horse Park, and EqSol for Blenheim EquiSports.

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