October 2015 - Winner's Circle
Written by CRM
Wednesday, 30 September 2015 19:56

Nick Haness Rides Top Two in CPHA West Coast Pre-Green Hunter Finals

On Friday evening, Sept. 11, hunters had the spotlight in the inaugural $25,000 CPHA West Coast Pre-Green Hunter Finals on the Pacific Hunter Field of the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano. After two rounds of competition, Nick Haness rode away as both Champion and Reserve Champion on Ilene Kurtzman’s Delilah and Ashley Weiman’s Weekend Romance, respectively.

Nick Haness and Delilah. Photo: McCool Photography

New this year, the CPHA program offers an opportunity for pre-green horses to show in a Finals with excellent prize money. The organization also recognized the top three scoring horses and riders over the course of this inaugural season by awarding half of the enrollment fees to the following leaders, prior to the Finals: first went to Catherine Runk’s Small Talk with Rose Carver in the irons, second to Foreign Affair (owned by Hiller Farms) ridden by John French, and third to Puissance R (Lisa Hankin, owner), piloted by Jenny Karazissis.

Small but mighty, the program is gaining recognition. A field of 13 horses competed for the top prize - five in the 3’ section and eight jumping 3’3”. The courses were designed by Wellington native Jasen Shelley and included long bending lines allowing the horses to show off their gallop across the field. He also tested the horse’s rideability with a two-stride combination leading to another oxer in five strides.

With a two round format, the top 12 horses with the highest scores from the first round returned for a second, classic-type round to determine the winner. Haness and Delilah, the bay Westphalian mare, turned in two picturesque rounds to receive identical scores of 90, for a two-round total average of 90 to take the win.

Haness also piloted Weekend Romance to a second place finish, with a two round average score of 87.5. John Bragg and Early August (Ann Thornton, owner) finished the first round with a well-deserved score of 88, and laid down a beautiful second round to receive a score of 86, ultimately finishing in third with a total average score of 87.

“I think the Finals were a goal for the owners. They bought the mare in Thermal,” said Haness. “Delilah is a small horse, but she’s a really good jumper. I’ve shown her a few times this year. She doesn’t get to show a lot, but when she goes, she’s always really on her game.”

Press release provided by Blenheim EquiSports.

Good Luck. Photo: Maria Morgan - Captured Moment Photography

Just A Star. Photo: Maria Morgan - Captured Moment Photography

Future Stars

San Diego breeder Tish Quirk’s horses continued their reign in the hunter breeding world.

In late August at Showpark in Del Mar, Good Luck, sired by More Than Luck out of Molly Malone repeated her clean sweep of the International Hunter Futurity performance division. In 2014 Good Luck won every 3 year old class to earn the International Hunter Futurity Grand Championship. In 2015 she won every 4 year old class to earn the Championship again.  She was Champion Working Hunter, Champion Conformation Hunter and Champion Hunter Under Saddle both years. Good Luck was ridden by John French in both 2014 and 2015. In 2013 she was the Best Young Horse in the International Hunter Futurity and the Sallie B. Wheeler/ U.S. National Hunter Breeding Championship as well as the USEF division.  In 2013 and 2014 she was named Top Dutch Horse.

Just a Star, sired by Just the Best out of Mosegardens, was the Champion Yearling Filly at both the Sallie B. Wheeler/U.S .National Hunter Breeding Championship and the International Hunter Futurity. She was also the Top Dutch Horse in the Sallie B. Wheeler Championship.

She was handled by Emily Esau Williams.

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