November 2016 - Locals Only
Written by report & photos by Kim F. Miller
Tuesday, 01 November 2016 04:51

Enrique Gonzalez emerges atop three-horse jump-off in the Del Mar International’s marquee class.

report & photos by Kim F. Miller

The surfer’s slogan “Locals Only” was a good fit for the winners circle at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Del Mar on Saturday, Oct. 22. Enrique Gonzalez, Eric Navet and Eduardo Menezes ride for foreign countries, but they are transplanted Californians at this point and proud of it.

Nine-year-old Chacna wonders what all the fuss is about about before leading the victory gallop.

Enrique knows exactly what all the fuss is about, waving to his many friends and fans.

Poster girl Audrey Coulter won Thursday night’s qualifier, but had a single rail Saturday night to finish 7th.

2016 Olympian Eduardo Menezes & Catalina on their way to a third place finish.

“We ride for California!” said Enrique in the sea of jubilees that followed his victory Saturday night. With his partner in E2 Stables, Eduardo, in third and close friend Eric in second, it was one big back stage party after the three-horse jump-off sealed the standings.

Nayel Nassar and Lordan had a rail at the first fence, so rode the rest like a speed class. That paid off with a fourth place finish.

Eric Navet & Catypso, second place finishers.

Tight turns and efficient tracks in the jump-off led Enrique Gonzalez & Chacna to the win.

Karl Cook and Tembla almost joined the jump-off with his coach Eric Navet, but a second-to-last rail quashed that. Their fifth placed finish helped them maintain their lead in the Western World Cup league.

With Longines’ sponsorship of the World Cup League, out-of-area riders have beat a path to our coast to pick up points in their leagues. Everybody agrees that’s great for the sport as it raises the level of competition, and it makes it especially sweet when locals land atop the standings.

After a rail at the damn first fence, Nayel Nassar and Lordan raced on to be otherwise clear and finish fourth as the fastest of the four-faulters. Behind them were fellow San Diego-based pair Karl Cook and Tembla, who took down the second-to-last jump. Their fifth-place finish give them great points toward maintaining the Western World Cup league lead. Sacramento World Cup winner Audrey Coulter looked on pace to enter the jump-off until the precariously-placed plank at the very last fence hit the dirt. Her seventh-place finish boosts her lead in the Eastern league.

Young Rider Uma O’Neill & Clockwise of Greenhill Z kindly share a small kindness with a young fan, then log an impressive two-rail round over Frank Rothenberger’s very big course (left photo).

Uma O’Neill & Clockwise of Greenhill Z.

Kristin Hardin on her way to a winning finish in the Charity Woof Cup.

Will Simpson watches as his canine counterpart does his part in the Charity Woof Cup.

Texas-based German rider Christian Heineking is almost like a local out here. He and NKH Quanto finished sixth, while popular young German star Guido Klatte, Jr., and Qinghai followed them in eighth. Audrey’s coach Harrie Smolders of the Netherlands was ninth and Will Simpson and The Dude were 10th.

The World Cup class was the centerpiece of the Del Mar International Horse Show, organized beautifully by West Palms Events, and surrounded by a week’s worth of terrific hunter, equitation and additional jumping competition.

The big class was preceded by special events, including the Charity Woof Cup and Richard Spooner’s talk with young riders from the Compton Jr. Posse, local Pony Clubs and those competing in the Onondarka Medal Finals that took place Sunday. Big congratulations to Fiona Sewell, a student of Nick Karazissis, Jr., for her Onondarka Finals win. Vani Khosla and Billy Mexico were other Del Mar stars, after winning the GGT-Footing Grand Prix Series Final, presented by California Horsetrader. Kudos to all!

For complete results visit