Temecula, Calif. – June 1, 2018 – Week III of Nilforushan Equisport Events’ Temecula Valley National Horse Show hit its midway point Friday, with the revolutionary California horse show once again offering a unique competition element to exhibitors. The spotlight class of the day, the $10,000 Open Equitation Championship pitted riders of all levels against each other for a stake at the top prize, with Emma Lindstrom and Univers Theod clinching the victory ahead of a field of both professionals and amateurs. John Pearce and Chantico sped to the fastest time in the 1.40m Jumpers to emerge victorious, while Hallie Williams and Bee Knees rode to the day one lead in the Junior 3’6” Hunters and Lindey Sage with the ride on Coraline will return Saturday aiming to retain the lead in the Junior 3’3” Hunters.
The feature class of the evening brought equitation to the forefront in the Audi Grand Prix Arena, with Olaf Petersen, Jr.’s (GER) technical track offering plenty of opportunities for riders to showcase their skills in front of the watchful panel of judges during the $10,000 Open Equitation Championship. Leading the way after the first phase of competition was professional Emma Lindstrom and Charlotte Murray’s Univers Theod with a score of 88, followed by owner-rider Emma Reichow Chico II with marks of 87. Earning 86 points, Gracie Marlow and Twizzler, owned by Carina Sanchez, claimed the third spot with Sophie Simpson aboard Joan Lindeman’s Henri HX rounded out the top four after the first round of riding with 85 points. Jamie Taylor and Noteworthy Horse’s Uptick clinched fifth with 84 points, while Maddie James and Kristy Miller’s Exact secured the final spot with 83 points to qualify for the work-off.
With only a few points separating the top six contenders, the second phase of the class left no room for error among the leaders. Prepared by the judges, the abridged course included counter-cantering the first fence, a trot jump and a hand gallop among other tests, concluding with a sitting trot back to the line. Riding in reverse order of the standings, the first five competitors laid down strong performances, but left the door open for Lindstrom and “Theo” to maintain their status atop the scorecard. Outshining the pack with the most audacious hand gallop to the final fence, Lindstrom and Univers Theod were named the champions of the inaugural $10,000 Open Equitation Championship.
Jumping from fifth to second place overall was Taylor and Uptick with their near-flawless trip, followed by Simpson and Henri HX in third position, moving up from fourth in the standings after the first portion the class.
In the 1.40m Jumpers operating as a speed class, entries were challenged to lay down breakneck trips during their only chance around the 11-fence track. Only two pairs attempted to boldly maneuver an exceptionally tight inside turn from fence three to fence four, a fragile vertical, with Pearce and his own Chantico proving to be the only capable duo. One of the latter exhibitors to ride, Pearce and 13-year-old Chantico were well ahead of the pace set by the previous class leaders, owner-rider Julia Nagler and Killosery Kuidam, by fence five, and showed no signs of slowing down throughout the entirety of the course. With a clean time of 61.476 seconds, Pearce and Chantico solidified themselves as the leaders, with only three combinations left to ride, each of whom would ultimately be unsuccessful at catching them. Nagler and Killosery Kuidam captured the second place finish with a clean time of 62.522 seconds, followed by Natasha Traurig in both third and fourth positions aboard Poden Farms’ Ereina and Neil Jones Equestrian, Inc.’s Tender Star with times of 63.171 seconds and 63.870 seconds, respectively.
Across the show grounds in the Grand Hunter Arena, the Junior 3’3” Hunter division was highly contested with a competitive field fighting for the opportunity to win a tricolor ribbon. Coming out on top after winning the under saddle phase, and placing second and third in the over fences classes was Sage and Coraline, a 7-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Pam Taber. Following closely behind Sage was Alexus Wilson on Debbie Terry’s Aurelio, a 9-year-old Czech Warmblood gelding. The pair won one of the over fences classes, as well as placed second in another over fences round.
After claiming the Junior 3’3” Hunter division championship during the second week of the Temecula Valley National Horse Show, Hallie Williams and Bee Knees returned to the Grand Hunter Arena to make their debut over the larger 3’6” fences. Williams successfully rode her 11-year-old Warmblood gelding to the top of the leaderboard in the first three classes of the division. After earning red ribbons in two of the over fences classes, Madison Dunham and Tanna Seltzer’s 9-year-old Erasmus are sitting overall in second place going into Saturday’s classes.
Equestrian competition will return Saturday to Galway Downs, with the $40,000 AON Grand Prix taking center stage. In the hunter ring, the Junior divisions will conclude and the Amateur-Owners will commence.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Emma Lindstrom – $10,000 Open Equitation Championship champion
On Univers Theod:
“We call him Theo, he’s owned by Charlotte Murray. She shows him in the 3’6” medal classes. We’ve had him a year and a half and he’s just great. This is his first solid year doing the equitation. He’s super easy going and just a good, solid horse.”
On riding in the Open Equitation Championship:
“We wanted him to have the experience in the ring because this is his owner’s first year doing the 3’6” Medals with him, so it was a good experience for him and it looked like a fun class! I knew he’d be great in this ring. Fun for me, and fun for the owners to watch him do it. I think it’s so fun to be able to go in there with the amateurs and the juniors. I think it’s super fun, great to have it open to everyone and see the professionals doing that kind of stuff again. I was a little nervous before the test! When we were standing at the in-gate before the work-off we were asking each other if we knew our numbers, but once we got in there it was great.”
On her winning ride:
“I just thought we were really smooth, beginning to end there weren’t that many changes and he jumped great. He just has such a great canter across the ground and such a beautiful jump, so I think it was a nice, smooth picture.”
On the Temecula Valley National Horse Show:
“It’s been great. We feel everyone has been super friendly. This is our first week here so it’s been fun. This ring is so great to ride in. We’ve just had so much fun.”
Hallie Williams – Junior 3’6” Hunter leader
On Sweeping the 3’6” classes:
“I am really happy! This is our first time in the 3’6” so this is a nice surprise. I feel really great and am so proud of him. We have been working on gaining confidence and having a confident ride with him is key. Last weekend he proved that he was ready to move up so we decided to go for it this week and he surpassed my expectations.”
On her future show plans:
“I am hoping to be consistent with the 3’6” for a while and build on that. In the future, I’d like to go to Junior Hunter Finals. As for the summer, I will be traveling but when I get back, I plan to do most of my showing in San Diego.”
On Bee Knees:
“I love him. He is quite the character and shows a lot of emotion towards people. [Looking forward to Saturday’s classes], he can be really handy so I’ll be going into it riding him strong. He feels very comfortable in this arena so I have every hope that things are going to go well.”
$10,000 Open Equitation Championship
Place / Rider / Horse / Owner / Time / Faults
1. Emma Lindstrom/ Univers Theod / Charlotte Murray
2. Jamie Taylor / Uptick / Noteworthy Horse – Trabuco Canyon
3. Sophie Simpson / Henri HX / Sloan Lindemann- Barnett
4. Emma Reichow / Chico II / Emma Reichow
5. Gracie Marlowe / Twizzler / Karina Sanchez
6. Maddie James / Exact / Kristy Miller
7. Catherine Westling / Aquino 49 / Michelle Kerivan
8. Lindsey Klein / Econtador / Lindsey Klein
Place / Rider / Horse / Owner / Time / Faults
1. John Pearce / Chantico / John Pearce / 61.476 / 0
2. Julia Nagler / Killosery Kuidam / Julia Nagler / 62.522 / 0
3. Natasha Traurig / Ereina / Poden Farms / 63.171 / 0
4. Natasha Traurig / Tender Star / Neil Jones Equestrian Inc / 63.870 / 0
5. Jenny Williams / Everclear / Jenny Williams / 64.278 / 0
6. Lindsay Archer / Jamaica / Rhys Farms / 64.938 / 0
7. Natasha Traurig / Jamaico Drum van de Breepoel / Neil Jones Equestrian Inc / 68.482 / 0
8. Olivia Brown / Kangano / Katherine Brewer / 69.957 / 0