Temecula, Calif. – May 16, 2019 – Hunter competition during the second week of the Temecula Valley National Horse Show continued Thursday at Galway Downs, where professionals took to the AON Grand Hunter Arena to complete divisions that began during Wednesday’s competition. The Performance/High Performance 3’6”/3’9” Hunter division came to a close with Erin Duffy claiming the championship aboard Shadowfax, one of the horse’s first outings in the competitive division. Coming off a strong performance the day before, Nick Haness added to his growing list of tricolors as he took championship honors in the Green 3’6”/3’9” Hunters with the ride on As Requested.
Duffy rode the entry owned by Raphaelle Cassens, a 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding, to top placings over the two days of competition to secure the tricolor ribbon. With Duffy aboard, Shadowfax took top honors in two over fences classes at the 3’9″ height and was second in another to claim the championship spot. The gelding has recently stepped up to the High Performance division, with this week being only his second time competing in it and the first tricolor for the pair. Duffy hopes to compete with the talented horse, known as “Joey,” in the derbies while continuing the success they found this week in Temecula.
After an impressive start to the week with class victories across multiple hunter divisions Wednesday, Haness continued his success with West Coast Equine Partners, LLC’s As Requested in the Green 3’6”/3’9” Hunter division. With two wins over fences at the 3’6” height and a blue ribbon in the hack Wednesday, Haness and As Requested led the pack for the championship heading into the rest of competition. The 9-year-old bay gelding continued to stand out among the pack as he collected another blue ribbon over fences Thursday, securing his spot in the winner’s circle.
In the Performance/High Performance 3’6”/3’9” Hunters, Shauna Pennell and Czechers, owned by Leslie Sharf, rode to the reserve championship, while Duffy and Volant Stables’s Romeo earned the overall runner-up status in the Green 3’6”/3’9” Hunter division.
Hunter competition continues over the next three days, with amateurs and juniors taking their shot at tricolor ribbons beginning Friday. Friday will also feature the unique $10,000 NEE Hunter/Jumper Team Challenge, and Saturday will highlight the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Erin Duffy – Performance/High Performance 3’6”/3’9” Hunter winner
“Shadowfax is a really nice horse who is owned by Raphaelle and Josie Cassens. They have had him for quite a while, and he’s just stepped up to do the bigger divisions and the derbies. He’s a scopey, special character. This was the second time doing this division, and he has come so far. We didn’t know if he would like to do the derbies, but he has a lot of jump and a lot of stride, and he actually really likes them. He placed tenth last week in the International Derby and this week did this and was champion, so he’s been great. He was Josie’s horse and she did him in the Amateur-Owners, and now she is off to college so we’ve decided to take a swing at this. He has been really, really great. It’s a little rainy today, but it’s fun to have a little bit of weather, and he likes it as he is Irish.”
On the Temecula Valley National Horse Show:
“We love this horse show. It is beautiful and it is so much fun to have a new venue to go to. We love it here, it’s really nice for the horses. It’s nice to ride around because there are so many places to ride. You can go down in the big cross country field where they have the training jumps for the Olympic Trials, and the racetrack, as well as the grass ring and the jumper rings; they are all amazing. It’s a super fun horse show.”
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