Temecula, Calif. – June 1, 2019 – Though the fourth and final week of the 2019 Temecula Valley National Horse Show series was nearing its end, one more grand prix victory was left to be had, attracting 48 hopeful entries to the Audi Grand Prix Arena, presented by Evergate Stables, for a shot at the purse in the $40,000 Snapbac National Grand Prix. The diverse field was comprised of horses and riders ranging from young rookies to Olympic veterans, with Femke Courchaine and Dereusa S leading the lap of honor and earning the greatest share of the prize money as the fastest double clean partnership of the class by mere milliseconds. Topping the $1,000 U25 Junior Classic was 18-year-old Hayden Zadel, who piloted Triskel De Kerliven to the best overall performance by a young rider during the grand prix class.
Sixth in the start list, Harley Brown and Mylord Cornet were the class’ early trailblazers as the first pair to successfully navigate course designer Olaf Petersen, Jr.’s (GER) 15-effort first round track, which posed an 88-second time allowed that proved to be the undoing of a handful of exhibitors. Emily Esau-Williams and Crack One forced a jump-off as the next duo to leave all the fences intact, and they were soon joined on the short course list by Courchaine and Dereusa S. Following the halfway break, five additional partnerships qualified for the jump-off thanks to clean first round rides from Jamie Barge with the reins on Fioretti S, John Pearce and Chantico, Zadel aboard Triskel De Kerliven, Kenneth Vinther astride Colicchio and Cassio Rivetti with Queen.
In total, 12 partnerships finished the course without lowering any fences, but Judy Nielson and Costo Rico, Bjorn Ikast aboard Classini, Ikast with Castino and Carly Anthony in the saddle on Genesis each accrued minimal time faults to render them ineligible as jump-off returners, bringing the total tally of contenders to eight. Rails fell in no particular frequency over the course of the initial phase, with only one single fence staying upright for the entirety of the competition.
Riding in the same order in which they qualified, Brown and Mylord Cornet were once again the pacesetters, tackling Petersen, Jr.’s condensed 9-fence jump-off pattern in 51.425 seconds but with one rail down to incur 4 faults. Second in the ring, Esau-Williams and Crack One turned in the first double clear of the evening, tripping the timers in a quick 50.733 seconds, but were immediately overtaken by Courchaine, who piloted Dereusa S to the faster fault-free time of 48.791 seconds after a series of tight rollback turns. Barge, Pearce, Zadel and Vinther and their respective mounts each aimed to catch the early leaders but could not eclipse them, with Vinther putting forth the best effort in a penalty-free time of 48.853 seconds, less than one-tenth of a second off the pace.
Last to go, Rivetti and Queen managed to turn in the fastest time of the class in a blazing 46.577 seconds, but felled two of the final rails to accrue 8 faults, solidifying Courchaine and Dereusa S as the $40,000 Snapbac National Grand Prix victors. Vinther and Colicchio finished the class in second place overall, and Pearce and Chantico concluded the day in third position.
Run concurrently with the grand prix, the fourth installment of the $1,000 U25 Jumper Classic offered up-and-coming athletes under the age of 25 the chance to compete over the same track as the veterans to gain valuable experience at the upper level of the sport, while also allowing them to battle it out for a shot at the overall $40,000 grand prix purse. This week, ten horse-and-rider combinations took advantage of the opportunity, with Zadel proving to be the best of the night aboard Triskel De Kerliven, finishing as the best-placed young athlete with her overall seventh place ranking in the grand prix class.
Earlier in the afternoon, Sarah Invicta Williams-Echols and Invicta Farms, Inc.’s Foxxy clinched the victory in the $10,000 Voltaire Design 1.35m Speed Classic, which marks the second week in a row that the pair have championed the class. Williams-Echols has topped three major prize money classes in just one week at the Temecula Valley National Horse Show, having also jockeyed Invicta Farms Inc.’s Converse Point to the swiftest double clean trip in the $7,500 Interactive Mortgage 10 and Under Futurity Classic on Thursday at Galway Downs.
Jumper action at the Temecula Valley National Horse Show will continue for one final day Sunday, with a series of prize money classics rounding out the 2019 circuit.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Femke Courchaine – $40,000 Snapbac National Grand Prix winner
On Dereusa S:
“She is 11 years old, and I bought her in Holland as a yearling so I’ve had her now for ten years. She has two babies naturally and two embryos, so she has four offspring. She has always been super fast and a bit of a difficult lady, but we get along. Like her, we would do anything for a cookie. Her last baby is six years old, so she has only been competing now for a solid five years. She is a little bit greener than most 11-year-olds, but she is still pretty good. We did the embryo flushing – we just find times when we can still breed her and flush out embryos.”
On her strategy for the class:
“The first round, I know that she is fast, so I just needed to let her go her own speed. I usually don’t worry too much about time faults if I just let her do her thing. In the jump-off it was the same approach, she is already fast so I just need to do my turns and keep her under control because she is a bit wild. From [fences] one to [fence] two, it was just getting the inside turn off of that right in the beginning. Since it’s near the beginning I figured I should be able to control her, but if it had been near the end I wouldn’t be able to control her as much.”
On the Temecula Valley National Horse Show:
“I love it here. It really gave me my horse back because my horse was hurt last year and I have been waiting for her to come back. With all the amazing footing and the people, I just finally have my horse back, so I am really happy.”
Hayden Zadel – $1,000 U25 Jumper Classic winner
On Triskel De Kerliven:
“I’ve had him for about three years now. We have competed in pretty big competitions. He is the only horse I have done big classes with. We have gone to Young Riders [FEI Jumping North American Youth Championship] the past two years, and we have medaled with the team there. We have been doing the grand prix for a little while, but we are just kind of getting back into it now.”
On her strategy in the class:
“We went in to the first round – I was pretty close to the time allowed finishing up, but I didn’t think it was going to be that close – so we went in just trying to be smooth. He was being a little bit dull in the warm-up ring as this is his second week and it’s been pretty warm, so I had to fight pretty hard, but he really performed and gave it to me. For the jump-off, of course I wanted to be quick, but since I haven’t done a grand prix jump-off in a while I primarily just wanted to be as smooth as possible.”
On the Temecula Valley National Horse Show:
“I loved it! I love the footing, and I really enjoyed the courses these past two weeks. My first time here was the Premier week in April, and I’ve really enjoyed it. I think it is really accommodating to the riders and trainers, and they take really good care of everybody.”
$40,000 Snapbac National Grand Prix
Place / Horse / Rider / R1 Faults / R1 Time / R2 Faults / R2 Time
1. Dereusa S / Femke Courchaine / 0 / 85.424 / 0 / 48.791
2. Colicchio / Kenneth Vinther / 0 / 84.410 / 0 / 48.853
3. Chantico / John Pearce / 0 / 84.578 / 0 / 49.673
4. Crack One / Emily Esau-williams / 0 / 84.623 / 0 / 50.733
5. Mylord Cornet / Harley Brown / 0 / 85.467 / 4 / 51.425
6. Fioretti S / Jamie Barge / 0 / 85.743 / 4 / 52.328
7. Triskel De Kerliven / Hayden Zadel / 0 / 87.706 / 4 / 53.257
8. Queen / Cassio Rivetti / 0 / 85.633 / 8 / 46.577
9. Castino / Bjorn Ikast / 1 / 88.226
10. Genesis / Carly Anthony / 1 / 88.696
11. Classini / Bjorn Ikast / 3 / 90.427
12. Christian Grey / Tiffany Sullivan / 4 / 79.032
For more information, please visit www.jump-nee.com.