Temecula, Ca. – April 16, 2019 – Set in the picturesque mountains of California, the Temecula Valley National Horse Show (TVNHS) is a destination event for equestrians and locals alike. Premier week of the second-annual TVNHS, managed and organized by Nilforushan Equisport Events, kicked off Tuesday featuring a World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) designation. Green hunter competitors took to the AON Grand Hunter Arena for the first half of the division, with Jenny Karasizzis currently leading the Green 3’9’’ Hunter division and John Bragg taking the lead in the Green 3’6’’ Conformation Hunters.
Karazissis leads the Green 3’9’’ Hunter with Dulcie Lou Morris’ mount Big Shot after earning first and second place over fences with scores of 88 and 79, respectively. The pair took the win in the under saddle portion of the class and will head into Wednesday’s portion of the division with a strong lead to contend for championship honors.
Karazissis has had the ride on Big Shot, an eight-year-old Holsteiner gelding, for almost four years. The pair is no stranger to hunter competition, most notably earning Green 3’9’’ Hunter championships at HITS Coachella’s Desert Circuit II and IV this year. In 2018, Karazissis and Big Shot rode to the Green 3’6”/3’9” Hunter championship title during the debut Temecula Valley National Horse Show at Galway Downs, earning a near-perfect cumulative score in the division.
Erin Duffy and Romeo, owned by Volant Stables, follow close behind Karazissis’ lead after also earning a first and second place over fences with scores of 82 and 85, respectively. The pair earned third place in the under saddle and will also vie for championship honors Wednesday.
In the Green 3’6’’ Conformation Hunter, Bragg rode Strasburg Morin Inc.’s Ashton to a clean sweep of Tuesday’s classes, earning scores of 87 and 82 over fences and taking home the blue ribbon in the hack. Also in contention for the championship is Jamie Taylor aboard Lord Calador, owned by Melissa Bilodeau. The pair received scores of 80 and 79 over fences to earn second and third place, respectively, as well as third place under saddle.
Both the Green 3’9’’ Hunter and Green 3’6’’ Conformation Hunter divisions will conclude Wednesday morning, when the champion and reserve champion horse-and-rider pairs will be honored.
The Temecula Valley National Premier will run through Saturday, April 20, with the week’s hunter highlights including the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby taking place Thursday, April 18, and the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby kicking off Friday afternoon.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Jenny Karazissis – Green 3’9” Hunter leader
On her over fences rounds:
“It’s really a nice feel to ride him. When I got here this morning, I thought, ‘Oh gosh, am I under prepared?’ but I got on early to hack and he was just great!”
On Big Shot:
“I have known him for quite a long time. He is a Second Year Green horse and I have ridden him as a Green and Pre-Green Horse, so three or four years I have been with him. He is like my best friend. He is lovely and has the most scope! I have done international derbies on him and he really loves his job, which makes my job fun.”
On Showing at the Temecula Valley National Premier:
“I am so glad that I could be here. I came straight from The Oaks, and honestly, I am not even sure what day it is, because we finished on Sunday and started right up on Tuesday, which is different, but I really appreciate having Easter off this Sunday. I really enjoyed being here the first year, so I made the decision to come back without hesitation.”
For more information about the TVNHS, visit www.jump-nee.com