Sacramento, Calif. – Sept. 29, 2018 – Sacramento International lit up on Saturday night for the $40,000 FEI Welcome Grand Prix sponsored by Lasher’s Elk Grove Dodge Ram. A total of 33 FEI horse and rider pairs entered the grand prix ring to tackle the 1.45m course designed by Werner Deeg of Germany.
Many horses jumped spectacularly, and 13 were able to go clear over the 16-effort first round course which included one double and one triple combination. But the jump off course proved more challenging: as the riders went for speed, the majority had a rail or two down. Only three pairs were double clear, and the fastest of those was amateur Karrie Rufer and her mount Georgie D’Auvray EC, who were first in the order of go in both the first round and jump off round.
“Tonight since I was first in the ring I had to make a plan and stick to it, and luckily it worked out,” said Rufer. “George was quite forgiving to me, I was a bit deep in a couple places and he just made it up for me.” Georgie D’Auvray EC is a 12-year-old bay Belgian warmblood gelding.
“We call him the flying hippo because he’s built a bit big, but what he lacks in confirmation he makes up for in a lot of heart and a lot of effort,” explained Rufer. “He just pricks his ears and heads towards the jump. He’s such a blast; I always love riding him.”
Also turning in double clear rounds were Taylor Siebel who rode Mountain Home Stables’ Evidence to 2nd place, and Mariano Maggi who rode Uma O’Neill’s Quintago VA to a 3rd place finish.
$40,000 FEI Welcome Grand Prix
Place / Horse / Rider / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Georgie D’Auvray EC / Karrie Rufer / 0 | 81.88 / 0 | 44.98
2. Evidence / Taylor Siebel / 0 | 85.02 / 0 | 46.82
3. Quintago VA / Mariano Maggi / 0 | 78.30 / 0 | 47.06
4. Durango VDL / Shawn Casady / 0 | 84.09 / 4 | 43.05
5. Steelbi / Richard Fellers / 0 | 84.76 / 4 | 43.43
6. Jarpur / Lindsay Archer / 0 | 80.96 / 4 | 43.84
7. Colicchio / Kenneth Vinther / 0 | 87.41 / 4 | 47.61
8. Sebastian / Enrique Gonzales / 0 | 86.80 / 4 | 47.83
9. Luebbo / Jamie Barge / 0 | 84.97 / 5 | 52.40
10. WT Ca Pow! / Mandy Porter / 0 | 83.02 / 12 | 49.85
11. Catypso / Eric Navet / 0 | 79.46 / 15 | 54.62
Cipriani and Sophia Sanders Win Fleeceworks USHJA National Hunter Derby
Early Friday morning the hunter derby horses showed their stuff in the $5,000 Fleeceworks USHJA National Hunter Derby. Thirty-seven horse and rider pairs competed in the classic round in the Main Hunter field, and the top 12 came back for a handy round. After completing two rounds, 17-year-old Sophia Sanders and her mount Cipriani emerged with the judges’ highest marks and the champion ribbon.
“He was fantastic,” said Sanders of 8-year-old bay Hanoverian gelding Cipriani. “I couldn’t ask for a better horse. He’s a tiny guy so he’s compact, but he’s really smooth, with great gaits and a fantastic jump. He’s my favorite horse that I’ve ever ridden in my life and I love him.” The pair has been together for a year and a half, and has already racked up several big wins in the hunter and equitation divisions.
Taking the reserve championship was Double Blind, a 9-year-old chestnut Holsteiner gelding piloted by Ava Lakey and owned by Denize Borges. Rounding out the podium in 3rd place was Galactic, a 7-year-old grey Holsteiner gelding owned and ridden by Tonya Johnston.
$5,000 Fleeceworks USHJA National Hunter Derby
Place / Horse / Rider / Score
1. Cipriani / Sophia Sanders / 181
2. Double Blind / Ava Lakey / 175.5
3. Galactic / Tonya Johnston / 172
4. Whimsy / Tarrone Seaton / 170
5. Camera Ready / Stephen Pellett / 169
6. Café’s Deluxe / Jessica Behar / 167.5
7. Confetti Z / Michelle Mercogliano / 167
8. Corrato / Emma Borders / 166
9. Disaronno / Tarrone Seaton / 165
10. Walk This Way / Carly Marie Sereni / 163
11. Castiello / Jennifer Pais / 160
12. Arezzo / Sophia Silveira / 125