Temecula, Calif. – May 31, 2018 – Nilforushan Equisport Events’ Temecula Valley National Horse Show III continued Thursday, bringing a talented field of horse-and-rider combinations to the Audi Grand Prix Arena for the feature event of the evening, the $20,000 EquiFit 1.40m – 1.45m Jumper Classic. Besting the field with the fastest double clear ride of the class was Kenneth Vinther and his own Colicchio, emerging victorious ahead of a competitive pack. In the hunter ring, local rider-trainer Nick Haness demonstrated his skills with the rides on Kumano and Saphir to sweep the Green 3’6” Hunter and Performance/High Performance 3’6”/3’9” Hunter championships, respectively.
Designer Olaf Petersen, Jr.’s (GER) 12-obstacle long course lent itself well to the 33 entrants, with 11 pairs qualifying for the short track. For an unfortunate number of exhibitors, the final vertical proved to be a heartbreaker, stealing away their shot at the prize money. Will Simpson and Callie Smith’s Attention ET Z were the first to keep all the rails in their cups within the time allowed, kicking off a steady stream of subsequent clears for remaining contenders. Headed into the jump-off, Simpson, Shawn Casady and Carly Anthony each posed the greatest chances of securing the victory with two horses apiece qualified for the second phase of competition.
Second to ride over the abridged track, Casady and Cicomein VDL, owned by HKC Collection LLC, tripped the timers in a conservative 47.318 seconds as the first double clear of the night, but were swiftly overtaken two rides later by Lane Clarke and McLord’s T.K.O., owned by Mickey Hayden, with the significantly faster clear time of 43.723 seconds. Once again upping the ante, owner-rider Vinther and Colicchio sliced across fences and sped around turns to further trim the leading time down to 42.271 seconds, a time that would ultimately pose too lofty of a challenge for any following pairs to overcome. Though all five of the next pairs, consisting of Olympic gold medalist Simpson, Casady, Anthony, Bjorn Ikast and Natalie Dean, would each lay down valiant clean and clear efforts, none managed to eclipse the leaders with a quicker pace.
Finishing in the reserve position was Dean in the irons aboard her own Chacco’s Goldy with a swift jump-off time of 42.522 seconds, less than half of a second behind Vinther and Colicchio. Simpson and his second ride of the class, his own Chacco P, captured third position overall, breaking the beam in 43.153 seconds.
The Green 3’6” Hunters kicked off the Grand Hunter Arena bright and early Thursday morning with Haness and Kumano, owned by West Coast Equine Partners, LLC, clinching their second Green 3’6″ Hunter division championship while competing at Galway Downs. A hometown rider from Temecula, California, Haness guided the 8-year-old Belgian Warmblood to the tricolors by sweeping blue ribbons in two of the over fences classes and the under saddle phase, in addition to placing second in another over fences class and the handy round. Earning the division’s reserve championship was Emma Lindstrom on Charlotte Murray’s Quentin, a 7-year-old Hanoverian gelding.
Continuing his domination in the hunter ranks, Haness claimed the Performance/High Performance 3’6”/3’9” Hunter championship on his long-time partner, Saphir. The 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding, also owned by West Coast Equine Partners, LLC, stood out to the judges to win the handy round, two of the over fences rounds and the under saddle phase. Jamie Taylor aboard Noteworthy Horse’s Cajeton, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding, received the division’s reserve champion ribbon.
In the Performance 3’3” Hunters, Shauna Pennell rode away with the tricolors on Beverly Engelberg’s Saturday Night, a 10-year-old Warmblood gelding. After leading the way following day one, the pair maintained their position by topping the leaderboard in both over fences classes and placing second in the hack to prevailed as the division champions. Haness continued his winning ways by earning the Performance 3’3” Hunters reserve championship aboard As Requested, an 8-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by West Coast Equine Partners, LLC.
Equestrian competition will return Friday to Galway Downs for the third day of the Temecula Valley National Horse Show III, with the $10,000 Open Equitation Championship, $5,000 1.40m Jumpers and Junior/Amateur-Owner Hunter classes combining to celebrate a diverse range of horses and athletes.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Kenneth Vinther – $20,000 EquiFit 1.40m – 1.45m Jumper Classic champion
“He is a 10-year-old Holsteiner stallion that I’ve had for three years and I’ve been able to bring him up to this level. He’s just been awesome. He’s slowly but surely getting better and better. He had a little bit of a rough start because as a 5-year-old he had surgery for a hernia and when he was six years old he had colic surgery. He’s a character — super careful and he will do anything.”
On his ride:
“I love Olaf [Petersen, Jr.’s] courses. They were not huge but they were technical. The jump-off was fun because there were some options for turns, roll-backs and long gallops, so with the right timing and a little bit of luck it went well.”
On his strategy to shave off time in the jump-off:
“For a small horse – he’s around 16.1 hand – he has a normal stride and he’s quick off the ground. He turns fast so in the jump-off like this it’s about the rhythm and then, of course, it’s about trying to shave off the turns as good as you can without breaking rhythm. Normally if you can do that and have a nice smooth ride in you are often in the ribbons.”
On the Temecula Valley National Horse Show:
“I love it! This is this horse’s second year in the grand prix and he just moved up to the bigger classes in the grand prix. I’m hoping to do some World Cup qualifiers in the fall if everything goes as planned and this is a brilliant show to practice at. The footing, the environment with the tents, and the top course designers make this a great show to prepare.”
Nick Haness – Green 3’6” Hunter and Performance/High Performance 3’6”/3’9” Hunter champion
“I always have fun on Saphir! He is a seasoned horse and I have had him for four years now. I could tell that he was happy to be showing in a new place. He is a beautiful horse — a perfect black-colored horse, and his ears and overall expression are always perfect. I think that’s why the judges always really like him. He is also a beautiful mover, especially on the grass because it emphasizes his elegant way of going which is what a hunter should go like. Saphir has been National Horse of the Year for three years in a row in his respective divisions. We are heading to the Oaks for WCHR Week next week to make sure we keep our 1,000 point lead in his divisions for this year’s award!”
On his strategy during the handy round:
“My plan was just to make the inside turns, which we did. There were a couple of options where you could go inside or go around and we decided to go inside and go for it.”
On championing in two divisions:
“I’m pretty excited! I think the owner Gail Ellis, who also competes both of these horses in the amateur divisions, will be thrilled to know that they were this good and the next time she shows here they will be perfect.”
On competing at the Temecula Valley National Horse Show:
“It has been a great three weeks and the exhibitor party was especially fun last night! The social aspect, the competition aspect and the management is so service-oriented that it has made it the best experience.”
$20,000 EquiFit 1.40m/1.45m Classic
Place / Rider / Horse / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Kenneth Vinther / Colicchio / Kenneth Vinther / 0 / 0 / 42.271
2. Natalie Dean / Chacco’s Goldy / Natalie Dean / 0 / 0 / 42.522
3. William Simpson / Chacco P / William Simpson / 0 / 0 / 43.153
4. Lane Clarke / McLord’s T.K.O. / Mickey Hayden / 0 / 0 / 43.723
5. Francie Nilforushan / Clarinius / Ali Nilforushan / 0 / 0 /44.357
6. Bjorn Ikast / Classini / BBB Showjumpers / 0 / 0 / 45.351
7. Shawn Casady / Durango VDL / High Point Farm LLC / 0 / 0 / 46.792
8. Shawn Casady / Cicomein / HKC Collection LLC / 0 / 0 / 47.318
9. Carly Anthony / Coutras / Inc Neil Jones Equestrian / 0 / 0 / 48.609
10. William Simpson / Attention et Z / Callie Smith / 0 / 4 / 45.565
11. Carly Anthony / The Flying Ham / Signe Ostby / 0 / 8 / 44.901
12. Lindsey Archer / Jarpur / Rhys Farms / 4