It was a nail-biting competition in the CWD Wine Country Grand Prix this afternoon in the beautiful Fairway Field Grand Prix arena. With 17 competitive horse and rider teams and a course from Brazillian course designer Marina Azevedo, it was sure to be a great class.
The first round contained 16 efforts, including a line from a vertical to a vertical – oxer – vertical triple combination across the diagonal. The final four obstacles were on the rail by the Lounge, with a line to an oxer – vertical combination, then finishing over an oxer towards the in gate.The riders each had their own unique difficulties around the course. A few of the teams’ strides became flat and had obstacle three, a vertical headed toward the berm down and the following fence four, the oxer at the end of the arena down. A couple had some trouble through the triple combination across the diagonal.
“The course was fair for the group, but I am surprised with the results,” said Azevedo. “There was not one spot in particular that was difficult in the course, each rider had their own difficulties.”The teams all had a tough time through the course, and it wasn’t until Guy Thomas aboard Jonkheer Z, who came in 10th in the order, produced a four fault score, which maintained the lead going into the second half of the class. Mandy Porter and Coral Reef Follow Me II came in two horses after Thomas and Jonkheer Z to secure the win with the only clean round!
Guy Thomas and Jonkheer Z finished second
The riders also were surprised with the results, having walked the beautiful course in the large grass arena with more confidence than what was produced.”Walking the course, I thought that there would be more clean rounds,” said Porter. “It probably rode how it walked, but I didn’t think it was tricky or difficult when we walked.”
Second place finisher, Guy Thomas, also thought the course was fair.
“I thought it was a very good course,” said Thomas. “Marina is one of the best, she never sets traps or goofy challenges, but unfortunately we didn’t get a jump off.”In the end, Porter and Coral Reef Follow Me II were victorious with the only clear round in the class. Thomas and Jonkheer Z had four faults and came in second place and Porter rounded out the top three on Milano.
1 105 Coral Reef Follow Me II Mandy Porter 0 81.154
2 202 Jonkheer Z Guy Thomas 4 77.162
3 244 Milano Mandy Porter 4 78.434
4 326 Colin Michelle Kerivan 8 83.686
5 218 Osophia Kevin Winkel 8 77.69
6 443 Venice B Daniel Zilla 8 78.454
7 455 Lady Capital Hannah Loly 8 80.893
8 125 Adamus Leslie Wright 9 82.667
9 240 WT Ca Pow! (7) Mandy Porter 12 80.701
10 563 Zandor Matias Fernandez 12 80.838
11 313 Pasilla Sarah Ballou 12 80.929
12 134 Conejito Carol Wright 18 83.153