Parker, Colo. – July 17, 2018 – The sixth week of Summer in the Rockies (SIR), the competitive hunter/jumper series hosted at the Colorado Horse Park (CHP), was held from Wednesday, July 11, through Sunday, July 15. The series drew near record-setting exhibitor and spectator attendance for the penultimate week of competition. Distinguished equestrian athletes and their mounts made up the order in the week’s many classes, including the $80,000 Front Range Kubota Grand Prix held on Saturday, July 14. CHP welcomed Mandy Porter of Encinitas, CA, back for a second year of competition and once again Porter’s performance ushered her to the top of the leaderboard.
The $80,000 Front Range Kubota Grand Prix hosted thirty-four entries in the Saturday-evening event. Porter and Milano, a 2005 Swedish Warmblood gelding owned by Abigail Archer, rode the fast track through the timers in 42.228 seconds for premier placement. Porter and Milano have been competing together for the last two years. “Last year we had an amazing season. It was unbelievable, he even qualified for World Cup Finals” said Porter. “I just keep going along with him and asking him different questions to see what he can do!”
Porter spoke of the track set by FEI course designer Mauricio Garcia, “Of course I liked it! I thought he did a great job. He made it big enough that it asked some good questions but it was not over-the-top technical. I thought it was very appropriate, very nice.” Heading into the jump-off, Porter’s plan was a simply stated, “Go fast without going crazy.” She continued, “I’ve just got to keep a really cool head when I ride Milano. I try not to let him get me too excited.”
This win marked Porter’s second large-scale victory at CHP. She and Coral Reef Ranch Follow Me II were triumphant in the 2017 series finale, the $100,000 Adequan® Grand Prix. “We had such a good time last year, we really liked it,” Porter said of her return to CHP. “The people are friendly, the venue is good, the horses are happy here. It’s a nice change of pace.”
Joining Porter on the podium was Shawn Casady of Harriman, TN, who guided Cicomein VDL, owned by HKC Collection, through the jump-off timers in 43.516 seconds for second-place honors. Morrison, Colorado’s Katharin Gualtieri came in third aboard Sandwillow Farm’s Castalano with a jump-off time of 46.012 seconds.
Porter is starting to make a habit of leading victory gallops at the Colorado venue. Earlier in the week, Milano and Porter also reigned supreme in the $20,000 Carolina Arena Equipment Welcome Stake. Their 40.332 second jump-off beat out thirty three other entries for the win. Charlie Jayne of Elgin, IL, rode his own Amice Z for a second-place finish after a 42.209 second jump-off. No stranger to the CHP winner’s circle, Shawn Casady and Dakar VDL, owned by HKC Collection, jumped-off in 46.31 seconds for third.
Looking forward to the final week of the Colorado SIR series, Porter spoke of the heightened competition, “There are definitely some good horses here so we’ll see what they build next week. I’m hoping that all of the players stay for next week, as well. It’s a pretty good feel, it’s competitive. It makes you have to work for it.”
SIR will conclude after the seventh week of competition to be held Wednesday, July 18 through Sunday, July 22. The apex of the series, the $100,000 Adequan® Grand Prix will be held at 5:00 p.m. MST on Saturday, July 21.
The $2,000 Holiday Inn/Trapper’s Chop House Low Children’s Jumper Classic awarded Grace Griffin of Long Lake, MN, first place aboard her own Latte with a jump-off time of 38.933 seconds. Jessica Morris of Englewood, CO, galloped Hartford Farm’s Leon through the timers in 39.27 seconds for a second-place finish. Third place was awarded to Hanna Mankus of Cherry Hills Village, CO, and Victoria Hoft’s Alando who finished their jump-off in 39.879 seconds.
The $2,000 Horseware Ireland Low Adult Jumper Classic saw the winning ride by Melanie Kuechle of Shoreline, WA, and her entry Washington after a two-fault, first-round ride in 75.116 seconds. Second place was awarded to Mallory Hensley Yukon, OK, who turned in a four-fault ride in 62.791 seconds aboard Casanova CF, owned by Lindsey Henderson. Jane Cyphers of Erie, CO, came in third aboard her own Jazzy AL with a four-fault ride in 70.263 seconds.
An impressive twenty-seven entries were seen in the $2,000 Front Range Kubota Modified Child/Adult Jumper Classic. Madelyn McDowell of Kansas City, MO, and McDowell Farms’ BB Delta were awarded top honors. Second place went to Morgan Sauerbrey of Steamboat Springs, CO, and Vasco, owned by Finally Farm. Cara Walinsky of Colorado Springs,CO, rode her own Sophie for the yellow ribbon.
Elizabeth Porath of Charlotte, NC, galloped Amalaya Investments’ Waomi through the timers in 31.866 seconds for the win in the $4,000 Voltaire Design Modified Junior Amateur Jumper Classic. Redfield Farm’s Scoop was expertly guided by Ashley Marshall of Moro, IL, through the timers in 35.346 seconds for a second-place finish. Ruby Jenkins of Aurora, CO, earned third place with a first-round time of 76.29 seconds aboard Drumnacross Farm’s Tanaka III.
The $4,000 Osphos® NAL/WIHS Children’s Jumper Classic saw eighteen trips, yet only one clear round, by blue-ribbon winner Kiley McCullough of San Tan Valley, AZ, and her own Collin. Hannah Dodd of Kearney, MO, rode Julie Dodd’s Conlaro for second place after a two-fault, first-round ride in 77.598 seconds. Lauren McCaulley of St Charles, IL, rounded out the top three after a four-fault finish in 71.943 seconds atop her own Blue Sugar OTJ.
Denver, Colorado’s Kristina Matthews finished first in the $4,000 Osphos® NAL/WIHS Adult Jumper Classic with a 36.342 second jump-off with her own entry Neolisto Van Het Mierenhof. Shelby Doria of Overland Park, KS, turned in a 37.88 second jump-off atop Italia, owned by Chief Investment, for second place. Dana Narayanappa of Cave Creek, AZ, joined the podium in third place after a 39.149 second finish aboard her entry Easy Jumper Z.
Kennedy McCaulley of Medina, MN, emerged victorious from a field of twenty seven in the $5,000 Horseware Ireland NAL Low Junior/Amateur Classic with a 40.91 second jump-off aboard her Zara. Elizabeth Lang of Lake Forest, IL, rode for second and third aboard entries owned by herself and Alex Jayne. Lang Piloted her Sothis D Ouyilly through the jump-off in 41.255 seconds and Jayne’s Beja in 41.403 seconds.
Molly Talla of San Juan Capistrano, CA, and her own Gallantino led the victory gallop in the $5,000 Medium Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic after a jump-off time of 45.996 seconds. Kelsey Thatcher of Bluffdale, UT, piloted Pony Lane Farm’s Disney through the timers in 49.7 seconds for the reserve honors. Cavallo Farms’ Gucci looked fashionable in yellow after a first round time of 80.699 seconds with rider Ali Berens of Laguna Hills, CA.
The $10,000 Griffis Residential High Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic awarded top honors to Armando Hassey of Parker, CO, and his own Cassino who completed a two-fault jump-off in 51.568 seconds. Second place was awarded to owner/riderTali Dejong of Golden, CO, who turned in a twelve-fault jump-off time of 46.531 seconds aboard Amadeus. Kelsey Thatcher piloted Pony Lane Farm’s Everything through the first-round timers in 78.539 seconds.
The $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby saw thirty trips and awarded the top honors to Kaitlin Porath of Charlotte, NC, and her own Breaux. Conradical was piloted by owner Jaden Olson of Parker, CO, for second place.
All eyes were on champion Stephen Joseph Schmidt of Park City, UT, and his own, aptly named, Spotlight in the $100 Stirrup Hunter Classic. Rachael Patton of Colorado Springs, CO, and Cindy Bonick’s Captivation were awarded reserve champion.
The $1,000 Marshall & Sterling NAL/WIHS Children’s Hunter Classic awarded top honors to Josh Swisher of Edmond, OK, and his own Pikk Dynamic HU. Sandy, Utah’s Tessa Grow rode her own Commander in Chief for reserve champion.
The $1,000 Marshall & Sterling NAL/WIHS Adult Hunter Classic awarded champion honors to Amy Brubaker of Salt Lake City, UT, and Pony Lane Farm’s Lancelot 266. Momento was piloted by owner, Megan Temme of Cumming, IA, to reserve.
Sara Simpson of Parker, CO, presented Elizabeth Simpson’s Rollingwoods Q and A in the $1,000 Pony Hunter Classic to earn champion honors. Josh Swisher earned the title of reserve champion with his entry Saphira.
The $100 Pre-Children’s Hunter Classic named Denver, Colorado’s Maggie Lawrence and her own Keepsake victorious. Emily Schoelzel of Highlands Ranch, CO, piloted Rachel Long’s Pitch Perfect for reserve honors.
Karen Tanner-Smith of Parker, CO, was awarded champion honors in the $100 Pre-Adult Hunter Classic aboard her own Bellagio K. Tara Wolf’s Snowbird carried Kathryn Fleck Peisach of Aspen, CO, for a title of reserve champion.
The $100 Platinum Performance Modified Adult Hunter Classic presented the blue ribbon to Mary Lou Steele of Castle Rock, CO, and Crooked Willow Farms’ Chaleon. Socrates looked good in red after a reserve finish with owner, Claire Hertel of Littleton, CO.
Avery Griffin traveled from Austin, TX, to earn the title of champion in the $100 Platinum Performance Modified Children’s Hunter Classic with her own Esoteric Secret. Ella Thomas of Leawood, KS, and Kendra Madden’s Katera rode to reserve.
As if foreshadowed by signature, Frosted Blue and Kennedy McCaulley were awarded the blue ribbon in the $1,000 CWD Junior Hunter 3’3″/3’6″ Classic. Owner/rider Emery Volkert of Parker, CO, and Zalando collected reserve for their performance.
The $1,000 Mile High Golf Cars Amateur Owner Hunter 3″3’/3″6″ Classic named Nicole Lyvere of Lakewood, CO, and her All In victorious. Breaux and owner/rider Kaitlin Porath were awarded reserve champion.
Competition will resume on Wednesday, July 18 for the completion of the 2018 SIR series. Week 7 will host some of the series’ most exciting and competitive classes including a $20,000 Adequan® Welcome Stake on Thursday, July 19, a $25,000 International Hunter Derby on Friday, July 20, and a $100,000 Adequan® Grand Prix on Saturday, July 21.