August 26, 2017 – Del Mar, Calif. – The Showpark Summer Classic’s highlight jumper event kept viewers on their toes as only three of thirty starting entries competed in the jump-off. Richard Spooner and Chatinus, whom he co-owns with Tracy Katayama Esse, ultimately emerged on top in the $50,000 Grand Prix of Showpark after executing the fastest of the three double-clear rounds. Riding for Neil Jones Equestrian, Inc., Mavis Spencer piloted Chacco to a second place finish just over half of a second behind Spooner, and Keri Potter rode Julia Koetting’s Bitalica to third.
International course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio of Red Hook, NY built the stout 1.50m grand prix course which featured double and triple combinations, several technical bending lines, and multiple options for striding.
For much of the class, Potter stood as the only clear, but then Spooner and Spencer, who were two of the last three to compete, were fault free and the pressure was on. Second to jump off, Spooner, the ‘Master of Faster,’ stopped the clock in 38.37 seconds.
Chatinus is a new addition to Spooner’s string – the two teamed up just this summer. “The key to the clear round is what it symbolizes and what it means. For this to happen right off the bat like that, it’s a heck of a lot better than just a win,” Spooner explained. “I still need to test the waters with him a little bit because even though this was incredible, there’s a lot of work that has to be done to see exactly where we’re going. But I think the horse will go all the way. That’s my goal. I think that he’s one of the nicest horses I’ve ever ridden, and I’m very optimistic for the future.”
Spooner described how fortunate he is with his current string of horses. Looking forward to what lies ahead, the veteran show jumper noted that he has big plans for the coming years. For his win aboard Chatinus, Spooner took home a pair of Roeckl Sports gloves, EquiFit MultiTeq boots, a SmartPak embroidered cooler, and an engraved pewter plate.
$50,000 Grand Prix of Showpark
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / Faults / Time
1. Chatinus / Richard Spooner / Richard Spooner / 0 / 0 / 38.368
2. Chacco / Mavis Spencer / Neil Jones Equestrian, Inc. / 0 / 0 / 39.035
3. Bitalica / Keri Potter / Julia Koetting / 0 / 0 / 41.412
4. Chello Z / Josephina Nor Lantzman / Josephina Nor Stables, LLC / 2 / 78.794
5. Vancouver 45 / Michelle Parker / Cross Creek Farms, Inc. / 4 / 72.947
6. Cicomein VDL / Tina Yates / HKC Collection, LLC / 4 / 73.495
7. Zentro Sent / Chris Pratt / The Epic Group, LLC / 4 / 75.13
8. Little Gancho / Marc Grock / Moonlite Beach, LLC – 4 /
9. NJK No Regret / Nicole Haunert / NKJ Show Jumpers, Inc. / 4 / 75.936
10. Durango VDL / Tina Yates / ACE Equestrian / 4 / 76.786
11. Arthos R / Richard Spooner / CNS Logistics / 8 / 75.282
12. Quirido RC / Richard Spooner / Rancho Corazon, LLC / 8 / 76.91
Jason McArdle and Elicole Win $7,500 Interactive Mortgage Futurity Horses 10 & Under Qualifier
Twenty-two entries took to the grand prix field for the $7,500 Interactive Mortgage Futurity Horses 10 & Under Qualifier, and Jason McArdle aboard Fairbanks Valley Farm, LLC’s Elicole took home the blue after a speedy jump-off of ten. McArdle topped the field as the fastest of four double-clears with a time of 32.66.
“She tries one hundred and ten percent every time she’s in the ring. Sometimes she doesn’t turn as well to the left and today everything was kind of to the left, but it all came in stride and I got lucky,” McArdle explained. “She’s really matured in the last two years and she’s just all business in the ring.”
Since teaming up four years ago, McArdle and Elicole have found great success in the Young Jumper classes, and now the eight-year-old mare has brought her talent to the next level. The duo plans to head to the Interactive Mortgage Futurity Horses 10 & Under Series Final in September, and hopes to go to the Markel Insurance Grand Prix Series Final in November.
The Showpark Summer Classic will conclude on Sunday with the second round of the CPHA Foundation Equitation Championship Final, where competitors in three age divisions, 14 & under, 22 & over and 21 & under, will ride for the win. Two final outdoor season events with medal finals, hunter championships, grand prix events and more are coming to San Juan Capistrano in September – the Blenheim Fall Tournament and The International Jumping Festival.
$7,500 Interactive Mortgage Horses 10/U Qualifier
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / Faults / Time
1. Elicole / Jason Mcardle / Fairbanks Valley Farm LLC / 0 / 72.356
2. Ursina du Perchet / Laura Ware / Laura Ware / 0 / 73.162
3. Notable / Susan Hutchison / Carolyn Mittler / 0 / 73.342
4. Bambali / Mattias Ekeroth / Mattias Ekeroth / 0 / 72.532
5. Love / Richard Spooner / Molly Ohrstrom / 0 / 73.183
6. CCF Caramel / Michelle Parker / Dana Nemeth / 0 / 73.435
7. Costena LS La Silla / Nicole Haunert / Lynne Bollinger / 0 / 74.909
8. Cooper V / Ursula Navet / Eric Navet Equestrian, Inc. / 0 / 70.763
Photos by Captured Moment Photography