Las Vegas, NV – Nov. 15, 2017 – With twenty-four of the top point earners in the competitive Markel Insurance 1.40m Grand Prix Series vying to take home the lion’s share of the $51,800 in prize money, and ten riding fault-free over Oscar Soberon’s course, it was certainly exciting until the last horse finished the jump-off.
Supporting the growth of young horses and young riders, as well as new horse and rider pairs, the Markel Insurance 1.40m Grand Prix Series Final was the ideal opportunity for Richard Spooner to encourage his eight-year-old mount, Quirado RC, owned by Rancho Corazon, LLC, to be competitive. Fifth in the jump-off, Spooner executed the first and fastest double-clean ride, stopping the clock in 35.55 seconds. Soon afterward, twenty-one-year-old Chandler Meadows and her own Damian slipped into the second spot, clean in a time of 38.06, relegating Jenni McAllister and Sweet Chocolate PJ’s double-clean effort to third.
Meadows noted that she gained solid miles during the 2017 season. “This series has been a building block for me this year. Damian is a bit younger and I’m still a bit inexperienced. This has helped me build a solid foundation while competing through difficult tracks over fences that are not too big.”
Spooner spoke highly of his mount. “Quirado is an eight-year-old, and he has only been jumping for a little over two years. I’m very excited about his future. He is very special and very careful. Standing a bit taller than eighteen hands, he has a wonderful mouth,” the veteran show jumper said. “I’ve tried to keep things simple with him in terms of my training regime. Now that I’ve gotten him to follow my hand I’ve been able to find a way around his size. I’m getting more and more confident with him. Speed was a difficulty in the beginning due to his size and youth, but over the last few months it has come together. I had a plan to stick on the inside bend and have faith in him.”
Looking into the future, Spooner wisely said, “I’m optimistic that Quirado will do the 1.50m classes next year. I have the same plan with my other horses. I’m hoping to move them up. With any new string of horses, you go through ups and downs, so I’m hoping for more ups than downs.”
And he summed up his victory with a comment about the show and facility, where for many years, he has chosen to end his season. “The Las Vegas National is a great place to show, in that it’s designed with horses and horse sport in mind. For competition, it has to be the best indoor venue in the country.”
$51,800 Markel Insurance Grand Prix Series Final
Place / Horse / Rider / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Quirado RC / Richard Spooner / 0 | 74.685 / 0 | 35.550
2. Damian / Chandler Meadows / 0 | 74.235 / 0 | 38.060
3. Sweet Chocolate PJ / Jenni McAllister / 0 | 74.557 / 0 | 39.116
4. Little Gancho / Marc Grock / 0 | 73.428 / 0 | 41.022
5. Bitalica / Keri Potter / 0 | 73.290 / 4 | 37.964
6. Billy Mexico / Vani Khosla / 0 | 74.547 / 4 | 39.249
7. Adoro 3 / Francie Nilforushan / 0 | 75.487 / 4 | 40.167
8. Vancouver 45 / Michelle Parker / 0 | 71.797 / 8 | 37.650
9. Carl Casim / Jill Humphrey / 0 | 73.355 / 8 | 39.389
10. Bens Beauty / Jill Prieto / 0 | 69.834 / 8 | 45.068
11. Eminent / Hugh Mutch / 4 | 68.872
12. Cicomein VDL / Tina Yates / 4 | 71.670
For full results, click here.
Ben Maher and Tipsy Du Terral Kick Off FEI Competition With a Victory at the Las Vegas National, CSI4*-W
Earlier in the day in his first appearance at The Las Vegas National, Great Britain’s Olympian Ben Maher took the victory with Poden Farms’ Tipsy Du Terral in the $35,000 FEI 1.45m Blenheim Welcome Jumper Classic, presented by Master Surfaces. Forty-four entries rode Oscar Soberon’s power and speed course. Twenty-fourth to go, Maher’s smooth track and forward pace in a time of 30.29 could not be beat. Holding the lead until Maher galloped in, John Perez and Utopia finished second, stopping the clock in 31.12 seconds.
“The course was tougher than I was expecting,” Maher said. “In the end, there were enough riders that were clean, but fortunately it went my way.”
Of the unique aspect of this city and, in particular, the South Point Arena & Equestrian Center, Maher noted, “This is a great venue. It’s nice to not have to go too far to the show. I can wake up in the morning and come right here. I’ve been to Las Vegas for the World Cup Finals and coming here has the same exciting feeling now as it did then.”
He continued, “I’ll show Tipsy this week and then head back to Europe with some other horses and maybe go to Olympia in London. I was in Doha last week and am here this week, and the standards did not change. There is not a difference in the level of riding from venue to venue.”
Thursday will feature the $15,000 FEI 1.35m South Point Jumper Stake, presented by Secchiari, and the $50,000 FEI Welcome Speed Classic, presented by Walter Oil & Gas Corporation.
$35,000 Blenheim Welcome Jumper Classic, presented by Master Surfaces
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Faults | Time
1. Tipsy du Terral / Ben Maher / GBR / 0 | 30.29
2. Utopia / John Perez / COL / 0 | 31.12
3. Arthos R / Richard Spooner / USA / 0 | 31.41
4. Mai Tai / Karrie Rufer / USA / 0 | 31.54
5. Campitello / Tina Yates / USA / 0 | 32.23
6. NKH Calango / Christian Heineking / GER / 0 | 32.32
7. Ninou / Jeff Campf / USA / 0 | 32.39
8. Caillou / Karl Cook / USA / 0 | 33.50
9. Chase / Harley Brown / AUS / 0 | 37.12
10. Kahlua / Andrew Kocher / USA / 4 | 30.55
11. Basimodo / Eric Navet / FRA / 4 | 32.64
12. Indoktro K van’t Kattenheye / Susan Griffis / USA / 4 | 32.68
For full results, click here.