Temecula, Calif. – May 29, 2019 – The final week of the four-week 2019 Temecula Valley National Horse Show series commenced Wednesday, which brought hunter competitors to the grass Aon Grand Hunter Arena for the first day of competition in the Performance Hunter divisions. At the 3’6” fence height, Tammy Chipko and Santanita LS rode to the early lead thanks to three top placings to secure the prime position headed into Thursday’s championship crowning, while Lisa Wall and Tangled Up In Blue navigated a hat trick with three first prize honors to capture a commanding lead in the Performance 3’3” Hunters.
With half of the division’s classes completed in the Performance 3’6” Hunters, only a handful of points separate the top three contenders. The standings are tight, but Chipko and her own Santanita LS edged out fellow challengers to head into Thursday’s final classes with the slight advantage. The duo earned second and third place finishes during the two over fences classes that commenced the divisions, and propelled themselves to the top of the leaderboard with a first place result in the hack.
Olivia Brown and Chacco D’Accord, owned by Emma Reichow, are hot on the leading pair’s tail with first day results of first, second and fourth, and Kaitlin Campbell and Sweet Oak Farm’s Cohen round out the top three highest-scoring pairs thus far with a first place finish and two fourth place results.
In the Performance 3’3” Hunters, Wall directed Macy Dimson’s Tangled Up In Blue to an impressive start to the division, awarded the blue ribbon by the judge in all three classes to finish the day as the clear frontrunners. The pair tackled both over fences rounds in the expansive grass field with ease, and subsequently added another victory to their collection during the under saddle portion of the division, where they outshone the rest of the pack to emerge at the top of the scorecard.
Also faring well for the day with three consistent performances, Kenilworth Stables’ Chaccolina, ridden by Julia Nagler, earned three second place finishes to round out the day in the runner-up position headed into Thursday’s division finale.
The Temecula Valley National Horse Show will continue Thursday, with the week’s first batch of champions awarded in the hunter divisions. Friday evening will feature the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, while Sunday will be highlighted by a series of hunter classics to conclude the week.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Tammy Chipko – Performance 3’6” Hunter leader
On her horse:
“Santanita LS is an 11-year-old La Silla. She started out in the jumper ring and competed up to the 1.35m level. I just felt she didn’t have the heart to be a real big time jumper, so we put her in the hunters. She’s done the hunters and equitation the last few years and has been very successful. For her it was very easy, she loved this right away.”
On riding in the Aon Grand Hunter Arena:
“It’s just beautiful. The grass ring is spectacular. It’s really fun to ride in there and it allows for you to gallop a little bit more than we are used to. The course designer has done a nice job and the jumps are beautiful. It’s a fun ring to ride in. I love the show! The is one of my favorites, if not my favorite show.”
Lisa Wall – Performance 3’3” Hunter leader
On Tangled Up In Blue:
“She is just wonderful, and a very consistent mare. We had a little trouble last week – she was third and fourth on the first day, won a couple schooling classes on the grass, and then in the derby there were 30 mile-per-hour winds and it was 53 degrees. She jumped the first few jumps in the 90s, and then just landed and bucked and decided she wanted to play. The $5,000 National Hunter Derby at The Oaks she won, and then the two derbies before that. She is a consistent player. Today is the first time I felt her finally settle in. She didn’t really settle in last week, but it’s to be expected a little bit because she had never been here before. Today she rode really well, so I’m pleased.”
On riding in the grass Aon Grand Hunter Arena:
“I like it because I like to be able to gallop a hunter course, however with her, if I get to galloping too much I can get myself into a little bit of trouble because she has such a big stride. I save it for where I could do it and do it well, and then everything else I ride relatively quiet because she is huge in stride. The grass has plenty of spring to it still, which is nice. The horses are happy here.”
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