The $60,000 Grand Prix of California, presented by Equ Lifestyle Boutique, was one of those rare classes where the best score in the first round could not be matched, so the ribbons were awarded without a jump-off. Carly Anthony and her mount Chacco, owned by Neil Jones Equestrian Inc, finished with one time fault for the win. Richard Spooner and Rancho Corazon LLC’s Quirado RC were the only other pair to keep all rails in the cups, and finished in second place with three on the clock.
Formulated by the internationally-acclaimed Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela, the course took advantage of the Showpark Grand Prix Field’s size while keeping a tight time allowed of 83 seconds. Riders faced two tricky lines up the diagonals, the first a two-stride combination to a delicate vertical and the second a wide oxer leading into two consecutive one-strides, which when ridden carefully would cost time on the clock.
“The time was tight,” said runner-up and grand prix veteran Richard Spooner. “It’s probably been ten years since I’ve been in a class that didn’t go to a jump-off round. That doesn’t happen very often.”
Nonetheless, Anthony was proud to have ridden Chacco to an almost fault-free round, leaving all the jumps in the cups and stopping the clock just .23 seconds over the time allowed. The young professional was grateful for the opportunity to challenge herself as a rider. “This entire week, Leopoldo has been setting courses that were short on time and a bit technical, and that’s how we had to ride it today,” she noted.
Anthony and Chacco have been partners since the beginning of the year, and she speaks highly of the gelding. “Chacco is a sweet and kind-hearted horse, he really wants to do a good job every day. No matter the distance, he will try his best to have a clean round.”
During the ribbon ceremony, Blenheim EquiSports also celebrated longtime employee and friend, Nani Luebke, as she retires as Awards Coordinator after eighteen years. Her tireless attention to detail and hard work has played a significant role in the success of the shows over the years.
The Interactive Mortgage Horses 10 & Under Futurity Classic
The excitement began before the Grand Prix, with Jason McArdle and Fairbanks Valley Farm’s Elicole claiming a victory in the $5,000Interactive Mortgage Horses 10 & Under Futurity Classic. Of the ten clear horse and rider combinations from round one, Jason and Elicole were fastest in the jump-off with a time of 38.25. McArdle was determined, taking quick inside turns and galloping between jumps to shave seconds off the clock. Keri Potter and Jiminy Cricket were the closest to catching him in 40.40s for second place.
Place – Entry Number – Horse – Rider – Owner – Faults/Time