Thermal, CA – February 5, 2016 – Course designer, Bernardo Cabral of Portugal, set a formidable course in Thursday’s $65,500 Wilmington Trust Grand Prix. The well-represented class of riders from the United States, Mexico, Egypt, France and Mexico tried the course that tested the skills of each horse and rider.
Many valiantly-ridden rounds went, but after ten trips, spectators were still waiting for the first clear round. The 16 effort course included several bending lines, challenging oxers and a triple combination mid-course that began with a triple bar.
With no clear round to speak of, the course seemed to be untamable until French equestrian Eric Navet, entered the ring to prove that the course could be conquered. Navet, now riding out of Panileuse, California, and Catypso, owned by Signe Ostby, navigated the course with confidence, setting the standard halfway through the order of go.
Three more challenged the course, but none could keep the rails up until Lisa Carlsen of Okotoks, Alberta and her own Parette. They powered through the course without any jumping faults, clearing fence after fence as anticipation rose from the crowd. Clean over the last fence, whistles turned to sighs as they crossed the timers in 81.096 seconds, just a fraction over the time allowed of 81 seconds. The effort ultimately landed them third-place.
A jump-off did not seem to be on the horizon as the order winded down but Wednesday’s $50,000 Brook Ledge Welcome Stake winner, Chris Pratt, changed that. Last to test the course, the equestrian from Lake View Terrace, California, and Indigo Farm’s Cruise, went clear in the first round to make it two for the jump-off.
Navet and Catypso returned first to contend for the win. The shortened course required weaving through other fences to make it to the mid-course combination that included a triple bar to a vertical. They clocked in at a fault-free 40.144 seconds.
Pratt had one final chance to claim the class from Navet. Clearing fence after fence, the outcome looked to be measured by speed, but a heartbreaking rail at the liverpool vertical secured second-place for Pratt; he then retired from the course.
Fourth-place in the class was Delaney Flynn of Scottsdale, Arizona, and Quite Quick, owned by Irish Rose Stables. They finished the first round as the fastest of the four-faulters in 77.686 seconds. Finishing fifth was Tamie Phillips and Cat Balou. They crossed the timers just behind Flynn in 77.803 with four jumping faults.
|Place||Horse||Owner||Rider||Prize||R.1 Faults||JO Faults||JO Time|
|1||Catypso||Signe Ostby||Eric Navet||$19,650||–||–||40.144|
|2||Cruise||Indigo Farms, LLC||Chris Pratt||$14,410||–||4||RET|
|3||Parette||Lisa Carlsen||Lisa Carlsen||$8,515||1||–||–|
|4||Quite Quick||Irish Rose Stables||Delaney Flynn||$5,240||4||–||–|
|5||Cat Balou||Tamie Phillips||Tamie Phillips||$3,930||4||–||–|
|6||Quidam Blue||Juniper / Equitop Farms||Jill Henselwood||$3,275||4||–||–|
|7||Feline VIII||Enrique Gonzalez||Enrique Gonzalez||$2,620||4||–||–|
|8||Acita||Nayel Nassar||Nayel Nassar||$1,965||4||–||–|
|9||Edesa’s Basantos||Edesa Horse Promotions||Chris Pratt||$1,965||4||–||–|
|10||Terrific||John Anderson||John Anderson||$1,310||4||–||–|
|11||Ace of Hearts||Little Valley Farms||Mandy Porter||$1,310||8||–||–|
|12||Black Jack||Danielle Lambert||Guy Thomas||$1,310||8||–||–|