The fourth annual California Professional Horsemen’s Association (CPHA) West Coast Green Hunter 3′ & 3’3″ Incentive Championship welcomed nineteen entries onto the grass of the Pacific Field at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park at San Juan Capistrano. With $30,250 in prize money this year, John Bragg and Cantina impressed judges Bill Ellis and Katie Young to earn an 85 and a 88 for a total 173 and the win.
Also earning solid scores were the two horses that placed second and third in the Championship. Wow the Crowd ridden by Jamie Taylor and owned by Alexander Miller, finished second with two consistent rounds reflected in scores of 86 and 84 for a 170 total; while Gabriela Pattinson piloted Jaymie Ho’s At Last TW to a very close third place, leading the first round with an 87 and finishing the second round with an 82, for a total of 169.
With seven horses jumping in the 3′ section and twelve jumping 3’3″, the beautifully decorated course, designed by Jasen Shelley, included flowing distances as well as an in-and-out by the in-gate, followed by a bend away from the gate to a single.
Bragg was pleased with the five-year-old Cantina, whom he co-owns with Ann Thornton. “We bought him from a video last year and imported him in February,” he explained. “He was great today, he felt especially good in the second round. I’m very happy with him.”
He went on to thank those that make it possible. “We have quite a few horses competing here this week but I was able to focus on Cantina thanks to the Bridgeport team. I also want to thank Anne Thornton for partnering with me on Cantina. A great finish to his first year in the show ring!”
Second place finisher, the dark bay Wow the Crowd, known as “Poppy” in the barn, is a team player, as Taylor noted. “‘Poppy’ is a ten year old gelding. He does the Children’s Hunters with his owner. He is just a good dude, he always does his job and you can always rely on him. He’s a good mover and good jumper, he’s really pretty and just a good guy. He never really throws you a curveball.”
Young professional Gabriela Pattinson rides for Devon Gibson at Seahorse Riding Club. She piloted At Last TW to third. “Charlie is six years old, and he’s half Thoroughbred. He was bred at Three Wishes Farm, so he’s American bred as well. He’s been doing the Young Hunters all year but hasn’t gotten to show a ton just because he’s so young. He just turned six in June, so he actually did his second incentive class at this horse show and qualified.”
The pair led the class after the first round. “He was so on it. He’s got a huge step and that big Thoroughbred gallop so we got down the lines so easily,” Pattinson commented. “It’s so nice to show on the grass and let him have that big step, it’s an incredible feeling.”
The CPHA West Coast Green Hunter 3′ & 3’3″ Incentive Program offers an opportunity for green hunters to win prize money year-round in Incentive Stake classes, and also participate in the fall season Championships. Forty percent of the nomination fees collected add to the purse for the final class, plus 40% is awarded to the top three Leading Horses and Riders of the season. This year a total of $5,250 was awarded before the class commenced, with the results listed below.
Melissa Brandes, VP of Marketing for Blenheim EquiSports, noted that the CPHA Foundation has helped California Professionals for many years. “CPHA aims to put as much funding as possible towards the Foundation. This program serves as an incentive not only for Green Hunters but for the CPHA Members who benefit from the Foundation.”
1. 156 – Cantina – John Bragg – John Bragg & Anne Thornton – 85/88/173