Las Vegas, NV – November 16, 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 at 35.55. 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.”
Thursday’s jumper highlights include 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, in the South Point Arena. And the final class in the Priefert Pavillion will be the USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by THIS.