Hugh Mutch and Eminent. PC: Captured Moments
August 24, 2017 – Del Mar, CA – The Showpark Summer Classic’s $25,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix showcased some of the West’s fastest show jumpers. From a field of forty entries, nine riders on fourteen horses returned for a blazing jump-off. It was Hugh ‘Bert’ Mutch who emerged victorious riding David Murdoch’s Eminent. Second-to-last to jump-off, Mutch laid down a bold trip in 37.78 seconds to take the lead from Chris Pratt, who finished second aboard The Epic Group, LLC’s Zentro Sent. Mutch and Eminent are now two for two, as they also won the $30,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix last week at the Blenheim Summer Classic.
Chris Pratt and Zentro Sent. PC: Captured Moments
International course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio of Red Hook, NY, designed a stout 1.40m track for the class at the Del Mar Horse Park that began with a triple-bar, included three double combinations, and finished with a line by the gate. The jump-off offered an inside turn to the same outside line and numerous swooping turns to turn on the heat. Of the fourteen who jumped-off, five were double-clear. Though behind Mutch and Pratt on the clock, Jill Prieto aboard Carla Picasso’s Bens Beauty, Richard Spooner riding Rancho Corazon’s Quirado RC, and Tina Yates on ACE Equestrian’s Durango VDL picked up third through fifth, respectively.
“It was a much bigger field than last week. There were a lot of fast ones clear, but I had time to watch everybody a little bit,” Mutch explained. “It wasn’t a place where you could just burn. There was one line where people were leaving it out and doing five instead of six, but she’s so quick across the ground that I decided I could shave a little between one and two and take my time on that line. Then I let her do her thing to the last three, which is where she covers so much ground. She’s just so smart and always looking for the next jump.”
Mutch and the 12-year-old Oldenburg mare are on the road to qualify for the Markel Insurance Series Final, and plan to bring their all to the Las Vegas National. “That’s going to be a goal for both of us,” he said. “She’s a proven winner and, like I said last week, I’ve just got to try to stay out of her way.”
Hugh Mutch and Eminent with Lynley Reilly, Melissa Brandes and Josh Mullins. PC: Captured Moments
The Showpark Summer Classic’s Markel Insurance Grand Prix marked the eleventh of thirteen season qualifiers offered by Blenheim EquiSports. Stay tuned for Saturday’s $50,000 Grand Prix of Showpark. Saturday will also mark the beginning of the two-round CPHA Foundation Equitation Championship Final for 14 & under, 22 & over and 21 & under riders.
$25,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix
Place – Entry Number – Horse – Rider – Owner – Faults/Time
1. 563 – Eminent – Hugh Mutch – David Murdoch – 0/0/37.782
2. 544 – Zetro Sent – Chris Pratt – The Epic Group, LLC – 0/0/38.834
3. 185 – Bens Beauty – Jill Prieto – Carla Picasso – 0/0/40.711
4. 606 – Quirado RC – Richard Spooner – Rancho Corazon, LLC – 0/0/41.332
5. 538 – Durango VDL – Tina Yates – ACE Equestrian – 0/0/44.619
6. 483 – Clochard – Mavis Spencer – Neil Jones Equestrian, Inc. – 0/4/37.672
7. 678 – Arthos R – Richard Spooner – CNS Logistics – 0/4/38.594
8. 482 – Tabou Z – Mavis Spencer – Neil Jones Equestrian, Inc. – 0/4/41.879
9. 536 – Ceasar – Tina Yates – ACE Equestrian – 0/4/42.191
10. 485 – Chacco – Mavis Spencer – Neil Jones Equestrian, Inc. – 0/4/44.125
11. 531 – Cicomein VDL – Tina Yates – HKC Collection, LLC – 0/8/39.919
12. 551 – Diamond – Cristobal Collado – E2 Stables – 0/8/43.329