For the second year in a row, Nick Gegen led the victory gallop in Saturday’s feature event at the Showpark Summer Classic. Aboard Arc De Triomphe owned by Neaulani Farms, Gegen topped a field of twenty-one entries on another perfect #WestCoastShowcation day in beautiful Del Mar, California. Keri Potter and Jiminy Cricket, winners of the Markel Insurance Jumper Classic earlier in the week, finished a fraction of a second slower to earn second place honors.
Nick Gegen and Arc De Triomphe. Photo by Captured Moment Photography
Olympic course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA) set a flowing track, that even though was quite technical, allowed the group to successfully step up to the 1.50m level.
Eight horse/rider pairs returned for the jump-off including Nicole Haunert who rode all three of her mounts clear in the first round. First to go, she set the time to beat in the second round, going double clear on Jamaico Drum Van de Breepoel with a careful time of 47.795. Keri Potter and Jiminy Cricket followed, upping the ante with a quick 44.959. Watching Potter from the in-gate, Gegen knew he would have to go for it if he was going to catch Potter. He did just that, finishing in 44.085.
With the pressure on, each of the final five riders pressed for time. However, Jorge’s shortened course demanded respect and would not surrender another fault-free round.
Nick Gegen aboard Arc De Triomphe and the team from Neaulani Farms with Robert Ridland and Melissa Brandes of Blenheim EquiSports. Photo by Captured Moment Photography
This is the second grand prix win for Nick Gegen and Arc De Triomphe this year. The pair were also victorious in the $50,000 Spring Classic III Grand Prix presented by Equ Lifestyle Boutique .
In his post-win interview, Gegen shared, “Arc De Triomphe is a wonderful horse. I showed here a couple of weeks ago in FEI shows and I didn’t feel like I rode the horse very well. We went home and changed a few things to get him and I back on the same page. He’s a horse with so much power and so much experience, I feel really lucky to ride a horse like that. If it continues on this way we’ll probably jump some FEI classes in the fall.”