Guy Thomas, John French Win at Central California Horse Show Series

The second week of the Central California Horse Show Series weekend classes wrapped up with wins by John French and Small Adventure in the USHJA International Hunter Derby, and Guy Thomas on Jonkheer Z in the CWD Grand Prix of Paso Robles.

The CWD Grand Prix of Paso Robles Presented by Travel Paso

The course was created by internationally recognized course designer, Catsy Cruz, and took the riders and their horses around the entire Fairway Field Grand Prix on a course that tested speed, stamina and finesse. The course contained 16 efforts including three combinations and long, flowing bending lines.

Kristin Hardin and Nicole Teague’s Firestone S were first up with no jumping faults but crossed the wire with one time fault to kick off the class. Following Hardin, we saw 13 more horse and rider combinations that acquired faults throughout the trying course.

Guy Thomas and Jonkheer Z, owned by Emily Livermore, stepped into the ring and the competition rose to a new level. The still new team took over the course, clear and in a time of 82.94, putting the first clean ride on the board. It was a full circle moment as Thomas’ father, Butch Thomas, found Jonkheer Z as a seven year old for former owner, Karl Cook, and is now back in the Thomas’ care.

Guy Thomas and Jonkheer Z pc Alden Corrigan for West Palm Events JumperNationGuy Thomas and Jonkheer Z. PC: Alden Corrigan for West Palm Events

Following Guy, we saw defending champions from last week’s LA Saddlery Grand Prix, Lindsay Archer and Rhys Farms’ Camerone. The great partners had the last two fences down Saturday night. We also saw top riders Russell Morgan, Morgan Caplane, Mattias Ekeroth, Matias Fernandez among others who all left the arena with four or more faults.

In the end, Thomas and Jonkheer Z were the only team to go clean, leaving them with a well deserved blue ribbon and a happy grin. Hardin and Firestone S came in second with one time fault and Mattias Ekeroth and Dacarlos rounded out the top three as the fastest of the four-faulters.

“Butch has always loved the horse,” said Guy Thomas. “I’m as happy winning this Grand Prix for him (Butch) as I am for myself because he loves this horse so much. He (Jonkheer) is such a gentleman and a pet to have in the barn; I am very lucky to ride such a great horse!”
Results for the CWD Grand Prix of Paso Robles Presented by Travel Paso:
Place / Number / Horse / Owner / Rider / Round 1 Faults / Round 1 Time
1  229 Jonkheer Z Emily Livermore Guy Thomas 0 82.938
2  551 Firestone S Nicole Teague Kristin Hardin 1 84.12
3  632 Dacarlos Mattias Ekeroth LLC Mattias Ekeroth 4 80.625
4  274 All Shenanigans Morgan Caplane Morgan Caplane 4 81.129
5  565 Cyrus Blake Gardiner Blake Gardiner 4 81.448
6  234 Carone Sn Stables Llc Simon Nizri 4 81.751
7  580 For Fun Russell Morgan Russell Morgan 4 81.764
8  142 Milano Abigail Weese Mandy Porter 4 83.772
9  340 Nelson T Erika Cooper Erika Cooper 4 87.777
10  148 Little Gancho Moonlite Beach, LLC Marc Grock 5 84.472
11  568 Thumb’s Up Linda Starkman Joie Gatlin 5 84.859
12  158 Quincy Z John Gist Sarah Invicta Williams 7 86.017

USHJA International Hunter Derby Presented by Cross Creek Farm

It was a star-studded night in the Hunter Derby ring with competitors like John French, Hope Glynn, Peter Lombardo, and Hugh Mutch in the fray. The stately course was built meticulously by designer John Manning. It included impressive derby jumps such as a new wagon wheel, a large, high log option or a low natural option from Twin Rivers Horse Park.John French and Small Adventure JumperNationJohn French and Small Adventure. PC: Alden Corrigan for West Palm Events

After round one, John French, Hugh Mutch, Hope Glynn, Jamie Taylor, and Jessica Allan made up the top 12 placings to move onto the second “handy” round. The split rail heading back to the Lounge Tent followed by a long gallop to the final fence — the high and low natural options —  was very tricky, and left some top finishers in round one lower in the ranking after the handy round.

John French and Small Adventure, who went first in round one, came out on top after the handy round, with Hugh Mutch taking the second and third placings on Bunistar and Brunswick, respectively.

Of the top twelve horses, John French rode four, Hugh Mutch rode three, and Hope Glynn rode three, making it nearly impossible for other riders to break into the money slots.

USHJA International Hunter Derby Presented by Cross Creek Farm:
Place / Number / Horse / Owner / Rider
1  / 640 / Small Adventure / Iwasaki & Reilly / John French
2  / 474 / Bunistar / Naomi Rubin / Hugh Mutch
3  / 473 / Brunswick Airlie llc / Hugh Mutch
4  / 443 / Carson / Kathryn Taylor / Hope Glynn
5  / 161 / Corriendo Tau / Karen Trione / Hope Glynn
6  / 521 / Soldier / Meadow Farm / John French
7  / 641 / Small Gesture / Iwasaki & Reilly / John French
8  / 719 / Banderas / Ecole Lathrop / John French
9  / 216 / Patton / Marion Lowry / Jamie Taylor
10  / 275 / Fanciful / Jayme Jenkins / Jessica Allan
11  /469 / Agusta / Elena Canova / Hugh Mutch
12 / 165 / Full Circle / Karen Trione / Hope Glynn

Stay up to date on all West Palm Events and the 2016 show season by  visiting their website  and following them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Press Release Courtesy of Danielle Ballard for West Palms Events