Kristin Hardin and Bert Win Grand Prix at Huntington Beach Surf Classic

Hungtington Beach, CA — July 9, 2016 — The Huntington Beach Surf Classic’s special classes and weekend activities provided spectators and exhibitors a fun weekend of events and competition in the beautiful beachside city.

Festivities for a Cause

Saturday afternoon began with the GGT-Footing Grand Prix Pre-Party Sponsored by Windsong Farm benefiting Horse Nation Foundation. The event is a precursor to Horse Nation Foundation’s Annual Gala at the Huntington Beach Summer Classic, August 13, 2017. Tickets are selling out quickly, buy yours by clicking here!

The Foundation is a nonprofit program that pairs rescued horses with young people who are working on life-enriching lessons including gang and bullying avoidance, effective communication and building strong morals and values. The horses in this program have suffered abuse and neglect, and are receiving a second chance at life with kindness and proper care.

The youngsters who interact with them are working toward building a strong emotional foundation in order to grow into confident, productive individuals. This innovative educational program helps the kids gain self-esteem and life skills through positive action and horsemanship skills.

Leadline Wins at Winning

The show moved into the arena to celebrate 11 lead line riders participating in the event, arguably the most difficult class of the week to judge. Guest judge and course designer Paul Jewell was stumped and awarded blues and special prizes to all the adorable kids and their horses!

leadline class
The most difficult class to judge: Leadline. PC: Captured Moment Photography for West Palms Events

Winning Style – Literally

Style of Riding Awards are always a pleasure for the judges to award to the riders who showed the best style and way of going consistently throughout the week. This week, Hailey Link was awarded the Junior Rider Style of Riding Award and Haley Webster earned the Amateur Rider Style of Riding Award.

Life’s a Beach

“What I love about the Huntington Beach Horse Show Series is that after the show you have the opportunity to go down to the ocean and enjoy the many restaurants and adorable shops that are by the beach,” Said Cynthia Brewster-Keating, the GGT Footing Sales Team National Account Manager, who was on hand for the show from South Carolina. “I saw many riders in their britches and boots after the show downtown enjoying the great atmosphere. Due to its coastal location, the weather is typically cooler and the horses and exhibitors seems to really enjoy the break from the normal summer hot weather.

“GGT-Footing was proud to sponsor tonight’s Grand Prix and we have are excited to continue working with Dale Harvey and his West Palms Events team. We hope all exhibitors a wonderful time and hope that the spectators enjoyed tonight’s performance.”

The GGT-Footing Grand Prix Recap

The field of riders tackled Paul Jewell’s course in the first round, which included one triple combination and a double combination with a triple bar out of a roll back turn. With six advancing into the jump-off, they faced eight obstacles, including one double combination. Fence eight proved to be the most challenging in the jump off for the riders and their mounts, with it coming down for three of the riders.
Kristin Hardin takes first place on Bert
Kristin Hardin takes first place on Bert and third on Firestone S in the GGT-Footing Grand Prix
Photo by Captured Moment Photography for West Palms Events

Kristin Hardin and Bert led the way in the six horse jump off, leaving the arena with a clean round and a scorching time of 40.056. The next three riders each had faults, leaving Hardin and Bert in the lead with only two to go. Laura Ware and Ursina du Perchet marched into the arena and put up a clean round in a pace just off the lead with 41.214 to move into second.

Hardin became her own best competition as the last to enter the ring and play potential spoiler to the infamous Bert’s pace setting jump-off. Firestone S has a bobble at fence 8 to secure the win for Bert, but finished as the fastest of the four-faulters to secure third place behind Ware and Ursina du Perchet. Kristin Hardin and Bert

Kristin Hardin and Bert take the win in the GGT-Footing Grand Prix Shown from left: Taylor Spooner of WPEM, Dean Hendrickson for GGT-Footing, Cynthia Brewster-Keating of GGT- Footing, and Kristin Hardin on Bert. PC: Captured Moment Photography for West Palms Events

“Tonight’s class was great,” said Hardin. “The course designer did an expert job building in a tight area. It was challenging, but fair. The jump off was fun, a great test that took a careful horse. I was thrilled with how my two horses jumped, they were fresh with the atmosphere and really tried. I love winning, but more importantly leaving a show with better horses than I came with.”

USHJA National Hunter Derby Recap

Friday night kicked off the weekend with the USHJA National Hunter Derby, which included top riders such as Peter Lombardo, Jamie Taylor and a ring switch for Kristin Hardin. The flowing course by Paul Jewell included four high options in both the first and handy round and a few snug inside turns in the handy round that set riders’ scores apart.Peter Lombardo and Tache Rouge Jumper Nation
Peter Lombardo and Tache Rouge win the USHJA National Hunter Derby
Photo by Captured Moment Photography by West Palms Events

Lombardo and Janie Andrew’s Tache Rouge took some crowd-thrilling but ultimately tidy risks and came out on top with an overall score of 181.5. Second place went to Jamie Taylor aboard Marion Lowry’s Patton with an overall score of 178, and Taylor also managed to snag the last slot on the proverbial podium with Hunter Samlaska’s Future Romance with a score of 175.5.

“I thought the derby was really fun,” said winner Peter Lombardo. “I had students in it too, so we got ready together and we all made it into the second round so it was very fun. It’s nice to be near the beach, great places to go for dinner [in Huntington].”Jamie Taylor and Patton
Jamie Taylor and Patton earn second in the USHJA National Hunter Derby. PC: Captured Moment Photography for West Palms Events

The Huntington Beach Class returns today with Classic Sunday, and will also reprise the event August 11-14. Entries are due Monday July 11, and entry blanks and prize lists are available here.


This is an edited press release from West Palm Events. Lorraine Jackson contributed to this story.