Back for day two, Nilforushan Equisport Events‘ Temecula Valley National Horse Show II at Galway Downs featured its largest prize money class of the week so far in the form of the $30,000 Voltaire1.40 – 1.45m Speed Classic. A herd of competitors took to the Audi Grand Prix Arena for a shot at the lion’s share of the pot, with Mandy Porter and WT Ca Pow! ultimately emerging victorious after racing to the speediest clean trip of the class.
First in the ring, Lane Clarke in the irons aboard McLord’s T.K.O., owned by Mickey Hayden, set the pace with a clear ride in a swift 68.349 seconds, but were quickly overtaken two trips later by Michelle Parker and Cross Creek Farm, Inc.’s Cupilor with a breakneck time of 65.728 seconds.
Fellow competitors knew they had a challenge ahead of them with the dynamic pair of Parker and Cupilor on top to kickoff the class. Together the two have ridden to multiple grand prix victories already this year, one of them being the $40,000 Snapbac National Grand Prix held during the first week of the Temecula Valley National Horse Show in April.
Chasing the swift leaders, Kenneth Vinther and his own Colicchio looked to be on track to leapfrog Parker and the chestnut gelding for the top spot, but had to settle for the current reserve spot when the timers flashed a final time of 66.427, less than a second too slow. Halfway through the class, Parker and Cupilor’s time still stood as the time to beat, but Porter and WT Ca Pow!, owned by Wild Turkey Farm, LLC, sped over the 13-effort track in brisk fashion, tripping the timers in 65.234 seconds to steal the lead.
“This horse is actually really special to me and all of us at our barn,” said Porter. “He’s a 9-year-old. He had last year off because of an injury, so he’s just coming back and really coming back strong. I think the reason that he’s so special is that I rode his father and mother also, so the fact that Wild Turkey Farm bred him and he’s come to where he is, it’s really special and makes it that much more fun.”
The remaining half of the pack would try to chase them down, but none would be successful. Only Guy Thomas and Jonkheer Z would prove to be close contenders with a time of 64.871 seconds, but unfortunately clipped two rails to accrue 8 faults.
Over the entirety of the class, course designer Frédéric Cottier’s (FRA) track, full of sweeping turns, proved aptly challenging for the field of athletes, with 7 total pairs turning in fault-free rounds. Fence six, the liverpool oxer, manifested as the bogey fence of the afternoon, with its top rail falling numerous times midway through the course.
Porter felt as if the course design was challenging, yet friendly. “I really liked it. There were a couple options in there that I thought were slight risks but not crazy, and it was a good chance for a horse like this to try it out and not do anything that would be scary or jeopardizing to him. It’s furthering his education.”
Porter and WT Ca Pow! were ultimately awarded the top spot as the big winners of the afternoon, with Parker and Cupilor retaining second position, followed by Vinther and Colicchio in third place overall.
Place / Rider / Horse / Owner / Faults / Time
1. Mandy Porter / WT Ca Pow! / Wild Turkey Farm, LLC / 0 / 65.234
2. Michelle Parker / Cupilor / Cross Creek Farm, Inc. / 0 / 65.728
3. Kenneth Vinther / Colicchio / Kenneth Vinther / 0 / 66.427
4. Shawn Casady / Cicomein / HKC Collection, LLC / 0 / 67.094
5. Russell Morgan / Jeronimo Bisschop / Russell Morgan / 0 / 67.539
6. Lane Clarke / McLord’s T.K.O. / Mickey Hayden / 0 / 68.349
7. Shawn Casady / Campitello 5 / High Point Farm, LLC / 0 / 72.923
8. John Pearce / Firestone S / Nicole Teague / 4 / 68.007