Michelle Parker Survives Insanely Close Jump-Off to Win $30K Grand Prix at Blenheim Fall Tournament

Michelle Parker and Vancouver 45. PC: Alissa King/JN

Michelle Parker and Vancouver 45 needed a little bit of luck to make the time and keep the poles in place during the final showdown for the $30,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix, and luck is just what they got. A tricky turn to the combination meant she was able to trip the timer just .097 seconds ahead of Tina Yates and Caesar to clinch victory at Blenheim Sunday afternoon.

Rio course designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil put riders through a crucible: 16 huge efforts along the way, with a tricky double (12 ab) at the end that required tremendous forward striding to a final steady oxer. Four riders survived the course only to fall victim to the time.

Michelle Parker and Vancouver 45. PC: Alissa King/JN

Michelle admits she nearly tripped up in the 12ab double like many other riders, trying hard to stay in the time.

“When I preloaded, I went over by that jump [12a] instead of where I was planning to go, so I actually checked it out. That might have helped,” she explained. “But the time was tight so I still had to make a short turn to it. I actually touched it, so I was a little bit lucky.”

Having the advantage of going after Tina in the jump-off, Michelle put her trust in Vancouver to cut the corners and still get it done in the air.

Michelle Parker and Vancouver 45. PC: Alissa King/JN

“Tina was very fast, so I just went in and pretty much tried to shave as much time as I could at every turn.”

Tina and Caesar had a textbook day that any rider would be lucky to have, but the fractions of a second difference were just how the cookie crumbled.

Tina Yates and Caesar. PC: Alissa King/JN

In addition to qualifying for the Las Vegas final in November, Michelle and Vancouver 45 take home the prize money, a pair of Roeckl Gloves, a SmartPak Cooler and an engraved pewter plate.

Third place went to Kenneth Vinther aboard Colicchio, a holsteiner stallion (Casall x Lalique II) based right in San Juan Capistrano.

Colicchio Jump-Off

Colicchio's Jump-Off in the $30,000 Markell GP!

Posted by Colicchio on Monday, September 18, 2017

There will be more action from Blenheim this week as they wrap up the California circuit. This week’s classes in San Juan Capistrano include another $30,000 Grand Prix, the USEF and USHJA talent search and medal finals, the Young Jumper Championships, and the NAL West Coast Finals.

Keep it locked on JN for more from Blenheim, and go jumping!

$30,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix
Place – Entry Number – Horse – Rider – Owner – Faults/Time
1. 297 – Vancouver 45 – Michelle Parker – Cross Creek Farms, Inc. – 0/0/33.906
2. 683 – Ceasar – Tina Yates – ACE Equestrian – 0/0/34.003
3. 454 – Colicchio – Kenneth Vinther – Kenneth Vinther – 0/0/35.387
4. 864 – Durango VDL – Tina Yates – ACE Equestrian – 0/0/37.104
5. 721 – Quantador 3 – Carlos Hank, Jr. – Carlos Hank, Jr. – 1/81.242
6. 350 – Calypso VD Zuuthoeve – Laura Hite – Laura Hite – 2/82.021
7. 268 – Cavalos – Lisa McCluskey – Jillian Michaels – 2/82.725
8. 206 – Little Gancho – Marc Grock – Moonlite Beach, LLC – 3/83.809
9. 349 – Damian – Chandler Meadows – Chandler Meadows – 4/80.857
10. 340 – Venice BF – Daniel Zilla – Branscomb Farms, LLC – 5/81.628
11. 551 – Carnutelabryere – Chris Pratt – Shelly Gambardella – 5/81.653
12. 817 – Ircos IV – Everardo Hegewisch – Everardo Hegewisch – 6/82.510