Eighty-nine horses took the field Thursday morning, November 5 at Desert International Horse Park’s Grand Prix Stadium, but it was Nicky Galligan (IRL) and his own Javas Miss Jordan (Luidam x Alley Angel) who took the top spot in the $30,000 EquiFit Grand Prix with a jump-off time of 34.301 seconds. In a close second was Ashlee Bond (ISR) aboard her own Lazy (Van Schijndel’s Hickstead II x Teulada) with a time of 35.084 seconds and finishing the podium in third with a time of 37.533 seconds was Mariano Maggi (SWE) and O’Neill Show Jumping LLC’s Quintago VA (Quidam de Revel x N-Cassina).
Nicky Galligan on Javas Miss Jordan in their presentation ceremony. Photo by ESI.
Galligan and the 2009 Irish Sport Horse mare have been paired together since she was four. “That is my girl, my princess. […] She came to America with me so she is very special, she is a part of the family,” shared Galligan. “This is our first time over here and we thought we should do something a little different this fall. This is a nice start to this week with high hopes for Saturday. We kicked it off the right way.”
Out of the eighty-nine starters, eight pairs returned for the jump-off. Bond was the first rider to test the jump-off, designed by Manuel Esparza (MEX), and kept her lead until the very last rider: Galligan. “I think the course designer did a fantastic job. It was a huge field of horses and I think he got it spot on with the amount of clears he had; not too difficult but enough subtle questions here and there. Very clever,” noted Galligan.
With his sights set on the $250,000 STX Vans Grand Prix on Saturday, Galligan is enjoying his successful venture West: “This is our first trip out west. The people and hospitality have been incredible. […] It has been beautiful and the horses have loved the facility. The footing is amazing. That is a really huge bonus. The management are second to none; to have them care and listen and actually put the sport and the horses first has been incredible.”
About the Desert International Horse Park
With nearly 1.3 million square feet of competition and riding space, the Desert International Horse Park is one of the largest equestrian facilities in North America. Offering multiple weeks of world-class equestrian competition from October through March, the facility is a destination location for thousands of equestrians, their horses, family and friends for several months annually. Competitors from all over the world travel to Thermal, CA to not only compete but to enjoy everything the desert has to offer.
All photos by ESI.