Nicole Haunert Scores Top Two In Markel Insurance Grand Prix at Blenheim

An enthusiastic crowd enjoyed a beautiful Southern California afternoon cheering on the nineteen entries in the $25,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix. With five going clear and advancing to the jump-off, Nicole Haunert and Concolue, owned by Cherokee Show Horses Inc., topped the field. Making the day extra special, she also placed second aboard Jamaico Drum van de Breepoel, owned by NJK Show Jumpers, Inc.

Photo by McCool Photography

The course was designed by Olaf Petersen Jr. of Germany, who earlier in the week was selected to be the course designer at the upcoming FEI World Cup™ Jumping Finals Las Vegas in April 2020. For this week, Petersen built the 1.45m track which consisted of sixteen jumping efforts, including a triple combination oxer/vertical/vertical towards the in-gate, requiring horses to be extra careful between jumps seven and eight. Petersen congratulated Blenheim EquiSports on the excellent footing and beautiful jumps including the iconic “California Wall” with the grizzly bear cut-out.

The first to ride in the jump-off was Zume Gallaher and Certain VD Begijnakker who set a solid pace but was unable to go clear, pulling a single rail on fence number four. Gallaher was followed by Haunert on Concolue, who laid down a fault-free time of 43.138 seconds, ultimately the winning ride.

Two rides later, it looked like Lindsay Ramar-Costigan might steal the lead with a very quick pace aboard Mr. Harrison, however spectators groaned as the last fence fell.

Nicole Haunert and Concolue with Markel representative Brandon Seger, LSI representative Josh Mullins and Melissa Brandes of Blenheim EquiSports. Photo by McCool Photography

Knowing she had the win, Haunert on Jamaico Drum van de Breepoel rode a careful, fault-free round. She later explained that her horse had thrown a shoe during the triple combination in the previous round and her team decided that their objective was to give him a nice, confidence builder and simply focus on going clean.

$25,000 Markel Insurance 1.45M Grand Prix
Place – Entry Number – Horse – Rider – Owner – Faults/Time

1. 394 – Concolue – Nicole Haunert – Cherokee Show Horses Inc. – 0/0/43.138

2. 399 – Jamaico Drum van de Breepoel – Nicole Haunert – NJK Show Jumpers, Inc. – 0/0/49.009

3. 108 – Mr Harrison – Lindsay Ramar-Costigan – Lindsay Ramar-Costigan – 0/4/41.404

4. 390 – Certain VD Begijnakker – Zume Gallaher – Zume Gallaher – 0/4/46.566

5. 453 – Bound To Be – Tracey Wade – Big Bay City LLC -0/4/57.461

6. 496 – Killosery Kuidam – Julia Nagler- Julia Nagler – 4/80.115

7. 615 – Etalon – Kyle King – Christine Maclean – 4/80.655

8. 351 – Dexceminka – Gabriela Pattinson – Danielle Lean – 4/82.625

9. 467- Venice BF – Daniel Zilla – Branscomb Farm LLC – 4/84.295

10. 170 – Duc de Rhoan – Michelle Kerivan – Michelle Kerivan – 4/87.871

11. 112 – Edesa’s Dylan – Mariano Alario – Edesa Horse Promotion Inc. – 4/86.121

12. 642 – Classini – Bjorn Ikast – BBB Show Jumpers LLC – 8/82.802