Braun Celebrates Return to CHP With Triumph in $60,000 Griffis Residential Grand Prix

Derek Braun and Lacrolus

Parker, CO – July 10, 2018 – Colorado’s premier competitive equestrian venue, The Colorado Horse Park (CHP), hosted the fifth week of the annual Summer in the Rockies (SIR) series from July 4 through July 8. The facility welcomed exhibitors from across the nation and boasted a roster that included some of the sport’s most decorated and well-known athletes.

Exhibitor numbers rose, as did spectator’s, for the prized Saturday-night Grand Prix that took place on July 7. The $60,000 Griffis Residential Grand Prix welcomed 30 horse-and-rider pairs. Derek Braun of Lexington, KY, topped the leader board after his dash through the jump-off timers in 44.867 seconds aboard mount, Lacarolus. The jump-off saw five entries return and Pengrove, California’s Amanda Flint’s double-clear rides aboard her own Baltimore, in 48.567 seconds, earned her the second place finish. Shawn Casady of Harriman, TN, rode for Highpoint Farm and collected third place with the grey stallion, Durango VDL, obtained by a four-fault jump-off of 43.891 seconds.

Amanda Flint and Baltimore

Course designer, Ivan Tagle, set the track for the spotlight jumper class. “The course was a really nice course. It had a really nice flow,” said Braun. “When I walked it I thought it was quite big for this venue. I thought there wouldn’t be more than four clear.”

Braun and the fifteen-year-old gelding, Lacarolus, have been partnered together for almost ten years and it is apparent that success is derived from their bond and experience together. Braun spoke of the Split Rock Farm-owned entry, “I’ve had him since he was six. He’s been the best top horse I’ve ever had. He’s so good and so talented. He’s probably had over one hundred results in the past six or seven years. He’s consistent. Every round he always tries to jump clear.”

Shawn Casady and Durango VDL

Braun continued, “He’s always been smart and careful, but I think he’s actually getting more sensitive with age. He’s become more clever, reactive and careful, if that’s possible. He’s just very consistent and I’m lucky that he’s still going.”

Braun and Split Rock Farm will remain at CHP for the conclusion of the series. “I came here last year, and honestly, I really like this show facility and tour. Everybody knows that I’m an advocate of good shows and I’m very outspoken about bad ones. I think that they do a great job here and that’s why I came back. The little things are here, the footing and good stabling. Marion (Maybank, CHP Director of Operations and CIR Competition Manager) does a good job managing. All of the classes have a nice number in them and they have great prize money. CHP is now my place to go for a mid-summer tour.”

Derek Braun and Lacrolus in their awards presentation ceremony with Griffis Residential Team of Steve Gioia, Rachel Engler, Jamie Pichot, Ian Griffis, Monique Wasson, and Robyn Nisbet.

The SIR hunter/jumper series will continue with SIR VI on July 11. The $80,000 Front Range Kubota Grand prix will be held at 5:00 p.m. MST on Saturday, July 14.

Jumper Highlights

The $20,000 Transwest Truck Trailer RV Welcome Stake was held on Thursday, July 5. Celso Ariani of Wellington, FL, once again led a SIR victory gallop, this time aboard Ricardo Romero’s J-Eclipse.

“J-Eclipse is my most inexperienced horse of the group, but she has all of the quality,” said Ariani. “She has a big heart for a little mare. I always knew she was going to be a winner. She already won two classes in Europe and now she’s in good form here, as well. I’m very happy.”

Ariani and J-Eclipse were one of the class’ six double-clear rides, and they clinched the win with a jump-off time of 34.373 seconds.

Celso Ariani and J Eclipse

“The course was very nice,” Ariani summarized. “I think the group this week is a little stronger. That’s why we had more clears than last week. I just tried to run and tried to not waste time.”

Finishing second out of 29 entries was Carly Anthony of Redmond, WA, and Neil Jones Equestrian’s Clochard with a jump-off time of 34.816 seconds. Local competitor, Susan Griffis of Larkspur, CO, rode Palmer Divide Ranch’s Indoktro K Van ‘T Kattenheye through the timers in 36.296 seconds for third.

Celso Ariani and J Eclipse in their awards presentation ceremony with Katey Gibson of Transwest Truck Trailer and RV.

The $20,000 Voltaire U-25 Classic was determined by results in the $60,000 Griffis Residential Grand Prix. A total of six horse and rider teams were considered and impressively, Shawn Casady accomplished a clean-sweep of the winner’s podium. Durango VDL was awarded the blue ribbon for his finish in the jump-off. HKC Collection’s entries Cicomein VDL and Dakar VDL turned in first-round times of 79.175 seconds for second and 86.352 seconds for third, respectively.

Shawn Casady and Durango VDL in their awards presentation ceremony with Brittany Perry and Katie Dalsimer of Voltaire Design.

The $2,000 Holiday Inn/Trapper’s Chop House Low Children’s Jumper Classic awarded top honors to Grace Griffin of Wayzata, MN, and her Latte after the class’ only clear first-round and a jump-off time of 27.421 seconds. Charlie Kemper of Kansas City, MO, rode Tenbrooks, owned by Katherine Robertson, through the course in 62.756 seconds for the red ribbon. Third place honors were accepted by Mae Foss of Waconia, MN, aboard her own HH Lloyd Z after a 68.507 second course.

The $2,000 Horseware Ireland Low Adult Jumper Classic saw the winning ride by Shelby Doria of Overland Park, KS, and Chief Investment’s Italia, who crossed the timers in 27.682 seconds. Andre was ridden by owner, Jennifer Biezychudek of Lakewood, CO, and finished second with a jump-off time of 30.043 seconds. Jenna Hanson of Denver, CO, joined the podium in third place, for her 32.11 second ride with her own Joske Van De Knuffel.

Leah Hoffman of Bonner Springs, KS, and her entry Ever After rode to victory in 27.984 seconds during the $2,000 Front Range Kubota Modified Child/Adult Jumper Classic. Tate Drees of Wellsville, KS, piloted a 28.589 second jump-off aboard BB Delta, owned by McDowell Farms, for second place. Wendy Thompson saw her entry, Chocolate Moose, gallop through the timers in 28.829 seconds with Arden Moad of Piedmont, OK, for third.

The $4,000 Voltaire Design Modified Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic congratulated Elizabeth Porath of Charlotte, NC, for her 36.579 second winning-ride on Waomi, owned by Amalaya Investments. Kariana Knezevich of Katy, TX, rode Fiach Byrne’s Daphnie through the timers in 36.818 seconds for second-place. Bucyrus, Kansas’ Kara Kahn piloted her own Sportsfield Eterina through the jump-off in 37.313 seconds for third.

Kiley McCullough of San Tan Valley, AZ, and her Collin were named victors after a 40.058 second jump-off in the $4,000 Osphos NAL/WIHS Children’s Jumper Classic. Duppie Van De, owned by Penny Crayne, raced through the timers in 40.746 seconds with Dallas, Texas’ Willow Kerr for secondary honors. Rebecca Wills of Memphis, TN, took home third place with a 41.526 second finish aboard Kravitz E, owned by Maarten Huygens.

Cynthia Moore-West of Sedalia, CO, topped the leaderboard in the $4,000 Osphos NAL/WIHS Adult Jumper Classic after piloting her Zalig MG through the jump-off in in 39.266 seconds. Jumping-off in 40.145 seconds, Elizabeth Porath rode her own Tequila Girl to second place. Lakewood, Colorado’s Nicole Lyvere joined the podium with a 42.187 ride aboard Ebellenosa for third place.

The $5,000 Horseware Ireland NAL Low Junior/Amateur Classic saw twenty trips and awarded top honors to Mackenzie Carreras of Chandler, AZ, and her Contessa K who jumped-off in 36.812 seconds. Beth Bowlen of Castle Rock, CO, galloped her Cleo Grando through the timers in 38.171 seconds for the red ribbon. Jennifer Lanoha of Omaha, NE, rode for yellow, guiding Karen Ensminger’s Cricket through the jump-off in 34.512 seconds.

After a 35.673 second jump-off Omaha, Nebraska’s Brooke Cudmore and Blair Cudmore’s Southern Rose led the field in the $5,000 Medium Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic. Nicole Peterson, of Plano, TX, earned second-place aboard her Diokaldo who raced through the timers in 36.074 seconds. Owner/rider, Caitlin Epperson of Houston, TX, and Avatar 18 finished their first-round course in 85.945 seconds for third.

Hunter Highlights

The $100 Stirrup Hunter Classic awarded champion honors to Harley Hott of Cumming, IA, and Hillcrest Lovebug, owned by Maffitt Lake Farms. Zumba was piloted by owner, Lily Stakes of New River, AZ, to reserve honors.

The $1,000 Marshall & Sterling NAL/WIHS Children’s Hunter Classic saw the winning round by Josh Swisher of Edmond, OK, and his entry Pikk Dynamic HU. Olivia Contillo of Parker, CO, earned reserve honors atop her entry The Beat Goes On.

Judges awarded the blue ribbon to Best Bet and owner Haley Kastrup of Blaire, NE, in the $1,000 Marshall & Sterling NAL/WIHS Adult Hunter Classic. Reserve honors were assigned to Allison Wegmann of Saint Rose, LA, and her entry Versailles.

All eyes were on champion, Josh Swisher, during his winning ride in the $1,000 Pony Hunter Classic aboard his own Saphira. Lucy Butler of Castle Rock, CO, rode Molly Rinedollar’s Helicon Just Notice to reserve.

The $100 Pre-Children’s Hunter Classic named Jennifer Antonacci of Flower Mound, TX, champion, atop her own entry, Deniro. Castle Rock, Colorado’s Nicole Ellison expertly piloted her Baltimore 63 for reserve honors.

The $100 Pre-Adult Hunter Classic awarded top honors to Chelsea Magness of Englewood, CO, and her own Sir Rio. Karen Ensminger of Omaha, NE, rode for One Paint Farm and earned reserve aboard Tempting.

Owner/rider Mallory Hensley of Yukon, OK, clinched the win in the $100 Platinum Performance Modified Adult Hunter Classic aboard Castello. Noble Spirit, owned by Claire Drewes, earned reserve champion under the expert guidance of Annie Goss of Niwot, CO.

The $100 Platinum Performance Modified Children’s Hunter Classic congratulated Rachael Harrower of Jackson, WY, for her winning-ride aboard King Lion Heart, owned by Lynne Garnett. Sydney Murdoch of Frisco, TX, earned reserve placement for her ride atop her Ginuwine.

Kaitlin Campbell of San Marcos, CA, added a blue ribbon to her collection after her ride aboard Karen Danieli’s Muffin in the $1,000 Platinum Performance Modified Children’s Hunter Classic. James Hensen traveled from Argyle, TX, to earn reserve champion for his ride on Suzette Jolley’s Bijou SSH.

The $1,000 CWD Junior Hunter 3’3″/3’6″ Classic saw eighteen trips and sent Alexis Sokolov and her Harvard Grad to the top of the class. Kabaltic, owned and ridden by Grace McReynolds of Colorado Springs, CO, was awarded reserve champion.

Nicole Lyvere of Lakewood, CO, was the ultimate victor in the $1,000 Amateur Owner Hunter 3’3″/3’6″ Classic. Lyvere rode her entries, All In and Vaillero, to champion and reserve.

Two weeks remain in the region’s largest hunter/jumper series. Join CHP for the final weeks of competition as the prize money raises and the competition stiffens. Outstanding in the hunter schedule are the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby (SIR VI) and $25,000 USHJA International Derby (SIR VII). Jumper highlights will include weekly $20,000 Welcome Stakes and Grand Prix classes boasting $80,000 and $100,000 purses. SIR VI will commence on July 11 and continue through July 15. The $80,000 Front Range Kubota Grand prix will be held at 5:00 p.m. MST on Saturday, July 14.

For more information on The Colorado Horse Park (CHP) please visit

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