Temecula, Calif. – May 15, 2019 – Show jumpers returned to Galway Downs on Wednesday for the second of four weeks of the Temecula Valley National Horse Show, and Olympic champion Will Simpson proved to be the day’s big winner with his victory aboard Whoop De Doo in the $5,000 1.35m Welcome Stake, sponsored by CWD. Simpson and Coxe Horses, LLC’s Whoop De Doo bested a talented field to edge out the win just tenths of a second ahead of the reserve pair, adding to a growing list of accolades for the duo at the Nilforushan Equisport Events’ horse shows.
The final class of the day in the Audi Grand Prix Arena, the $5,000 CWD 1.35m Welcome Stake attracted 25 eager combinations each vying for the top prize. To claim the champion honors, contenders would have to tackle the track created by master course designer Alan Wade (IRL), who was recently the head designer for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina. Over the entirety of the Wednesday’s class, ten horse-and-rider pairs ultimately qualified for the immediate jump-off, having completed clean and clear first trips.
One of the early pathfinders, Lindsay Archer and Rhys Farms’ Jarpur took the initial lead thanks to their time of 29.831 seconds, but their time at the head of the leaderboard was short-lived as Simpson and Whoop De Doo soon took to the ring as fourteenth in the order, slicing across the abridged course in 29.088 seconds to eclipse the original leaders. A series of challengers gave their best efforts to overthrow Simpson, but none were able to do so, with only Dereusa S, ridden by Femke Courchaine and owned by John Van Den Bosch, coming close after leaving all the fences intact over the short course in a tight 29.342 seconds.
Simpson’s win in the Welcome Stake is his second at a Temecula Valley National Horse Show week, having championed the $5,000 Moon Valley Nursery 1.35m Welcome Stake during the third and final week of the debut circuit in 2018. The California-based rider and trainer navigated two horses to a top three finish in the class, claiming the lead aboard Attention ET Z and securing third place on Wednesday’s victor, Whoop De Doo. That same week, the 8-year-old bay mare proved her footspeed with a sixth place finish in the $10,000 Shires 1.35m Speed Classic. Simpson continued to rack up top results with the skilled horse, navigating to second place honors in the $40,000 KindredBio National Grand Prix less than half of a second behind the winners, Mandy Porter and Milano, during the Temecula Valley National Premier week in April of this year.
Courchaine and Dereusa S concluded the class in the runner-up spot with their time of 29.342 seconds, followed by Archer in third and fourth positions aboard Jarpur and Enita with final jump-off times of 29.831 seconds and 31.375 seconds, respectively.
The Temecula Valley National Horse Show will return with more jumper action Thursday, with the $20,000 1.40m – 1.45m Speed Classic and $7,500 Interactive Mortgage 10 and Under Futurity Classic taking centerstage. The highlight event of the week, the $40,000 National Grand Prix, will take place Saturday afternoon, followed by a series of jumper classic Sunday to round out the week.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Will Simpson – $5,000 CWD 1.35m Welcome Stake Winner
On his horse:
“Whoop De Doo is a daughter of Mr. Whoopy, who is one of the scopiest horses I have ever seen. I have a wonderful owner in Coxe Horses, LLC, and we discussed this year about what do to because she is only eight years old. We decided that Mr. Whoopy had a wonderful career and he started grand prix classes at eight, so the lineage lends itself to being able to handle it at an early age, and she is coming out strong. This was one of my favorite rides I had ever had on her or almost any horse. The ride, the footing and the horse just responded beautifully. We had a little bit of a tough show last week, but I was really thrilled with her performance today and I have high hopes for her in the near future. I have had her for two years, and she was a little bit of a problem child as a 6-year-old, which I kinda like that. I want that fire, and she’s got it and now you can really feel her start to realize the game. She doesn’t like to do gymnastics and schooling, she just likes to get into the ring and jump – that is her personality.”
On his plan for the class:
“The first round was just about going around clear and working on her rideability, and I thought she responded well today – the ride was right where I wanted, she came back and went forward with no objections. In the jump-off, I watched Lindsey [Archer] go so I knew she was in the lead, and I thought I could leave a stride out to the last two jumps, and then she was really fast to the second and third jump. With a young horse, I have to teach her a little to go fast but also preserve a little as we have two more classes this week and the rest of the year to go. I didn’t want to take too much out of the tank, but also keep it fast enough that she stays entertained.”
On the course:
“The courses have been fantastic all day. As a rider I have had quite a few rides all day and to feel like they are different courses yet similar lines, it was intriguing all day to see all the young horses, the middle horses and then the grand prix horses go. As a horseman I was very entertained all day.”
On his plans for the rest of the series:
“I am staying all three weeks! It’s great to support a local show that has this type of quality. When you have a venue like this in your own backyard basically, that has absolutely top-notch footing, course designers and atmosphere, you have to support it. I am thrilled to be here.”
$5,000 CWD 1.35m Welcome Stake
Place / Horse / Rider / R1 Faults / R1 Time / R2 Faults / R2 Time
1. Whoop De Doo / Will Simpson / 0 / 64.655 / 0 / 29.088
2. Dereusa S / Femke Courchaine / 0 / 62.029 / 0 / 29.342
3. Jarpur / Lindsay Archer / 0 / 65.560 / 0 / 29.831
4. Enita / Lindsay Archer / 0 / 68.336 / 0 / 31.375
5. The Gladiator / Tiffany Sullivan / 0 / 66.720 / 0 / 31.806
6. Elicole / Jason Mcardle / 0 / 67.958 / 4 / 30.707
7. Christian Grey / Tiffany Sullivan / 0 / 66.361 / 4 / 30.945
8. Ilan / Kaitlin Campbell / 0 / 68.348 / 4 / 32.716
9. Chantico / John Pearce / 0 / 67.120 / 16 / 32.296
10. Footloose / Mari Gromkowski / 0 / 73.764 / EL
11. Wallstreet Rc / Chenoa Mcelvain / 4 / 68.359
12. Eta Beta Di San / Lindsay Archer / 4 / 69.289