The weather was perfectly cool, but Saturday night in Huntington Beach really heated up for the GGT Footing Sunshine Grand Prix. It was a packed house and an enthusiastic crowd at the Huntington Central Park Equestrian Center as some of the fastest horses and riders around competed for the champion title.
The first course, designed by Scott Stearnes, consisted of 14 jumping efforts including two double combinations. The audience was treated to exciting rides as faults were spread around the course, but seven horses and riders were able to go clear and advance to the short course. In the jump off, four horses logged double clear efforts, which meant that it was a race against the clock for the win.
It was young professional Gabriela Pattinson who crossed the finish line with the fastest time of 40.364 seconds aboard Quadrigus, owned by Susanne Coleman. “I just kept galloping because I know he has a big step,” said Pattison of the 13-year old bay warmblood gelding. “He’s a huge horse, and I may have gone a little wider than some, but I knew he could make it up with his big gallop. He’s a superstar; he’s just awesome.”
In second place finishing in 40.637 seconds was Kaitlyn Lovingfoss aboard Deejay owned by Vlock Show Stables. Sydney Hutchins rode her own Orlando to the third place finish in 42.202 seconds, and Laura Ware earned 4th place aboard her own Una Bella Von Hof in 42.255 seconds.
Thank you to all riders and to all our guests who contributed to such a spectacular atmosphere in Huntington Beach tonight!
USHJA National Hunter Derby
Friday afternoon was also beautiful (we’re beginning to think there are nothing BUT beautiful days here in Huntington Beach), and the highlight event was the USHJA National Hunter Derby in the Main Hunter Ring. The Scott Stearnes-designed course provided challenges but also plenty of opportunity for the hunters to show off smooth moves and great jumping form. After two competitive rounds, it was professional Nicole Kane who topped the field on Just For Fun owned by Heidi Kane. Just For Fun earned a score of 179 over the two rounds.
“He’s one of my favorite horses to ride,” said Kane of the 5-year-old bay Dutch Warmblood gelding. “He’s really fun. It was his first hunter derby, so I was going to just do all the lower options, but he was so good I just thought I’d go for it in the second round, and he was even better than I expected.” With this derby win under his belt, Just For Fun will be taking a trip to the East Coast this fall to compete in Kentucky and at Saugerties.
In second place with a score of 178 was Celebration, an 8-year-old bay warmblood gelding owned by Mountain View Farms LLC and ridden by Lindsay Ransom. In third place with a score of 174 was Unique de la Chesnee, an 11-year-old bay Selle Francais gelding owned and ridden by Sienna Gustafson. Congratulations to all ribbon winners in this competitive class!
Saturday Classic Winners
Saturday is classic day this week, and we’ll be posting winners throughout the day on social media so that riders can more easily share and tag their friends! So make sure you’re following us on Facebook and Instagram!