Jamie Taylor and Hero Capture the CPHA West Coast Green Hunter 3’ & 3’3” Incentive Championship

Jamie Taylor and Hero

September 14, 2019 – San Juan Capistrano, CA – It was a banner Friday the thirteenth for Jamie Taylor and Marnell Sport Horses’ Hero. After leading the victory gallop in Thursday’s $10.000 Young Hunter Championships, presented by Brookway Stables, the pair topped the field in the fifth annual California Professional Horsemen’s Association (CPHA) West Coast Green Hunter 3’ & 3’3” Incentive Championship, this year with prize money totaling $31,412.50.

Owner, Ariana Marnell aboard Hero with (l to r) trainer Denise Finch, Melissa Brandes of Blenheim EquiSports and Alexandra Zulia

Welcoming eighteen entries on the grass of the Pacific Field, Taylor impressed judges Bob Crandall and Tony Sgarlata to earn an 84 in Round 1 and 86 in Round 2 for an 85 average and the top call. John French and Ausable also earned solid scores to finish in second place with an 85 and 81.5, for an average 83.25. Taylor also earned the yellow ribbon with Marnell Sport Horses’ other entry, Casino Cash, with scores of 83 and 83, just .25 points off French’s average.

John French and Ausable

Hero’s owner, Ariana Marnell, was elated with her horse’s performance this week. “It was really nice to see that he was so good last night and was still so happy and comfortable out here today,” she noted. “We bought him last year as a 5-year-old from John French and Corinne Bevis, and we’ve just taken our time and been slow with him – it seems to be working!”

Ariana Marnell leads the victory gallop on Hero

Marnell shows in the 3’3” Junior Hunter division and some equitation classes on Hero. She is looking forward to competing her sweet bay mount in the $25,000 National Hunter Derby at the Las Vegas National Horse Show this November.

The fourth place finisher, Quintano with Tara Metzner aboard, was also awarded the Makoto Farms Best Turned Out Horse Award. Grooms Ulysses Gonzalez and Hector Garcia were both named for this honor.

Tara Metzner aboard Quintano with (l to r) Ulysses Gonzalez, Melissa Brandes of Blenheim EquiSports and Liz Riley of Makoto Farms

The CPHA West Coast Green Hunter 3’ & 3’3” Incentive Program offers an opportunity for green hunters to win prize money year-round in Incentive Stake classes, and also participate in the fall season Championships. Forty-five percent of the nomination fees collected add to the purse for the final class, plus forty-five percent is added to the top three Leading Horses and Riders of the season.

Before the class began, CPHA Green Hunter Incentive season awards were presented in the ring as follows – Quicksus, owned by Noelle Wolf, earned top horse while John French was once again the season’s top rider, Both took home a DaMoor’s cooler, CPHA hat and saddle pad, as well as a check. Second place horse of the season was Breanna Karanikolas’ C’est Moi, one of several mounts that second place rider of the season Sophie Simpson competed on. Nivelo, owned by Debra Chambers, earned the third place horse of the season honors. And Katie Taylor was the third highest placing rider.

Leading rider John French with Leading horse Quicksus with Melissa Brandes of Blenheim EquiSports

During this ceremony, and as the first round commenced, spectators, owners, grooms and trainers enjoyed a continental breakfast spread from Villa Roma at the event, generously sponsored by Bridgeport Farms.

It was an eventful day for the Green Hunters. The top 12 horses were awarded with a ribbon, a bouquet of flowers, a CPHA neck sash, and hat. In addition to a ribbon and prize money, the first, second, and third place winners, Ausable and Casino Cash, also received a saddle pad and a cooler from DaMoor’s Tack and Feed. And Hero, the green hunter champion, also received a Blenheim pewter trophy, a CPHA keeper trophy, and a stall plaque.

Sophie Simpson with Melissa Brandes of Blenheim EquiSports

Show jumping and medal finals are on the schedule for the Oaks International Grand Prix field on Saturday, including a $20,000 U25 Developing Rider Classic, the Foxfield Medal Finals and the $25,000 Markel Insurance 1.45m Grand Prix..Then Saturday evening the indoor arena will host the ASPCA Maclay Regionals, where juniors are vying for a chance to head East for the Finals at the National Horse Show in early November. Prior to the Regionals, Blenheim EquiSports is honored to announce the winner of the Shelby Drazan Memorial Award, sponsored by the Drazan Family and HE Tex Sutton.

Katie Taylor and Melissa Brandes of Blenheim EquiSports

California Professional Horsemen’s Association (CPHA) West Coast Green Hunter 3’ & 3’3” Incentive Championship
Place – Entry Number – Horse – Rider – Owner – Rd 1/Rd 2 = Average
1. 250 – Hero – Jamie Taylor – Marnell Sport Horses –84/86 = 85
2. 629 – Ausable – John French – Meadow Farm – 85/81.5 = 83.25
3. 249 – Casino Cash – Jamie Taylor – Marnell Sport Horses – 83/83 = 83
4. 552 – Quintano – Tara Metzner – Davlyn Farms – 88/75 = 81.5
5. 401 – Valedictorian – Sophie Simpson – Dynamic Sporthorses LLC –77/80 = 78.5
6. 376 – Just For Fun – Nicole Kane – Heidi Kane – 74/82 = 78
7. 329 – Nutella – Nick Haness – ENKS Enterprises – 75/78 = 76.5
8. 581 – Dot Com – Sophie Simpson – Lexie Looker – 79/70 = 74.5
9. 403 – C’est Moi – Sophie Simpson – Breanne Karanikolas – 80/65 = 72.5
10. 316 – Exquisite RW – Gabriella Pattinson – Amy Eynon – 76/68 = 72
11. 224 – Nivelo – Lindsay Ransom – Deborah Chambers – 82/44 = 63
12. 212 – Boston – Rose Carver – Alison Stocker – 78/45 = 61.5

Photos by  McCool Photography