San Juan Capistrano, Calif.—September 20, 2019—The fourth USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Regional Championship of 2019, that for the Southwest, concluded on Thursday, September 19 at Blenheim EquiSports’ International Jumping Festival in San Juan Capistrano, California, with two new champions crowned. In the 3’0”/3’3” section, John French rode Quicksus to the top with a score of 175. Claiming the top prize in the 3’6”/3’9” section with a 175 was Erin Duffy aboard Romeo.
Kicking off the Southwest Championship, John French, of Mill Creek, Washington, piloted Noelle Wolf Stables, LLC’s Quicksus to the 3’0”/3’3” tricolor and a $1,500 check. The duo’s scores of 87 and 88 earned them an overall total of 175 to secure the win.
“He has a classic hunter style—he likes to poke his nose and has a great expression. He really uses his head and neck over the jumps,” said French of the Warmblood gelding trained by Corinne Bevis. “He’s had a great year—[he was] champion this week and circuit champion at Thermal in the 3′ greens.”
French and the 6-year-old gelding had been partnered in the show ring just over a year, taking the Green Hunter divisions by storm. “We had a horse of the same breeding, out of a Quarterback stallion, that we really liked that we sold. So when John came across this horse, we jumped at the chance to get him and the owner was on board. We bought him off a video,” said Bevis.
“We’ve been doing the Incentive since it started back in Kentucky. We’ve tried to support it and be a part of it every year that it’s been offered,” Bevis continued of the Green Hunter Incentive program. “We have the rider (John French), we like to find the horses and so far we’ve had a lot of success with the program. It’s a great platform for developing young horses—giving them a chance to do some special classes before moving up to classes like Derby Finals. If you join the program early enough, you end up winning back the enrollment fee. I think it is important to just keep supporting the sport.”
“It’s nice to have the Regionals,” French, who also topped the Northwest Championship with Artistry, added. “With my move I wasn’t able to go to Kentucky this year. And it’s nice for other riders who can’t make it back there. Thank you to USHJA and Blenheim for hosting.”
Topping the 3’6”/3’9” competition was Volant Stables’ Romeo with Erin Duffy, of La Canada, California, in the irons. A two-round score of 174, 87 in each round, set the pair above the rest to take the Championship title and $1,500 check.
“He is one of, if not the nicest, horse I have ever ridden. He is just absolutely just a natural and has been since he was a 5-year-old,” said Duffy, trainer and rider of the 8-year-old Zangersheide gelding. “[Cathy Hayes of Volant Stables] bought him in Europe as a 5-year-old and she decided to keep him there so he could do the jumpers—he has a lot of scope and jump. When she decided to bring him here, he started doing the hunters with Peter Lombardo, who started him here and won in the First Year Greens. Then he came to me, and we’ve just started doing the 3’9” at the end of this year. He is super fun—he’s just so good and easy. “
Of the Green Hunter Incentive program, the winning rider said, “It’s great! I like that you don’t have to jump an extra class to do it throughout the year, they just take one of your scores, so it’s easy on the horses. It’s nice to have the goal of the finals and is a really nice way to showcase young horses.”
This was the fourth of five regional championships available to USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Program participants. The remaining regional championship, the Central Championship, will be held at the Harvest Horse Show, October 30-November 3 in Katy, Texas.
The USHJA extends a special thank you Blenheim EquiSports for hosting the Championship.
USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Program participants can choose from one of five regional championships held across the country. Exhibitors may choose whichever regional championship they want but horses may only compete in one regional championship per year. Each regional championship is two rounds, and the combined total score for both rounds will determine the winner. Prize money is awarded through 12th place, and each championship will offer a minimum of $10,000 in prize money spread across all the sections offered. Horses must be enrolled in the program to be eligible to participate.
Learn more about the USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Program at ushja.org/GreenIncentive.
USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Southwest Championship Results
Placing – Horse – Rider – Owner
1 – Quicksus – John French – Noelle Wolf Stables, LLC
2 – Casino Cash – Jamie Taylor – Marnell Sport Horses
3 – Boston – Rose Carver – Alison Stocker
4 – Trump Card – Jamie Taylor – Marnell Sport Horses
5 – J’adore RW – Jenny Karazissis – Kimberly Narlinger
6 – Hero – Jamie Taylor – Marnell Sport Horses
7 – Newton – Jenny Karazissis – Lisa Wu
8 – Nivelo – Lindsay Ransom – Debora Chambers
9 – Just For Fun – Nicole Kane – Heidi Kane
10 – C’est Moi – Sophie Simpson – Breanne Karanikolas
Placing – Horse – Rider – Owner
1 – Romeo – Erin Duffy – Volant Stables
2 – Big Shot – Jenny Karazissis – Dulcie Lou Morris
3 – MTM Page 6 – Jamie Taylor – Marnell Sport Horses
4 – Grateful – John French – Bianka Jenkins
5 – Barclay Square – Erin Duffy – Volant Stables