Vanessa Hood Wins the $35,000 Grand Prix of the Pacific

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Vanessa Hood and Fairytale 86 Win the $35,000 Grand Prix of the Pacific Legacy MARKEL Futures Championship presented by California Horsetrader and Horsetrader.com. Photo by JXB Photography.

The highlight event of Del Mar International Welcome Week was Sunday’s $35,000 Grand Prix of the Pacific Legacy MARKEL Tour Futures Championship presented by California Horsetrader and horsetrader.com. A field of 57 horses and riders took to the Del Mar Arena to tackle the first course designed by Anderson Lima (BRA), which included 16 jumping efforts including three double combinations. 

Fourteen of the 57 starters were able to complete the course with no faults to earn a spot in the exciting jump off, and of those, nine were able to turn in a double clear score. Vanessa Hood was the rider for two of those double clear scores, and she took the champion ribbon aboard Fairytale 86, a 9-year-old bay KWPN gelding owned by Take Two LLC. 

Vanessa Hood and Fairytale 86 Win the $35,000 Grand Prix of the Pacific Legacy MARKEL Futures Championship presented by California Horsetrader and Horsetrader.com. Photos by JXB Photography

“I grew up riding in California, and this is my first love,” said Hood. “But then I took a lot of time off of riding and horses, and I just came back to it a couple years ago. So I feel like I’ve just been clawing my way back, but now I’m back and building my team and building a program, so I was just… thrilled to have this today to push me to keep going!”

Vanessa Hood and Fairytale 86 are joined by their family and team plus Dale Harvey of West Palms Events.

Crossing the timers just behind Hood to take second place was Mathis Schwentker aboard NKH Caruso, a 15-year-old bay Oldenburg gelding owned by NKH LLC. And finishing in third place was Ken Dickey on Calva D’Or Z, a 10-year-old bay warmblood stallion owned by Rocking D Ranch. See full results below.

Onondarka Medal Final
West Palms Events was pleased to host the 2019 Onondarka Medal Final at Del Mar International Welcome Week. The Onondarka Medal Final is a 3′ medal final open to exhibitors age 12 and under who earn enough points throughout the year to qualify. The Final was held Saturday and Sunday and consisted of three rounds of all competitors. Then the top eight were brought back for a work off, and after that the top four did an additional work off to determine overall placings. 

After all those tests, it was Gable Gering who earned the judges’ top marks and took home the Onondarka trophy, a CWD saddle, and a $10,000 scholarship for the 2020 West Palms Events show series.  

“Making it to the top eight work off, that was my main goal,” said Gering. “And then to make it to the top four I was ecstatic.” Gering rode her 9-year-old bay Belgian Warmblood gelding, Decklin, to the win. “I’m pretty tired, but Decklin took care of me,” she said.

Don Simington, trainer at Onondarka Riding School and son of Onondarka creator Harry Simington was on hand to see the class and present the trophy. “I thought it was great,” said Simington. “I always enjoy it. It’s a perfect setting, and we had great courses, great footing, and a great bunch of kids. It doesn’t get any better than that.” 

In second place was Kylie Eynon, who rode Census, a 17-year-old bay Holsteiner gelding owned by Kimberly Lynch. The pair is trained by Devon Gibson. Rounding out the podium in third place was Carmen Gonzalez who rode her own Beforeanythingelse, an 11-year-old bay Dutch warmblood gelding. They are trained by Cassie Belmont. 

Congratulations to all Onondarka Medal Finalists!

$10,000 PCHA Child/Adult Hunter Championships

West Palms Events was honored to host the $10,000 PCHA Child/Adult Hunter Championships during Del Mar International Welcome Week. Juniors and adult amateurs who show at the 3′ level were eligible to compete, and this championship event was held over two rounds, Friday and Saturday, in the San Diego Arena, and both scores were combined to determine overall winners.

Taking the champion title was Que Creme with 13-year-old Peyten Seltzer in the irons. “He was really good,” Seltzer said of her 11-year-old grey warmblood gelding. “He tried his best and he wanted to win too.”

Que Creme is Seltzer’s first horse, as she previously showed ponies. She shows in in the equitation and hunter divisions. “He’s super fun,” she said. “He has such a smooth canter and I love that about him.”

In second place was Hinckley, a 9-year-old black Oldenburg gelding ridden and owned by Debra Chambers. In third place was Carenzi, a 10-year-old bay Holsteiner gelding owned and ridden by Maile Burtech. 

Congratulations to all top finishers in this PCHA Championship! Full results below. 

Official Show Photography

Your Official Photographer for Del Mar International is JXB Photography, headed by Julia B. You can view your proofs right after your class at their beautiful silver airstream trailer located near the entrance to the Del Mar Arena! There are show specials and same day downloads available, but no web sales, so you must look at your photos on site!

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