Rich Fellers (USA) and Mojo prevailed in the $10,000 Ruby Tour Classic, sponsored by Platinum Performance, with a jump-off time of 37.81 seconds. Lane Clarke (AUS) aboard Hooverphonic Odeveld (Toulan x Jokinal De Bornival), owned by Mickey Hayden, walked away with the second place ribbon with a short-course time of 38.92 seconds, while Matt Archer (USA) finished third with a time of 39.49 seconds aboard Rhys Farms’s Monseigneur (Halifax van het Kluizebos x Lys de Darmen).
The course, designed by Bernardo Cabral (POR), challenged 24 pairs with eight returning for the jump-off. “Bernardo is one of my favorite designers, he always does a great job and he’s such a horseman,” commented Fellers. “He is just one of those wizards; one of those top guys that can do things so subtle without anything dramatic or causing big problems for horses or riders, but still gets the job done and tests the horses and riders,” Fellers continued.
“Mojo is a horse that was in our barn for about four years as a 1.30m Junior Jumper and I would flat him every once in a while,” Fellers shared. “Every time I flatted him, I loved him – I thought man, this is a cool horse, he has more in him than the 1.30m.”
Fellers started competitively riding the 2007 Holsteiner Gelding (Montender x Reichsgraf), owned by Rob Bruce, late last summer, “We found another horse for the rider that had previously been riding him and it worked out that I got to really start working with him.” Fellers shared that he hopes to step Mojo up to the 1.45m next week, Week VII, for the Friday Grand Prix.
Fellers shared that he is excited to be back competing on the West Coast and at the Desert International Horse Park. “I just think overall, if we’re all about horses, and I’m all about horses, then this is for us,” Fellers continued. “My horses were so excited when they got back here; they were so fresh for days after being on the truck and they just came alive, the climate here is so much nicer for them.”
“I think the future is very bright for this facility, it’s just my gut feeling,” Fellers commented. “In four or five years, I think there’s going to be a little migration out this way for the winter tour,” Fellers shared. “Florida is great, we were there for three weeks this winter and there are great shows and great facilities, but this is much nicer for horses – I think this facility can handle more without getting super crowded,” Fellers concluded.
Photos © ESI Photography