By Sydney Lowe
THERMAL, Calif. – March 11, 2021 – The Grand Prix Stadium welcomed back top show jumping action for Week VII at Desert International Horse Park’s (DIHP) eight week long Desert Circuit. With forty-four horse and rider combinations on the order of go, the $25,000 Farmvet Grand Prix saw top quality competition. In the end, Hanna Mauritzson (San Marcos, CA) riding Parkmore Lux took home the lion’s share of the prize pool with a jump-off time of 45.141 seconds.
Peter Grant (CAN) built a stout 1.50m course featuring a triple bar as the first fence and a triple combination down the outside. Grant gave insight to his design technique and his goal for every course is to first build a good line for riders to find a rhythm off of before he builds out additional tests based on the level of competition. In addition, he explains how he spreads out the different questions throughout the track.
“I try to always have balance in the questions. There are a few tall verticals. Fence 5 after the liverpool could come up a little short on them. The triple combination, with the way it is set, it is a little steady to a little bit of a push.”
The triple bar as the first fence was intended to aid riders in their track by giving them a fence to gallop up to and create a good jump rhythm. Mauritzson claimed it to be a slightly unforgiving fence if you weren’t on that forward stride, “one of the biggest challenges was a triple bar and a lot of horses came in and were not forward enough or jumping across it.”
Mauritzson boasted about the improvements made to the horse park, “You can really feel like the horse show is caring about us. Every time we come out here, there is always a new improvement, looks nicer, and all the little things are coming together. The extra shade structures, the footing is better, we now have the extra arenas in the back to school so they don’t need to be in the warm-up ring, which makes it easier for those competing. All of those little improvements are really appreciated.”
The $1,000 U25 Classic, sponsored by AIG, ran as an overlay to the Grand Prix. Riders of the age twenty-five or younger were able to compete in both classes simultaneously and earn points to the U25 final to be held during Week VIII of Desert Circuit. Winning the U25 was Lisel Anderson (Mill Valley, CA) aboard her own Misterio. The pair also claimed the second place ribbon in the $25,000 Farmvet Grand Prix.
Anderson has been attending shows at the property for years and has loved every minute of it. As one of her favorite shows to attend, she is pleased with the improvements made by the new management team.
“This is one of my favorite shows. I think the improvements are great, I liked it before and now it is even better. It has always been one of my favorite shows. I have been coming here forever, it was one of my first shows and it has been great to watch it develop.”
Setting the Roeckl Gloves Time to Beat in the jump-off was Katie Laurie aboard Concales with the time of 47.366 seconds. Laurie was awarded a pair of Roeckl Gloves for her efforts.
Additional action in the Grand Prix Stadium included the 1.30m Open Jumper division. Topping the class was Raymond Texel aboard Laura Brady’s Chacclina. The Chacco Blue mare produced a double clear round with a time of 36.028 seconds in the jump-off. Coming in second was S&L Remember My Name with Texel at the reins. The duo stopped the clock at 36.231 seconds to claim the red ribbon.
“Chacclina, I found her with my friend Florian Meyers Zu Hartem. She is a Chacco Blue horse and she is owned by Laura Brady who is a student of mine,” explained Texel. The mare has been competing in the 1.30m Open Jumper divisions and even won against one hundred and eleven entries during Week II. “She is a lovely mare. She has a beautiful jump, beautiful stride, very expressive, and always does well in these large environments where you can really open her up.”
Texel, head trainer at Adler Lane Farms, has been competing all circuit long with his clients at DIHP and has been thoroughly enjoying his time here during the circuit. The facility improvements and the addition of practice arenas have been a major highlight for Texel and his team including the bridle path.
“The experience has been great. I think the addition of the bridle path is very nice for a lot of these competitive horses that live here for many weeks,” explained Texel. “They have the opportunity to get away from all the rings and noise and have a little more feeling of nature for them.”
Show jumping competition will resume Friday morning with the $1,500 1.30m Open Jumpers as they finish out their division for the week. Saturday will feature the $75,000 Grand Prix, sponsored by Marshall & Sterling. Riders are preparing for the return of FEI competition during Week VIII.
To view the full results of Thursday’s competition, visit Showgrounds Live.
All photos are courtesy of ESI Photography