The Oaks International Grand Prix Field welcomed thirteen competitors to contest the Blenheim Spring Classic IV $25,000 1.45m Grand Prix, sponsored by Markel Insurance and LSI. Olympic course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA) designed a welcoming sixteen-effort track which advanced six horse and rider combinations to the jump-off. Nicole Haunert (Encinitas, CA) and Concolue clinched the win as the only pair to jump clean.
Claiming second in the class was Simon Shroeder (Laguna Beach, CA) and Alie B, owned by Rebecca Lewis, as the fastest of the faulters in 41.834 seconds. Rounding out the top three was Blue Gate Stables LLC’s Edita and Zume Gallaher (Windsor, CA), also on four faults, with a time of 43.114 seconds.
In addition to the lion’s share of the prize pool, Haunert received a Shady Lady Neck Scarf courtesy of Shady Lady Sun Protection. As the owners of Concolue, Cherokee Show Horses Inc. was given a gift certificate and frame from Topline Design Ribbon Wreaths.
“He is getting faster but he is still green in the jump-off,” explained Haunert. “I thought let’s tighten the turns a little bit and not take too many chances because I wanted to be double clean. He was wonderful and I was thrilled.”
Haunert has had the ride on the the nine-year-old Warmblood gelding after his owners purchased him two years ago. She plans on bringing him to the Showpark Ranch & Coast Classic during May at Blenheim EquiSports to continue her successes in the jumper arena and compete in another Markel Insurance Jumper Series qualifying event.
This class marked the third installment of the Markel Insurance 1.40m – 1.45m Jumper Series. With upwards of $385,000 in overall prize money spread across the fifteen qualifying events, riders are aiming for the finals set at the Las Vegas National Horse Show in November. The top twenty-five riders from the series will be invited to compete and the top Leading Lady and Leading Gentleman riders will receive a rider bonus for their efforts.
All Photos: McCool Photography