West Palms Events Riders Cup (May 6-9) continued with top-level competition at LA Equestrian Center. Friday’s highlighted event was the spectacular Hap Hansen Tribute, followed by a spectacular evening of show jumping in the newly crowned Hap Hansen Arena.
“We’re extremely happy with how the event is going,” commented West Palms CEO Dale Harvey. “It was an honor to have Hap here for the unveiling of the Hap Hansen Arena. The footing is fantastic thanks to our major sponsor, GGT Footing. We are looking forward to growing our footprint here at LA Equestrian Center and continuing to bring the highest level of the sport to Los Angeles.”
In Friday night’s $7,500 1.35m Top 10/Winning Round, Olympic Gold Medalist Will Simpson blazed to victory aboard Whoop De Doo (Coxe Horses LLC, owner) with a jump-off time of 40.328 seconds. “There are a lot of really good riders here and a lot of really good horses, so it brings out the best,” Simpson commented. “I got to go last, which was actually a little bit tough. Everyone was making inside turns, so I had to commit. It was a little faster than I wanted to go, but that’s what riding for the cup is all about.”
“Riders Cup is all the right things for a great show and a great competition, done by people who know how to put on a show. They’re doing it right,” added Simpson. “Courses are absolutely the best. Guilherme Jorge is one of the best course designers in the world. West Palms Events is total class. You’re guaranteed the best for your horse and the best conditions.”
Top hunter rider Jenny Karazissis and Dulcie Lou Morris’s Big Shot sealed the win in the $15,000 USHJA International Hunt & Go Derby. “He jumped so beautifully, and I can’t say enough good things about him,” Karazissis said. “I just do my best to show him off and what he is capable of doing.”
Karazissis was thrilled to be competing at LA Equestrian Center. “It’s very nostalgic because it’s been a long time since I’ve shown here, and it’s like hometown for me,” she explained. “I was really looking forward to being able to show here in the hunters, and my first impression was ‘Wow, they really spruced it up and the footing is great.’ From the beautiful VIP cabanas to the Riders Lounge, everything felt different but very much like home to me. West Palms did a great job.”
Lindsay Archer and Jarpur (Rhys Farms LLC, owner) sped to victory in the $25,000 1.45m Classic. Nearly 40 horse and rider pairs navigated Guilherme Jorge’s technical track. It was Archer who put in the fastest double clear round, securing the win.
Melody Liu and Corsari Van De Helle topped the $1,000 U25 sponsored by Neil Jones Equestrian. Stay tuned for the second U25 class tonight, also presented by Neil Jones Equestrian.
Photos by Photography By Julia B.