San Juan Capistrano, CA – August 23, 2021 – Forty-three of show jumping’s hopeful future stars took to the Olympic Sand Arena at Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano, CA, for the $60,000 Blenheim EquiSports West Coast Young Jumper Championships, August 19-22.
Following three days of competition, new champions were crowned in the Four-, Five-, Six- and Seven-Year-Old Young Jumpers.
Roxy Music Wins Four-Year-Old Young Jumpers
The first Blenheim EquiSports West Coast Young Jumper Championship title of the week was awarded on Friday to Roxy Music, ridden in the Four-Year-Old Young Jumpers by Allie Qutub.
On the way to the win, the Belgian Warmblood mare (Jonkheer Z x Calido I), bred by Hilary Bates, first had to complete a short flat phase, as well as a jumping phase, in round one. The flat phase consisted of trot and canter work in both directions, demonstrating a lengthening and shortening of stride which allowed the judges the opportunity to further evaluate the quality of the horses.
In the second and final round of the Four-Year-Old Young Jumpers, Bates and Roxy Music produced a clear effort over the Manuel Esparza-designed course, which featured two option fences, to help clinch their win. Roxy Music was also recognized with a Jumping Scope/Technique Award, as the horse that best displays the scope and technique consistent with a future grand prix jumper.
Finishing as the reserve champion was Starburst, a Holsteiner stallion (Solomon’s Pride x Luganda) bred and ridden by Michelle Parker. Third place also went to Parker, this time aboard Keiki (Solomon’s Pride x South Pacific), and Keiki was also named the reserve Jumping Scope/Technique Award recipient.
A Best Type/Movement Award winner was also selected from among the Four-Year-Old Young Jumpers, with Markus des Jardins (Tinka’s Boy x Darco), ridden by Vanessa Gardner and bred by Haras des Jardins, taking home the honor.
Three-Way Tie for Traurig in Five-Year-Old Young Jumpers
In the Five-Year-Old Young Jumpers, three new champions will be sharing the crown.
Following a new format for 2021, after completing two opening rounds of competition, 11 entries returned on a clean slate on Sunday for the $6,000 Five-Year-Old Young Jumper Final.
At the conclusion of the class, Actiontender PS, Liberty VL (Carrera VDL x Animo) and Vicanne PS (Vivant van de Heffinck x Chacco-Blue) all sat tied on no faults at all. Since all three horses were ridden by Natasha Traurig and owned by Marina Farms, LLC, Traurig elected to save the horses’ efforts for another day and keep them all tied for first place.
Following the conclusion of Young Jumper competition on Sunday, Actiontender PS (Action Blue x Contender) was also recognized as the Best Overall Young Jumper Champion, as chosen by the Young Jumper Championship judging panel.
“There were several stand outs in this Young Jumper competition,” said Sue Lightner, who presided over the jumper classes alongside Davin Malmqvist. “I had actually narrowed it down to four young jumpers, with today making the final decision. The 5-year-old gelding was clear throughout the multiple days of competition and made us sit up and take notice from the first day.”
Traurig has had the ride on Actiontender PS, bred by Gestut Lewitz, for about a year and was thrilled with the Oldenburg gelding’s performance at what’s only his third horse show.
“He jumped beautifully,” said Traurig. “I’m just impressed with how much he’s matured in just three shows. He has the biggest heart, and he tries so hard.”
As the owners of all three of the top horses in the Five-Year-Old Young Jumpers, Marina Farms, LLC, also received a Topline Design custom ribbon ornament and a $100 Topline Design gift certificate, a Blenheim EquiSports picture frame and a $50 SmartPak gift certificate.
The High Score USA Bred Award also came from the Five-Year-Old Young Jumper section and was presented to Jedi Blue TW (Zirocco Blue x C-Indoctro), ridden by Simon Schroeder and bred by Three Wishes Farm. The pair also finished third place in the overall final.
“[Jedi Blue TW] is a spicy girl!” said breeder Anneliese Kannow in speaking of the Holsteiner mare. “I thought she actually jumped better and better in every round. The first round, I thought she was a little impressed by the jumps. Then by round three, I actually felt like she was even more confident and comfortable in her jumps. She showed a lot of scope in the third round which was nice.”
Déjà Vu for Emily Esau Williams and HD Kannaslo in Six-Year-Old Young Jumpers
This year’s Six-Year-Old Young Jumper Championships may have felt a bit like déjà vu for Emily Esau Williams and HD Kannaslo. In 2020, the pair won the Five-Year-Old Blenheim Jumper Championships, and this year, they returned to replicate their performance in the Six-Year-Olds.
Williams and HD Kannaslo (Kannan x Casado) were one of three entries to jump clear in Sunday’s $10,000 Six-Year-Old Young Jumpers before jumping off for the final victory.
“My strategy was of course to try and go clean and fast,” said Williams. “There were only three of us that had gone clear in the first round, so I didn’t have to be blazing, but I didn’t want to leave the door open either. I wanted to be a little careful but also put the pressure on a little bit.”
Williams strategy paid off as she and the Oldenburg gelding, owned by HD Horses LLC, were the only duo to produce a double clear effort.
“We took it easy with HD Kannaslo this year,” explained Williams. “This might be his fourth show this year, just because he’s a super horse. He didn’t need to go and go. We just were aiming toward this, and now he’ll probably go home and take a couple of months off and then we’ll see what next year brings!”
The reserve championship honor in the Six-Year-Old Young Jumpers went to Santo LS La Silla, ridden by Allison La Joie.
My Lady Lavista Reigns in Seven-Year-Old Young Jumpers
In the $15,000 Seven-Year-Old Young Jumpers, the win and the championship honor went to My Lady Lavista, ridden by Nicole Haunert.
Haunert and the grey Holsteiner mare, bred by Wiepert Klaus-Peter and owned by Cherokee Show Horses Inc., were the only pair to navigate Sunday’s course without fault, automatically securing them the win.
“She’s just been absolute competitor and just the best; she’s unbelievable,” said Haunert. “Now, we wait for her to get older. She’s so good at what she does, it’s hard not to jump big, but we need to make sure we do what’s right and produce her to be all that she can be!”
Finishing as the reserve champions in the Seven-Year-Old Young Jumpers were Krystalle Glosser and Irish Sport Horse gelding Blueprint NBS (Plot Blue x Quickfeuer van Koekshof).
Find full results of the Blenheim EquiSports Young Jumper Championships online here. In addition to this week’s championships, in an effort to allow owners and trainers the opportunity to develop the future stars of the sport at a low cost, Blenheim EquiSports is proud to provide free entry fees and discounted stall fees for young jumpers all season long.
Photos: McCool Photography