Edited Press Release
Nick Haness has been racking up top results nationwide, and he added another major victory to his belt Friday evening as he secured the win in the $100,000 WCHR West Coast Hunter Spectacular aboard Lindsay Maxwell’s HH Elmo.
“He used to be a jumper,” Haness, of Temecula, CA, said of his partner, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood (Verdi x Padinus). “He was a grand prix horse in his previous life and converted to being a hunter, and Lindsay Maxwell shows him in the Amateur-Owner Hunter division as well. We’ve been showing for about two years together now and he has done some derbies, we’ve shown on the East coast with him. He’s been a spectacular partner and a horse that wants to come in and win every time.”
The pair led wire to wire, jumping fabulously over round one in the Grand Prix Arena to a score of 89, taking the lead and holding it as the top 12 were invited back for the evening portion and handy round of the event.
Last to return, Haness knew the stakes were high but he had some points to spare. Leaving nothing to chance, he took all the risks he could and was well rewarded with high scores yet again, earning a 91.5 for round two and a 180.5 two-round total.
“To win this class tonight is very special to me being that I am from California and a West Coast supporter,” Haness continued. “I have never won this class before so it is a big, exciting win for me in my career. I have participated several times in this class on the West Coast and I have actually shown in this class in Wellington before. To win it tonight is very exciting and a really awesome win tonight.”
HH Elmo felt the electricity and atmosphere in the Grand Prix Arena Friday evening. He walked into the arena and whinnied before taking to his business. “He comes in and lets the crowd know that he’s here to party and here to win,” Haness explained. “I was just here to be his partner tonight and let him do all the special jumping.
“He’s just been phenomenal to ride and always gives a 10 out of 10,” Haness remarked about HH Elmo. “He’s so much fun, very brave, and obviously very scopey with the jumper background so this is a fun stage for him to demonstrate all his talents.”
Haness is no stranger to the winner’s circle no matter where he competes. Not only has he won countless events at DIHP, but he also claimed the WCHR Professional Finals on the East Coast in October. Returning to his home state of California, he has his eyes set on increased prize money.
“I think the team at Desert Horse Park does an incredible job raising the bar for the West Coast,” Haness said. “As someone who’s traveled around the country many times showing and on the East Coast at really nice venues, California has really raised the bar here at the Desert International Horse Park and I just applaud the team here and everyone that is a part of this team.
“The prize money in Thermal throughout the rest of the season and into next year is just incredible. From national derby level, international derby level, classics, and all these fun classes in between, there’s a lot of opportunity for people and horses at every level to come here and have a shot at winning some nice prize money,” Haness concluded.
Final Results: $100,000 World Championship Hunter Rider West Coast Hunter Spectacular
1. HH Elmo / Nick Haness / Lindsay Maxwell / 89 + 91.5 = 180.5
2. L’Con Reyes / Katie Taylor-Davidson / Bravado LLC / 85 + 87.5 = 172.5
3. Wayfinder / Nicole Bourgeois / Hilary Sosne / 88 + 82 = 170
4. Cimmich X / Benson Carroll / Alexandra Lipacis / 84 + 85.5 = 169.5
5. Ravenswood / Jenny Karazissis / Lisa Wu / 83.5 + 84 = 167.5
6. Gatsby / Alexis Taylor / Aleron LLC / 83.75 + 83.25 = 167
7. Lykke Li-Terma Z / Michelle Morris / Ava Park / 80.5 + 85.5 = 166
8. Newton / Katrina Karazissis / Lisa Wu / 80 + 79 = 159
9. McQueen / Nicole Bourgeois / Barbara Lovre / 81.5 + 77 = 158.5
10. Understudy / Ella Cate Duke / Ella Cate Duke / 83.25 + 75 = 158.25
11. Cassario 8 / Shawn Casady / Zoe Wolf / 86.5 + 68 = 154.5
12. Ask Anyone / Kylee Arbuckle / Ariana Snowdon / 88.25 + 56.5 = 144.75