Edited Press Release
Desert International Horse Park (DIHP) kicked off its second week of Desert Circuit competition Wednesday with the $10,000 Platinum Performance 1.35m Welcome Speed. Colm Quinn’s course presented an interesting line up of challenges, featuring multiple combinations, designed to be attacked through tight turns paired with swift pace.
Sean Leckie, aboard Sarah Freedman’s BEC Alter Ego, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare, made his sole ride a winning one. Shaving off more than five seconds from the previous leading rider, Allison Kroff, Leckie clocked in with a wickedly fast time of 60.902 seconds. Only going eighth in the order, Leckie managed to hold on to his leading position after 29 trips had jumped.
Runner up Savannah Jenkins, aboard Casallantum, opted for a tighter rollback from fences eight to nine, fitting in an even paced eight strides. Leckie managed 10 strides through a wider approach, still maintaining his quick pace and edging his way to the top position. Jenkins finished just barely behind Leckie with a time of 62.231 seconds. Youngster Lauren Kolbe followed closely behind Jenkins, crossing the timers in 62.653 seconds and clutching third aboard Full Tilt Farms’ Dots & Dashes.
“Right away when [Sarah Freedman] sat on [BEC Alter Ego], she knew that was the horse for her,” said Leckie, San Juan Capistrano, CA. “She’s probably one of the best horses I’ve ever ridden; she’s smooth, easy, careful, very modern, and in the barn she’s like a dog. She follows you around.”
Leckie has great plans for the mare’s future, primarily with her owner in the saddle. “I see her doing the national grand prixs with Sarah,” he continued. “That’s the goal for her. For me, I try to keep her sharp and in the ring as much as possible.”
Leckie and his wife, Sophie Simpson-Leckie, manage their training business, Blue Ridge Farms LLC, together, working to further their clients’ careers in the sport. With a passion for passing his knowledge onto the next generation of top show jumpers, Leckie’s circuit goals consist of supporting his younger riders in their career aspirations, and assisting in their horses’ development is just the start.
“I train primarily junior and young riders to do grand prixs and quality for [FEI North American Youth Championships],” Leckie explained. “There’s a lot of prize money and opportunity here for these girls to get in the ring and jump big classes and difficult tracks. Between all our riders, the goal is to get in the grand prixs and money classes as much as possible.
“When I train young riders to hopefully become professionals, it’s a real journey,” he added. “We start most of our kids in the 1.0m and bring them up through the ranks. For me, that’s super exciting and I love seeing them achieve their goals. Last year we were lucky that they all got medals [at NAYC] and this year we’re hungry to do the same thing and to see them go to Europe and compete and develop.”
Final Results: $10,000 Platinum Performance 1.35m Welcome Speed
1. BEC Alter Ego / Robert Sean Leckie / Sarah Freedman / 0/60.902
2. Casallantum / Savannah Jenkins / Lavender Creek / 0/62.231
3. Dots & Dashes / Lauren Kolbe / Full Tilt Farms / 0/62.653
4. Tapalpa LS / Kaitlin Campbell / SWS Training & Sales / 0/63.995
5. Jane Avril Des Terdrix / Hannah Evans / Hannah Evans / 0/64.589
6. Gamble / James Chawke / James Chawke / 0.64.796
7. Chesterfield / Ava Spinale / Ava Spinale / 0/65.395
8. T-Quick Hurricane Z / Allison Kroff / 0/65.527
9. Chagolou / Jamie Gornall / Jamie Gornall / 0/66.219
10. Christy JNR / Chandler Meadows / Chandler Meadows / 0/66.881
11. Gucci Musterd / Bruno Diniz Das Neves / Laura Khorshid / 0/67.038
12. Karius / Bruno Diniz Das Neves / Mirasol Equestrian, LLC / 0/68.394
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The Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association (PCHA), a non-profit corporation, has as its main purpose the promotion and development of the sport of horse showing, primarily in the Hunter/Jumper, Western and Reining disciplines. These objectives are accomplished by setting the standards for showing on the West Coast and approving shows that meet these criteria.
Founded in 1946, the Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association promotes the interests of owners and exhibitors, cooperates with exhibitors, officials, and management of competition, publicizes and advertises PCHA sanctioned shows, encourages and assists owners, exhibitors, and breeders of horses to maintain, develop and improve the quality of horses of the Hunter, Jumper, Western and Reining divisions.