EDITED PRESS RELEASE
San Juan Capistrano, CA – Camilo Rueda has made his California debut quite an impressive one this week at Blenheim EquiSports in San Juan Capistrano, CA.
Aboard Indus van het Keysereyck, the 29-year-old Colombian rider topped both the $25,000 CSI2* 1.45m Silver Tour Speed Stake on Thursday, April 6, and the $50,000 CSI2* 1.45m Silver Tour Grand Prix on Saturday, April 8.
“It’s unreal!” said Rueda, who recently made the move to California to work with Louise Sullivan at Hidden Hills Equestrian. “Winning two times in the big classes in the same week is just awesome, but also the other horses in the national classes were really good, so I have to say that it was one of the dream weeks that we expected.”
On his way to the win in Saturday’s finale event at the Blenheim Spring Classic I, Rueda was one of 18 entries from a 29-horse starting field to jump the first-round track without fault. From there, speed was the name of the game.
“It was a tough course; it wasn’t that easy when I walked it,” said Rueda of the track set by course designer Peter Holmes. “There were a lot of clears in the beginning, so I realized in that moment that it was going to be a really big, fast jump-off!”
Rueda had the benefit of returning to the Derby Field in the latter half of the jump-off, and when he entered the ring, the time to beat had been set at 38.17 seconds by Keri Potter and Quitana 11.
Rueda and Indus van het Keysereyck made short work of the course, leaving out strides in two locations, including down to the final oxer – which he flew over in 37.86 seconds to take the win.
“It makes it feel a little more impressive when you can beat that many participants with that speed! I took advantage of my horse’s stride; it’s massive,” said Rueda of the 15-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, owned by Rueda and Santiago Rueda Ucros. “This horse I have had for three years, and he has experience and has been with me at a lot of different shows around the world. He has been with me in Colombia, in Europe, and now here in California.”
Rueda continued, “I like that it combines everything here; there’s the biggest sport with the FEI shows but also [good classes] for the national horses. The courses are really nice, and you don’t have to travel that much. At other places, you are constantly on the road, and I’m really not a fan of it. I really prefer to be based somewhere and try to show a little bit close like this. I’m working to start more business here. So far I like it!”
With Rueda taking the win, second place went to Potter and Quitana 11, owned by Tres Palomas. Potter and the 17-year-old Holsteiner mare also earned the win in Wednesday’s $1,500 CSI2* 1.40m Silver Tour Power & Speed. Rounding out the top three in Saturday’s highlight grand prix were Australia’s Lane Clarke and Hooverphonic Odeveld, owned by Mickey Hayden.
For full results of the $50,000 CSI2* 1.45m Silver Tour Speed Stake, click here.
Blenheim EquiSports is the place to jump all season long, with competition resuming on Wednesday, April 12, with the Blenheim Spring Classic II. Running through Sunday, April 16, the Blenheim Spring Classic will feature the $100,000 CSI3* ATCO Gold Tour Grand Prix. Throughout the Blenheim Spring Classic series, FEI riders earn points toward the $25,000 FEI Spring Series Rider Bonus.
Other highlight events this spring at Blenheim EquiSports’ home at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park include the Longines FEI Jumping Nations CupTM USA on Sunday, May 14. To learn more about Blenheim EquiSports, visit ThePlaceToJump.com, and to find out more about this spring’s Nations Cup USA, visit www.USANationsCup.com.