Kenneth Vinther and Collichio kick off Blenheim season with split-second grand prix win
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — With an exuberant crowd gathered on the grassy knoll at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park, the Blenheim Spring Classic I kicked off the 2017 season with the first $25,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix of the year.
Local rider Kenneth Vinther topped the field of 14 aboard the young Holsteiner stallion, Colicchio, after a speedy double-clear effort.
Course designer Catsy Cruz of Mexico built an inviting track that led to four double-clars, the top two of which stopped the clock within .2 seconds of one another.
Hannah Loly, a rising star at age 14 who also won the 1.35m Jumper Classic on Friday, took home second place aboard Asombro with a time of 47.28, while Vinther and Colicchio clinched first in 47.09.
Both the first round and the jump-off allowed riders to flow forward, which Vinther took advantage of.
“It was the kind of course where you try to hit a good pace and then stick to it,” Vinther said. “My plan was to try to pick up a good rhythm and just maintain it all the way through, which he did.”
This Grand Prix win is a first for both Vinther and Colicchio. With 15 qualifiers remaining in Markel Insurance 1.40m Grand Prix Series, the keen competition will continue in the months ahead.
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SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Since 2012, Legolas 92 and U.S. Team rider Steffen Peters traveled the world together and have a multitude of titles to their credit, including a Team Bronze Medal from last summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
But in January, Four Winds Farm’s Westfalen gelding (Laomedon x Fuerstin by Florestan II) entered a whole new chapter in his career as Peters handed over the reins to 27-year-old former working student Dawn White-O’Connor, and the promising pair wasted no time getting top results as they claimed both the CDI Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special titles at Cornerstone Event Management’s Dressage Affaire CDI3*/1*/Y/J/U25/AM, held March 24-26
White-O’Connor’s weekend got off on the right foot as she piloted Legolas to a hard-fought win over a field of 12 competitors in Friday’s CDI Grand Prix with 73.780%.
“I think it was the cleanest test with the best feeling I’ve had with him so far,” White-O’Connor said. “There’s always plenty of room for improvement, but I was so happy.”
The pair then returned to the main ring at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park with another solid performance in the Grand Prix Special, topping the leaderboard with 73.706% in their inaugural outing in this notoriously-challenging test.
Medicine, whether veterinary or human, is always evolving. New and ancient modalities are constantly being explored to best serve our patients. What used to be called “eastern medicine” or “alternative medicine”, has now earned the term “complementary medicine”. This month, I thought we might discuss complementary medicine and some of the types we may see in our equine patients.
A chiropractor diagnoses and treats problems with our backs and other areas of the body. In veterinary medicine, the term to this type of practitioner is a Certified Veterinary Medical Manipulation Practitioner (CVMMP). Now, that is a mouthful! CVMMPs adjust the backs, hips, necks and other parts of the body. Often times their additional training makes them excellent at lameness detection. They manipulate various parts of the equine body that may be out of alignment. They do an excellent job at keeping our equine athletes at the top of their game!
Encinitas-based Porter and Milano take AIG $1 Million Grand Prix in Thermal
THERMAL — Mandy Porter rose to the occasion against a top-notch field of 54 riders March 20 in the most popular AIG $1 Million Grand Prix class to date.
Porter, based in Encinitas, rode Milano, owned by Abigail Weese, to a thrilling finish as the second-to-last rider in a six-horse jump-off. The starting order included several prior victors of the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix at HITS Desert Horse Park including 2016, 2015 and 2014 winners: McLain Ward, Charlie Jayne and Ashlee Bond.
“It’s an honor to win this class, coming into this I always hoped that this result would happen,” said Porter. “I always try to go into an event like this hoping to do the best that I can – —I think it’s great that the West Coast won this one!”
Horse Spirit Ranch will host a one-day Sylvia Zerbini Liberty Clinic and Luncheon in beautiful Bonsall this month. It will be a rare, up-close opportunity for horse-lovers to spend a day with Sylvia, former star of Cavalia and a ninth generation circus performer. The Liberty Clinic, Luncheon and Fundraiser on Sunday, April 23 will be held at the Horse Spirit Ranch facility located a short drive east of Oceanside, south from Temecula or north from Escondido. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and will feature a silent auction, vendor booths, raffles, and a tack sale. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Horse Spirit Ranch Emergency Horse Fund, and is sponsored by Ambassadors for Compassion, Inc., a 501(c)(3).
Riders often believe they are using their legs, but as an observer, it’s clear to see space between their leg and the horses’ sides. The correct stirrup length plays a big role in the ability of the rider to use their legs comfortably. If stirrups are too long, the rider is constantly reaching for them as they ride, straightening their legs until they feel contact. In order to make contact, they reach with their toes and by pointing their toes down; the rider develops a habit of leaning forward. If the stirrups are too short, the rider places too much weight in the stirrup which can contribute to knee pain at the very least.
Top professionals share a seasonal look at equestrian real estate in their areas of expertise
Keller Williams Coastal Estates
Monterey County/ Central Coast
In a word, “variety” is what makes Monterey county special for horse people. You can ride on the beach or trails in Carmel Valley or Jack’s Peak. With several micro climates, we are never too hot or too cold to play with horses. If you like it warmer find a spot in the valley, if you like it cooler stay closer to the coast. Our equestrian community has members active in just about every discipline imaginable: hunter/jumper, dressage, polo, driving, everything western from western pleasure and cowboy dressage to reining. We have a wide variety of horse property and boarding facilities and great trainers for every arena. No matter what you are looking for, you can find here in Monterey county. We have beautiful weather, beautiful views and a diverse and welcoming equestrian community. It’s hard to beat!
The inaugural Winter Central California Horse Show Series wrapped up in March after two weeks of competition and camaraderie at the scenic Paso Robles Horse Park. Next up for the West Palms series will be Flintride Spring Classic (April 20-23) and the 96th Annual Flintridge Horse Show (April 27-30).
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Dude Ranchers Association
More and more people are seeking to use their vacation time to explore new, unique hobbies and sports that can’t be found in their own backyards. A guest ranch is the perfect destination for visitors to discover new pastimes like horseback riding, a popular activity among guests at the more than 100 dude ranches that make up the Dude Ranchers’ Association (DRA).
HT: Dale, are there any similarities in the roles of a movie stunt rider and a candidate for L.A. City Council?
DG: Being on budget and being on time are the most important things dealing with the city and, especially, on set. In either place, if you get known for being undependable, a big spender and never on time, you are not going to be very popular.
HT:It’s been pointed out that “stunt man” is just one item on your resume. You’ve been President of your local Neighborhood Council that works closely with the Los Angeles City Council on neighborhood issues, you are the current President of the Equine Advisory Board, working closely the last seven years with the L.A. City Council on equestrian issues. And, you’re a businessman in L.A. going on 18 years now.