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    Rising stars

    Blenheim June Classic Series unveils young talent; Zone 10 NAJYRC riders are announced

    Special to the Horsetrader - June 21st, 2012 - Cover Story, Show & Event News

    Amy McCool photo

    Tina Di Landri and Avargo enjoy a victory lap at the Rancho Mission Viejo RIding Park June 10 after winning the $30,000 Blenheim June Classic Grand Prix presented by St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort and Spa.

    SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Young riding talent made its mark at the Mission Viejo Riding Park June 6-10, as Blenheim EquiSports launched its three-week June Classic Series with a remarkable group of up-and-comers at the June Classic I.

    The leading headliner was 20-year-old Tina Di Landri, who outrode an international field by more than a second in a nail-biting jump-off to win the $30,000 Blenheim June Classic Grand Prix, presented by St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort and Spa.

    The June Classic I also held WCHR and Zone 10 Young Rider final selection trials, as both Junior and Young Riders rode toward a cumulative high-point standing over the course of the week. By Sunday, the top 10 riders were named to each team — the top four riders from Junior and Young Riders named to the team, and the fifth rider named as team alternate and the fifth individual rider. Both teams will continue on to the NAJYRC Finals later in the year in Lexington, Ky.

    In the dramatic grand prix, 19 horse-and-rider pairs challenged designer Linda Allen’s course, and veteran rider Rusty Stewart and his trusty mount, Bristol, had the first clear round in the 90-second time allowed track.

    Allen said the course was suitable for both horses starting out as well as for experienced ones.

    “It’s always fun to see a mixed group tackle the same course,” she said.

    Challenges included multiple tight turns, a triple bar, an oxer-vertical double, an optional water jump and a finishing line that included a vertical-oxer-vertical triple combination.

    Amy McCool photo

    Hard-charging Josephina Nor Lantzman and Chello Z took second in the $30,000 Blenheim June Classic Grand Prix.

    Six other riders representing four countries joined Stewart in the jump-off, which featured a course by Allen that was demanding, but with numerous options.

    The intensity grew with each horse and rider in succession stopping the clock to claim the lead. Hap Hansen, riding for his 100th career grand prix victory on Linda Smith’s Archie Bunker, secured the best time at 35.452 seconds.

    Brazilian rider Josephina Nor Lantzman and Chello Z then bested Hansen’s mark in a deja vu of grand prix during the Thermal meet, where she denied Hansen of his milestone 100th win when she outraced him by a few hundredths of a second.In the June Classic, Lantzman clocked a 35.151 time to assume the overtake Hansen and assume the lead.

    One rider remained in the jump-off, the rising talent Di Landri, who did not let her nerves get to her. In fact, she made use of the advantages of going last.

    “I knew I’d have the upper hand riding last in both rounds and watching everyone else go before me,” said the winner. “The course was great though. It wasn’t super technical, but the time allowed was tight so there was no room for error. We needed to cut some corners to avoid time faults.”

    Di Landri and the 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse, Avargo, have been riding as a team for two years and at the grand prix level since last summer. Going into the jump-off, she said it was all about turning and having momentum.

    Amy McCool photo

    Hap Hansen and Linda Smith's Archie Bunker led briefly at the $30,000 Blenheim June Classic Grand Prix jump-off, teasing spectators with the prospect of witnessing the Hall of Fame rider's 100th grand prix win.

    “After watching how slick Hap moved around the course and how intense Josephina went, I knew coming in I had to be quick and shave off as much time around turns as possible,” Di Landri said after her winning, flawless ride that clocked 34.120 seconds. “I was very happy with Avargo”.

    Course designer Allen was happy with the event, too.

    “There’s nothing a course designer could be happier with then to have the final rider win it all,” she said. “While everyone holds their breathe for Hap Hansen to clinch that 100th victory, we’ll all just enjoy riding along with him until that day happens. It’s wonderful to see Hap riding so well, and I hope that the two young ones are riding just as well at his age.”

    Zone 10 North American Junior Championship Team
    Madison Bradshaw – Katina 12
    Haley Schwab – Coya
    Hannah Von Heiddegger – Candle Light Van De Warande
    Alicia Gasser – Audi’s Reflection
    Alternate: Haley Stone – Tyrone

    Zone 10 North American Young Rider Championship Team
    Kilian McGrath – Salerno
    Sage Fylnn – Hot Pants
    Charlotte Gadbois – Semira De Saulieu
    Stevie Sorenson – Esperanto
    Alternate: Taylor Harris – Candilla

    $30,000 BLENHEIM JUNE CLASSIC GRAND PRIX
    Presented by St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort
    June 10, 2012 / San Juan Capistrano
    1st Avargo – Tina Di Landri – High Point Farm 0/0/34.120
    2nd Chello Z – Josephina Nor-Lantzman – Josephina Nor Stables 0/0/35.151
    3rd Archie Bunker – Hap Hansen – Linda Smith 0/0/35.452
    4th Casseur de Prix – Lane Clark – Granville Equine 0/0/36.259
    5th Montejo – Francisco Pasqual – Francisco Pasqual 0/0/37.838
    6th Bristol – Rusty Stewart – Grey Fox Farm 0/0/38.270
    7th Xel Ha – Michelle Parker – Tula Pinnella 0/4/36.320
    8th Picturized – Jill Humphrey – Pacificia Ridding Club 4/84.472
    9th Serendipity – Devon Gibson – Tracey Griswold 4/85.591
    10th Con Capital – Mandy Porter – Plum Creek Hollow 4/85.679

    MORE ONLINE: See website http://bit.ly/26B_Blen

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