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    What a show

    Talent and fun fill a growing Del Mar Int'l

    From releases and staff reports - November 6th, 2014 - Cover Story, Show & Event News

    1411A CoverDEL MAR — Packed with world class competition, appreciative crowds and the likes of zombies and engaging contests, the Del Mar International each year adds to its late-October “must attend” faithful. This year’s line-up did not disappoint, from Dutch grand prix rider Harrie Smolders and Regina Z outdueling Rich Fellers and Flexible by .04 seconds in Saturday night’s $125,000 Rancho Valencia World Cup Grand Prix of Del Mar, to Hannah Von Heidegger and Geledimar taking the GGT Footing Grand Prix Series Final the next day.

    There were many special classes, each with a compelling story, perhaps none more compelling than that of Buddy Brown and Finally Ours in the Grand Prix Hunter Derby Final. Brown’s win on “Joey” – nicknamed for the boy character in the 1960s television series “Fury” that inspired Brown to ride as a kid – capped the duo’s 18-month journey together.

    Josephina Nor Lantzman and Chello Z soar to victory in the Grand Prix of the Pacific, one of several special classes at the Del Mar International Oct. 15-26.

    Josephina Nor Lantzman and Chello Z soar to victory in the Grand Prix of the Pacific, one of several special classes at the Del Mar International Oct. 15-26.

    Amy McCool photo

    “He’s very special to me,” said the 58-year-old Olympic veteran, renowned clinician and course designer, who took on the 11-year-old gelding as a project last year and discovered a new partner. “Since I’ve been a pro in this business — since my 20s — most horses that have come into my life have been for resale to a clent or something like that. This one is coming into my life to be mine.”

    Hunter derbies have become the jumping legend’s new competition of choice, and Joey has fueled the flame.

    “It’s brought back a whole new interest and rejuvenation in myself,” said Brown, who owns Joey in a partnership that includes his father and stepmother, Graham and Betsy Brown, as well as Brad and Kathy Coors. “I still have very strong competitive desires. I wake up eager and can’t wait to go put on my whites for the hunter derbies.”

    The horse was shunned by other suitors because, as Brown puts it, “he had learned a few moves to intimidate riders.”

    A hard-charging Rich Fellers and Flexible.

    A hard-charging Rich Fellers and Flexible.

    Amy McCool photo

    “He probably had been doing the wrong job with the wrong people for some time,” he said.

    Brown evaluated Joey, learned “his little move” that scared away buyers, and addressed it. It took time – and patience. After a few weeks, Brown felt a connection that would lead to acquiring him.

    “A lot of the talented horses have personalities, and when they are not nurtured a lot of times, they get lost in their thoughts,” said Brown. “I’ve made a career out of finding the personality in horses and bringing them out, getting them to trust me.”

    “Joey and I’ve got off to a pretty good start.”

    MORE ONLINE: http://bit.ly/411A_DelMar

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