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    1510A CHT CoverSAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — With 39 entries and 11 clean, the final qualifier of the Markel Insurance 1.40m Grand Prix Series kept everyone on the edge of their seats and saddles, as top contenders raced to be the fastest, and, of course, clean. Four riders each had two horses in the jump-off, Brazilian Eduardo Menezes, Australian Lane Clarke, Brazilian Josephina Nor Lantzman and Enrique Gonzalez of Mexico, followed by last week’s winner, American Susan Hutchison aboard Ziedento.

    With several speed demons aiming for the top prize, it was Clarke piloting MH Wardance, owned by MH Warbucks, who took the quickest route without a fault. Demonstrating true warrior mentality, “Brave,” as Clarke calls the horse, performed this feat even after pulling a shoe partway through the jump-off round.

    Clarke was fully aware that the competition was going to put the pressure on.

    “I knew it was going to be really fast from the beginning,” he said. “Eduardo on Carushka was extremely fast, my mare Semira is extremely fast, so I knew I was going to have to go really fast on Brave. I really wanted to win the last Grand Prix [of the season], it’s home and I love it here.”

    This was Brave’s first grand prix win.

    “I’m just really happy with my horse and thankful for all the support I get from all the people around my home,” Clarke added. “Also, to the Percivals for sponsoring the horse, Mickey for all the coaching and all of my sponsors. And a special thanks to Brave. He’s grown up a lot this year, he left his heart on the line and it was successful. I’m super excited for how good he was today.”

    With well over $50,000 in prize money, the Markel Insurance 1.40m Grand Prix Final at The Las Vegas National on Nov. 12 is on the horizon, and Clarke has his eye on the possibilities.

    MORE ONLINE: Http://bit.ly/510A_Blen

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