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Young and the future

Champions crowned in Young Jumper Championships Western Regionals

Special to the Horsetrader - October 4th, 2018 - Show & Event News

Quentin VA and Susan Artes take the 5-year-old win at the Sept. 20-23 YJC Regionals in San Juan Capistrano.

Quentin VA and Susan Artes take the 5-year-old win at the Sept. 20-23 YJC Regionals in San Juan Capistrano.

Capturedmomentphoto.com photo

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO—As the 2018 outdoor season comes to a close, Blenheim EquiSports welcomed the horses and riders who have prepared for the Young Jumper Championships throughout the year. About 50 young horses from ages four to seven competed on the grass of The Oaks International Grand Prix Field Sept. 23 in this year’s YJC Western Regional Finals, presented by Electronic Vet, during the International Jumping Festival.

Many of the future equine stars qualified through competing in young jumper classes for free at Blenheim EquiSports. A group of six wide-eyed and wonderful 4-year-olds competed on The Oaks International Grand Prix Field in their division of the Futurity Regionals. With a flat phase and jumping course on Wednesday, and a full course over slightly larger obstacles on Thursday, the youngsters were judged on rideability, jumping scope, technique, and movement. Two experienced horsemen, Will Simpson and Jason McArdle, adjudicated. U.S. bred C Everest (Cancara Z x Diamond Dancer by Blue Diamond), with rider and owner Kristina Cain, remained consistent over the two days to take home a well-deserved victory.

“I bred him. He’s out of one of my old jumper mares who is a really good producer,” Cain said. “I’ve had him since the day he was born. He’s a little cheeky, but mostly very sweet, easy, brave and careful.”

Another U.S.-bred gelding, Gambler’s Choice (Good Times x Vegas by Show Star 2), ridden by Jamie Sailor, and owned by Mike Edrick, won the first round over fences, with only one rail over the two days. This pair finished second overall.

With one round on Thursday, one on Friday and a final round on Sunday that progressively increased in height and difficulty, the 5-, 6- and 7-year-old divisions jumped tracks created by veteran course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio.

After three rounds, three 5-year-olds were triple-clean to qualify for a jump-off: John Pearce and Nicole Teague’s Corsini, Jason McArdle riding Fairbanks Valley Farm’s Nikolina, and Susan Artes aboard Isabel Roth’s Quentin VA. Artes and the bay Holsteiner stallion, by Quarz x Trixie by Cash and Carry, rose to the top of the pack, going clear in 36.199 to beat McArdle and Nikolina’s time of 36.791 by just over a half-second.

Quite pleased with the stallion, Artes noted that although he had shown a bit this year, he rose to the challenge on the final day.

“Fortunately, I think the miles this year paid off today because it was a little bit bigger than what we have jumped in the past,” she said. “And he has never really done a jump-off before. He is a little strong but he listened to me today.”

Overall, the 5-year-old horses presented at this year’s Young Jumper Championships did not disappoint, but rather gave us all a taste of the up-and-coming talent in this country—and in this region specifically.

Of the 13 6-year-old horses who competed in this division, four riders went clear over the first two days. After Sunday’s class, only one pair finished triple clear over the three days. This earned Hallie Buttenweiser, riding Ezmeralda EH Z (owned by Altaire Ventures), the win and the title of the 2018 6-year-old Western League Young Jumper Champion.

“Thursday she was a little fresh, Friday she had the energy just right, and today she is a bit tired, but she is a show horse and thrives in the show ring,” Buttenwieser explained. “But around the barn she is really, really easy. She just likes to lick your face.”

In the 7-year-old division, five horses answered all the questions asked over the three rounds, resulting in a jump-off. The impressive group of youngsters all went quadruple clear, with speed as the deciding factor. Third to go, Keri Potter and Jiminy Cricket, owned by Melanie Brooks, were impressive in a time of 41.850, snatching the lead from Trudi Fletcher aboard Linda Smith’s Gee Whiz. Susan Hutchison and Gameboy sped around the shortened track in 42.393, not quite catching Potter, but beating Fletcher’s time by a fraction of a second to finish second overall, with Fletcher a close third.

Potter complimented the format of the championships.

“It’s fun for the young horses to jump three rounds,” she said. “It’s the only time during the year we get to do this.

Potter sees a future international horse in this talented youngster and plans to do 1.40m and the Markel Insurance 1.45m classes next season.

Bringing the young horse season to a close at Blenheim EquiSports for 2018, 5-year-old champion Artes reflected on the positive effect of the program.

“The free entries and discounted stall that Blenheim does play a huge role,” she said. “It allows us to bring along a lot more horses.”

More online: http://bit.ly/10_Blen

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