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What plays in Vegas ends Blenheim season

Special to the Horsetrader - November 18th, 2010 - Show & Event News
Richard Spooner and Lady Like went last and won the $30,000 Las Vegas Speed Classic.

Flying Horse photo

Richard Spooner and Lady Like went last and won the $30,000 Las Vegas Speed Classic.

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The 2010 Las Vegas National marked the end of a superb season of grand prix show jumping competition for Blenheim EquiSports. Vegas highlights included three evening events as well as a Competitors Party, VIP treatment at some of Sin City’s best clubs and a rockin’ Grand Prix after party.

Blenheim does have two new events on its calendar in San Juan Capistrano on the weekends of Dec. 3-5 and 10-12.

At the South Point in Las Vegas, competitors and spectators alike came for Thursday’s $30,000 FEI Welcome Jumper Classic, presented by Royal Champion, Friday’s $30,000 Las Vegas Speed Classic, presented by CardFlex and Saturday’s $50,000 Las Vegas CSI-W Grand Prix, made possible by Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.

Eduardo Menezes and Tomba win the $50,000 Las Vegas CSI-W Grand Prix.

Flying Horse photo

Eduardo Menezes and Tomba win the $50,000 Las Vegas CSI-W Grand Prix.

The Saturday class was the first of three World Cup qualifiers on the West Coast this month. Several competitors have their sights set on the 2011 FEI World Cup Finals in Leipzig, Germany. Certainly a spectacular Saturday night in Vegas, the evening commenced John Huntington style. Famous for his party production innovation, Huntington opened the show by welcoming the competitors into the ring, and after introducing the riders to the crowd, treated everyone to an impressive music and laser light show.

Twenty-three entries attempted the challenges of Jack Robson’s twisty indoor track. Quite a few of the thirteen efforts were lowered in height during the course of the night, but the triple combination at 8a-b-c up the diagonal and fence 10, the tall 1.60m wall, on a bending line coming home caused the most errors. Kirsten Coe went first on Ilan Ferder’s Kilkenny Randall Z. She rode the track beautifully with the just the last jump hitting the ground for a score of four.

Ashlee Bond and Cadett 7 win Thursday's  $30,000 Las Vegas Welcome Jumper Classic

Flying Horse photo

Ashlee Bond and Cadett 7 win Thursday's $30,000 Las Vegas Welcome Jumper Classic

When the eighth horse cantered in, Cantano with partner Susie Hutchison, the four-fault trend continued. Not only did Hutchison and the three who followed her, Michelle Spadone on Melisimo, Ashlee Bond aboard Cadett 7 and Francie Steinwedell-Carvin on Taunus, have just one fence down, but four more for a total of nine couples missed the clean ride by one rail.

It seemed a four-fault jump off was inevitable when the second to last to go galloped in. The new team of Eduardo Menezes and Tomba toured the track without fault and changed the course of the night. Celebrating his clean ride, Menezes waved to the cheering crowd. Last in, Canadian Tani Ziedler riding Ranville were the ninth to score four faults, securing the victory for Menezes.

“It was a tough course in a tough ring; when the jumps get bigger everything comes up really quick. So if you have one little mistake, it adds up,” explained the victorious Menezes. “But I think it suited my horse.” Menezes partnered with Tomba mid-summer and has been steadily moving him up through the divisions. “We started in the 1.30m and by Del Mar last week he was winning in the 1.45m.”

Forty-six sailed around Friday’s exciting $30,000 Las Vegas Speed Classic. Early on Sarah Baldwin aboard Laurus set the time to beat at 63.56. Midway through Jason McArdle cut a second off Baldwin’s time, blazing around on Fairbank Valley Farm’s Viper in 62.61. Ali Nilforushan with Warco Van de Halhoeve slipped ahead of Baldwin in 63.35, ultimately finishing third. Richard Spooner, the Master of Faster, was the last to go aboard Lady Like. And master he did, stopping the clock at 62.32 for the win.

Ashlee Bond made her mark with Little Valley Farm’s Cadett 7 and Chivas Z. Taking charge early, Bond and Cadett 7 won the $30,000 FEI Welcome Jumper Classic, with Chivas Z earning sixth. On Saturday night Bond snagged second and third, maintaining her World Cup Points leading status. Lowering the height of fence four, she picked up the pace and was the fastest four faulter aboard Cadett 7. Also fast, Chivas Z was so close to clean, but had that heartbreaking rail at the final fence. Groans could be heard throughout the arena as the rail fell.

MORE RESULTS: See website http://bit.ly/011BBlenheim
MORE ONLINE: See http://news.horsetrader.com

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