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Susie, Cantano in 12th GP win

Pair captures two events to kick-off 2011 Blenheim season

Special to the Horsetrader - April 21st, 2011 - Show & Event News
Susie Hutchison and Cantano

Horse in Sport photo

Susie Hutchison and Cantano

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — The $40,000 Orange County Register Grand Prix welcomed 27 horse-and-rider participants onto the International Field at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park, as the Blenheim EquiSports season got under way.

Designed with the larger purse in mind, the Richard Jeffery course proved challenging as only four riders piloted their mounts without fault to secure a spot in the jump-off. Although Hap Hansen and his mount Archie Bunker set the second-round stage by laying down a double-clear performance, Susan Hutchison and Cantano were hot on their heels and effortlessly flew around the shortened track for the 12th grand prix win of their partnership.

“Cantano is so adjustable and he and I are just so in-tune,” Hutchison said after her victory gallop. “When I’m riding him, I can’t think something too soon because he just reads my mind!”

Although the pair’s performance seemed rather effortless, Hutchison found there to be many challenging elements throughout the Richard Jeffery built course.

“Richard is a fabulous course designer — the jumps are always decorated beautifully and he asks a lot of questions,” noted Hutchison. “There were plenty of decisions to be made on course today and that is how it has been all week.”

As the 23rd pair to negotiate the first round course, Hutchison and Cantano joined the select company of first to go Lane Clarke aboard Granville’s Casseur De Prix (Granville Equine, owner) and fourth in the ring, California show jumping veteran Hansen and Linda Smith’s Archie Bunker. Also qualifying for the jump-off was the clever 9-year-old Bristol (Grey Fox Farms, owners) with Rusty Stewart in the irons.

With the disadvantage of being the first duo to take the shortened track, Clarke and Granville’s Casseur De Prix needed a quick time and a clean ride to put the pressure on the three pursuing competitors, who were all solid veterans of the sport. Clarke piloted his mount around the course quickly but lowered the height one fence midway through to pick up four faults, a time of 35.60 and the third-place ribbon. Second to go, Hansen and Archie Bunker carefully worked their way over the seven elements in 39.72 seconds to put the pressure on the final two competitors.

Hutchison and her fiery bay partner, El Dorado 29’s Cantano answered Hansen’s call with a fault-free trip and a blazing time of 34.95 seconds. Stewart and his young partner Bristol lowered the height of one fence midway through the second round, crossing the timers in 37.71 seconds for a fourth place finish.

Turning in the fastest of the four fault performances, Francie Steinwedell-Carvin and Taunus (Prentiss Partners, owners) jumped around the course in a time of 77.69 for fifth place. With three mounts in the class, Clarke turned in another top-ten worthy performance aboard McLord’s First John (Mickey Hayden, owner). The duo lowered the height of one fence mid-way through the course in a time of 81.72 to take home sixth. Also with four faults, Tamie Phillips rode her own mount, Lerche, over the 16 efforts in a time of 83.19 for seventh. Riders placing eighth through twelfth each dislodged two fences on course to end the afternoon with eight faults added to their scores.

$40,000 Orange County Register Grand Prix
1. Cantano – Susan Hutchison (El Dorado 29) 0/77.63, 0/34.95
2. Archie Bunker – Hap Hansen (Linda Smith) 0/83.16, 0/39.72
3. Granville’s Casseur De Prix – Lane Clarke (Granville Equine) 0/82.79, 4/35.60
4. Bristol – Rusty Stewart (Grey Fox Farms) 0/79.74, 4/37.71
5. Taunus – Francie Steinwedell-Carvin (Prentiss Partners) 4/77.69
6. McLord’s First John – Lane Clark (Mickey Hayden) 4/81.72
7. Lerche – Tamie Phillips (Tamie Phillips) 4/83.19
8. Total Touch – Samantha Buirs (Samantha Buirs) 8/75.05
9. Radja Mercedes Benz – Eduardo Menezes (Eduardo Menezes) 8/77.78
10. Reflection Mercedes Benz – Eduardo Menezes (Eduardo Menezes) 8/78.80
11. Quinlan – Marshall Whyte (Marshall Whyte) 8/78.37
12. Silvester V – Kyle King ( Karen Thomas) 8/79.37

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