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Harley runs Cassiato like a Ferrari through World Cup qualifier

Special to the Horsetrader - September 15th, 2011 - Show & Event News
After Harley Brown rode Cassiato to victory and World Cup points Sept. 3 at Showpark, he grinned through a spin in a Ferrari around the same course (below).

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After Harley Brown rode Cassiato to victory and World Cup points Sept. 3 at Showpark, he grinned through a spin in a Ferrari around the same course (right).

DEL MAR – Australian Harley Brown and his 18.2-hand mate, Cassiato, earned the blue sash, top prize money and valuable World Cup points for a job well done in the Sept. 3 $50,000 Grand Prix of Showpark, presented by The Grand Del Mar.

Of the 23 entries in the World Cup qualifying class, this pair was the only match to master Anthony D’Ambrosio’s course without fault. Several others were close, including two with just a single time fault and six with a single rail down, but not close enough to cause a jump-off.

After watching the first two horses complete the track in less than 75 seconds, D’Ambrosio shortened his time allowed from 80 to 76 seconds. Two horses later, Ilan Ferder’s Combina with Kirsten Coe was fault-free over the jumps but stopped the clock in 78.51, scoring one time fault. Thirteen entries after that, Uwwalon and Michelle Spadone were gorgeous around the course, but with a time of 78.47 they, too, scored one time fault. Hoping for a jump-off, the crowd was at the edge of their seats when the final entry galloped in. Karl Cook aboard ASB Conquistador was fault-free and within the time until the last of the 16 efforts on course where he had a heartbreak rail to finish with four. Although the audience’s collective groan could be heard throughout the park, they were happy to cheer on Harley Brown, who earned not only the win but also a sweet ride into the awards ceremony in a Ferrari.

Harley Brown and Cassiato

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Harley Brown and Cassiato

Sitting with his 6-year-old daughter, Zoe, at the autograph table, Brown was beaming after a fantastic day. In his fifth season with Cassiato, Brown is bringing along several more horses. Earlier that morning his 5-year-old horse Cash finished first with three clean rounds in the Young Jumper Championships.

When asked about the time allowed decision post class, the veteran course designer D’Ambrosio said, “I thought the decision was perfect when the first few horses had times in the low 70s. I think if you asked the riders they would agree that those with time faults rode careful and clear, not as conscious of the time.”

Knowing the riders want to be challenged with these World Cup Qualifers in order to be prepared to compete at a World Cup level, D’Ambrosio set a course that did just that.

“It was a good result over a tough course.” he added. “I believe they got what they wanted.”

Brown planned for the tight time in his ride.

“Cassiato is a big and slow type,” he said. “I’ve had time faults before. I always go in thinking the time is going to be tight.”

The four faulters finished fourth through ninth, with the fastest and fourth place going to Francie Steinwedell-Carvin riding Prentiss Partner’s Taunus. Rusty Stewart and Bristol (Grey Fox Farm, owner) picked up fifth with their four fault score; both Carvin and Stewart had fence six down mid-course. Columbian John Perez on Utopia clipped a rail at the triple bar going in to the combination at 3a, for four faults and sixth place. The heartbreak final fence four faults put Cook and ABS Conquistador into seventh place. Eighth place, Michelle Parker and Socrates De Midos, had a late rail as well, 12c, and Nicole Shahinian-Simpson picked up ninth on Monarch International’s Candle Light Van De Warande with just four at fence seven.

The World Cup Qualifying and Medal Final season continues in San Juan Capistrano at the Blenheim Fall Tournament, September 14-18 with several evenings of classes hosted in the Blenheim Farms Covered Arena. Beginning with the $31,000 Blenheim Jumper Classic, presented by Summit General Insurance Agency, on Wednesday, followed by the $50,000 Blenheim World Cup Qualifying Grand Prix, presented by Equ Lifestyle Magazine on Friday and finishing the week with Saturday’s ASPCA Maclay Regional Medal Finals.

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