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SONOMA – Susie Hutchison debuted the mare SIG Excel in her first grand prix May 12, and the Temecula-based trainer won the $20,000 Equine Insurance Grand Prix at the five-day Horse & Hound Spring Show.

SIG Excel, purchased from Alan Waldman by SIG International Hutchison last November, is an 8-year old Dutch mare, who under Hutchison was circuit Champion in the Level 6 division at the 2012 HITS Thermal Desert Circuit. They moved up to the level 1.40 classes Blenheim EquiSports events in San Juan Capistrano.

In her grand prix debut, SIG Excel outclassed a four-horse jump-off against seasoned horses, even though she was first to go in the jump off. After showing again at Sonoma the following weekend, Hutchison plans to show SIG Excel at the Blenheim June Jamboree in San Juan Capistrano.

Hutchison’s barn has two promising 8-year-old mares now that belong to SIG – SIG Excel and SIG Zulieka. At Sonoma, Zuleika, shown by Hutchison since last October, had a very light rail down and finished sixth.

“Both mares think they are really good,” Hutchison said of the spirited pair. “They have ‘attitude’.”

Hutchison will focus this year on preparing these two mares to start World cup Classes in 2013. She purchased SIG Excel and her latest addition – a new 7-year old that just arrived last week and won a pair of 7-8 year-old classes – from Waldman in Holland.

“Alan is a longtime friend and a great horseman who is familiar with the American way of riding and what is needed to be successful in the sport today,” she said. “The horse ‘Big Star’ that Nick Skelton is showing came from Alan.”

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