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Rising stars

Blenheim June Classic Series unveils young talent; Zone 10 NAJYRC riders are announced

Special to the Horsetrader - June 21st, 2012 - Cover Story, Show & Event News

Amy McCool photo

Tina Di Landri and Avargo enjoy a victory lap at the Rancho Mission Viejo RIding Park June 10 after winning the $30,000 Blenheim June Classic Grand Prix presented by St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort and Spa.

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Young riding talent made its mark at the Mission Viejo Riding Park June 6-10, as Blenheim EquiSports launched its three-week June Classic Series with a remarkable group of up-and-comers at the June Classic I.

The leading headliner was 20-year-old Tina Di Landri, who outrode an international field by more than a second in a nail-biting jump-off to win the $30,000 Blenheim June Classic Grand Prix, presented by St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort and Spa.

The June Classic I also held WCHR and Zone 10 Young Rider final selection trials, as both Junior and Young Riders rode toward a cumulative high-point standing over the course of the week. By Sunday, the top 10 riders were named to each team — the top four riders from Junior and Young Riders named to the team, and the fifth rider named as team alternate and the fifth individual rider. Both teams will continue on to the NAJYRC Finals later in the year in Lexington, Ky.

In the dramatic grand prix, 19 horse-and-rider pairs challenged designer Linda Allen’s course, and veteran rider Rusty Stewart and his trusty mount, Bristol, had the first clear round in the 90-second time allowed track.

Allen said the course was suitable for both horses starting out as well as for experienced ones.

“It’s always fun to see a mixed group tackle the same course,” she said.

Challenges included multiple tight turns, a triple bar, an oxer-vertical double, an optional water jump and a finishing line that included a vertical-oxer-vertical triple combination.

Amy McCool photo

Hard-charging Josephina Nor Lantzman and Chello Z took second in the $30,000 Blenheim June Classic Grand Prix.

Six other riders representing four countries joined Stewart in the jump-off, which featured a course by Allen that was demanding, but with numerous options.

The intensity grew with each horse and rider in succession stopping the clock to claim the lead. Hap Hansen, riding for his 100th career grand prix victory on Linda Smith’s Archie Bunker, secured the best time at 35.452 seconds.

Brazilian rider Josephina Nor Lantzman and Chello Z then bested Hansen’s mark in a deja vu of grand prix during the Thermal meet, where she denied Hansen of his milestone 100th win when she outraced him by a few hundredths of a second.In the June Classic, Lantzman clocked a 35.151 time to assume the overtake Hansen and assume the lead.

One rider remained in the jump-off, the rising talent Di Landri, who did not let her nerves get to her. In fact, she made use of the advantages of going last.

“I knew I’d have the upper hand riding last in both rounds and watching everyone else go before me,” said the winner. “The course was great though. It wasn’t super technical, but the time allowed was tight so there was no room for error. We needed to cut some corners to avoid time faults.”

Di Landri and the 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse, Avargo, have been riding as a team for two years and at the grand prix level since last summer. Going into the jump-off, she said it was all about turning and having momentum.

Amy McCool photo

Hap Hansen and Linda Smith's Archie Bunker led briefly at the $30,000 Blenheim June Classic Grand Prix jump-off, teasing spectators with the prospect of witnessing the Hall of Fame rider's 100th grand prix win.

“After watching how slick Hap moved around the course and how intense Josephina went, I knew coming in I had to be quick and shave off as much time around turns as possible,” Di Landri said after her winning, flawless ride that clocked 34.120 seconds. “I was very happy with Avargo”.

Course designer Allen was happy with the event, too.

“There’s nothing a course designer could be happier with then to have the final rider win it all,” she said. “While everyone holds their breathe for Hap Hansen to clinch that 100th victory, we’ll all just enjoy riding along with him until that day happens. It’s wonderful to see Hap riding so well, and I hope that the two young ones are riding just as well at his age.”

Zone 10 North American Junior Championship Team
Madison Bradshaw – Katina 12
Haley Schwab – Coya
Hannah Von Heiddegger – Candle Light Van De Warande
Alicia Gasser – Audi’s Reflection
Alternate: Haley Stone – Tyrone

Zone 10 North American Young Rider Championship Team
Kilian McGrath – Salerno
Sage Fylnn – Hot Pants
Charlotte Gadbois – Semira De Saulieu
Stevie Sorenson – Esperanto
Alternate: Taylor Harris – Candilla

Presented by St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort
June 10, 2012 / San Juan Capistrano
1st Avargo – Tina Di Landri – High Point Farm 0/0/34.120
2nd Chello Z – Josephina Nor-Lantzman – Josephina Nor Stables 0/0/35.151
3rd Archie Bunker – Hap Hansen – Linda Smith 0/0/35.452
4th Casseur de Prix – Lane Clark – Granville Equine 0/0/36.259
5th Montejo – Francisco Pasqual – Francisco Pasqual 0/0/37.838
6th Bristol – Rusty Stewart – Grey Fox Farm 0/0/38.270
7th Xel Ha – Michelle Parker – Tula Pinnella 0/4/36.320
8th Picturized – Jill Humphrey – Pacificia Ridding Club 4/84.472
9th Serendipity – Devon Gibson – Tracey Griswold 4/85.591
10th Con Capital – Mandy Porter – Plum Creek Hollow 4/85.679

MORE ONLINE: See website http://bit.ly/26B_Blen

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