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Revving up the Harley

Aussie Brown outduels Shahanian-Simpson as Blenheim series heats up

Special to the Horsetrader - July 5th, 2012 - Show & Event News

Flying Horse photo

Harley Brown guided Cassiato to a double clear round, securing first place in 37.097.

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Australia’s Harley Brown continued to heat up along with the Blenheim EquiSports hunter-jumper season, taking first and third places in the $30,000 June Classic III Grand Prix June 24 at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park. Seven nations represented the field of 20 horse-and-rider combinations at the show.

Nearing the end of the qualifying round, Brown was the one to catch with both o his jump-off qualifiers, Angelli and Cassiato. With two riders to go, Nicole Shahinian-Simpson ensued and qualified her mount, Picturized, for the jump-off.

Course designer Jack Robson set a track that challenged both young and seasoned horses and asked riders surprising questions that resulted in several refusals, numerous unlucky rails, and an unfortunate spill where both horse and rider walked away unscathed.

“Some unfortunate rails and time faults out there today,” Robson shared of the 20 horse-and-rider combinations attempting to master his course. Of the 16 efforts, many of the victims accrued faults at the oxer-oxer combination, the large triple bar to vertical combination and coming home to the vertical-oxer combination.

Flying Horse photo

Shahinian-Simpson tested Brown by putting up a double clear round in 38.964, but settled for second.

“It was a national standard and a rebuilding-type course for those who’ve been here all three weeks,” Robson said. “Some different lines to approach and options to take made it a unique class.”

Rusty Stewart, coming off his $30,000 June Classic Grand Prix win the previous week on his trusted mount, Bristol, had an unlucky back rail at the first obstacle, but was able to ride the rest of the course flawlessly and settle for fifth with four faults. The only other round of the day without a dropped rail went to 18-year-old Canadian rider Alexandria Smith and her 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Albatros. Smith, however, couldn’t beat the time allowed of 84 seconds and accrued two time faults to finish fourth.

Brown and Shahinian-Simpson returned for the jump-off knowing it would take speed and precision to get through Robson’s design without fault. Returning to the track first was Brown and Paige Harryman’s 13-year-old Westphalian gelding, Angelli. Brown continued his fault-free streak with a smart but quick ride under the time allowed in 42.046. As Brown prepped his second jump-off mount, Shahinian-Simpson and her nine-year-old Hanoverian mare, Picturized, were able to cut corners and angle fences to better the leading time and go double-clear in 38.964. The crowed eagerly waited for Brown to return with Cassiato to see if he could also go double-clear and walk away champions. Brown galloped in and guided the mighty grey Holsteiner to a precise but swift round, floating over the fences with ease and stopping the clock to reclaim the lead in 37.097 seconds.

Flying Horse photo

18-year-old Alexandria Smith kept all rails in the cups but finished with two time faults, settling for fourth.

Shahinian-Simpson tested Brown by putting up a double-clear round in 38.964, but settled for second.

“He was great,” Brown said. “He just got back from Europe last Thursday and I was happy how he went today. Jack’s course was excellent. I thought it was a really well-built course.”

Brown and Castillo will return home to San Luis Obispo for some well-deserved rest and look forward to the upcoming summer series in Del Mar.

Blenheim EquiSports will continue its season with the Blenheim Jumper Classic, July 6-8 with an assortment of Jumper classes including a $15,000 1.45M Jumper Classic, $10,000 1.30M Jumper Classic, and a $5,000 1.25M Jumper Classic in the Blenheim Farms Derby Arena.

MORE RESULTS: See website http://bit.ly/27A_Blen

$30,000 June Classic III Grand Prix, presented by EquiFit, inc.
June 24, 2012 * San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
Grand Prix Top Ten

Place Horse/ Rider/ Owner/ Faults/Time
1. Cassiato/Harley Brown/ H.Brown/ 0/0/37.097
2. Picturized/N.Shahinian-Simp/ Pacifica Riding Club/ 0/0/38.964
3. Angelli/Harley Brown/ P.Harryman/ 0/0/42.048
4. Albatros/Alexandria Smith/ A.Smith/ 2 time faults
5. Bristol/Rusty Stewart/ Grey Fox Farm/ 4/76.830
6. Montejo/Francisco Pasqual/ F.Pasqual/ 4/79.544
7. Electric 2/Everardo Hegewisch/ E.Hegewisch/ 8/77.392
8. Welcome/Hillary Ridland/ H.Ridland/ 8/82.499
9. Flexing/Damian Gardiner/ Dutch K Ranch/ 8/82.617
10. Ramazzotti/Adrianne Dixon/ A.Dixon/ 8/83.638

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