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Fast Lane

Special to the Horsetrader - November 15th, 2012 - Show & Event News

Rick Osteen photo

Lane Clarke and Cassuer de Pris race to an exciting win...

DEL MAR — Lane Clarke captured the $55,000 Villas at Rancho Valencia World Cup Qualifying Grand Prix, presented by the California Horsetrader, to highlight the Del Mar Fall Festival.

It marked the the third time this year for Clarke to win a big grand prix, and it puts him solidly in the top 10 ranking of the North American West Coast World Cup League.

The Del Mar Fall Festival, which ran from Oct. 17-28, proved a good venue for Clarke. In addition to the Oct. 27 grand prix, his wins during the show included championships in the $1,000 Del Mar Fall I 5- & 6-Year Old Jumpers on Caspar S; the $250 Del Mar Fall II 1.40M Jumpers on Caretol; the $250 Del Mar Fall II 1.35M Jumpers on Caretol, and first, second and fourth in the $250 Del Mar Fall I 1.45M Jumpers on Caretol, Casseur de Prix and Kiss the Sky, respectively.

These were all difficult classes with many entries and tough courses. In the World Cup Qualifier, 37 horse and rider teams competed and only four went clear on the challenging 1.60M course designed by Olaf Peterson. Of those, just two went double clear with Clarke besting second-place finisher Nicole Shahinian-Simpson by over six seconds.

The 26-year old credits much of his success with building great relationships among his “team,” including head trainer Mickey Hayden and his staff, grooms, owners, vets, shoer, and most importantly his horses. On the ground and in the saddle, Clarke develops a bond with all the horses he rides including Granville Equine’s Casseur de Prix.

“I believe in Casseur, and Casseur believes in me,” CLarke said. “It’s the best way I know to make it over difficult obstacles like the massive Lego block wall at Del Mar. Neither one of us could see over it. We just trusted each other and it worked.”

Hayden, with whom Clarke has worked for since 2002, calls Lane a born horseman and competitor.
“In everything he does, he strives for excellence,” said Hayden. “No one deserves success more than he does.”

Clarke is also a down-to-earth, likeable guy. In 2008, he was awarded by his peers “Sportsman of the Year” at Del Mar. He is always there to tell a joke, help out a rider, or lift someone’s spirit. After being named PCHA “2003 Rookie of the Year,” Clarke now seems to have figured out what it takes in this sport. With each win, he nods to the crowd then points enthusiastically to his horse as the reason for his success. With his skills, dedication, and attitude, he is certainly a rider to keep an eye on.

MORE ONLINE: http://bit.ly/211B_Fest

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