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Brazilian beat continues

Eduardo Menezes takes La Fleur 4 to victory in mare's first GP

Special to the Horsetrader - June 20th, 2013 - Cover Story, Show & Event News
Amy McCool photo

Amy McCool photo

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — He led the victory gallop in Del Mar a month ago on Calavda, and wins today on La Fleur 4.

On yet another great day in Southern California, a small but stellar group of international competitors took on the challenge presented by world-renowned course designer Linda Allen in the $30,000 June Classic I Grand Prix, sponsored by St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort. Previous to this event, Hannah Heidegger dominated the final qualifier for the 2013 North American Junior & Young Rider Championships and young professional Nick Haness continued his prowess in the CashCall Mortgage Futurity series.

Allen attempted to set a track that fit the mix of experience among the entries.

“It is a balancing act because the standard is set and the specifications are in the prize list,” she said. “Taking into account that there are some less experienced horses, I tried to find a happy medium that meets the standards and isn’t too difficult.”

On this beautiful afternoon, the time allowed of 96 seconds was the nemesis of four riders, while four had one rail and only two jumped fault-free. The second vertical element of the two-stride came down six times and the open water caused faults several times as well as two refusals.

Brazilian Menezes entered the arena first on the eight-year-old dappled grey, Le Fleur 4. The pair jumped around beautifully and paved the way for a clean round. Problems ensued for riders who tried to match his perfect score, including Menezes on another mount. Second to go, Saree Solanki on Olympiade Des Gres (Tomboy Farms, owner), were the first victims of the tight time allowed, as they didn’t lower the height of any obstacle but scored four time faults, finishing tenth for the day.

Amy McCool photo

Amy McCool photo

Fifth and sixth to go, veterans Rusty Stewart on Grey Fox Farm’s Bristol and Josephina Nor-Lantzman aboard the talented Chello Z, had no faults over jumps but got caught by the clock, ending with one time fault and three time faults respectively. Northern California resident Nicole Bloom on Think Big Van TL (Rhys Farms, LLC, owner) galloped in thirteenth and stopped the clock just .003 seconds faster than Nor-Lantzman for another score resulting in three time faults. Second to last to go, Paige Dotson on her own Rockford I, had a lucky rub at fence 5, stayed within the time and went clean. The final pair, New Zealand’s Guy Thomas and Peterbilt, had four faults, leaving the jump-off between Menezes and Dotson.

Menezes and the graceful grey mare galloped around the jump-off course fault-free, meaning Dotson had to be both clean and fast. After having a rail, the young rider pulled up, pleased to be second to the victorious Menezes.

After having won on his experienced 13-year-old mount, Calavda, in May, Menezes was equally pleased with his young horse.

“This was actually her first grand prix,” he said. “The mare is only eight years old, but she has a big future ahead of her.”

Dotson also praised her trusty steed.

“Honestly, I was really nervous,” she said. “Most of the riders in the class have a lot of grand prix miles. My trainer (Keri Potter) has jumped clean on him many times, so I knew that he could do it and would take care of me. I just had to make sure I stayed within the time allowed!”

Amy McCool photo

Amy McCool photo

Before the grand prix, the morning was cool but Hannah Heidegger was hot as she beat veteran Susie Hutchison for the win in the 1.45m Jumper Classic. A Classic and a Young Rider Trial, the class tested both ability and skill to compete against seasoned competitors. After the trials, there were two entries added to the list for the NAJYRC in Lexington, Ken., next month: Young Riders Heidegger on Geledimar and Haley Schwab on Wakyra, and Junior Riders Maggie Drysch on Ashtin’s Obsession, Kelsey Maloney/Quattro & Olivia Champ/Lady Sparkle.

On Saturday, Nick Haness and Kendall Perrins’ mare Zeppelien topped a field of seventeen for the CashCall Futurity Qualifier win. The fourth CashCall Mortgage Futurity Qualifier at Blenheim’s June Classic I had 17 entries, and Nick Haness brought home the blue once again aboard the fabulous mare Zeppelien, owned by Kendall Perrin. With 80, points, 13 points ahead of second-ranked Kandi Stewart and C-Scooter, Haness maintains a strong lead. Stewart picked up fifth place and 13 points for a total of 67 overall. Miss CashCall sits comfortably in fourth in the standings after taking home sixth in the latest qualifying class.

Jeff Fields earned the red ribbon on Already, owned by Kew Farms, to put the pair in ninth position in the standings. Joining the Southern California crowd from Arizona, Ken Dickey rode Rocking D Ranch’s Ivan to third, earning him 15 points. Dickey and Ivan only need 14 points to catch up to the current top 15, and with four qualifiers remaining, consistent ribbons could earn him and other pairs just starting to qualify a chance to compete in the final.

$30,000 June Classic I Grand Prix, sponsored by St. Regis Monarch Beach
June 9, 2013 * Mission Rancho Vista Riding Park, San Juan Capistrano
Place – Horse – Rider – Owner – Faults/Time
1 La Fleur 4/ Eduardo Menezes/ Eduardo Menezes/ 0/0/34.292
2 Rockford I/ Paige Dotson/ The Dotson Family/ 0/92.147
3 Bristol/ Rusty Stewart/ Grey Fox Farm/ 1/96.486
4 Think Big Van TL/ Nicole Bloom/ Rhys Farms LLC/ 3/98.490
5 Chello Z/ Josephina Nor-Lantzman/ Josephina Nor Stables/ 3/98.493
6 Peterbilt/ Guy Thomas/ Peterbilt LLC/ 4/88.843
7 Semira De Saulieu/ Lane Clarke/ Charlotte Gadbois/ 4/92.405
8 Saffier/ Humberto Quirarte/ Humberto Quirarte/ 4/92.564
9 Caruschka/ Eduardo Menezes/ Eduardo Menezes/ 4/93.734
10 Olympiade Des Gres/ Saree Solanki/ Tomboy Farms/ 4/99.472
11 Lucas/ Peter Breakwell/ No Drama/ 5/96.526
12 Acorina/ Will Simpson/ Monarch International/ 8/88.935

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