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Josephina Nor-Lantzman soars to a clear jump-off and victory in the $30,000 June Classic III Grand Prix in San Juan Capistrano.

Josephina Nor-Lantzman soars to a clear jump-off and victory in the $30,000 June Classic III Grand Prix in San Juan Capistrano.

Amy McCool photo

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Sixteen horse-and-rider pairs attempted the track set by internationally renowned course designer Guilherme Jorge in the $30,000 June Classic III Grand Prix, presented by The Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel. Only three fault-free rounds spoke of the challenge, with the victory going to the only double clear of the day, Brazilian Josephina Nor-Lantzman and Chello Z.

“It’s a grand prix where a lot of people are moving up as well as having some experienced riders,” Jorge said. “My idea is to build a course where we can have a good level of competition but still have a jump-off.”

Nor-Lantzman was fifth to go and first clean. Nine rounds later, 14th in the order, Jamie Barge and Lasse, zipped around clean. Then Eduardo Menezes and his talented La Fleur 4 made it a trio when he wrapped up the first round going fault-free.

It was an exciting three gray horse jump-off with two Brazilians and an American battling it out over a Brazilian course designer’s track. The gorgeous gray Chello Z, with Nor-Lantzman in the irons, was flawless in the jump-off in a time of 38.67. After Barge and her gray mount Lasse had eight faults, it was a Brazilian showdown, as fellow countryman Menezes attempted to beat the leading time on his dapple-gray mare. His efforts were good enough for second, with a four fault score in 40.92.

Time proved to be a challenge as six of 16 entries went over the time allowed of 86 seconds. One pair, who was otherwise fault-free, Michelle Spadone and Morgan Hill Partners’ Tembla, finished fourth with two time faults.

The last vertical after the triple combination was set at an angle at the far end of the field and came down five times. A heartbreaking four faults for two of those five instances, first to go Eduardo Menezes on Sara Hank’s Quintol Mercedes Benz, and eleventh to compete, young Eugenio Garza on El Milagro’s Bariano, had just that one jump down.

After placing in the top 10 the last two weeks, Nor-Lantzman was pleased with her win.

“I knew that the time would be an issue, and I just went for it,” she said. “It’s my last week of showing. We’ve been here for three weeks, so you just give it your all at that point. It was great to have the Brazilians in the jump-off and as the course designer — it’s more fuel for the fire.”

Just one rail on course was the score for the fifth through ninth placed riders. Along with his red ribbon, Menezes was fifth on Quintol Mercedes Benz and also piloted Caruschka to a seventh place finish. Socrates de Midos and Clintord, both owned by Cross Creek Farm, with Michelle Parker aboard were sixth and ninth, while Garza’s four-fault score earned an eighth-place ribbon.

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