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Best in the West

Special to the Horsetrader - August 7th, 2014 - Special Section

DEL MAR– A duel in the pagentry of the Showpark grand prix field decided the United States Equestrian Federation National Junior Hunter West Coast Finals, and Ashton Alexander rode Cafe De Colombia to the a big win over Destry Spielberg and Illusion here on July 21-22.

After wrapping up Sunday’s final jumper classes of the Showpark Summer Festival, the striped poles were set aside and decorated flower boxes, walls, and more were brought in for three phases over two days.

Monday’s warm-up and Classic Round was followed by Tuesday’s Under Saddle and Handy Round on Tuesday, with judges including Scott Hofstetter, John Roper and Christina Schlusemeyer.

In addition to the Overall Grand Championship, Cafe De Columbia received the Top Placing Mare Perpetual Trophy. Illusion and Destry Spielberg were Reserve Overall Champions.

Earning top scores in Monday’s Classic Rounds, Spielberg and Illusion finished with a Classic Round total of 264, topping the Small 16-17 division. Alexander and Café de Colombia were best in the Large 16-17 division, with a pair of 88s and an 87, total of 263. In the Under Saddle, Café de Colombia shined, averaging 89 to give the bay mare an edge.

Designer Skip Bailey created a Handy Round full of options, giving riders an opportunity to show off their horse’s jumping and turning talent.

Illusion with Spielberg and Café de Colombia with Alexander were the events stars, both earning averages of 90 from the three judges. Close to the end, Café de Colombia took the title with a 266.6, less than one full point ahead of reserve Illusion at 265.6.

Alexander had flown in from New York on Sunday night for the Championship, riding Café de Colombia for the first time in the warm-up on Monday morning. Her first time on the West Coast, she was impressed with the Handy course.

“I liked how there was a bunch of singles and how you could pick up some pace and stay going, and I liked how the last fence was a hand gallop.”

Also the recipient of the Small Collection Perpetual Trophy, a memorable mare owned by Iwasaki & Reilly, Alexander was pleased to be competing on Café de Colombia.

“When you find the right mare, like she is, she’s willing to work with you in any way. She knew exactly what she was doing,” remarked Alexander. “When you find that right mare, they are always going to try.”

MORE ONLINE: Http://bit.ly/408A_WC

USEF West Coast Junior Hunter Finals
July 21-22, 2014 * Showpark, Del Mar, Calif.

Total/ Pl/ Horse/ Rider/ Owner

3’3″ Junior Hunters 17 & Under – 13 horses competed in first class
22.00/ CH/ Paddington/ Lexie Looker/ Lexie Looker
20.00/ RES Mercury/ Sabrina Tirador/ Sabrina Tirador

Small Jr Hunters 15 & Under – 5 horses competed in first class
22.00/ CH/ Irasir/ Grace Prochilo/ Teton Farms LLC
21.00/ RES/ Coffeetalk/ Gabriella Cinquini/ Whitney Downs

Small Jr Hunters 16 – 17 – 8 horses competed in first class
40.00/ CH/ Illusion/ Destry Spielberg/ Dogwood Hill LLC
22.00/ RES/ Krave/ Ashton Alexander/ Mountain Home Stables

Large Jr Hunters 15 & Under – 14 horses competed in first class
18.00/ CH/ C Coast Z/ Hunter Siebel/ Mountain Home Stables
16.00/ RES/ Nonchalant/ Tylor Nowell/ Tylor Nowell

Large Jr Hunters 16 – 17 – 15 horses competed in first class
40.00/ CH/ Cafe De Colombia/ Ashton Alexander/ Mountain Home Stables
16.00/ RES/ King’s Peak/ Emma Waldfogel/ Emma Waldfogel

Junior Hunters – 2 horses competed in first class
10.00/ CH/ Cafe De Colombia/ Ashton Alexander/ Mountain Home Stables
6.00/ RES/ Illusion/ Destry Spielberg/ Dogwood Hill LLC

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