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Horse Headliners 2015 – Stars arising from California

DRESSAGE • EVENTING • HUNTERS • JUMPERS

From News Releases and Staff Reports - December 17th, 2015 - Cover Story, Feature Article
Lane Clark

Lane Clark

JANUARY:

Steffen Peters won the hearts of East Coast fans, riding Rosamunde to a first-place finish in the FEI 3* Grand Prix with a 71.3 percent, and Legolas 92 to a 71.2 percent in the FEI 5* Grand Prix, respectively, At the 2015 Adequan Global Dressage Festival. The top-ranked FEI rider also received the People’s Choice award for his riding skills and contributions to dressage.
Also shining brightly in the Sunshine State was Kathleen Raine of Murrieta, who rode the lovely mare Breanna to a 73.667 and a title in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 5*.

FEBRUARY:

Will Simpson launched the most successful grand prix HITS campaign ever, winning six different events in the early weeks. A standout victory came aboard Katie Riddle, and it was a birthday present for Jami Heidegger, whose family owns Monarch International — for whom Simpson rides.
In Burbank, at the much-anticipated inaugural West Coast qualifying competition for the 2015 Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final, Peters and Legolas 92 marked an 80.825 — their best. It came at California Dreaming Productions’ Mid-Winter Dressage Fair CDI-W/Y/J/U-25 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center.in their popular U-2-themed Grand Prix Freestyle.

MARCH:

At HITS Thermal, Lane Clarke continued his ascent into the league of top grand prix jumper riders. Riding Charlotte Gadbois’s Semira De Saulieu, Clarke topped 52 competitors in the $50,000 CardFlex Grand Prix at HITS Desert Horse Park. He topped other double-clear finishers Rich Fellers on Flexible and Richard Spooner on Cristallo. , owned by Show Jumping Syndications International in 40.216; and Greg Broderick, the previous Sunday’s $50,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix winner, on Caledonia Stables’ Going Global in 41.598.
“With that many hot shots in the course, you had to go really fast — and you had to go clean or you weren’t going to get a good placing,” he said afterward.

Also at HITS, Will Simpson claimed his ninth Grand Prix victory, riding Katie Riddle, to victory in the $25,000 SmartPak Wild Card Grand Prix.

Temecula hosted the best eventers at the Galway Downs International Horse Trials, where James Alliston and Tivoli jumped brilliantly and faultlessly around the cross-country course to win the CIC3*. Barbara Crabo and Over Easy won the CIC2*.

APRIL:

California superstar Susie Hutchison received another career honor when she was named to the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame.
Hutchison, based in Temecula, is one of five riders inducted during a ceremonial dinner at the Merion Cricket Club in Haverford, Pa. This marked Hutchison’s third National Show Hunter Hall of Fame ceremony, having attended previous inductions of her longtime mentor and partner, Jimmy Williams, as well as her hunter mount, Best Bet, in 2008.

In Las Vegas, Lucy Davis finished ninth and fellow American Rich Fellers seventh, respectively, at the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping 2015. Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat took the title after heading into the final competition tied with Fellers. Beezie Madden was the highest-finishing U.S. rider, in fourth.
MAY:

Four rings kicked off the first day of the Central California Memorial Day Classic with some exciting competition on the fresh grass as the Paso Robles Horse Park opened to rave reviews. Rebecca Bruce and Bombastic B claimed the first blue ribbon ever in the new venue.

JUNE:

Back in the saddle after being sidelined with a winter leg injury at HITS Thermal, Susie Hutchison was on fire a the Blenheim June Classic II, winning two major events in a single day. She rode to wins in both the afternoon $30,000 June Classic Grand Prix and the $7,500 CashCall Mortgage Futurity earlier in the day riding St. Bride Farm’s Ziedento to the grand prix win and SIG Firecracker to the futurity title, respectively.

JULY:

The ascent of Sabine Schut-Kery and Sanceo reached a new plateau when the pair helped the U.S. Dressage Team  win gold at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.
The victory, with teammates Steffen Peters, Laura Graves and Kim Herslow, earned something extra: a qualification for U.S. Dressage to vie in next year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Without Pan Am gold, U.S. Dressage would have just watched the 2016 Games.
“Dreams do come true!,” said Schut-Kery, who is based at El Campeon Farms. “It was an amazing experience on so many different levels, especially because there was a goal, almost a job to do — to bring home the gold to get qualifications for Rio.”

Lane Clarke was the headliner at the $25,000 GGT Footing Grand Prix in Huntington Beach — his fourth big win of the year.

Meanwhile in the Blenheim show scene, Nathalie Manning recorded her first first grand prix going double-clean on Con Spirit to win the $30,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix at the Blenheim Red, White and Blue Classic.

AUGUST:

In a very close duel, the Region 7 Young Rider team outpointed Region 3 by less than a point to bring home the Adequan/ FEI North American Young Rider Championship team title for the third straight year. At Rolex Stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park, the returning champions, including 20-year-old Catherine Chamberlain of Murrieta and Avesto, 17-year-old Lindsey Brewin from San Ramon and Vaillant, 20-year-old Cassidy Gallman of Poway and Grand Makana, and 19-year-old Samantha Jenney of Gilroy, came through.
“It was exciting and nerve-wracking,” said Chamberlain.
Region 7 Juniors won the Silver medal for FEI Juniors with a total of 198.163. Team members included Veronica West, 15, of Marina del Ray on Nobleman, Shelby Rocereto, 17, of Livermore on Chapeau, Brianna Relucio, 16, of San Ramon on Wynsum, and Mia Slaughter, 16, of Norco on Harrington L.

After hosting a full schedule of hunter and jumper divisions, including two grand prix classes, the Showpark Summer Classic wrapped up a well-established equitation event with three sections of second rounds and work-offs in the California Professional Horsemen’s Association Foundation Equitation Championship Finals. Divided into 22-over, 14-under and 21-under age divisions, riders faced challenging courses with work-offs built in, part of the Foundation format.
The winners included Renee Rodda (22-over division), Natalie Templeton (14-under) and Miela Gross (21-under).
After the California Dressage Society Junior and Young Rider Championships, Arianna Barzman-Grennan was all smiles as she modeled her new team jacket emblazoned with a bright championship logo.
“I’ve always wanted one of these,” she beamed.
Barzman-Grennan, 20, of San Jose, was one of many winners who traveled as many as eight hours from up and down the West Coast to participate in this year’s CDS Junior and Young Rider finals. Held in two locations representing the Northern and Southern regions, the competitions were held in Elk Grove and Temecula, respectively, as riders ranged in age from as young as nine years old aboard trusted mounts of all breeds, shapes and sizes. With classes and divisions offered from Training Level to FEI as well as equitation, freestyles, and quadrilles, there was something for everyone whether a casual Pony Clubber attending a large dressage show for the first time or an accomplished NAJYRC competitor.

SEPTEMBER:

Lane Clarke captured his sixth major jumping title of the year, winning the $15,000 1.35 Jumper Classic aboard Wardance in San Juan Capistrano. Clarke, based at Hayden Show Jumping and Riding School in Laguna Hills, eventually would claim seven big 2015 wins and a pair of major reserves — in the June $7,500 CashCall Futurity aboard Wardance and in September’s $30,000 1.40 Markel Grand Prix aboard Semira. The Hayden barn featured other major winners, too, including Summer Phillips and Ronaldo ($1,000 Children’s Jumper Classic in April, $2,000 Children’s Jumper Classic in October at Thermal), Ali Berens and McLord’s Little Milton ($500 Low Child Jumper Classic both April and June in San Juan Capistrano), Anne Frankel and Di Nero B (both the June and the August $1,000 Adult Amateur Jumper Classics in San Juan Capistrano), and Serenity Phillips and Tesoro ($500 Level 5 Farmvet 1.20M Jumpers in Thermal in March)

OCTOBER:

It was a breakout year for Temecula-based eventer Tamra Smith. After winning a pair of titles at the Galway Downs International, she learned she was named by the U.S. Equestrian Federation to its High Performance Winter/Spring Training List for 2016. She will train as a member of the World Class list with U.S. Eventing Team Coach David O’Connor.
The appointment capped a stellar year and remarkable month, during which Smith turned heads nationally with a win at the Fair Hill International CCI3* in Maryland, where she had led start-to-finish on Mai Baum. At Galway, she won both the CCI2* and CCI1* events, on Chatwin and Fleeceworks Royal, respectively.
“This year has just been an amazing journey for me, and I want to thank all of the owners of the remarkable horses I have been so blessed to ride,” Smith said after the Galway Downs International.

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