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Speed thrills

Joie Gatlin and Rammstein pull the stops, score win in fast Blenheim grandprix

- July 1st, 2017 - Show & Event News

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Joie Gatlin and Rammstein secured a first-place finish in the $30,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix after a blazing jump-off, where she daringly left strides out and all the fences up. Thirteen of 30 entries advanced to the jump-off, and of the four double-clear efforts, Gatlin’s 36.12 time was the fastest.

Course designer Ivan Tagle of Argentina built a 1.40m track that included both a triple and a double combination and required riders to make adjustments and plan their tracks carefully.

Gatlin showcased her talent and precision as she guided Rocking Basilisk Farm’s 9-year-old Rammstein through both phases promptly and accurately. John Pearce and Chantico nipped at their heels, coming in a close second, double-clean in 36.51, less than half a second slower.

“I’ve been working on his speed and moving up, doing some of the other grand prix classes at the 1.45-1.50m height,” said the victor. “He’s been very, very consistent. Today with so many clean I thought, ‘Wow, I’m really going to have to go for it,’ and he was right there with me. I left out strides everywhere – he’s got such a rangy stride.”

The duo plans to continue competing at the grand prix level throughout the year and have their eyes on the prize for the Markel Insurance Grand Prix Series Final at The Las Vegas National Horse Show in November.

Also at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park, Taylor Siebel took the $2,500 Interactive Mortgage U25 Series Qualifier. One of 16 entries and six in the jump-off, Siebel topped the field with Mountain Home Stables’s Windoctro. She also picked up third place in the Markel Insurance Grand Prix.

Hannah Heidegger and Monarch International’s Di Caprio RV were second in the U25 with a remarkable time of 35.69 but a heartbreaking four faults.

“I think the U25 Series is so much fun,” Siebel said. “There are a lot of really good U25 riders, so being able to do well in the qualifiers feels like such a great accomplishment.”
The next series qualifier will be held during the Showpark Summer Festival this month at Del Mar.

On Saturday evening, seven entries attempted the $10,000 Six Bar Challenge on the Oaks International Grand Prix Field where riders completed a gymnastic line. Fences were raised with each clear attempt. Jill Humphrey and Sydnie Young’s Carl Casim were the only ones to clear the 1.65m vertical at the end of the line to claim victory.

“He’s very scopey and that’s key for this class,” Humphrey explained. “I’ve done six bar classes a couple times so I knew that even though the two strides walk the same, they feel shorter and shorter as the jumps get bigger, so I felt good about being prepared for that – no surprises – and just stayed tall and to kept supporting him off the ground.”

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