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Hite gets it right

- November 2nd, 2021 - Show & Event News

$100,000 Interactive Mortgage “Ticket To Ride” Grand prix concludes series

Laura Hite and Calypso VD Zuuthoeve soar to victory in the $100,000 Interactive Mortgage “Ticket to Ride” 1.50m Grand Prix. (Amy McCool photo)

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Laura Hite and Calypso VD Zuuthoeve put the final exclamation point on an exciting season at Blenheim EquiSports with victory in the $100,000 Interactive Mortgage “Ticket to Ride” Grand Prix on Sept. 25.

Held as the grand finale of the three-part Interactive Mortgage “Ticket to Ride” High Performance Jumper Series, the class welcomed 27 entries, all competing for both prize money and final points toward the $20,000 Interactive Mortgage Leading Rider Bonus.

Renowned course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio set a challenging track for the highlight event, and as rails fell throughout the first-round course, it was only Hite on Calypso VD Zuuthoeve and Derek Chang aboard Chappie who qualified to advance to the jump-off.

Speedy Derek Chang and Chappie finished second after knocking down a rail in the jump-off. (Amy McCool photo)

With the order of go for the class based on the Rolex U.S. Show Jumping Rider Ranking List, Chang and his own Chappie were the first to produce a clear round and therefore also the first to return for the jump-off. As a rail fell from a vertical late in their second-round course, the pair finished with four faults in a time of 46.087 seconds.

For Hite, she knew that meant that she solely needed a clear round to clinch the win, and Calypso VD Zuuthoeve delivered.

“That was a lot of fun!” said Hite, who crossed the finish in 48.535 seconds . “Anthony’s course was a very challenging, technical course, which actually I prefer because my horse is so rideable and adjustable. I can go long; I can go short. Everything seemed to be on a half-stride or an option, so a lot of times I just had to ride off of my instinct and trust my horse.”

“I’ve been a partner with Calypso for many, many years,” added Hite of the 13-year-old Warmblood gelding. “He’s just unbelievable, and we’re just really in sync. He takes good care of me. I was just trying to be clear. We had one plan if Derek was clear and a different plan if he had a rail, so I was just trying to be a little careful. My horse will do anything that I ask him, so kudos to him.”

The top three riders of the series were presented with the $20,000 Interactive Mortgage Leading Rider Bonus. (Amy McCool photo)

In addition to taking home $30,000 for the win, Hite was presented with a $100 Topline Design Ribbon Wreath gift certificate, a Shady Lady neck scarf and an EquiTex awards scrim sheet.

Hite’s win also earned her 28 points toward the $20,000 Interactive Mortgage Leading Rider Bonus, but that would not be enough to catch Bruno Diniz Das Nevas and Cassio Rivetti who tied at the top of the leaderboard on 49 points. As the riders who earned the most points throughout the series, Nevas and Rivetti will split a $16,000 purse. Third place in the standings and a $4,000 purse went to Michelle Parker with 38 points.

Prior to the start of the jump-off, Blenheim EquiSports president Robert Ridland and Hillary Ridland recognized long-time sponsors of the sport Gregg and Evette DeLong of Interactive Mortgage. Ridland emphasized that the DeLong’s support of high-performance jumping on the West Coast is critical and allows riders and trainers to gain entry into the sport without having to pay the added fee for a larger purse.

Thanks to the DeLong’s backing, the 2021 Interactive Mortgage “Ticket to Ride” High Performance Jumper Series showcased three grand prix classes held at the national standard, including two $75,000 1.50m grand prix events in the spring and Saturday’s $100,000 grand prix, all at a discounted entry fee.

“I wanted to thank Blenheim EquiSports for putting on this wonderful show and Interactive Mortgage for sponsoring it. Without sponsors, this wouldn’t be possible,” concluded Hite.

Following the conclusion of Saturday’s class, all spectators and exhibitors alike were invited to a complimentary end-of-season celebratory evening of dinner and line dancing to live country music.

More online: https://bit.ly/111blen

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