Desert Circuit V: A Tremendous Thursday for Katie Laurie, Kasey Ament, and Tali de Jong
For Immediate Release:
THERMAL, Calif. – February 25, 2021 – Thursday of Desert Circuit Week V saw tremendous riding from Katie Laurie, Kasey Ament, and Tali de Jong as all three emerged victorious in the Grand Prix Stadium at the Desert International Horse Park. Laurie had the honors of claiming the top spot in the first FEI class of the week, the $5,000 FEI 1.40m 274.2.5., sponsored by Asmar Equestrian. Laurie rode Carissa McCall’s Cera Caruso (Casall Ask x Belcam Cymphony) to a time of 29.19 seconds.
Earning second place was the USA’s Jamie Taylor for her time of 30.55 seconds aboard JT Equine LLC’s Quatar (Quidam de Revel x Amy Surprise). In third was Mavis Spencer (USA) and Georgy Maskrey-Segesman’s Belladonna 42 (Clearway x Vita 24) for their close finish of 30.59 seconds.
Laurie, who rides for Australia, commented on how today’s win was extra special for her: “It was good to have a win, especially because I only changed to riding for Australia maybe a year ago. So it was the first time I have won a class and heard the Australian national anthem. It was pretty cool.”
The course, designed by Bernardo Cabral (POR), offered a great lead-in to the rest of the week for Laurie and the thirteen-year-old Australian Warmblood gelding. “It was a really good first course for FEI,” noted Laurie. “I chose to start him today because he’s been so fresh the last few days and he just needed to get some energy out. He’s really fast and super careful.”
Subsequent to the FEI class in the Grand Prix Stadium was the $25,000 FarmVet Grand Prix. Kasey Ament (Scottsdale, AZ) and Lornnah Investments, LLC’s Gaia (Cantos x Zoe) rode to first place with their jump-off time of 38.159 seconds. In second place, and the rider to set the ROECKL GLOVES TIME-TO-BEAT, was Stephanie Gershon (Lamy, NM) and C’est Roberto (Colbert GTI x Crabby), owned by Everardo A Hegewisch. The pair stopped the jump-off timers at 40.192 seconds. Rounding out the podium was Katie Harris (Wilton, CA) and her own Quantanamo Z (Quinn Van de Heffinck x Irietta du Cache-Pot) for their time of 40.573 seconds.
Gaia has been partnered with Ament for two years now. “This is probably the biggest track I’ve done on her; she’s very hot and careful and I really have taken my time with her. She really has everything and I don’t want to rush her. I felt like this week was a good week to step her up,” shared Ament.
To keep Gaia sharp in the arena, Ament makes sure to change up her routine. Most recently, she has added Desert International Horse Park’s new Bridle Path to give Gaia a new place to stretch her legs. “She keeps it interesting. It’s something new everyday. I’m here for the winter, so I really have to try to mix it up for her. They have a really nice trail that goes around the property now, so I ride her out there a lot,” Ament noted. “It’s important that she’s not in the arena all the time. She is really special and sensitive, so she gets a little bored and she throws new things at you.”
The $1,000 AIG U25 Classic ran as an overlay with the $25,000 FarmVet Grand Prix, and Tali de Jong bested six other entries to win the Classic with a time of 42.875 seconds in the jump-off. Her time also rewarded her with fourth place in the Grand Prix.
“Heavenly Star; I call her Kitty. I feel like she’s the epitome of one because she’s either a wild cat of a fat, little kitty cat. She is nine and this is her second Grand Prix,” shared de Jong. “The course walked really nice, I thought it was a good course coming back after the off-week. I thought it was inviting and technical enough.”
“For the rest of this week, I’m either going to do the 1.40m Open Classic on Saturday or the 1.45m Jr/A-O/Am Jumper Classic depending on how she feels tomorrow. On my other horses I will be competing in FEI classes. For the rest of the circuit, I am aiming towards the [$10,000 U25 Classic] with her,” de Jong concluded.
About the Desert International Horse Park
With nearly 1.3 million square feet of competition and riding space, the Desert International Horse Park is one of the largest equestrian facilities in North America. Offering multiple weeks of world-class equestrian competition from October through March, the facility is a destination location for thousands of equestrians, their horses, family and friends for several months annually. Competitors from all over the world travel to Thermal, CA to not only compete but to enjoy everything the desert has to offer.