Jamie Sailor missed the action of week one of the National Sunshine Series, so she arrived on a mission to make up for lost time on the first day of week two at Desert International Horse Park. Aboard Fire Flash Toltien, owned by Carolyn Mittler, she took the fastest time in the $10,000 BarnWalkers 1.35m Welcome Speed, a class held under the lights on opening day.
“She is a princess and she knows it,” Sailor said of the 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare. “She’s very sassy but she’s a competitor, so it’s really fun when you go into the ring. There’s no question; she’s in it to win it. Her attitude is also fun because she definitely shows her opinions. She’s a very special mare and she wants to win every class she enters. She makes my job easy; I love her.”
Sailor and “Willow” blazed around Colm Quinn’s speed track with some time to spare. The duo ultimately bested all 53 starters and donned the winning cooler and sash. Jose Maria Quintana and Catoki Boy claimed second, while Mariano Maggi took third with Quantico 23, owned by Mary Francis Looke.
“I’ve had her for three years,” Sailor continued regarding her partnership with Willow. “I’ve done some bigger classes but we feel this is where she excels and this is what she loves to do. Rather than put her at the higher heights we keep her where she can be super happy and winning. For longevity this is going to be where she wins the most.”
Sailor recently returned from Mexico, so she’s accustomed to the desert sun, but she’s thrilled to be back in the horse show environment, as well as in the winner’s circle.
“I love Desert Horse Park. I’m here this week and the two weeks of Desert Holiday and half the circuit for next year,” she explained of her upcoming plans. “It’s a great venue. I didn’t realize this class would be under the lights but it’s special and makes it really fun. The lights are amazing and the footing is always incredible here, so this was a really fun class to enter.”
Sailor has horses for all the major jumper classes during National Sunshine Series 2, making her a top contender no matter the fence height.
“Willow will do the 1.35m on Sunday and I’ll have other horses in the Grand Prix and 1.40m class,” she said of her plans for the week. “There are really good money classes ahead and I’m really looking forward to this week. I’m happy to have entries in all the money classes which is really exciting. Hopefully we can keep building and do more in the future. We’ll see which horses want to be in the big classes.”
While the first day was jam packed, the week has only just begun, with major classes and special events every day to accentuate the excitement that is the National Sunshine Series. Thursday features the $30,000 FarmVet 1.40m Open Classic, before horses school for Friday’s $65,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Regional Championships, the CPHA Style of Riding Championships, and the USEF/NCEA Junior Medal Finals, just a few of the many highlights on the competition calendar for the week. Thursday also features trivia night at the bar, along with half-price tacos.