Jumper Riders Set the Pace Friday In FEI and Zone 10 NAYC Trials
For Immediate Release:
THERMAL, Calif. – March 19, 2021 – The newly landscaped Grand Prix Stadium played host to the $36,600 FEI 1.50m, sponsored by STX Vans Friday morning. Riders are preparing for the feature class on Sunday, the $250,000 FEI 1.55m CSI4*. The final week of competition at the Desert International Horse Park (DHIP) includes some of the biggest classes to date with top quality athletes hailing from all over the world.
Forty-five horse and rider combinations challenged course designer Marina Azevedo’s (BRA) well-constructed 1.50m course. With sixteen total jumping efforts, riders were tested against a triple bar, a triple combination, and multiple rollbacks. The track kept riders looking forward and towards the next fence while keeping their mounts balanced and powerful.
Eric Navet (FRA) was first to go clear in the first round and shortly after Mavis Spencer (USA) aboard Con Calle posted a clear and lead the way for a jump-off round. Joining them would be Will Simpson (USA), Darrin Dlin (IRL), Luis Sabino (POR), Lindsay Archer (USA), Kyle King, (USA), Richard Spooner (USA), Chandler Meadows (USA), and Aly Ramsay (USA).
In the jump-off, riders had ample space to gallop their horses and cover the ground between fences. Navet posted the first double clear round at 40.39 seconds and claimed the Roeckl Time To Beat. Navet piloted his long time partner Cadillac Jack (Cantoblanco x Cordina), an eleven year old Oldenburg gelding owned by Signe Ostby. The pair finished fourth overall in the class.
Galloping to victory with an impressive jump-off time of 38.16 seconds was Sabino and Argan De Beliard (Mylord Cathago*hn x La Bella Normande), an eleven year old Selle Francie gelding owned by Equivarandas II, LDA.
“He has a lovely character and he is very intelligent. He is a pleasure to ride, just really easy and quality. He has all the top qualities. He is a winner. With a great horse, you become a great rider,” expressed Sabino. “When I make a mistake, we have a mistake but he doesn’t make mistakes.”
With such a consistent horse underneath him, Sabino is able to compete at all the top competitions around the world. He has competed throughout Europe and is enjoying the change of scenery from his usual plan. Desert Circuit is the first time Sabino has competed in California and he is thrilled with his decision to come out here.
“For me, it is a pleasure to be here. I love to change my schedule. I have experience in my life and have competed at all the shows in Europe and the majority of the world and I just did Tryon two years ago and with Europe closed, I took the risk to come here and I think it was the correct decision,” continued Sabino. “The people are very nice. The facilities are really good and they do a great job at creating a family atmosphere. It is fantastic to be here.”
Sabino intends to head to the Olympics in the future with this horse and believes he has all the potential in the world to perform at such a prestigious event. The duo’s next feat will be the $250,000 FEI 1.55m CSI4* held on Sunday of Desert Circuit VIII.
Taking home the second place honors was Simpson aboard his own Chacco P (Chacco-blue x Cera P), a twelve year old Mecklenburg gelding. The duo crossed the timers at 39.20 seconds. Rounding out the top three was Ramsay and Ramsay Equestrian Inc’s Lutz with a jump-off time of 40.30 seconds. Lutz is a twelve year old Westfalian gelding by Loradnos out of Parodie.
$7,500 Zone 10 NAYC Jr Trial 1.40m Classic
Additional action in the Grand Prix Stadium included the first North American Youth Championship (NAYC) trial of the week. The championships is a cumulation of rider’s junior careers and creates a platform for the opportunity to compete at the international level. The trials allow riders the chance to get on the team and compete at the championships.
“It teaches them to set goals, teaches them to be team players, the importance of commitment, teaches them about their horse and how to prepare for a championship format which is unlike any regular class. A lot of elements come into play. This being the gold standard, I think all the junior riders who compete in jumpers have this as one of their major goals in their career,” explained Diann Langer, the USEF Youth Chef D’Equipe.
Winning today’s $7,500 Zone 10 NAYC Jr Trial 1.40m Classic was Elena Haas and Centana. Centana is a ten year old Oldenburg mare owned by Haas. The duo has only been paired for the past six months and Haas is thrilled with the mare’s performance.
“She really is such a special mare. She gives her heart every time she walks in the ring and is just so much fun to ride,” claimed Haas.
Trained by Richard Spooner and Meredith Herman, Haas understands what hard work in this sport can provide for her, “Richard is an absolute dream to work with. He has been one of my idols since I was a kid and he really focuses on executing the plan. It isn’t about winning, it’s not about the points. You make your plan and you ride it the best of your ability. If something goes wrong or you make a mistake, you learn from it and you come back stronger the next day.”
Haas has dreamed of competing at the championship for some time now. She aims to one day represent the United States in senior Nations Cups and one day attend the Olympics. Competing in the trials is the first step in Haas’ dreams one day coming to fruition.
In addition to the jumpers, Haas competes in the equitation. She aims to attend the USET Talent Search Finals and will also be competing in the R.W. Mutch Equitation Championship Saturday night, under the lights, in the Grand Prix Stadium.
The R.W. Mutch Equitation Championship begins at 7:00PM Saturday night and is the feature class of the day. Visit the Desert International Horse Park’s website to watch all the action go down.
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.