Laura Hite and Calypso VD Zuuthoeve Achieve First Place Title in $100,000 Ariat Grand Prix
For Immediate Release:
THERMAL, Calif. – February 2, 2020 – Laura Hite (Coto de Caza, CA) aboard her own Calypso VD Zuuthoeve (Tangelo Van De Zuuthoeve x Thunder Van De Zuuthoeve) led the victory gallop in the $100,000 Ariat Grand Prix at the Desert International Horse Park after finishing with a time of 42.283 seconds in the jump-off. Nicole Haunert (Encintas, CA) and Calgary IV (Casall x Calato), owned by Cherokee Show Horses Inc, finished in a close second with a time of 43.442 seconds. Nicholas Dello Joio (Wellington, FL) and Jose Salgado Negrete’s Blueberry (Conrad x Creve Coeur) ended with a time of 43.543 seconds and an unfortunate rail in the short-course.
Twenty-six pairs challenged the Grand Prix course, with only the top three returning for the jump-off. “The course was good, it was challenging and technical, which I like to help keep me focused,” Hite commented. “The time was really tight in the Grand Prix course, so I was really worried about the time but it forced me to really go forward into the corners,” Hite continued. “I was pretty proud just to succeed on the Grand Prix courseI”
Hite and the twelve-year-old gelding have been paired together for three years and have also competed in Europe, Canada, and throughout the United States. “He is absolutely amazing and has given me so much confidence,” Hite shared of her trusted partner. “I have not jumped this big with any other horse, he is incredible and I owe it all to him. He is unbelievable, truly a horse of a lifetime.”
“It has been an amazing ride, he is just so special, this is actually my fourth Grand Prix win ever, so it’s very exciting,” Hite commented. “We are so thankful for all of the sponsors here, this is such a great venue here and the new owners have done just such an amazing job, it’s just such a pleasure to compete here.” Hite concluded.
About the Desert International Horse Park
With about 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 10 weeks of world-class competition, eight during the Desert Circuit from January – March and two during the Sunshine Series in November, 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.