Seven nations represented the field of twenty horse and rider combinations in Sunday's $30,000 June Classic III Grand Prix. Nearing the end of the qualifying round, Harley Brown (AUS) was the one to catch with both jump-off qualifiers, Angelli and Cassiato. With two riders to go, Nicole Shahinian-Simpson was able to break through and qualify her mount, Picturized, for the jump-off. Course designer Jack Robson set a track that challenged both young and seasoned horses and asked riders surprising questions that resulted in several refusals, numerous unlucky rails, and an unfortunate spill where both horse and rider walked away unscathed.
"Some unfortunate rails and time faults out there today," Robson shared of the twenty horse and rider combinations attempting to master his course. Of the sixteen efforts, many of the victims accrued faults at the oxer-oxer combination, the large triple bar to vertical combination and coming home to the vertical-oxer combination. "It was a national standard and a rebuilding type course for those who've been here all three weeks," Robson continued, "some different lines to approach and options to take that made it a unique class."
Rusty Stewart, coming off his $30,000 June Classic Grand Prix win just seven days earlier aboard his trusted mount Bristol, had an unlucky back rail at the first obstacle, but was able to ride the rest of the course flawlessly and settle for fifth with four faults. The only other round of the day without a dropped rail went to eighteen-year-old Canadian rider, Alexandria Smith and her eleven-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Albatros. Smith however couldn't beat the time allowed of 84 seconds, accruing two time faults and going home fourth respectively. Brown (AUS) and Shahinian-Simpson returned for the jump-off knowing it would take speed and precision to get through Robson's design without fault.
Returning to the track first was Brown and Paige Harryman's thirteen-year-old Westphalian gelding, Angelli. Brown continued his fault free streak with a smart but quick ride under the time allowed in 42.046. As Brown prepped his second jump-off mount, Shahinian-Simpson and her nine-year-old Hanoverian mare, Picturized, were able to cut corners and angle fences to better the leading time and go double-clear in 38.964.
The crowed eagerly waited for Brown to return with his infamous mount, Cassiato, to see if he could also go double-clear and walk away champions. Brown galloped in and guided the mighty grey Holsteiner to a precise but swift round, floating over the fences with ease and stopping the clock to reclaim the lead in 37.097 seconds.
"He was great," Brown gloated about winning mount Cassiato, "He just got back from Europe last Thursday and I was happy how he went today. Jack's (Robson) course was excellent. I thought it was a really well built and constructed course." Brown and Castillo will return home to San Louis Obispo for some well-deserved rest and look forward to the upcoming summer series in Del Mar, CA.
Results $30,000 June Classic III Grand Prix, presented by EquiFit, inc.
1st Cassiato - Harley Brown - Harley Brown 0/0/37.097
2nd Picturized - Nicole Shahinian-Simpson - Pacifica Riding Club 0/0/38.964
3rs Angelli - Harley Brown - Paige Harryman 0/0/42.048
4th Albatros - Alexandria Smith - Alexandria Smith 2 time faults
5th Bristol - Rusty Stewart - Grey Fox Farm 4/76.830
6th Montejo - Francisco Pasqual - Francisco Pasqual 4/79.544
7th Electric 2 - Everardo Hegewisch - Everardo Hegewisch 8/77.392
8th Welcome - Hillary Ridland - Hillary Ridland 8/82.499
9th Flexing - Damian Gardiner - Dutch K Ranch 8/82.617
10th Ramazzotti - Adrianne Dixon - Adrianne Dixon 8/83.638
Source: Press release from Blenheim EquiSports
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