The reigning World Cup Champion, Rich Fellers, once again rode away to victory in flawless fashion at Showpark Ranch and Coast in Del Mar, California. With the sun shining and the crowds filling up the stands, it was the place to be for some exhilarating competition. Fellers was just warming up with a solid one-two finish in the $10,000 1.40M Jumper Classic, presented by CardFlex. He then went on to steal the show with the only clear round in the $60,000 Grand Prix of California, presented by EQU Lifestyle Magazine. Giving his World Cup winning mount Flexible a well deserved week off from showing, Fellers was able to showcase some of his other notable mounts over the Grand Prix grass course here at the Del Mar Horse Park.
Today's Grand Prix course was yet another reputable track built by the prominent course designer Anthony D'Ambrosio. Twenty-nine horse and rider combinations took on the challenge and after a few rounds it appeared that it was going to take a superior ride to master the 14 obstacle test. The talk of the track was an early vertical-oxer double combination that prevented many riders from continuing onto the jump-off. "It was big," Fellers smirked, "and anytime you put something that big early in the course it typically causes problems. The distance was set so you had to be precise. Too fast or too slow, it wouldn't work. Overall, it was a really good 1.50M course" Eighteen of the twenty-nine rounds came up with at least one rail at the 3ab combination. Other fences the competitors faced included a skinny vertical, a liverpool oxer to vertical combination, a huge triple bar, and a spooky vertical-vertical double combination that created a collection of refusals and rails.
In the final rounds of the class, Lise Gregory and Alec Lawler's Crown Princess had one of the best rides through the complex 3ab combination. However with an unfortunate rail later in the course, the pair finished with just four faults in a time of 82.005, good enough for third. Zamiro (8), owned byAlix Fargo, and Susie Artes were the fastest of the four faulters, stopping the clock at 81.921 and finishing in second respectively. If it wasn't going to be the unstoppable champion Flexible himself to take the win, it was going to be one sired by him. Rich Fellers' 10 year old Irish Sport Horse mare, Colgan Cruise, owned by Harry Chapman and Fellers, is sired by the champion. "She sure doesn't look like Flexible," Fellers laughed, "but she sure has the same heart he does. I took it easy with her last week (Del Mar National) to build her confidence and she felt as good as ever this week. I was very happy with her."
$60,000 Grand Prix of California presented by EQU Lifestyle Magazine
1st Colgan Cruise - Rich Fellers - Harry and Mollie Chapman 0/80.042
2nd Zamiro - Susie Artes - Alix Fargo 4/81.921
3rd Crown Princess - Lise Gregory - Alec Lawler 4/82.055
4th Caballo - Helen McNaught - Helen McNaught LLC 4/83.362
5th Chello Z - Josephina Nor Lantzman - Josephina Nor Stables 4+1/83.634
6th Katie Riddle - John McConnell - Rancho Corazon 8/80.514
7th Chianto - John Pearce - Forest View Farm 8/82.085
8th Avargo - Tina DiLandry - High Point Farm 8/82.878
9th Atticus - Saer Coulter - Copernicus Stables 8/82.879
10th Xel Ha - Michelle Parker - Tula Pinnella 8/83.331
Visit the Blenheim EquiSports website for more information.
Source: Press release from BlenheimEquiSports.
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