Grand Prix action got underway at Desert Circuit II yesterday as West Coast veteran Rich Fellers piloted Chapman & Fellers’ Colgan Cruise to a win in the first of the circuit’s FEI classes, the $32,000 HITS Desert Classic, presented by Pfizer Animal Health. This week’s Desert Classic was the first of four $32,000 kick-off classes for High-Performance riders.
After four trips, Fellers posted the first clear round in 44.48 seconds. Colgan Cruise was purchased by the Fellers and Chapman families with high hopes, but admittedly surprised her owners in this class. “She is a young, up-and-coming Grand Prix horse and I wasn't expecting much before the Circuit started. But I guess I was fooled,” said Fellers. “It was my first Grand Prix class of 2012 and it’s nice to come out on top.”
Fellers sat pretty until Michelle Spadone of Lake Worth, Florida, challenged his lead in the last go of the jump-off aboard Redfield Farm’s Coco. She mastered the course, but couldn’t find the speed and posted a time of 51.79 seconds to clinch second place and ultimately present Fellers with the win.
Representing the fastest of the four faulters, Mark Watring of Thousand Oaks, California rode Horseworks etc Inc’s Green Sleeps Vioco to a third place finish. First to ride in the second round, Watring was out for the blue with one of the faster rounds of the day, but a rail down at the last fence of the course offered him a tough break.
“I will be showing Flexible on Saturday night and McGuiness on Sunday,” said Fellers. “I have three different Grand Prix horses for each of the big classes and that's kind of nice.”
1 Colgan Cruise Chapman & Fellers/Rich Fellers $10,560 0 0 44.48
2 Coco Redfield Farm/Michelle Spadone $6,400 0 0 51.79
3 Green Sleeps Vioco Horseworks etc Inc/Mark Watring $4,800 0 4 43.65
4 IV Ever Brian Gingrasll /Jill Henselwood $3,200 0 4 43.80
5 Kaskaya Leone Equestrians Inc /Jill Humphrey $1,920 0 4 47.39
Source: Press release from Hits e-news.
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