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Jeff Campf rocks the Grand Prix Stadium in the Sapphire Tour Speed and Ruby Tour Classic CSI3*

Sunday, 23 February 2020
CSI3* Thermal 2020

Photo © ESI Photography Jeff Campf and Fugon won the $7,500 Sapphire Tour Speed Stake, sponsored by Pink Skies Pajamas, at Desert International Horse Park. Photo © ESI Photography.


Press release from Desert Horse Park



Saturday hosted two more FEI classes in the Grand Prix Stadium, starting with the Sapphire Tour CSI3* which returned for the $7,500 Sapphire Tour Speed Stake, sponsored by Pink Skies Pajamas. The Ruby Tour CSI3* also concluded its tour on Saturday afternoon, finishing with the $10,000 Ruby Tour Classic, sponsored by ALU Jumps.

Jeff Campf (USA) and his own Fugon flew to victory in the $7,500 Sapphire Tour Speed Stake, sponsored by Pink Skies Pajamas, with a time of 65.95 seconds. Joie Gatlin (USA) aboard High Five (Cardento 933 x Heartbreaker), owned by JGMA Meadows, was able to conquer the course in a time of 66.42 seconds to land them in second. Matt Archer (USA) and RHYS Farms, LLC’s Luigi vd Bisschop (Bamako de Muze x Nabab de Reve) were awarded third for their speed course time of 66.66 seconds. 

Nineteen pairs challenged the speed course with nine riders completing clear rounds. “When I see a course like today, what I am thrilled about is he [Fugon] is getting so much more education and crafty about getting off the jumps and staying in good balance,” Campf commented.

Campf has owned the 2010 Dutch Warmblood (Ultimo x Julius) for almost a year and is excited to see how the gelding progresses. “Ali Neilfurshion helped me find Fugon and I just fell in love with him when I saw him on the videos and when I rode him, I knew immediately, so I did something a little uncharacteristic and just bought him myself,” Campf shared. 

“He has tons of scope and is a great character; he just keeps learning and trying,” Campf commented. “He’s so direct and simple to the fences and he’s always been fast because he’s so incredibly brave; he jumps like an event horse in terms of his courage."

Campf and Fugon will return to the Grand Prix Stadium Sunday at 8AM for the $25,000 Sapphire Tour Classic, sponsored by Free x Rein. “We are just stepping up to 1.45m, but he’s ready, we are really excited to see what’s next,” Campf concluded. 

Jeff Campf (USA) and Tender Star were unbeatable in the $10,000 Ruby Tour Classic CSI3*, sponsored by ALU Jumps, halting the jump-off timers at 35.77 seconds. Kaitlin Campbell (USA) aboard Colada (Calido I x Zappelin), owned by Sweet Oak Farm, set a jump-off time of 36.29 seconds to land them in second place, while Zazou Hoffman (USA) and Bloom du Plessis (Orient Express x Rosire) finished in third with a time of 36.72 seconds. 

“I have to say these courses [today] have been some of my favorites,” Campf commented after his second FEI win of the day. “The course was pretty straightforward and with careful horses, when I can get a gallop in these jump-offs that Alan [Wade] has been building, I just trust they’re not going to hit anything. It gives me a tremendous amount of confidence.”

Campf credits the win to the 2010 Swedish Warmblood gelding (Nintender x Rastell), owned by OZ Investments and Mark & Ellen Brown. “In the very beginning I left out a stride from jump one to two and again, my horse is careful and he was fabulous for me there,” Campf explained how he got an early lead. He expressed that although he went wide to the third jump but was able to make-up for it again later in the course, “Over the last three jumps, I caught the forward stride and he [Tender Star] was just absolutely tuned in and that put me back ahead.”

Tender Star was also the winning horse in the $2,500 Ruby Tour Welcome on Thursday of Week V of Desert Circuit and came in second in the $5,000 Ruby Tour Speed on Friday. “He’s always been a really careful horse and now that his fitness is coming around, jumping three days in a row here was something I had to think about doing,” Campf explained. “But he’s been fresh [after having a few months off] and he’s just really blossoming, he feels fantastic."

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