Week V of Desert Circuit at the Desert International Horse Park came to a close with the conclusion of the FEI CSI3* Sapphire and Diamond Tours: the $25,000 Sapphire Tour Classic, sponsored by Free x Rein, and the $100,000 Diamond Tour Grand Prix, sponsored by Adequan.
Ali Ramsay (CAN) and Casino cashed out in the $100,000 Diamond Tour Grand Prix, sponsored by Adequan, at the Desert International Horse Park with a short-course time of 40.84 seconds. Erin Davis-Heineking (USA) and Leonie (Leo Von Faelz x Chacco-blue), owned by October Hill Farm, Inc., finished second with a time of 41.51 seconds. Nicholas Dello Joio (USA) and Blueberry (Conrad x Creve Coeur), owned by Jose Salgado Negrete, concluded the top three finishing with a time of 42.24 seconds.
Thirty-two pairs challenged the course designed by Alan Wade (IRL) with eight participating in the short-course. “I thought the course was hard, when I walked the course – they were pulling out all the stops here,” Ramsay shared. “I think the course caught everybody in different places, it was tall and very technical,” Ramsay continued, “It was impressive enough making it [the class] really special today.”
Ramsay and Casino (Casiro 3 x Ludwig von Bayern), owned by Ramsay Equestrian Inc., have had a successful week here at the Desert International Horse Park after also finishing third in the Diamond Welcome on Thursday.
“Casino is my baby; this is my first Grand Prix that I’ve ever won with him, so I almost cried when it happened,” Ramsay noted. “He’s really special; he’s just the sweetest dude and as long as you have all the pieces together right, then he can be everything. He’s just so special,” Ramsay shared about the 2008 Oldenburg Gelding.
Ramsay will be remaining at the Desert International Horse Park next week to compete in the FEI tour and for the duration of the circuit. “I’m heading towards that Stephex [Van],” Ramsay continued, “I’m really excited for the $250,000 Invitational Grand Prix.” ”
Ramsay, Davis-Heineking, and Dello Joio were joined for the presentation by a few special guests at the podium. Devin Vespi, the American Region Animal Health Territory Manager for Southern California, brought with her the Fallbrook Pony Club and the Pass Pioneers 4-H Club to celebrate the victors for the $100,000 Adequan Grand Prix. American Region Animal Health is the manufacturer for Adequan products.
“I wanted to set them up with a really cool experience,” Vespi shared about this special opportunity, “They are the future; these kids are going to be our future trainers, riders, and supporters of our industry.” The kids received the full VIP experience while attending the horse show. In addition to their access to the VIP viewing area and being included in the Grand Prix presentation, they also had the opportunity to walk the course with two-time Olympic silver medalist Anne Kursinski.
“The kids absolutely loved it,” Vespi commented. “They had so much fun and had no idea how big the jumps were, it was just really cool to be with someone as accomplished as her [Kursinski] to do the course walk.”
Delaney Batter & Evolinus Shine in $25,000 Sapphire Tour Classic, sponsored by Free x Rein
Delaney Batter (USA) and her own Evolinus made their FEI debut this week and emerged victorious in the $25,000 Sapphire Tour Classic, sponsored by Free x Rein, by winning the class and being the only rider to complete the short-course fault-free. Jeff Campf (USA) and Fugon (Ultimo x Julius) were awarded second place for their jump-off time of 39.82 seconds, but had an unfortunate rail. Taylor Chaubard (USA) and Evidence (Cornet Obolensky x Patent) finished off the podium receiving the third-place ribbon.
Twenty-nine riders challenged the Sapphire Tour Classic CSI3* course designed by Alan Wade (IRL), with only three riders returning to the jump-off. “Today’s course was definitely tough,” Batter commented, “it was a bit intimidating walking out here, but my horse was super!”
“This was my first week doing FEI,” shared Batter, the seventeen-year-old rider from California. “I think riding against this caliber of riders really makes you step-up, just knowing the field, there are so many talented riders and they’re so fast, so you really want to do your best.”
“I just came in wanting to ride a nice rhythm, keep the same pace throughout [the course] and have a nice, clear round was basically the goal for today,” Batter shared of her goal entering the class with the 2009 Dutch Warmblood. “I’m really happy with how it turned out,” Batter concluded.
WEEK V HUNTER CHAMPION SPOTLIGHT
A-O Hunter 36 & Over 3’3″ Division, sponsored by Horse Hair Analysis: Christina Smith & Soon To Be
Junior Hunter 3’3″ Division, sponsored by Hayutin: Zoe Wolf & Splendid
Adult Hunter 18-35 Division, sponsored by Outdoor Outfitters: Ashley Weiman & Timeless Romance
Cross Rail Equitation Division: Audrey Tsagalakis & Remington
Child Hunter 2′ Division: Shayne Vasquez & Namaste
$500 Pony Hunter Classic: Shiloh Roseboom & Heavenly Patch of Blue
WEEK V JUMPER CHAMPION SPOTLIGHT
$2,500 JR/A-O/AM Jumper Classic, sponsored by Vita Flex: Carly Stevens & Denoto
.75m Jumper Classic, sponsored by Back Gate: JJ Atkinson & George W
$1,000 Adult Jumper Classic, sponsored by Harcour: Sarah Freedman & Champion or Volt
$1,000 U25 Jumper Classic, sponsored by Dover Saddlery: Zoe Brown & Chase
Junior Jumper 1.20m Division, sponsored by Struck Apparel: Brylee Dickey & Gogolinus
6 Year Old Young Jumper Division, sponsored by VDL Stud: Patrick Snijders & Jack Sparrow