Jim Ifko and Un Diamant des Forets, owned by Eventyre Farms, Ltd., topped the field in today’s $25,000 Markel Insurance 1.45m Jumper Classic at the Blenheim EquiSports Spring Series in San Juan Capistrano, CA. An enthusiastic crowd cheered on the competitors while enjoying BBQ sponsored by Bad to the Bone.

Completing the jump-off course fault-free in an impressive time of 38.514 seconds, he edged out the only other double clear ride, Lane Clarke and McLord’s T.K.O (Mickey Hayden, owner), by nearly 3.5 seconds.

Course designer Catsy Cruz of Mexico built the 1.45m track on Blenheim’s Derby Field, which included a challenging triple combination, 6a,b,c, and later a double combination, 9a,b, that caused most of the faults on course.

Ifko noted, “It was a challenging but fair course for the first week of the series, I really liked it.” And in describing his winning mount, he said, “He’s a 10-year-old Selle Francais stallion in his second year at this level. We like this [Diamant De Semilly] breed a lot and are quite happy with the horses we have from that line.”

Eleven qualifiers remain in the Markel Insurance 1.45m Jumper Classic Series. Stay tuned for the second week of the Blenheim EquiSports Spring Series, featuring the new FEI CSI 3* schedule, which includes three tours – Bronze, Silver, and Gold – and culminates with the $80,000 1.50m Gold Tour Grand Prix. In addition, the Blenheim Spring Classic II will host Zone 10 North American Junior and Young Rider Trials.

$25,000 Markel Insurance 1.45M Jumper Classic
1. Un Diamant des Forets, Jim Ifko – Eventyre Farms, Ltd. – 0/0/38.514
2. McLord’s T.K.O., Lane Clarke – Mickey Hayden – 0/0/41.983
3. Chacco P, Will Simpson – Will Simpson – 4/70.545
4. Elicole, Jason McArdle – Fairbanks Valley Farm, LLC – 4/70.931
5. Chakira , Rachel Fields – Sandhaven Farm, LLC – 4/71.068