The second leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Thermal continued with Thursday’s $36,500 Desert Classic. The competition course was set by Marina Azevedo of Brazil and each horse and rider combination would be tested by the formidable course at hand.

Riders from the United States of America, France, Germany, Austria, and Canada turned out for chance to take home the prestigious title, but it would be United States equestrian Mandy Porter to take home not only the win but fourth place as well.

The victorious round came aboard Coral Reef Follow Me II, owned by Coral Reef Ranch. The duo returned fourth in the five-horse jump-off to secure a win for Porter. The speedy rider from California rode Milano, owned by Abigail Weese, to the fourth-place prize.

“I’m very happy with this win. [Coral Reef Follow Me II] is a very experienced horse but he’s new to me, so we’ve just been trying to build a relationship. That’s what we’ve been using the classes for here and today he rose to the occasion.”

Christian Heineking, representing Germany, entered the abbreviated course first with NKH Quanto, owned by October Hill Hunters & Jumpers. The course began with a vertical mid-ring and included several rollback turns and galloping points that gave riders options to save time.

Heineking and NKH Quanto mastered each fence and clocked in clear in 42.24 for the eventual third-place finish.

Following Heineking was Eric Navet of France and his powerful bay gelding, Basimodo, owned by Signe Ostby.

“I began the first fence on the left lead as part of my strategy to shave off a few hundredths of a second,” said Navet. “I knew with Mandy coming behind me with two rides that I would need to be quick, as she is a very fast rider. Basimodo has a big heart and I am proud of the way this horse performed today.”

Peter Petschenig of Austria was third in the order of the jump-off, entering on Saint Quentin, a 15-year-old gelding Petschenig co-owns with Iris Petschenig. Although they had the time in 41.03 seconds, an unfortunate rail would leave them out of the contingency for the win, and they settled for fifth place.

Porter was up next and with the final two rides in the jump-off it was up to her to claim the glory. She confidently strode through the in-gate as Petschenig finished the course. Beginning on the left-lead approach like Navet, the pair was off and the clock began to count down.

They banked a tight left turn from the first fence to the second, then powered through the rest of the course. The crowd cheered as they zoomed to the finish line, eventually stopping the clock at 41.67, one tenth of a second quicker than Navet.

Porter had the win, but the leading horse had yet to be determined. As the final contender of the jump-off, Porter brought back her second mount, Milano. They too would put in a clear round, finishing just a tenth behind Heineking’s time, in 42.30 seconds, settling them in fourth place.

Tomorrow marks the grand finale of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Thermal event with the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Qualifier. The competition takes place at 3pm PST— tune in to FEI TV to watch live!

$36,500 Desert Classic
Place/Horse/Owner/Rider/Prize/R.1 Faults/J.O Faults/J.O Time
1 Coral Reef Follow Me II/Coral Reef Ranch/Mandy Porter/$12,045/0/0/41.65
2 Basimodo/Signe Ostby/Eric Navet/$7,300/0/0/41.71
3 NKH Quanto/October Hill Hunters and Jumpers/Christian Heineking/$5,475/0/0/42.24
4 Milano/Abigail Weese/Mandy Porter/$3,650/0/0/42.30
5 Saint Quentin/Peter Petschenig/Peter Petschenig/$2,190/0/4/41.03
6 Caillou 24/Signe Ostby/Karl Cook/$1,642/1/-/-
7 The Flying Ham/Signe Ostby/Eric Navet/$1,095/4/-/-
8 Ace of Hearts/Little Valley Farms/Ashlee Bond/$912.50/4/-/-
9 Terrific/John Anderson/John Anderson/$730/4/-/-
10 Cruise/Indigo Farms, LLC/Chris Pratt/$730/4/-/-
11 Worlds Judgement/WJ Partners/Lisa Carlsen/$365/8/-/-
12 NKH Calango/NKH LLC/Christian Heineking/$365/12/-/-