San Juan Capistrano, CA – An enthusiastic crowd gathered around The Oaks International Grand Prix Field this afternoon to enjoy a delicious exhibitor barbecue by Pacific Thyme, and to cheer on 20 competitors in the $30,000 Markel Insurance 1.45m Grand Prix. Keri Potter and the feisty twelve-year-old gelding, Bitalica (owner, Julia Koetting), led the victory gallop as the fastest double-clean pair of the class. Potter’s client, Hannah Loly, took the blue in the U25 Jumper Classic, held concurrently with the grand prix.
Course designer Mauricio Garcia of Puerto Rico built the 1.45m track, which included a challenging triple combination, double combination, and many related lines.
Second to go in the jump-off, Potter rode efficiently, stopping the clock in 39.61 seconds. “I went early in the jump-off and knew there were a lot of fast riders and horses to go after me,” Potter noted. “He’s a fast horse, so it was a matter of turns. I was able to make an inside turn at the end of the ring where everyone else went around, and I made sure to make quick and tidy turns.”
Angel Karolyi and Brandee (Serena Anand, owner) were the final pair to attempt the jump-off track. Fast but not quite fast enough to catch Potter, he stopped the clock in 39.67 seconds, finishing in second by only .06 seconds.
Potter and Bitalica are creating a solid bond. “I’ve been riding him for about a year and a half. Every horse show I do with him he seems to get more comfortable and confident with me. We’ve clicked and know each other pretty well. He’s very competitive and really fast. He’s probably one of the most talented horses I’ve ever ridden. It’s fun to have the opportunity to ride him.”
Earlier this year during the Blenheim Spring Classic 2, the duo claimed top honors in the inaugural $80,000 CSI3* Gold Tour Grand Prix. Looking forward to the rest of the season, Potter is planning on competing the gelding in Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ qualifiers and has the Final in Gothenburg, Sweden, as a goal.
Six qualifiers remain in the Markel Insurance 1.45m Grand Prix Series, where the top 25 point earners are invited to the Markel Insurance 1.45m Series Final at The Las Vegas National CSI4*-W.
Hannah Loly is First and Second in the $2,500 Blenheim U25 Jumper Classic Hannah Loly competed in the U25 Jumper Classic with both of her gray mounts, Ayma De La Demi Lune and Asombro.
Loly and Ayma De La Demi crossed the timers with four faults to secure the win. On her second mount, Asombro, she finished with eight faults. Maria Jose De La Torre rode Elexco to the third place finish with fifteen faults in a time of 83.783 seconds.
RESULTS $30,000 Markel Insurance 1.45m Grand Prix
Place – Entry Number – Horse – Rider – Owner – Faults/Time
1. 449 – Bitalica – Keri Potter – Julia Koetting – 0/0/39.615
2. 455 – Brandee – Angel Karolyi – Serena Anand – 0/0/39.678
3. 373 – Parkmore Lux – Hanna Mauritzson – Ritz Fuente, LLC – 0/0/42.037
4. 328 – Valentin – Daniel Pedraza – Nicole Teague – 0/0/42.109
5. 310 – Firestone S – John Pearce – Nicole Teague – 0/4/41.580
6. 388 – Uchingo – Patrick Pellin – H5 Stables – 0/4/44.173
7. 288 – NKH Quanto – John Bragg – October Hill Hunters & Jumpers – 2/82.270
8. 448 – Ayma De La Demi Lune – Hannah Loly – Hannah Loly – 4/77.905
9. 450 – Diabolical C – Keri Potter – Jo Cho – 4/79.277
10. 465 – Caesar – Devon Bridges – ACE Equestrian – 4/80.440
11. 307 – Topaze Blue – Amy Hess – Blue Tree Farms, LLC – 4/80.663
12. 335 – Google – Sergio – Nieto – Sergio Nieto – 4/84.899
$2,500 Blenheim EquiSports U25 Jumper Classic
1. 448 – Ayma De La Demi Lune – Hannah Loly – Hannah Loly – 4/77.905
2. 453 – Asombro – Hannah Loly – Hannah Loly – 8/78.483
3. 341 – Elexo – Maria Jose De La Torre – Maria Jose De La Torre – 15/83.783 Photos by McCool Photography