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Simpson Steals the Show in the $40,000 Showpark Summer Classic Grand Prix
Del Mar, CA - The superb Showpark grand prix field was jumping on this cloudless Southern California afternoon. With forty-one horse and rider combinations and eight clean, the only double clear earned the win in the $40,000 Showpark Summer Classic Grand Prix, presented by Markel Insurance.

Will Simpson and Monarch International's Acorina

German course designer Olaf Petersen, Jr. is no stranger to this field and knows how to set a course that results in a solid group for the jump-off. Eight managed to conquer the first round track, but only one rode both rounds double clean.

With a large group of both veteran and rookie show jumpers, some riding young horses, others on new mounts, Petersen, Jr. had his design work cut out for him today. "Well, I hope everywhere will be challenging. We have a very mixed field here so I built a very mixed course. The higher jumps come in the end of the course so every young horse that is coming up should have a chance to go clear and not to get a shock for life!" Peterson said with a smile.

He went on to explain the trickier obstacles. "The triple combination is very difficult. We have a couple spooky fences. The red planks look a little bit like a wall. The last jump is a little bit more difficult with the big gap in between the top rail and the middle rails so they focus on the middle opposed to the top."

Petersen, Jr. was right on target. The red planks came along early in the course and fell nine times. At least one of the elements of the red, white and blue triple combination, 7abc, hit the ground 15 times. And that tall black vertical he set as the last jump, caused another 14 rails to fall.

It wasn't until the seventeenth horse galloped on course, Francisco Pasquel aboard Deauville, that all the jumps remained in their cups. Soon after, a new face on the West Coast, Tatiana Dzavik on Ilan Ferder's Dahlia, went clean, assuring a jump-off. The consistent team of Jamie Barge and Lasse followed suit to make it three. Jenni McAllister aboard Legis Here I Come left all the jumps up but stopped the clock just over the time allowed, resulting in one time fault.

Several rounds later, Mandy Porter rode Plum Creek Hollow's Con Capilot to a clean round. Chris Pratt returned on a second mount, Poker De Virton (owned by Harris Equestrian, LLC) and joined the fault free group. And then the clean rounds kept coming: Rodrigo Lambre with Wida Mercedes Benz, Josephina Nor-Lantzman on her Chello Z and Will Simpson riding Monarch International's Acorina rounded out the eight to return.

Seven of the eight who were flawless in the first round had faults in the jump-off. Three had four faults, the fastest of those was Pasquel, who had 7b down in 40.78, earning second place for his efforts. Dzavik had the same rail and almost the same time, stopping the clock in 40.87 for third. Porter had an early rail in 42.54 to finish fourth. Three riders, Barge, Nor-Lantzman and Pratt, had eight faults, each having a rail plus the last jump down when attempting to be fast but failing to clear the final effort. Lambre pulled three rails for a 12 fault jump-off score.

Well-known for his solid anchor position prowess, last to go knew what he had to do. Simpson was not only clean but also quite speedy in a time of 40.05.

"Acorina is super fast and jumps in super form. She's not very big but she will never back down from a jump," explained the winning jockey about the 12-year-old Hanoverian mare, owned by Monarch International.

About his future plans Simpson said, "We will be showing here next week and then going to Sacramento for the World Cup class. Acorina will do the speed classes, and I have a new World Cup horse coming in."

Blenheim EquiSports remains in Del Mar for the Showpark All Seasons Summer Tournament. The late summer event kicks off the beginning of the World Cup qualifying season in California, with the $32,000 Showpark Jumper Classic, sponsored by SmartPak and the $50,000 Grand Prix of Showpark, a World Cup qualifier, sponsored by EquiFit, inc. Plus this show hosts the last CashCall Mortgage Futurity Qualifier, after which the top fifteen will be invited to compete in the inaugural finals in September. Also a show for young horses to shine, All Seasons offers the $45,000 Blenheim EquiSports Young Jumper Championships Western League Finals, the Sallie B. Wheeler/USEF National Hunter Breeding Championship and International Hunter Futurity classes.

Will Simpson and Acorina, pictured (l-r) with Brandon Seger of Markel Insurance, Melissa Brandes and Robert Ridland of Blenheim EquiSports, Jan Humphrey, and owner Klaus Heidegger

$40,000 Showpark Summer Classic Grand Prix, presented by Markel Insurance
Place - Horse - Rider - Owner - Faults/Time
1 - Acorina - Will Simpson - Monarch International - 0/0/40.051
2 - Deauville - Francisco Pasquel - Francisco Pasquel - 0/4/40.789
3 - Dahlia - Tatiana Dzavik - Ilan Ferder - 0/4/40.873
4 - Con Capilot - Mandy Porter - Plum Creek Hollow Farm, LLC - 0/4/42.544
5 - Lasse - Jaime Barge - Jaime Barge - 0/8/41.747
6 - Chello Z - Josephina Nor-Lantzman - Josephina Nor Stables, LLC - 0/8/44.181
7 - Poker De Virton - Chris Pratt - Harris Equestrian, LLC - 0/8/45.762
8 - Wida Mercedes Benz - Rodrigo Lambre - Rodrigo Lambre - 0/12/41.603
9 - Legis Here I Come - Jenni McAllister - - 1/87.491
10 - Charly - Joie Gatlin - High Voltage Farms, LLC - 4/78.425
11 - Montejo - Francisco Pasquel - Francisco Pasquel - 4/78.811
12 - Alfie - Eduardo Sanchez Navarro - Eduardo Sanchez Navarro - 4/80.190

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