Nor Lantzman and Chello Z with the Victory in the $40,000 Blenheim Spring Classic I Grand Prix
San Juan Capistrano, CA -
The $40,000 Blenheim Spring Classic I Grand Prix, presented by the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel, closed week one of the Blenheim Spring Series at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park at San Juan Capistrano. Brazilian Josephina Nor Lantzman and her partner Chello Z took home the blue out of eighteen entries over a course designed by Guilherme Jorge.
Josephina Nor Lantzman and Chello Z
With experience designing at the international level, Jorge's track reflected his extensive knowledge. Challenging but not overly so, rails fell in various places throughout the course and six riders incurred time faults.
"It is the first Grand Prix of the season here, a lot of the top horses are resting from the winter circuits so I decided to go with a nice course to start them off. The course is between 1.45-1.50m. I set a four-stride line to a double combination (8 to 9a-b) that could cause a little bit of problems. I used a nice triple combination, vertical-vertical-oxer, but it is at the end of the course (12a-b-c) so that might get a few horses when they are a bit tired and they will have some rails there. But my idea was really to start moving the horses up on the height," Jorge explained before the class.
Second to go, Canadian Jasmine Wiggins aboard McLord's First John (Mickey Hayden, owner), was the first clean. That ride was not to be matched until fellow Canadian Jenn Serek was clean on Showtime Trading's Zagita eleven rounds later, guaranteeing a jump-off. Directly after, Jeffrey Fields aboard Already (owned by KEW Farms) joined the girls in the jump-off. Girl power continued when Josephina Nor Lantzman and Chello Z as well as Israeli Gabriella Salick riding her Centuria 2 were clean. Michelle Rodal and Darius de la Ferme Rose (Morgan Hill Partners, owners) left all the jumps up, but stopped the clock over the time allowed for three time faults, and ultimately sixth place.
Wiggins left the door open when she completed the jump-off round with four faults halfway through the course in a time of 41.53. With a rail and a refusal, Serek had a rough time in the combination at the end of the round, picking up the fifth place ribbon. Fields had the same rail as Wiggins, but shaved just over two seconds off the time, finishing in 39.49 to take over the lead. After lowering the height of the first jump, Nor Lantzman knew she had to step up the pace and keep the rest of the rails intact to take over the top spot. She did exactly that, with a speedy final time of 37.99. Salick also had the first rail, as well as rails in the combination, ending with twelve faults in 41.00 for fourth place.
Nor Lantzman didn't compete in a warm-up class this week, so she was pleased with Chello Z's first round performance. "I didn't show at the end of Thermal. So I was a little bit rusty but Chello took care of me. We didn't show in a prep class - we went right into the Grand Prix and we got lucky. As long as he jumped well, that is all I could ask for. It all worked out great!"
Riders placing seventh through twelfth each dislodged one or two fences in the first round. The three four-fault scores included Michelle Parker and Cross Creek Farm's Socrates de Midos as the fastest four faulters in 79.78, followed by Everardo Hegewisch on his Electric 2 in 82.04 and Jamie Barge on Lasse in 86.42.
Blenheim EquiSports begins the second week of the Spring Series on April 2nd in San Juan Capistrano and features the $10,000 Scarlett's Derby, 1.30m on Saturday, April 5th and the $40,000 Blenheim Spring Classic II Grand Prix, presented by Orange County Register on Sunday, April 6th. The month of April continues with week three of the Spring Series, including three days of highlight classes: the inaugural $25,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix Qualifier on Thursday, April 10th, the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on Friday, April 11th, and the $50,000 Blenheim Spring Classic III Grand Prix, presented by EquiFit, Inc. on Saturday, April 12th.
Pictured l-r: Adalit Sierra, Fabio Nor, Josephina Nor Lantzman and Chello Z, Melissa Brandes, Ted Davis and Christy Patterson of the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel, Delaney Batter and Al Schlom
$40,000 Spring Classic Grand Prix, presented by Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel
Place - Horse - Rider - Owner - Faults/Time
1. Chello Z - Josephina Nor Lantzman - Josephina Nor Stables LLC - 0/4/37.996
2. Already - Jeffrey Fields - KEW Farms - 0/4/39.492
3. McLords First John - Jasmine Wiggins - Mickey Hayden - 0/4/41.532
4. Centuria 2 - Gabriella Salick - Gabriella Salick - 0/12/41.007
5. Zagita - Jenn Serek - Showtime Trading LP - 0/12/51.031
6. Darius De La Ferme Rose - Michelle Rodal - Morgan Hill Partners - 3/90.377
7. Socrates De Midos - Michelle Parker - Cross Creek Farms, Inc. - 4/79.788
8. Electric 2 - Everardo Hegewisch - Everardo Hegewisch - 4/82.049
9. Lasse - Jamie Barge - Kylieco - 4/86.425
10. Acer - Hap Hansen - Geraldine Bidwell - 8/86.793
11. Boccaccio - Macella O'Neill - Colleen May - 8/87.329
12. Hopscotch - Karianne Boyce-Lockhart - Karianne Boyce-Lockhart - 9/92.244