King Conquers Tough Course in Inaugural $10,000 Scarlett's 1.30m Jumper Derby
San Juan Capistrano, CA - Saturday of the second week of the Blenheim Spring Series was sizzling with the thrilling inaugural $10,000 Scarlett's Derby followed by an Argentinean barbeque and an evening of great music by DJ Alek Carerra.
On his second mount in the class, jumper derby veteran Kyle King took the top prize.
King remarked, "I have done a lot of derbies over the years, including Spruce Meadows. This was a 1.30m derby compared to the Spruce 1.45m derbies but it was very similar with all the obstacles. The course designer, Peter Holmes, is from Canada and they do a lot of derbies up there so he knows exactly what to put in."
Kyle King and SIG Consegal
The beautiful and challenging 17-effort derby track designed by Holmes included a colorful rainbow vertical at fence 2 and the open water at jump 6. Midway through the course, competitors rode down a steep hill with a vertical at the bottom (8-9) to a combination with a liverpool at 10a to a vertical at 10b on to a wide brush box oxer at 11, around the corner to the grob 12a-b. Final fence 17 included white planks surrounded by colorful flowers.
"Derby courses are a unique challenge. It's about galloping cross-country over simulated natural obstacles, so they are about double the length of a normal show jumping course. It is unusual, not many facilities have the infrastructure, and it is special that Blenheim can offer this class," commented Holmes. "The trainers are so good that once they know what they need to be doing they get it done. In some ways it can look impossible, such as the grob, until they start doing it. The goal, and challenge for me, was to have big derby style course that is still a welcoming introduction without over facing the horses."
Of the 24 entries, eight had only four faults and three finished the course clean. Fourteenth in the order, Karl Cook and Banba (Signe Ostby, owner), were the first pair to go fault-free. Showing it could be done, two rounds later King was clean on SIG Consegal. King competed earlier in the class and scored just four faults aboard Casco Junior (Danielle Walker, owner). With the fastest four fault time the pair finished fourth in the class. Coming in twenty-second in the order, Tommi Clark also rode Raska clean.
Cook put in a clean and neat jump-off ride in 27.84, seemingly solid enough for the win. But in came King who shaved just under .08 seconds off the leading time to take the victory. After having a rail in the jump-off, Clark withdrew and finished third.
Heading down the hill
King spoke highly of his mount. "I rode this horse all the way through the Thermal circuit for SIG International. He is a very nice horse, consistently 2nd to another SIG horse [laughs]. He's a lovely horse, I'd say about 95% of the time he's in the jump off."
Riders placing fourth through eleventh each dislodged one fence in the first round. The twelfth placing pair, Sergey Zayika on Count Grannus (Spruce Meadows, owner), kept all the jumps up but went over the time allowed of 125 seconds and collected five faults.
Blenheim EquiSports wraps-up a successful second week of the Spring Series on Sunday, April 6th with the $40,000 Blenheim Spring Classic II Grand Prix, presented by Orange County Register. The month of April continues with week three of the Spring Series, including three days of highlight classes: the inaugural $25,000 Markel Insurance 1.40m Grand Prix 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.
Kyle King and SIG Consegal win the inaugural Scarlett's Derby
$10,000 Scarlett's Derby Results
Place - Horse - Rider - Owner - Faults/Time
1. SIG Consegal - Kyle King - SIG International - 0/0/27.083
2. Banba - Karl Cook - Signe Ostby - 0/0/27.844
3. Raska - Tommi Anne Clark - Tommi Anne Clark - 0/RT
4. Casco Junior - Kyle King - Danielle Walker - 4/114.984
5. Zan Chin - Kelly McKnight - Jane Hind - 4/116.745
6. Irish 77 - Marc Grock - Moonlite Beach LLC - 4/119.472
7. Nika - Carla Diewert - Carla Diewert - 4/121.520
8. Camaron Hills Shanroe - Jenny Calandra - Tim Calandra - 4/122.758
9. Casino Royale - Katelyn Cooper - Katelyn Cooper - 4/122.787
10. E-Star - Sara Jorgensen - Sara Jorgensen - 4/124.753
11. Senna Van Paemel - Brooke Bidwell - Geraldine Bidwell - 4/128.242
12. Count Grannus - Sergey Zayika - Spruce Meadows - 5/129.173
Photos courtesy of McCool Photography