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Josephina Nor Lantzman and Chello Z Zip to the Win in the Markel Insurance Grand Prix
Del Mar, CA - July 18, 2014 - The competition was fierce in today's $25,000 1.40m Markel Insurance Grand Prix at the Showpark Summer Festival. Thirty-nine entries competed for the top prize, with horses and riders ranging from seasoned competitors to greener mounts looking for experience. As the course required universal appeal while retaining grand prix technicality, veteran course designer Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela built a track designed to accommodate all levels.

Round one consisted of 13 efforts with a time allowed of 84 seconds. "I designed the course to be technical with some difficult areas that are very unique," he explained. "It's a 1.40m class, and I have all types of horses here. It's a track that you need to ride well."

Challenging elements included a skinny wall early on in the course at fence two. Palacios elaborated, "I have the wall to make the horses pay attention. Riders aren't used to them; you don't see too many in today's shows, but I always use walls because I think they make a difference."

Josephina Nor Lantzman and Chello Z

Thirteen entries returned for the jump-off, which featured tight rollbacks and a long gallop down to the finish. It was a show of speed and scope as riders had several track options in the rollbacks but needed to maneuver carefully to keep the rails up. Keri Potter on Paloma (Melanie Brooks, owner) had a sizzling time of 41.98 but a single rail.

Fernando Martinez on Componero La Escondida (Guillermo Zambrano, owner) held the lead at 42.482 until Nor Lantzman and her own Chello Z entered the ring. The veteran partners flew around the course in 41.29 and couldn't be caught, finishing as the victors for their 4th grand prix win of the season. On his second of two clear rides, Manuel Alvarez rode to the red ribbon in 42.17 on his entry Manolito Fortuna, with Martinez rounding out the top three in third.

Manuel Alvarez and Manolito Fortuna

When asked about her winning ride, Nor Lantzman explained, "At [jumps] one to two, I left out a stride, I was pretty tight on the rollback to three, and after number nine, the rollback to the combination, I just kept going. I just never really slowed down."

The talented rider was appreciative of the course and its designer. "Thanks to Leopoldo, he's the best course designer in the world, and the Mexican riders make the atmosphere so electric, so it's really fun. It was a great field and a good way to start off the three weeks here."

Josephina Nor Lantzman and Chello Z win today's $25,000 1.40m Markel Insurance Grand Prix

The Showpark Summer Festival kicks off three weeks of competition in Del Mar. Look for the $30,000 Summer Festival Grand Prix, presented by Mary's Tack and Feed, on Sunday to close out this week's events.


$25,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix

Place - Number - Horse - Rider - Owner - Faults/Time
1 - 417 - Chello Z - Josephina Nor Lantzman - Josephina Nor Stables, LLC - 0/0/41.294
2 - 755 - Manolito Fortuna - Manuel Alvarez - Manuel Alvarez - 0/0/42.170
3 - 731 - Componero La Escondida - Fernando Martinez - Guillermo Zambrano - 0/0/42.482
4 - 356 - Semira de Saulieu - Lane Clarke - Charlotte Gadbois - 0/0/42.642
5 - 229 - Clintord - Michelle Parker - Cross Creek Farms, Inc. - 0/0/43.008
6 - 754 - Spirit Magic - Manuel Alvarez - Manuel Alvarez - 0/0/44.240
7 - 819 - Vario - David Vainer - David Vainer - 0/0/44.560
8 - 811 - Luebbo - Jamie Barge - Kylieco - 0/0/46.369
9 - 401 - Landlyst's Leroy - Hanna Mauritzson - Swede Equine, LLC - 0/0/48.621
10 - 704 - Paloma - Keri Potter - Melanie Brooks - 0/4/41.987
11 - 637 - Jimador - Juan Manuel Luzardo - Juan Manuel Luzardo - 0/4/44.727
12 - 654 - Go For Me - Santiago Vallarta - Santiago Vallarta - 0/4/44.869

Click here for the standings in the Markel Insurance 1.40m Grand Prix Series (as of June 29, 2014), and here for details on the Series and Final.

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