Nick Haness and Delilah Are Delightful - The Pair Pick up the Win in the CPHA West Coast Pre-Green Hunter Finals
San Juan Capistrano, CA
- On Friday evening, hunters had the spotlight in the inaugural $25,000 CPHA West Coast Pre-Green Hunter Finals on the Pacific Hunter Field of the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park at San Juan Capistrano. After two rounds of competition, Nick Haness rode away as both Champion and Reserve Champion on Ilene Kurtzman's Delilah and Ashley Weiman's Weekend Romance, respectively.
Nick Haness and Delilah
New this year, the CPHA program offers an opportunity for pre-green horses to show in a Finals with excellent prize money. The organization also recognized the top three scoring horses and riders over the course of this inaugural season by awarding half of the enrollment fees to the following leaders, prior to the Finals: first went to Catherine Runk's Small Talk with Rose Carver in the irons, second to Foreign Affair (owned by Hiller Farms) ridden by John French, and third to Puissance R (Lisa Hankin, owner), piloted by Jenny Karazissis.
Small but mighty, the program is gaining recognition. A field of 13 horses competed for the top prize - five in the 3' section and eight jumping 3'3". The courses were designed by Wellington native Jasen Shelley and included long bending lines allowing the horses to show off their gallop across the field. He also tested the horse's rideability with a two-stride combination leading to another oxer in five strides.
With a two round format, the top 12 horses with the highest scores from the first round returned for a second, classic-type round to determine the winner. Haness and Delilah, the bay Westphalian mare, turned in two picturesque rounds to receive identical scores of 90, for a two-round total average of 90 to take the win. Haness also piloted Weekend Romance to a second place finish, with a two round average score of 87.5. John Bragg and Early August (Ann Thorton, owner) finished the first round with a well-deserved score of 88, and laid down a beautiful second round to receive a score of 86, ultimately finishing in third with a total average score of 87.
"I think the Finals were a goal for the owners. They bought the mare in Thermal," said Haness. "Delilah is a small horse, but she's a really good jumper. I've shown her a few times this year. She doesn't get to show a lot, but when she goes, she's always really on her game."
Haness and Delilah win the $25,000 CPHA West Coast Pre-Green Hunter Finals
Spectators, owners and trainers enjoyed a wine and cheese reception during the early evening event, generously sponsored by Makoto Farms and Elvenstar Vineyard.
Jim Hagman explained a bit about his new crop. "In 2008, some 30 years after the founding of Elvenstar, three of us, my mother, father and myself, planted a vineyard in honor of our grandmother, Francoise Martinod. She was a renowned educator who taught with patience, respect and a meticulous attention to detail. We have applied that same philosophy to our Cabernet Sauvignon vines, which thrive in the rocky, volcanic, red clay soil on the hillsides at Elvenstar."
Enjoying the wine & cheese reception during the CPHA West Coast Pre-Green Hunter Finals
Saturday evening, we turn to the equitation ring, when West Coast juniors will compete in the ASPCA Maclay Regionals, vying for a chance to go East for the Final. The USHJA Children's and Adult Jumper West Regional Championships will crown team champions on Saturday and individual winners on Sunday. Blenheim also welcomes the $30,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix on Sunday.
$25,000 CPHA West Coast Pre-Green Hunter Finals
Place - Entry Number - Horse - Rider - Owner - 1st Round/2nd Round/Avg Score
1. 760 - Delilah - Nick Haness - Ilene Kurtzman - 90/90/90
2. 750 - Weekend Romance - Nick Haness - Ashley Weiman - 87/88/87.5
3. 764 - Early August - John Bragg - Ann Thornton - 88/86/87
4. 251 - Delilah - Patrick Spanton - Anne Marie Mueller - 85/87/86
5. 312 - Endeavor - Jenny Karazissis - Linda Gatti Sears - 84/82/83
6. 129 - Carenzi - John French - Georgy Maskrey-Segesman - 89/76/82.5
7. 482 - Fern - Leslie Steele - Francie Nilforushan - 80/84/82
8. 606 - Small Talk - Rose Carver - Catherine Runk - 81/79/80
9. 133 - Entourage - John French - Renee Crawford - 70/85/77.5
10. 253 - Rutherford - Patrick Spanton - Julie Biel - 76/74/75
11. 483 - Red Hill - Leslie Steele - Leslie Steele - 86/45/65.5
12. 364 - Don Carlos - Jenny Karazissis - Kristina Novak - 68/44/56