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Susan Hutchison and Ziedento Win the $25,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix - Interactive Mortgage U25 Developing Rider Series Kicks Off
San Juan Capistrano, CA - The $25,000 Markel Insurance 1.40m Grand Prix wrapped up the second week of the Blenheim EquiSports Spring Classic series. With 38 entries in the class, FEI course designer Manuel Esparza (MEX) designed a track that worked for varying levels of competitor experience and produced ten clear rounds. Of the five double clean rides, veteran pair Susan Hutchison and Ziedento (St. Bride's Farm, owner) took the top prize. Also at 1.40m in height, the first Interactive Mortgage U25 Series Qualifier of the season ran simultaneously, with Santiago Vallarta and Go For Me earning the blue ribbon.

Susan Hutchison and Ziedento

Esparza set an expansive track that wound throughout the grand prix field, starting and finishing with jumps strategically placed by the in-gate. Time on course was set a touch tight, requiring an accurate track. Fourteen riders finished with time faults, with four entries acquiring only time penalties on what would have otherwise been fault-free rounds. One of those four was thirteen-year-old Hannah Loly riding Asombro (Melanie Brooks, owner). Competing in her first grand prix, Loly finished with just three faults on the clock.

Hutchison had two in the jump-off, and was first to return on Barbara Phillips' Brisbane. The two set a speedy time of 42.32 seconds but had the last fence down to finish on a four fault score. Last week's winners, Michelle Parker and Vancouver 45, were next to go and quickly took over the lead with a clear round in 43.81 seconds. Mei Mei Zhu had a miscommunication with her partner Heraldo S and they parted ways. Brenda Riddell aboard Dutch Amouretta (owned by Silverstar Farms, Ltd.) and Marc Grock on Moonlite Beach, LLC's Little Gancho both successfully rode clear rounds, but were unable to catch Parker, in times of 46.29 and 44.42 respectively. Guy Thomas on new mount Jonkheer Z (Emily Livermore, owner) picked up four faults at the first fence in an otherwise solid round. Seventh in the jump-off order Hutchison, this time on Ziedento, turned quicker and galloped faster to take the lead and ultimately the win with a time of 41.85 seconds.

The three remaining competitors - Nathalie Cooper on her Con Spirit, Daniel Zilla riding Branscomb Farm's Venice B, and Brenda Riddell on Silverstar Farms, Ltd's Wilson - made gallant efforts, but were unable to beat Hutchison's double clean leading time.

Hutchison knows her horse well after a host of wins over the last few years. "Ziedento is just naturally fast," she explained.

Veterans Susan Hutchison and Ziedento celebrate the win

Santiago Vallarta Tops Interactive Mortgage U25 Qualifier
With a new format this season, the Interactive Mortgage U25 Developing Rider Series offers 10 qualifiers, with each one run simultaneously and over the same track as the Markel Insurance 1.40m Grand Prix competitions.

Recently coming to compete in California from Mexico, Santiago Vallarta and Go For Me didn't have a rail, but finished with a single time fault for the win.

"I am here as an exchange student, so I will be here for 6 months. I am training with Everardo Hegewisch at Showpark. In Mexico, we don't have U25 classes, but I was starting to do the Grand Prix classes," Vallarta said. "Go For Me is 12 years old and I've had him for two and a half years now."

At the end of the qualifying season, twenty-five riders will be invited to the new $25,000 Series Final at The Las Vegas National in November.

Santiago Vallarta and Go For Me

The host of showcase events continue next week during Spring Classic III. The hunters will compete for valuable WCHR points and awards. The jumper highlights include the $10,000 Scarlett's Speed Derby on Saturday, April 9th, the first Interactive Mortgage Horses 10&U Futurity Qualifier and the $40,000 Spring Classic III Grand Prix, presented by Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel, both on Sunday, April 10th.

Place - Entry - Name - Rider - Owner - Faults/Time
1. 182 - Ziedento - Susan Hutchison - St. Bride's Farm - 0/0/41.852
2. 216 - Vancouver 45 - Michelle Parker - Cross Creek Farms, Inc. - 0/0/43.815
3. 145 - Little Gancho - Marc Grock - Moonlite Beach, LLC - 0/0/44.423
4. 454 - Dutch Amouretta - Brenda Riddell - Silverstar Farms, Ltd. - 0/0/46.295
5. 450 - Wilson - Brenda Riddell - Silverstar Farms, Ltd. - 0/0/48.844
6. 172 - Brisbane - Susan Hutchison - Barbara Phillips - 0/4/42.322
7. 274 - Venice B - Daniel Zilla - Branscomb Farm, LLC - 0/4/43.015
8. 260 - Jonkheer Z - Guy Thomas - Emily Livermore - 0/4/45.172
9. 408 - Con Spirit - Nathalie Cooper - Acorn Farm Equestrian, LLC - 0/8/41.974
10. 530 - Heraldo S - Mei Mei Zhu - Mei Mei Zhu - 0/EL
11. 142 - Caretol - Marc Grock - Moonlite Beach, LLC - 1/86.068
12. 346 - Emiel d'Or VD Durmstede - Carly Kist - Susan Kist - 2/87.254

Photos by McCool Photography


Markel Insurance Company is proud to once again partner with Blenheim EquiSports for another season of fun in the sun. Representative Brandon Seger will be on the show grounds to answer any questions related to your equine insurance needs.

At the show and in the barns, Markel is the Insurance Company with Horse Sense. With offices across the US, Markel is your national insurance provider covering equine risks for over 50 years. Thank you for your support and don't hesitate to contact Brandon to get a horse, farm or liability insurance quote today: - 213-219-7837.

Interactive Mortgage, a new company launched in 2015, finances new home purchases as well as refinancing a homeowner's current loan to help improve their financial position. The company's goal is to bring an interactive experience to the consumer, which the consumer controls, rather than having a salesperson sell them on a particular product. With Interactive Mortgage, the consumer is allowed to be the deciding factor.

Blenheim EquiSports, an equestrian event management company based in San Juan Capistrano, CA, produces events in three locations: San Juan Capistrano, Del Mar and Las Vegas, NV. The events include USEF "Premier" rated hunter-jumper shows featuring multiple grand prix events, a Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League event, USHJA International Hunter Derbies, Pony Finals, Medal Finals and more. More at



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