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From Prix to Ponies at June Classic III
San Juan Capistrano, CA - Whether attending as a competitor or a spectator, Blenheim EquiSports offered something fun for everyone at the June Classic III. From taking quizzes and enjoying cupcakes and ice cream, to a Six Bar class that went to 1.80m with a teenage champion, as well as continuing popular classes, series and championships, it was a week of big winners.

Mandy Porter and Milano

Mandy Porter and Milano Master the $30,000 Markel Insurance 1.40m Grand Prix; Delaney Flynn Wins Her First Interactive Mortgage U25 Qualifier
Super Sunday at the June Classic III hosted the $30,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix Series Qualifier, the $2,500 Interactive Mortgage U25 Series Qualifier and wrapped up the USHJA Zone 10 Pony Challenge.

Twenty-seven horses stepped in to conquer the 16-effort course built by course designer Kenny Krome. With six clean, it was Mandy Porter aboard Abigail Weese's Milano who laid down a clean and fast jump-off round that could not be touched for the win. Two of the six in the grand prix jump-off competed in the U25 Qualifier jump-off, with Delaney Flynn riding Taxo de la Nutria to the top of the class, as well as taking third in the Markel Insurance Qualifier.

As he intended, Krome's track challenged the field with almost every element falling more than once, and was a fair test for the variety of levels in the class. "The challenges are evenly spaced throughout the course. I like to make it a specific level of difficulty so you have to keep your attention throughout the entire round," he explained before the class. "We have a mix of some pretty experienced horses and some pretty green ones. Also juniors, amateurs, and lots of pros. Hopefully it will be a good course for all levels of horses and they come out with a positive attitude ready to move up."

Heading into the jump-off, Marc Grock and Moonlite Beach, LLC's Little Gancho started off with a smooth, clear ride in 44.71. Porter competed next on Milano, known in the barn as 'Cookie'. Naturally fast, the pair took all inside tracks and galloped through the timers in a speedy 40.86. Nicole Haunert rode NJK No Regret to a very similar time as Grock, stopping the clock in 44.75, but with four faults.

Porter and Milano with Melissa Brandes, Evette DeLong and Markel Insurance's Brandon Seger

Porter is keeping 'Cookie' in shape while owner Weese is out of the saddle. "Abigail, who is one of my clients, is taking time off from riding and was nice enough to let me keep him going until August when she comes back. So we will go to a few Showpark shows to keep him going and have a little bit of fun."

Since the Markel Insurance and the Interactive Mortgage U25 Qualifiers run simultaneously, U25 riders have the choice to compete in one or both classes. Of the six clean after round one, two were U25 riders, Flynn and Andrew Chang, and both were also entered in the Markel class. Next in was Chang on his own entry, Chappie. Although he had four at the first jump, he tried to leave out a stride at the end. Chappie didn't agree with that decision and added a step to the final jump, resulting in another rail and an unfortunate parting of horse and rider. Luckily, Chang held on until he stepped through the timers and avoided elimination.

Delaney Flynn and Taxo de la Nutria

Fifth to go, Michelle Kerivan and Colin made a gallant effort with a fault free ride, not quite fast enough in 43.09, ultimately second place. Last to go, Flynn aboard Irish Rose Stables' Taxo de la Nutria, clocked in clean with a time of 44.68, for the Interactive Mortgage U25 Qualifier win, plus edged out Grock for third place in the Markel Insurance Qualifying class.

Flynn, who resides in Scottsdale, Arizona, and trains with Judy Martin, is heading to Colorado to represent Zone 8 in the NAJYRC and hope to extend her lease on 'Taco' so she can compete in the $25,000 Interactive Mortgage U25 Final at The Las Vegas National in November. "I have been leasing him from Antonio Maurer (MEX) since the beginning of Thermal. This is our fourth or fifth grand prix together and it's been going really well lately. We make a really good team."

Flynn and Taxo de la Nutria with Melissa Brandes and the DeLong family

A Stupendous Six Bar
The Oaks International Grand Prix Field hosted yet another unique and exciting event this past week, the Six Bar High Jump Challenge, presented by Park Place Foundation.

In a Six Bar, a test of 'power and skill', six jumps are placed in a line with approximately 11m (36'), or two strides, between each element. The starting heights of the jumps were as follows: A: 1.15m, B and C: 1.20m, D and E: 1.30m, F: 1.35m. With a maximum of four jump-off rounds, after the first round, all six fences increased in height. For the subsequent rounds, the first two verticals were removed so only four fences continued to get taller.

While enjoying tacos and tasty ice cream treats, compliments of Park Place Foundation and Blenheim EquiSports, the crowd watched as ten entries attempted to master the Six Bar Challenge.

The class advanced until the final element had increased to the height of 1.80m (5'9"). The only pair to jump through the final round clean was sixteen-year-old Serenity Phillips and LCC Samson (owned by Summer Phillips and pictured right) for the win.

After discussing her options for competing on Sunday with her trainer, Hillary Ridland, Phillips decided to give this new class a try. She had only been given the ride on Samson by her sister a few weeks before, while she is in-between horses. Clearly elated with the results, she noted, "I didn't expect to make it past the first round, and then I was excited when it went up to 1.45m in the second round."

As the only one in the class who cleared the final round, with the last element at 1.80m, .35m higher than round two, Phillips was thrilled with Samson. "His attitude was as casual in the last round as it was in the first. This definitely changes my perspective on the horse. I now feel confident about his ability to jump the highs!"

Serenity Phillips and Samson with her sister Summer, her parents Susan and Andy, trainer Hillary Ridland, Melissa Brandes and groom Pablo Aguilar

When Park Place Foundation Board Member and trainer, Hillary Ridland, stepped out to take the presentation photo, she peered up in amazement at the 1.80m jump, Serenity and Samson. "I went to meet her at the jump and we were thinking, 'Wow!' She was just as shocked as I was. Not that we didn't think he could do it, but that we just did it for fun. No expectations. It was a blast!"

Pony Palooza
The schedules for Blenheim June Classic III and this week's Blenheim Red, White & Blue Classic are packed with pony fun, and are referred to as the summer "Pony Palooza."

Beginning with the Emerson Burr Horsemanship Grant Exam and Cupcake Party on Thursday, followed by a weekend filled with ponies large, medium and small galloping on the grass in the USHJA Zone 10 Pony Hunter Challenge, the pony quotient was high.

Testing the equestrian knowledge of the sport's future star riders, the 2016 Emerson Burr Horsemanship Grant Exam winners were: Stella Wasserman (age group 9-11); Juliette Joseph (age group 12-14); and Hannah Heiber (age group 15-17). Congratulations to all exam takers!

And who says quiz taking is boring? Makoto Farms & Hunterbrook Farms kept everyone smiling on Thursday during the Zone 10 Pony Hunter Challenge Cupcake Party.

Over 50 ponies strutted their stuff on Saturday in the USHJA Zone 10 Pony Challenge. Earning their first two scores on the line and under saddle, it was points awarded in Sunday's over fences class that determined the final scores. With six divisions competing, medium pony Captain America (owner, Mackenzie Root), with Augusta Iwasaki aboard, topped them all with a high score of 259 to take home the Grand Champion award. Finishing with solid scores of 86 (model), 88 (under saddle) and 85 (over fences) in the three classes, Iwasaki competed on the pony for the first time this week.

Overall Grand Champion Pony Hunter Captain America and Augusta Iwasaki

Further illustrating her talent, Iwasaki also piloted Small Illustration to the Green Pony Grand Champion. Once again earning a grand total of 259, Iwasaki rode the medium green pony with aplomb. "I just started showing her at the beginning of the June series," she explained. "We'd like to take her to Pony Finals in 2017. Since she's a green pony, so we'd like for her to keep learning for this year."

Overall Grand Champion Green Pony Hunter Small Illustration and Augusta Iwasaki

Her next goals involve the horses, as she sets her sights on the U.S. Junior Hunter Final Championships - West Coast, in July at Showpark.

More congratulations go to the ponies and riders that also earned high scores for division championships and reserve championships, including Medium Pony Reserve Champion Stella Wasserman aboard Trillville, with 82, 85 and 83. Wasserman was also Reserve Champion in the Small Pony division on Blueberry Hill, earning 86, 84 and 81. And Evelyn Walker walked away with Small Pony Champion on Royal Moment with scores of 84, 88 and 80.5.

Deserving Derby Win
Jamie Taylor and Catira (owned by Sue Lightner and pictured right) topped a field of 57 in the June Classic III $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby - presented by Taylor Harris Insurance Services (T.H.I.S.).

A top catch rider, Taylor piloted the bay to a commanding lead, earning a 95 and a 92 in the two rounds for a total of 187.

Taking over the reins for Marissa Metzger who is on the injured list, Taylor had ridden the horse at a couple of shows this spring, and could be aboard when Catira competes in Kentucky at the Pre-Green Incentive Championships later this summer.

"This was our third horse show together. I first rode Catira the second week at Paso Robles because her usual rider, Marissa Metzger, broke her collarbone," Taylor said. "She was purchased as an investment horse. Prior to this class, we've been discussing and considering taking her to Kentucky for the Pre-green Incentive later this summer. After this win, we are planning on taking her."

Sue Lightner received the Balmoral Farm, Inc. Owner Award and the Equitex Stable Accessories Trainer Award. Congratulations also go to these award winners: the Shapley's Best Turned Out Award went to Jaime Peralta for a job well done with Intuition, owned by Kelli Di Gioia-Bautista, Augusta Iwasaki and Spot On earned the The Plaid Horse High Score Junior Award, and the One K Helmets High Score Amateur Award went to Carly Sereni and Walk This Way.

Jamie Taylor and Catira, with Blenheim EquiSports' Melissa Brandes, Sue Lightner, Michael Taylor of T.H.I.S., and Balmoral Farm's Traci Brooks

This week's Red, White & Blue Classic wraps up a stellar four week June Series. The prix to pony highlights continue with a super Saturday, including a $5,000 Markel Insurance Pony Hunter Derby and a $30,000 Markel Insurance 1.40m Grand Prix.

$30,000 Markel Insurance 1.40M Grand Prix

Place - Entry - Name - Rider - Owner - Faults/Time
1. 595 - Milano - Mandy Porter - Abigail Weese - 0/0/40.867
2. 365 - Colin - Michelle Kerivan - Michelle Kerivan -0/0/43.095
3. 716 - Taxo de la Nutria - Delaney Flynn - Irish Rose Stables - 0/0/44.682
4. 244 - Little Gancho - Marc Grock - Moonlite Beach, LLC - 0/0/44.714
5. 231 - NJK No Regret - Nicole Haunert - NJK Show Jumpers, Inc. - 0/4/44.756
6. 558 - Chappie - Andrew Chang - Andrew Chang - 8/46.837
7. 132 - Jonkheer Z - Guy Thomas - Emily Livermore - 4/83.025
8. 224 - Topaze Blue - Amy Hess - Blue Tree Farms, LLC - 4/84.464
9. 196 - Colour Your Life - Peter Petschenig - Pam Bilek and Peter Petschenig - 4/86.428
10. 605 - Carre - Sophia Mossman - Sophia Mossman - 4/86.946
11. 387 - Classe VDL - Peter Petschenig - World Class Show Jumpers, LLC - 4/89.466
12. 277 - VDL Groep Cyrano Z - Rachel Fields - SHF Group - 8/82.416

$2,500 Interactive Mortgage U25 Series Qualifier
Place - Entry - Name - Rider - Owner - Faults/Time
1. 716 - Taxo de la Nutria - Delaney Flynn - Irish Rose Stables - 0/0/44.682
2. 558 - Chappie - Andrew Chang - Andrew Chang - 0/8/46.837
3. 545 - Cala d'Or 3 - Morgan Dickerson - Morgan Dickerson - 4/84.814
4. 605 - Carre - Sophia Mossman - Sophia Mossman - 4/86.946
5. 270 - Birhan - Julia Nagler - Kenilworth Stables - 8/83.893
6. 700 - Salerno - Kilian McGrath - KRM Equine, LLC - 8/87.348
7. 607 - Zola - Sophia Mossman - Sophia Mossman - 8/89.778
8. 782 - Adamus - Leslie Wright - Pinnacle Equine Group, Ltd. - 12/83.736

$10,000 Six Bar Challenge, presented by Park Place Foundation
Place - Entry - Name - Rider - Owner
1. 639 - LCC Samson - Serenity Phillips - Summer Phillips
2. (tie) 782 - Adamus - Leslie Wright - Pinnacle Equine Group, Ltd
2. 559 - The Admiral - Derek Chang - Derek Chang
4. 583 - Simpatica 33 - Wendy Lee Thompson - Wendy Lee Thompson
5. 595 - Milano - Mandy Porter - Abigail Weese
6. (tie) 653 - Celeste 607 - Leila Ward Maroney - Karina Sanchez
6. 805 - Ircos - Everardo Hegewisch - Everardo Hegewisch
6. 745 - Dunsoghly Junior - Sloan Elmassian - Nayel Nassar
9. (tie) 126 - Black Jack - Guy Thomas - Danielle Lambert
9. 798 - Cambridge 28 - Cassie Frost - George Mayer

Zone 10 Pony Hunter Challenge Results
Place - Entry Number - Horse - Rider - Owner - Overall Score

Overall Grand Champion - 713 - Captain America - Augusta Iwasaki - Mackenzie Root - 259
Overall Reserve Grand Champion - 659 - Royal Moment - Evelyn Walker - Maddie Styles - 252.5

Small Pony Hunter
- 659 - Royal Moment - Evelyn Walker - Maddie Styles - 252.5
Reserve - 568 - Blueberry Hill - Stella Wassermann - Stella Wasserman - 251

Medium Pony Hunter
- 713 - Captain America - Augusta Iwasaki - Mackenzie Root - 259
Reserve - 566 - Trillville - Stella Wasserman - Stella Wasserman - 250

Large Pony Hunter
- 761 - Small Soldier - Hannah Hieber - Iwasaki & Reilly - 245
Reserve - 434 - Goodness Gracious - Augusta Iwasaki - John French - 244

Overall Grand Champion Green - 758 - Small Illustration - Augusta Iwasaki - Lorelei Farm - 259
Overall Grand Reserve Champion Green - 760 - California Dreamin' II - Augusta Iwasaki - Littlewood, LLC - 249

Small Green Pony
- 236 - Blue Soleil - Shiloh Roseboom - Richard Cunkle - 237
Reserve - 789 - Little Cutie Patootie - Skylar Wireman - Mary Blair - 235

Medium Green Pony
- 758 - Small Illustration - Augusta Iwasaki - Lorelei Farm - 259
Reserve - 757 - Editor's Note - Augusta Iwasaki - Laura Owens - 227

Large Green Pony
Champion - 760 - California Dreamin' II - Augusta Iwasaki - Littlewood, LLC - 249
Reserve - 434 - Goodness Gracious - Augusta Iwasaki - John French - 223

$5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Taylor Harris Insurance Services
Place - Entry - Name - Rider - Owner - 1st Rd/2nd Rd/Total
1. 448 - Catira - Jamie Taylor - Sue Lightner - 95/92/187
2. 208 - Ante Up - Peter Lombardo - Janie Andrew - 87.5/88/175.5
3. 211 - Kensington Ask - Peter Lombardo - Yvette Harris - 90/83.5/173.5
4. 306 - Sundae - Lexi Wedemeyer - Balmoral - 88/85/173
5. 374 - Willow CBF - Jamie Taylor - Julie Hancock - 86.5/86/172.5
6. 772 - Delilah - Nick Haness - Ilene Kurtzman - 87/84/171
7. 722 - Walk This Way - Carly Sereni - Sterling Equine Investments, LLC - 90/80.5/170.5
8. 656 - Intuition - Kelli Di Gioia-Bautista - Kelli Di Gioia-Bautista - 89/81/170
9. 298 - Fortune Cookie - Lexi Wedemeyer - Ashley Kaplan - 85/84/169
10. 739 - Cambridge - Brenna Bollig - Nola Dyal - 87.75/50/137.75
11. 606 - Quinley - Natalie Rae Medlock - Natalie Rae Medlock - 84.5/53/137.50
12. 771 - Spot On - Augusta Iwasaki - West Coast Equine Partners, LLC - 86/50/136

Photos by McCool

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.



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