Will Simpson and The Dude Do It Again in the $50,000 Showpark All Seasons Grand Prix - Bjorn Ikast and Supernatural Win the $20,000 Interactive Mortgage Horses 10 & Under Futurity Final
Del Mar, CA
- Saturday afternoon highlights at the Del Mar Horse Park included the $50,000 Showpark All Seasons Grand Prix and the $20,000 Interactive Mortgage Horses 10 & Under Futurity Final. Catsy Cruz of Mexico set the tracks, with her educated eye on encouraging the young horses and challenging the 1.50m show jumpers. Will Simpson and The Dude (Nicole Walker, owner) illustrated their dynamic partnership once again by leading the grand prix victory gallop, and Bjorn Ikast rode his nine-year-old, Supernatural, to the win in the futurity finals.
"I enjoyed setting for this class. The material here is fantastic and this ring gives you a lot of room to set these courses," FEI course designer Cruz said. "In the grand prix, I set the triple at the end of this course to test the riders' ability to keep their horses focused. I also set some fences that might present riders with some problems, like the triple bar to the tight skinny vertical. I made the time quite fast; they must keep the pace, especially on the long gallops."
With the variety of questions asked, jumps fell throughout the 16 effort track, but as noted, the 'A' element of the triple combination came down repeatedly. As Cruz expected, the time allowed was tight, and over half the class incurred time faults. Two riders finished with time faults only, just missing the chance to ride the shortened course for the blue.
Lane Clarke and Balu U
Four of the thirty-four entries returned for the jump-off. First to go was Lane Clarke aboard Georgy Maskrey-Segesman's Balu U. Double clean and opting for both inside turns, he set the pace with a time of 37.84 seconds. Next in was Simpson and The Dude. Taking all the inside turns and never missing a beat, the pair clocked in with a very quick time of 35.86, shaving almost two seconds of Clarke's lead.
Will Simpson and The Dude
Eager to catch Simpson's blazing fast time, Michelle Parker rode Cross Creek Farm, Inc.'s Cupilor around a speedy track but barely rubbed and dropped the last rail, picking up four faults in 36.23. Last in the jump-off, Hanna Mauritzson aboard Parkmore Lux, chose to go for a clean, smooth ride, and succeeded in 37.97.
Hanna Mauritzson and Parkmore Lux
"Today I really kicked on the afterburners, which I love to do," Simpson mused. "We schooled early, so I got off the horse and went up to watch the horse before me. I learned that trick from my good friend, Mclain Ward. He always does that, watches on foot before going in. I did that today and it worked out really well. I came back and got on my horse so I knew the striding for both the eight-stride lines."
Will Simpson and The Dude, with Melissa Brandes and Nani Luebke of Blenheim EquiSports
"The Dude has such an amazing gallop, you can see a fence that looks like it's a mile away and you go for what you think is a really long distance and you always get there gathering, which is a really fun thing in the jump-off," Simpson said. "He is a 10-year-old superstar. He won on Thursday and he came back and jumped even better today. It's amazing to have a horse at the end of the year that's as fresh as he is. It's an honor to be able to ride a horse with this kind of talent."
Bjorn Ikast and Supernatural Win the $20,000 Interactive Mortgage Horses 10 & Under Futurity Final
With the fence height set at 1.40-1.45m, the $20,000 Interactive Mortgage Horses 10 & Under Futurity Final offers a stepping stone for horses headed to the grand prix ring. With $65,000 in total prize money offered in the Futurity Series, the program attracted some of the brightest up-and-coming equine stars.
Today's course proved to be inviting, ideal for the youngsters, as six of fifteen horses went clean, and five of those six had double clear rounds. Four of the six clocked in at under forty seconds in the jump-off, with Nayel Nassar and Dee Jee setting a solid time to beat at 37.12 seconds.
Nayel Nassar and Dee Jee
Ikast admitted this was helpful for his strategy. "I was lucky to have Nayel go right in front of me and show me how to do it. I saw that the only way to beat him was to take one less stride to the combination. He did seven, so I thought if I could do six, then I might have a chance to beat him."
That one stride less meant that he galloped through the timers just about a quarter of a second faster than Nasser in 36.88. Both Amy Hess aboard Blue Tree Farm, LLC's Topaze Blue and Alyssa Hecht on Neulani Farms' Calvatos Z went double clean and fast, but neither could catch Ikast. Supernatural took the fastest track for the victory.
Bjorn Ikast and Supernatural
Ikast said, "I have had [Supernatural] since he was three years old. He is one of my up-and-coming horses. He's very careful and very fast, as you can see in the jump-off."
The veteran rider likes the concept of Interactive Mortgage Futurity Program for young horses and had an interesting comment on a division for the riders. "I think that it is very important that the up-and-coming horses get the chance to prove they are nearly ready to move up, and for them to win some money too," he noted. "Now that I'm getting a little bit older, they should do something for senior citizens. They have an Under 25 class, and since I just turned 50, they should do a 50 & Over class to give us some benefit of getting older."
Bjorn Ikast and Supernatural with Blenheim EquiSports' Melissa Brandes and Interactive Mortgage's Gregg DeLong with his daughter
Stay tuned for a wrap-up of the jumper highlights at the Showpark All Seasons Tournament with the culmination of the $45,000 Young Jumper Championships (YJC) West Coast Finals and the awarding of the Veredus Leading Jumper Riders in five divisions.
$50,000 Showpark All Seasons Grand Prix
Place - Entry Number - Horse - Rider - Owner - Faults/Time
1. 442 - The Dude - Will Simpson - Nicole Walker - 0/0/35.869
2. 321 - Balu U - Lane Clarke - Georgy Maskrey-Segesman - 0/0/37.840
3. 332 - Parkmore Lux - Hanna Mauritzson - Ritz Fuente, LLC - 0/0/37.972
4. 190 - Cupilor - Michelle Parker - Cross Creek Farms, Inc. - 0/4/36.237
5. 460 - Butterfly Tibri Z - Lindsay Douglass - Lindsay Douglass - 1/72.602
6. 234 - Venice B - Daniel Zilla - Branscombe Farm, LLC - 2/73.543
7. 374 - Concorde - Chris Pratt - Epic Group, LLC - 4/67.790
8. 484 - Anton - Jaime Azcarraga - Jaime Azcarraga - 4/68.964
9. 241 - Camerone - Lindsay Archer - Rhys Farms, LLC - 4/71.128
10. 212 - Dubai - Mavis Spencer - Neil Jones Equestrian, Inc. - 4/71.562
11. 228 - Conejito - Carol Wright - Carol Wright - 5/72.279
12. 515 - Adoro - Francie Nilforushan - Ali Nilforushan - 7/74.600
$20,000 Interactive Mortgage Horses 10 & Under Futurity Final
Place - Entry Number - Horse - Rider - Owner - Faults/Time
1. 566 - Supernatural - Bjorn Ikast - Bjorn Ikast - 0/0/36.885
2. 488 - Dee Jee - Nayel Nassar - Nayel Nassar - 0/0/37.121
3. 153 - Topaze Blue - Amy Hess - Blue Tree Farms, LLC - 0/0/37.381
4. 565 - Calvatos Z - Allyssa Hecht - Neaulani Farms - 0/0/38.634
5. 333 - Cilandro - Hanna Mauritzson - Swede Equine, LLC - 0/0/41.674
6. 137 - Ircos IV - Everardo Hegewisch - Everardo Hegewisch - 0/4/40.145
7. 191 - Doriena - Michelle Parker - Idyllic Imports - 4/67.980
8. 578 - Lorenzo-T - Carly Ramsey - Carly Ramsey - 4/68.674
Photos by CapturedMomentPhoto.com
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.