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Young Jumper Championships Western League Finals Wrap Up with Impressive Wins

Del Mar, CA - Supporting up-and-coming talent is essential for the sport to continue to thrive and grow, which is why Blenheim EquiSports is pleased to host the Young Jumper Championships Western League Finals year after year. By offering fourteen shows with qualifying classes throughout the season, with no entry fees and discounted stall fees, Blenheim supports the development of these young jumpers. With a higher number of entries this year, after a round on Thursday, one on Friday and the last one today, plus jump-offs in each division, three Young Jumper champions, ages five, six and seven years old, took a victory gallop with a tricolor ribbon, a brand new cooler and a prize money check.

Course designer for the week, Catsy Cruz of Mexico, was deliberate in her plan to give the young horses a great learning experience while making each day slightly higher and wider, with gradual changes.

"All the distances are very comfortable. The turns are as well. It is a matter of following a track, keeping a rhythm. Today I used a liverpool and a triple combination that they haven't seen. It's a little harder, but still keeps the mindset that it is a learning class for the young horses," she explained.

Mandy Porter and Camelot BF Capture the Win in the Five-Year-Old Division
Just as Cruz planned, today's five-year-old course provided an opportunity for smooth sailing and 11 of the 19 entries went clean. Those with a score of zero after three rounds advanced to the jump-off. In this division a total of six horse and rider combinations were vying for the fourth clear round and the fastest time to earn the biggest win of their career to date.

Mandy Porter and Camelot BF

The bar was set high right off the bat as Trudi Fletcher navigated Linda Irvine Smith's Gee Whiz (KWPN/G/More than Luck - Amerika, by Acord I) through the eight-effort shortened course in 40.20, earning an admirable quadruple-clear in the championships, and ultimately finished in fourth place.

The pace of the jump-off increased with every trip, starting with Matt Archer and Rhys Farms, LLC's Legolas (HOL/G/Larimar - Passina, by Lecantus), who opted for an inside turn back to the penultimate fence of the shortened course. The long, soft bend to the final effort offered room to gallop and Archer crossed the finish line in 36.16. Also opting for the inside turn and then taking perhaps even more advantage of the last stretch, Keri Potter and Melanie Brooks' Jiminy Cricket (WES/G/Colestus - Cindy, by Cornet Obolensky) lowered the time to beat to 35.77, all the while maintaining the streak of quadruple-clears.

Both the fourth and sixth competitors ran into trouble with faults, but the fifth to go, Mandy Porter and Oak Meadow Ranch, LLC's Camelot BF (OLD/G/Contiano BF - Jasnaya BF, by Cristo), soared to the top. Starting strong with a quick turn from the first fence to the second, the young horse tripped slightly at the beginning of the line from the second fence to the third, but Porter helped maintain his focus. She held a prompt pace and perfected the inside turn. A loping gallop to the final fence placed her atop the leaderboard in 35.56.

"I knew going to the last jump that I could just gallop and it would be faster than it looks because he has such a big stride," Porter said of the gelding, whom she's been working with since February.

YJC Five-Year-Old Champions Mandy Porter and Camelot BF with YJC's Kelly McKnight

She went on to say that showing him this last week as well as in this championship, with the opportunity to go in the ring several times and not focus on going fast until the end, has helped him. "He's really matured in the last two weeks. In July, this ring scared him and made him nervous. He finally just relaxed in there and was able to jump how he jumps at home."

Although Camelot BF is offered for sale, Porter hopes to take him to the Blenheim Young Jumper Finals later this month, and if possible, would love to continue to ride the talented Oldenburg gelding.

Christian Heineking and HSS Carrido Claim the Top Prize in the Six-Year-Olds
Of the seven double-clear horse and rider combinations vying for the Six-Year-Old title this Sunday, four maintained fault-free scores. An impressive eleven of twenty horses emerged from all three rounds with four or fewer faults, proving the quality of the six-year-old championships this year.

Fast moving from the start, first to go Keri Potter dashed around on Jo Cho's Diabolical (OLD/G/Diarado - Clockwork III, by Carousel) in a clear 40.91. Olivia Brown and Yennie Folheim Fuller's Churchill (HOL/G/Clarimo - Salina II, by Cardino) followed, finishing with eight faults.

Christian Heineking and Heineking Show Stables' HSS Carrido (DWB/S/Carrico - Escudini, by Escudo II) demonstrated two inside turns - one to the oxer at fence 11 and then again to the vertical-oxer one-stride at 9AB - to take over the lead, clean in 40.48.

Christian Heineking and Heineking Show Stables' HSS Carrido

The 2015 Five-Year-Old Champions, Jamie Sailor and Felyn Farms' Flashdance (HAN/G/For Edition - Virginia II, by Quinar), were last to go. The pair caught Heineking on the clock but had an unfortunate four faults.

Heineking has a history with this horse and his family. "The sire, Carrico, jumped at Beerbaum Stables in World Cup classes and then got sold here to the U.S. Two years ago he was in the top 10 in the Hunter Derby Finals. I rode him as a young horse as well," he said.

He imported HSS Carrido to the States just last year. "I don't think I was the fastest, but we got lucky. It was a young horse class and he hasn't shown a lot in the States, so I am very happy," Heineking said. He described the stallion as "very nice and simple, also naturally very careful."

Heineking plans to give the champion six-year-old an easy rest of the year and then gear up for the seven-year-olds at Thermal in 2017. HSS Carrido will likely be available for breeding next spring.

Christian Heineking with YJC Western League Finals Six-Year-Old Champion HSS Carrido, with Blenheim EquiSports' Melissa Brandes and Kelly McKnight of YJC

Jason McArdle and Elicole Bring Home the Seven-Year-Old Title
Ten of nineteen pairs finished the challenging Seven-Year-Old final with four faults or less. Just three of the six who came in today with a zero score made it to the jump-off.

Jason McArdle piloted two of those three. First, he rode Fairbanks Valley Farm's Elicole (KWPN/M/Hamlet - Vicole, by Guidam) to four clear rounds. Despite a risky distance to fence 15, McArdle galloped through the timers clean in 38.30.

Jason McArdle and Fairbanks Valley Farm's Elicole

Mandy Porter returned on Wild Turkey Farm, LLC's WT Ca-Pow! (AHHA/G/Chesapeake - Ultima V, by Calato). The pair had the time, 37.80, but in an attempt to create a better turn to fence 15, she caught it at an angle and tipped the top rail.

McArdle chose a quieter pace and more conservative track on his second ride, Fairbanks Valley Farm's Elrito (KWPN/G/Zapatero VDL - Zelrite, by Tenerife VDL). They completed the shortened course in a fault-free 49.16, earning the red ribbon.

Though he had opted for a clean, smooth ride earlier on Elrito, McArdle aimed to set the pace on the speedy Elicole. "In the jump-off, [Elicole] is really quick. I was trying to go fast enough. I know I left the door open if Mandy went faster, but then she had a rail," he said. "It wasn't my best jump-off, but today it worked out."

McArdle has had Elicole since she was a four-year-old. She was the Five-Year-Old YJC Champion two years ago at Showpark, and has had an extremely successful season as a seven-year-old. McArdle plans to advance into the Interactive Mortgage 10 & Under Futurity classes with her next year.

Jason McArdle and Elicole with the Buie family, the Fairbanks Valley Farm team,
Melissa Brandes and Kelly McKnight

Congratulations to all young horses on their superb showing at the Showpark All Seasons Tournament. Starting on September 14th, Blenheim EquiSports moves back to San Juan Capistrano for two consecutive shows to wrap up their California season, the Blenheim Fall Tournament and the Blenheim International Jumping Festival.

Numerous highlights for all disciplines over the two weeks include the $45,000 Blenheim EquiSports Young Jumper Championships, presented by Fairbanks Valley Farm, the International Jumper Futurity (IJF) 4YO Regional Finals, USHJA Zone 9/10 Children's and Adult Amateur Jumper Championships, the $25,000 CPHA West Coast Pre-Green Finals, ASPCA Maclay Regional Finals, the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search West Coast Finals, Zones 8, 9, & 10 Medal and Adult Equitation Finals, Zone 10 Horse of the Year Finals - Jumpers (South), Markel Insurance 1.40m Grand Prix Series and Interactive Mortgage U25 Series Qualifiers and five NAL Division Qualifiers with double points.


$ 10,000 Five Year Old YJC Western League Final

Place - Entry # - Horse - Rider - Owner - Total Faults/Jump-off Faults/Jump-off Time
1. 428 - Camelot BF - Mandy Porter - Oak Meadow Ranch, LLC - 0/0/35.561
2. 194 - Jiminy Cricket - Keri Potter - Melanie Brooks - 0/0/35.779
3. 245 - Legolas - Matt Archer - Rhys Farms, LLC - 0/0/36.166
4. 286 - Gee Whiz - Trudi Fletcher - Linda Smith - 0/0/40.208
5. 298 - Darco Son - Christian Heineking - October Hill Hunters & Jumpers - 0/4/38.288
6. 187 - CCF Hibiscus Coast - Natasha Traurig - Cross Creek Farms, Inc. - 0/9/46.689
7. 400 - GO Go Bleu M VDL - Riccardo Ruggiu - San Juan de Italia - 2
8. 427 - WT Leapfrog - Mandy Porter - Wild Turkey Farm, LLC - 4
8. 260 - Stakkato Onyx - Kaitlin Campbell - Kaitlin Campbell - 4
10. 229 - Chromatic BF - Daniel Zilla - Branscomb Farm, LLC - 4
10. 104 - Mr. Sanchez - Susan Artes - Susan Artes - 4
12. 299 - OhF Cordani - Brittany Albrecq - October Hill Sales - 5

$15,000 Six Year Old YJC Western League Final
Place - Entry # - Horse - Rider - Owner - Total Faults/Jump-off Faults/Jump-off Time
1. 297 - HSS Carrido - Christian Heineking - Christian Heineking - 0/0/40.485
2. 112 - Diabolical - Keri Potter - Jo Cho - 0/0/40.918
3. 276 - Flashdance - Jamie Sailor - Felyn Farms - 0/4/36.393
4. 107 - Churchill - Olivia Brown - Yennie Fuller - 0/8/41.235
5. 345 - Chogui LS - Diego Potes - Ernesto Milmo - 1
6. 412 - Southern Belle - Janine Weatherby - Phoenix Equestrian - 2
7. 275 - Main Defender - Jamie Sailor - Megan Wexler - 4
8. 295 - Diokaldo - Nicole Peterson - Nicole Peterson - 4
9. 189 - CCF Yasur - Michelle Parker - Cross Creek Farms, Inc. - 4
10. 443 - A Picasso de Vie - Will Simpson - Will Simpson - 4
11. 326 - Felix BC - Nicki Mathen - - 4
12. 220 - Karo - Guy Thomas - Susan Brandin - 8

$20,000 Seven Year Old YJC Western League Final
Place - Entry # - Horse - Rider - Owner - Total Faults/Jump-off Faults/Jump-off Time
1. 336 - Elicole - Jason McArdle - Fairbanks Valley Farm, LLC - 0/0/38.303
2. 337 - Elrito - Jason McArdle - Fairbanks Valley Farm, LLC - 0/0/49.162
3. 426 - WT Ca Pow! - Mandy Porter - Wild Turkey Farm, LLC - 0/4/27.803
4. 431 - Juweel Van Maarle - Craig Starr - Sabine Cooper - 4
5. 320 - Clearing - Susan Hutchison - Georgy Maskrey-Segesman - 4
6. 386 - Ellegrante - Kayla Savard - Kayla Savard - 4
7. 519 - Classini - Bjorn Ikast - BBB Show Jumpers, LLC - 4
8. 418 - Costena LS La Silla - Nicole Haunert - Lynne Bollinger - 4
9. 289 - Express SB - Hap Hansen - Dominique Hoffmann - 4
10. 225 - Cool Tec - Sara Van Fleet - Sara Van Fleet - 4
11. 281 - Eranka B - Emily Esau-Williams - Dayle Fischer - 8
12. 499 - Enzo H - Nick Gegen - Nick Gegen - 8

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In 1998, the Young Jumper Championships (YJC) was initiated to urge competition management to begin to offer specific classes for horses Five, Six and Seven years of age - whether Futurity nominated or not - as long as they provided Breed Registry papers to document their age and identity when they were recorded with the YJC. Since 1999 the Young Jumper Championship has offered 3 Regional Final events each year in the East, Midwest, and West, for horses that qualified through YJC Qualifiers held at shows throughout the country. These YJC League Finals are held at major jumping competitions and offer substantial prize money - more than $2 million has been awarded to date in the Young Jumper Championships. More at



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