Michelle Parker Easily Does It in the $25,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix at the Blenheim Red, White & Blue Classic

Jul 5, 2021 | Featured, Press Releases

Michelle Parker and Easy Does It win the $25,000 Markel Insurance 1.45m Grand Prix during Blenheim EquiSport’s Red, White, & Blue Classic

San Juan Capistrano, CA – July 3, 2021 – Michelle Parker and Easy Does It led from beginning to end of the $25,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix on Saturday, July 3, during the Blenheim Red, White & Blue Classic in San Juan Capistrano, CA.

As the very first entry in the first grand prix to be held in the Olympic Sand Arena at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park, Parker and Easy Does It made easy work of the Manuel Esparza-designed course. The pair set the standard for the remaining 14 entries, with three horses and riders ultimately qualifying to join them for the jump-off.

As the first to jump clear, Parker was also the first in the ring for the short course, and she replicated her pathfinding clear round performance in a time of 37.471 seconds.

Nicole Haunert and Concolule

Michelle Parker aboard Easy Does It

While all three additional riders finished within a second of Parker’s time, only Parker and Easy Does It delivered a double clear effort. Coming the closest to catching the duo were Hillary Ridland and Wonder Kid, owned by Mary Frances Looke, who finished in second place with only one rail down in a time of 37.508 seconds.

Third place with two rails in the jump-off and a time of 36.484 seconds went to Simon Schroeder and Alie B, and Joie Gatlin and High finished in fourth with eight faults and a time of 37.659 seconds. Rounding out the top five after jumping clear with just three time faults in the first round were Wendy Lee Thompson and Simpatica 33.

“He’s small, but he’s mighty and scopey!” said Parker of her winning mount, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Cross Creek Farms, Inc. “I got him in September. He was our COVID purchase. I actually tried him in March before everything shut down, but then we didn’t buy him until September.”

Nicole Haunert leads the victory gallop aboard Concolue

Second place finisher Hillary Ridland and Wonder Kid

Since then, Parker and Easy Does It have been consistent performers in the grand prix ring, including in the Markel Insurance Jumper Series. Together the pair has contested three of the eight Markel Insurance events thus far this season and have finished in the top 10 each time out.

While their previous success has come in the Oaks International Grand Prix Field, Saturday’s inaugural grand prix in the Olympic Sand Arena seemed well suited for Easy Does It.

“I quite like the new ring; it makes the atmosphere even a bit more encouraging because the crowd is close to you,” said Parker, who was presented with a Shady Lady face covering and a $50 Topline Design Ribbon Wreaths gift certificate as part of her winnings on Saturday. “It’s a nice size, so the jump-off was quite galloping,” said Parker. “You could really get rolling.”

Click below to watch the interview with champion Michelle Parker and her winning ride!

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Parker plans to return to Blenheim EquiSports in the fall and has her sights set on continuing to move Easy Does It up the jumper rank to the 1.60m level, as well as likely continuing to contest the Markel Insurance Jumper Series.

The 15-class series culminates this November at the Las Vegas National Horse Show, where the top 25 riders are invited to compete in the finale event. To view the series specifications and the full leaderboard to date, click here.

While Sunday, July 4, marks the conclusion of the Blenheim Red, White & Blue Classic, Blenheim EquiSports is the #PlaceToJump all season long. The Blenheim Summer Festival kicks off July 21st at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park. Visit ThePlaceToJump.com to view a full show schedule and to learn more.

Laura Hite aboard Calypso

Michelle Parker and Easy Does It leading the victory gallop

Click below to watch the entire class, including pre- and post-event interviews
All Photos: McCool Photography

The Markel Insurance Jumper Series will continue to serve as a stepping stone for both young riders and young Grand Prix horses along their pathway to success in 2021, with the finals at the Las Vegas National Horse Show, November 16-21, 2021.

Blenheim EquiSports is extremely grateful to Markel Insurance and Lisa Seger Insurance for their continued support and partnership which allows us to take this program from concept to reality.

We encourage you to contact a horse insurance specialist today.

Josh Mullins
Lisa Seger Insurance agent

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Blenheim EquiSports, an equestrian event management company based in San Juan Capistrano, CA, produces horse shows in San Juan Capistrano, CA and Las Vegas, NV. These competitions include USEF “Premier” rated hunter-jumper shows; a Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League Qualifier; the Markel Insurance 1.45m Jumper Series & Final, Interactive Mortgage “Ticket to Ride” High Performance Jumper Series & Adult Jumper Series; USHJA International, National, & Pony Hunter Derbies & Finals; the Whitethorne Equitation Challenge, Medal Finals, and so much more.