Angel Karolyi And Cooper Shine In $25,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix

Aug 18, 2019 | Featured, Press Releases

Angel Karolyi and Cooper

August 18, 2019 – Del Mar, CA – The Markel Insurance 1.45m Jumper Series returned to the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park at San Juan Capistrano on Saturday with twenty-one horse/rider combinations competing on the The Oaks International Grand Prix field. In the end, it was Angel Karolyi and Cooper, owned by Joan Hope, finishing at the top of the leaderboard with Emily Esau-Williams and Crack One, owned by Ixchel Mosley, a close second.

Olympic medalist and world-renowned course designer, Michel Vaillencourt created the 1.45m track that tested riders with tight combinations and challenging bending lines. “I was hoping for four in the jump-off and that’s exactly what we got”, said Vaillencourt. “I tried to build a fair, yet challenging course, based on the competitors that we have here today.”

Angel Karolyi aboard Cooper with Brandon Seger from Markel Insurance and Robert Ridland and Brandes of Blenheim EquiSports

In round one, Hugh Mutch and his mount, Johnny Cash, were first to navigate Vaillencourt’s course, fault-free. He was matched by the following rider, Lisa McCluskey and Cavalos, ensuring a jump-off. After moving down in the order because his horse threw a shoe, Karolyi and Cooper followed making it three clear rounds in a row. Esau-Willams earned her way through to the second round as the fourth and final rider to go clean.

First to ride in the jump-off, Karolyi and Cooper set the pace with an impressive time of 41.481 seconds, aided by their ability to execute tight turns take a stride out of the final line. Hugh Mutch and Lisa McClusky followed but they were unable to negotiate the shortened course without a rail, each ending up with four faults. That left the door open for Emily Eseau-Williams. However, despite her double clear, she was unable to catch Karolyi, finishing a fraction of a second slower with 41.982 on the clock.

Emily Esau-Williams aboard Crack One aboard Enjoy

In his post win interview, Angel commented, “Cooper is a new mount for me. We’ve clicked fairly quickly. I qualified him for the Pan American Games and next, I plan to take Cooper and my other horse, April Moon, to qualify for the World Cup throughout the Fall.

WATCH! Post-win interview with Angel Karolyi and see his winning ride in the jump-off (below)

The Grand Prix was held currently with the $2,500 Blenheim EquiSports U25 Jumper Classic. Of the seven entries, two riders returned for a jump-off to determine the winner. The title went to Melody Liu and Carnutelabryere owned by Shelly Gambardella.

Melody Liu and Carnutelabryere

Saturday’s grand prix was the nineth of thirteen qualifying events in the Markel Insurance 1.45m Jumper Series to be held throughout the Blenheim EquiSports 2019 Horse Show Season, with the Final to be held during The Las Vegas National, November 11 – 17, 2019.

Competition continues next week in Del Mar California at the Showpark Summer Classic featuring the $25,000 Markel 1.45m Jumper Classic and Blenheim EquiSports $50,000 1.50m Grand Prix of Showpark.


$25,000 Markel Insurance 1.45M Grand Prix

Place – Entry Number – Horse – Rider – Owner – Faults/Time

1 429 – Cooper – Angel Karolyi – Joan Hoppe – 0/0/41.481

2 198 – Crack One – Emily Esau-Willams – Ixchel Mosley – 0/0/41.982

3 518 – Cavalos – Lisa McCluskey – Lisa McCluskey – 0/4/42.828

4 418 – Johnny Cash – Hugh Mutch – Itavera Inc. – 0/4/44.373

5 426 – Brandee – Angel Karolyi – Serena Anand – 4/74.996

6 620 – Epicor Da Gandarinha – Gerardo Pasquel – Gerardo Pasquel – 4/75.921

7 373 – Bound To Be – Tracey Wade – Big Bay City LLC – 5/79.183

8 186 – Siegfried 68 – Emily Esau-Willams – Ixchel Mosley – 8/72.585

9 447 – Charming’s Spezial – Allison Kroff – Beth Buchanan – 8/76.200

10 318 – Parkmore Lux – Hanna Mauritzson – Ritz Fuente LLC – 8/76.542

11 416 – Killosery Kuidam – Julia Nagler – Julia Nagler – 8/76.659

12 252 – Frodosi – Lane Clarke – Lighthouse Farms – 8/76.884


$2,500 Blenheim EquiSports U25 Jumper Classic

Place – Entry Number – Horse – Rider – Owner – Faults/Time

1 258 – Carnutelabryere – Melody Liu – Shelly Gambardella – 12/42537

2 136 – Centurion – Sloan Elmassian – Sloan Elmassian – 12/43.431

3 482 – Chicharito Blue – Sophie Simpson – Will Simpson Stables 14/84.516

4 425 – Cochabamba – Serena Anand – Serena Anand – 16/74.528

5 229 – Quadrigus – Gabriela Pattinson – Susanne Coleman – 16/74.671

6 259 – Diamond – Melody Liu – Melody Liu – 24/75.776


Photos by Captured Moment Photography

Thank You To Our Generous Sponsors & Partners

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 – contact Brandon to get a horse, farm or liability insurance quote today: 213-219-7837

Markel/Lisa Seger Insurance Field Agent Josh Mullins is also available to answer any questions related to your equine insurance needs.

Contact Josh at:

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 19 USEF “Premier” rated hunter-jumper shows featuring five FEI CSI events, including a Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League event; the Markel Insurance 1.45m Jumper Series & Final, Developing Jumper Qualifiers & Championships, USHJA International & National Hunter Derbies, Pony Derby Finals, the Whitethorne Equitation Challenge, Medal Finals and more.