The Colorado Horse Park (CHP) saw another sunny day of competition in its manicured rings overlooking the iconic Rocky Mountains on Thursday. Continuing competition for Summer in the Rockies IV, the $20,000 Colorado Horse Park Open Welcome Stake saw 29 entries contest a complex course designed by Marina Azevedo. Competition for the week continues through Sunday, July 5.
The time allowed for the Welcome Stake course was 76 seconds, which proved challenging for many of the riders, but left multiple options for inside turns. Many of the competitors attempted to rise to the challenge, but the class saw a mere five riders advance to the jump-off. With the only double-clear round, Chenoa McElvain and Guy McElvain's Coco Colette ultimately earned the blue ribbon and the $6,000 first place prize.
McElvain has been riding Coco Colette, a ten-year-old Danish Warmblood, since the horse was five.
"It's our second year doing grand prixs together, so we are really starting to develop a relationship," McElvain explained. "I had high hopes for Coco today because she was super wild when I hacked her this morning, so I knew she was on it and ready to go!"
In regards to the course, McElvain detailed, "I thought the course was bigger and harder than last week, but I love Marina [Azevedo], she is a fabulous course designer, so I was really excited to ride it."
McElvain then added, "I want to thank my trainer, John Pearce, who helped me a lot today with the course and my family for their support."
McElvain is also working with three other eight-year-old mounts. She is competing with them in the upcoming days of the show, and is hoping to move them up to grand prixs later on this year.
$20,000 Colorado Horse Park Open Welcome Stake Results:
1. 1014 - COCO COLETTE - OWNED BY GUY MCELVAIN - CHENOA MCELVAIN 0/0/38.949
2. 265 - CASTALANO - OWNED BY SANDWILLOW FARM - KATHARIN GUALTIERI 0/4/38.421
3. 1003 - BON GIORNO - OWNED BY SHOWCASE 81 LLC - BRYN SADLER 0/4/40.588
4. 1432 - SAN DIEGO - OWNED BY DANIELLE KORSH - DANIELLE KORSH 0/4/40.688
5. 1055 - NKH QUANTO - OWNED BY NKH LLC - CHRISTIAN HEINEKING 0/4/43.517
6. 412 - QUICKIE - OWNED BY NATASCHA GATES - NATASCHA GATES 1/76.555
7. 194 - CUPIDO DE LAUBRY - OWNED BY CZECH MATE LLC - HANNAH HOLIK 1/76.61
8. 1061 - AJE CLUNY - OWNED BY CHRISTIAN HEINEKING - CHRSTIAN HEINEKING 2/77.05
9. 1302 - LOCHNIVAR - OWNED BY MATT CYPHERT - MATT CYPHERT 4/69.815
10. 351 - SAVEUR DE B'NEVILLE - OWNED BY MHJ SALES LLC - ARMANDO HASSEY 4/70.73
11. 191 - LA BELLE SOIREE - OWNED BY MOLLY PRECOURT - JOHN MCCONNELL 4/71.257
12. 1121 - CAN DO IT 16 - OWNED BY AMANDA COMLY - AMANDA COMLY 4/72.663
Taking place in the Olson Family Main Hunter Ring, the combined Green Working/High Performance Hunters saw Kim Barone piloting Kathy McCuskey's Indigo Girl take home the tri-color ribbon. On their way to the championship honors, the pair earned a first, second, and third over fences, a second in the handy hunter class, and a third place under saddle. Indigo Girl is a Belgian Warmblood Mare by Iron Man and bred in the United States.
"This is only [Indigo Girl's] third show doing the first-years," said Barone. "I was super happy with her. She did two shows in May and hasn't shown since. She is super brave, but you have to do things [Indigo Girl's] way. She was very consistent this week."
"Her owner, Kathy McCuskey, is fantastic and has had her since she was four years old. We brought her along and had a lot of patience with her," Barone added.
When asked if she had any superstitions, Barone replied, "Not with [Indigo Girl], but for me, I always have to put my right boot on first!"
Taking home the reserve championship was Jessica Harries aboard Linda Law's Belle Glos. The team took a third, sixth and fourth place over fences, and claimed first place in the handy hunter and the under saddle classes.
For more information and full results from Summer in the Rockies, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.