July 27, 2016 - Christian Heineking of Hudson Oaks, TX, and Calango concluded the 2016 Summer In The Rockies Series at The Colorado Horse Park (CHP), capturing the final grand prix win of the season as the pair took home the $100,000 Adequan® Grand Prix in front of a packed house. The duo crossed through the timers in 42.755 seconds to secure the win, while Matt Cyphert of Northlake, TX, and Lochinvar, rode to second place honors with a time of 45.478 seconds. Paul Rohrbach of Parker, CO, and Camerino placed in third, completing the jump-off track in 45.478 seconds.
Heineking and Calango, a 2008 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Calvados Z x Kobyrette) rode a beautiful first trip, qualifying them for the jump-off round, which saw 10 of 38 entries move forward to the short course. Only four pairs completed the evening with a double clear effort around both tracks, but Heineking and Calango's time couldn't be caught.
"I thought it was a really nice course and it was challenging. It was long enough with a lot of oxers, which I think caused some of the problems with faults. It was a great course for a class like this," commented Heineking.
"Calango was just very tight all the way around the course. He was quick on his feet, and has a big step so he moved right along. It was a great win for him," he added.
While Heineking's experienced mount, AJE Cluny, also progressed to the jump-off round, Calango handled the pressure of the jump-off with ease, attesting to the future talent the gelding will showcase in the top levels of the sport.
"Calango is really nice. He's just coming up as an eight-year-old. We got him a little bit over a year ago. My owner NKH bought him for me and so far he's really stepped up to the plate and done everything we've asked," he detailed. "Today was his biggest win so far and I'm positive that there will be more in his future."
Heineking is familiar with winning major classes at CHP, as he stole the show aboard AJE Cluny in last year's $100,000 Grand Prix. Heineking has built a solid string of talented competitors and feels that his horses always compete well at CHP, as he piloted three of his four mounts into the jump-off round. AJE Cluny finished in fourth place, while NKH Quanto collected ninth place.
"I won the big class here last year on AJE Cluny. He was second in the grand prix last week and third the week before. I was really trying to ride a double clean on him and he's just a great horse," explained Heineking.
"The first horse I jumped off, NKH Quanto, is also a talented horse. We got a little bit unlucky at the Adequan® jump, but if you don't risk it, you'll never have a shot at winning," he continued.
Hunter Holloway of Topeka, KS, was presented with the Equiline Leading Lady Grand Prix Rider Award, as she placed strongly aboard her two grand prix mounts, Cassevel and VDL Bravo S, both owned by Hays Investment Corp. in the $20,000 Open Welcome Stake presented by Equiline and the $100,000 Adequan® Grand Prix.
Competition at The Colorado Horse Park will continue with equestrian competition through the rest of the summer and into the fall season, while Sunday's conclusion marked the end of the incredibly successful 2016 Summer In The Rockies Series. For more information on CHP and to see a full list of results please visitwww.coloradohorsepark.com.