July 6, 2016 - The $60,000 Ariat® Grand Prix was dominated by Ohlala Z piloted by Hannah Heidegger of Malibu, CA, as the duo topped the class with a jump off time of 36.691 seconds at Summer in the Rockies (SIR) IV at The Colorado Horse Park (CHP). Second place honors were awarded to Lochinvar, owned and ridden by Matt Cyphert of Northlake, TX, with a time of 37.227 seconds, while last week's winners The Dude, ridden by Will Simpson of Westlake Village, CA, rounded out the top three, crossing through the timers in 37.349 seconds. Competition continues at CHP this week with the start of SIR V, featuring the $60,000 Summer In the Rockies Grand Prix on Saturday, July 9 at 5:00 p.m.
Heidegger and Ohlala Z, owned by Monarch International, have been partnered for just over two years and continue to work diligently on fine-tuning their skills to secure a major victory, as they did on Saturday evening at CHP.
"Today was her first grand prix ever, so I was just going in to give her a positive round. She's only eight and she's pretty young," explained Heidegger. "She is incredibly fast so I figured I would just let her carry the pace and just go with her."
"She's such a fun mare because she is so quick off the ground and loves the jump-offs. I remember thinking to myself when we go on course that I was going to go for it," she added.
Heidegger commented on the course and the newly upgraded footing in the International Ring, saying, "I thought the footing was great. It rained a lot last night and this morning but the footing held up great. You couldn't feel that it had rained at all and I thought the course was very well done."
Elaborating more on the course design, she mentioned, "It was a respectable course where pulling multiple rails was possible, yet you could also get some really good clean rounds. There was a tricky four stride line where a lot of rails came down, but overall I was thrilled with the track."
Heidegger trains with Will Simpson, who earned himself the yellow rosette aboard longtime mount The Dude. Heidegger was excited with her win, alongside Simpson's third place finish, as the pair have worked diligently to help her and Ohlala Z gain the confidence needed to be competitive in such a large class.
"Showing against my trainer was an unbelievably fun experience, especially since he went last. I was nervous for him as well!"
Karen Cudmore of Omaha, NE, was awarded with the Leading Lady Grand Prix Rider Award presented by Equiline for the third week in a row, recognizing her top performances in the $20,000 Open Welcome Stake and $60,000 Ariat® Grand Prix.
Hunter Holloway and VDL Bravo S Take Top Honors in $20,000 Open Welcome Stake
The $20,000 Open Welcome Stake on Thursday, July 1, was conquered by Hunter Holloway of Topeka, KS, aboard VDL Bravo S owned by the Hays Investment Corp. with a jump-off time of 37.635 seconds. E-Unanime De La Haie piloted by Will Simpson of Westlake Village, CA, and owned by Monarch International, took second place with a time of 39.744 seconds. Third place honors were awarded to Super Bad ridden by Karen Cudmore of Omaha, NE, and owned by Blair Cudmore, finished in 41.866 seconds.
Holloway piloted VDL Bravo S to the victory, but also noted that her second mount, Cassevel, is also a talented asset to her string. She spoke about her two rides in the class, noting, "I have two really talented horses right now. They are just unbelievable. I've been riding them both for over a year now, so I know them both pretty well and I was going in there to win, for sure."
"VDL Bravo S and Cassevel are always up to the task when it comes taking the lead and today I was able to rely on VDL Bravo S. He really stepped up to the plate on Thursday. He was especially amazing in the jump-off," she added.
Holloway went on to speak of VDL Bravo S specifically and their relationship over the past year. The pair has collected major results during their spring campaign and maintains high expectations for the upcoming fall season.
"I've always had a special bond with him. A little over a year ago in Florida I sat on him for the first time and I immediately said 'I love this horse, he's perfect'. We clicked instantly."
Holloway and The Governor Earn $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Honors
The highlight of the week for hunter riders was showcased in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, which was topped by Hunter Holloway of Topeka, KS, aboard The Governor, who is owned by the Hays Investment Corp. with an overall score of 357.5. Second place honors were bestowed upon Tommi Clark of Agoura Hills, CA, and Black Jack, owned by Stephen Borders, with a two round score of 356. Kelli Cruciotti of Elizabeth, CO, and her own Monterrey, secured third place in the class with a score of 349.
Holloway transitioned her success from the jumper ring throughout the week at SIR IV to the hunter ring, snagging the win aboard The Governor in the largest hunter derby offered at CHP this season. Holloway and her mother, Brandie, imported The Governor from Europe last season and have been slowly moving him up the ranks.
She went on to comment on their success, stating, "I was pretty excited with The Governor and his performance. He's been an amazing horse. His forte is definitely in the derbies. No jump is too big for him and no line is too long for him."
Holloway smiled and joked after her win, noting, "In another life, he would be a grand prix horse! He's brilliant over the bigger jumps with incredible scope. It is insane how much scope this horse has."
The course asked several tough questions and offered large high options, which Holloway and The Governor responded to well, earning them the high score for the class, which saw sixteen entries in the first round of competition.
"The last jump was the most difficult for me. It was a big airy vertical. It invited the horses to rub it at the approach. The Governor is very careful, so I wasn't too worried about it, however, I definitely thought it was going to be an area of concern when I was evaluating the course."
Looking forward into the continuation of their season, Holloway hopes that the future will hold a successful ticket to USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals in Lexington, KY, later this summer. Holloway, who highly praises the natural talent of The Governor went on to describe her aspirations for competing in the most prestigious competition for hunter riders around the world.
The $1,000 Pre-Green Hunter Classic saw MTM Bali ridden by Kelly Lorek of Manchaca, TX, and owned by Kaitlyn Arnold, finish atop the leaderboard, while second place was won by Jessica Harries of Cypress, TX, and Saldo owned by Linda Law. Third place honors were awarded to Ariel Black of Scottsdale, AZ, and Journey owned by Betty Beran.
Ariel Black of Scottsdale, AZ, and Journey, owned by Betty Beran championed the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby with a total score of 344, besting a class of 36 competitors. Amberlee Wentz of Colorado Springs, CO, and Verity, owned by Mesa View Stables LLC, collected second place with a score of 339, while Becky Warner and Arcadian, owned by Marilyn Steane, rounded out the top three places, finishing just a point behind Wentz with a score of 338.
The $1,500 Junior Hunter 3'3"/3'6" Classic was dominated by Jaden Olson of Parker, CO, with his own Conradical, while the second place was awarded to Amanda Roche of Austin, TX, and her own entry Even So. Third place was secured by Quite Nice, owned by Susan Winston, and ridden by Grace McReynolds of Colorado Springs, CO.
The $1,500 Amateur Owner Hunter 3'3"/3'6" Classic was won by Nicole Lyvere of Denver, CO, and her own entry Wink, after a dominating performance. Second place was awarded to MTM Braggin Rights and Taylor Sutton of Austin, TX, who is the owner and rider. Caitlin Burns of Longmont, CO, was awarded third place aboard her own entry Mamba.
The $1,500 NAL/WIHS Children's Hunter Classic was championed by Love Struck guided by owner and rider Kelly Stensland of Denver, CO. Second place was captured by After The Laughter, owned by Katie Thomas, and ridden by Lindsey Boesen of Parker, CO. Sirius Black and ridden by owner, Anna Lawrence of Englewood, CO, finished in third place.
The $1,000 Colorado Horse Park Pony Hunter Derby was championed by Mr. Australia, owned by Emily Elek-Burtard, guided by Dominic Gibbs of Colorado Springs, CO. Gibbs also collected second place aboard his own GF Elliot. Rounding out third place honors was Helicon Special Notice, owned by Molly Rinedollar, and piloted by Morgan Maucher of Monument, CO.
The $15,000 1.20m Jumper Derby at SIR IV, a class growing in popularity throughout the 2016 circuit, was won by Dublin, who is owned by Hays Investment Corp. and piloted by Brandie Holloway of Topeka, KS. Second place was awarded to Spice Boy, owned and showed by Bjorn Ikast from Parker, CO. Earning third place awards were received by Eppo, owned by Seale Horses, LLC., and Matt Cyphert of Northlake, TX.
The $10,000 Modified Junior/Amateur Owner Classic presented by Front Range Kubota was championed by Wervelwind, owned by Michel Meyer and ridden by Nicole Meyer of Mexico. The second place honors were awarded to Lynsey Whitacre of Columbia, MO, and her own Barillo W. Marilly Meyer of Mexico, and Bandolero, owned by Evenando Cononado, claimed the third place prize.
The $5,000 NAL Low Junior/Amateur Owner Classic presented Nutrena® was led by Meghan Faillaci of Westminster, CO, on her own entry Cecarelli with a time of 37.427 seconds Nicole Lyvere of Denver, CO, on her own Dantrex Van het Laerhof, earned the second place position, finishing in 37.442 seconds. Third place was awarded to Lynsey Whitacre of Columbia, MO, and her own Zorzuela Leuze Z dashing through the timers in 37.792 seconds.
The $4,000 NAL/WIHS Adult Jumper Classic was won by s Tami Sopinski of Sioux Falls, SD, and Carlos, who completed the jump-off in 28.454 seconds Audrey Carlson of Boulder, CO, and . Balthazar, owned by Mark Mead, rode to second place, finishing two seconds behind Sopinski. No Nonsense Z, owned by Guy McElavain, claimed third place with Sharon McElvain of Lemitar, NM, piloting from the irons and finishing with a time of 31.626 seconds.
The $4,000 NAL/WIHS Child Jumper Classic conquered by Carly Coles of Golden, CO, and her own entry Zodoctro with a time 29.897 seconds. Second place was awarded to Bently Du Vernay, owned by Kim Dixon ridden by Jaden Olson from Parker, CO, for their jump-off time of 31.112 seconds. Third place honors were awarded to Little Love, owned by Rose Hill Farm, and ridden by Amanda Roche of Austin, TX, as they completed the track in 32.012 seconds.
Kobenhavn's Noble Charm, owned and showed by Kennedy Eaton of Monument, CO, took the blue rosette in the $4,000 Modified Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic for their time of 32.446 seconds in the jump-off round. Second place in the class was awarded to Tiggerr owned and ridden Nicole Lyvere of Denver, CO, completing the course in 33.083 seconds. Marilly Meyer of Mexico, and her own Juliana secured third place, finishing in 35.572 seconds.
Competition at CHP continues this week with the start of the Summer In the Rockies V, which will feature the $60,000 Summer In the Rockies Grand Prix on Saturday, July 9, beginning at 5:00 p.m. For more information about The Colorado Horse Park (CHP) and to see a full list of results please visitwww.coloradohorsepark.com.