October 2016 - The Gallop: Young Jumper Championships

Free entries and discounted stall fees help Blenheim EquiSports build the sport’s next equine stars.

Supporting up-and-coming talent is essential for the sport to continue to thrive and grow, which is why Blenheim EquiSports is pleased to host the Young Jumper Championships Western League Finals year after year. By offering 14 shows with qualifying classes throughout the season, with no entry fees and discounted stall fees, Blenheim supports the development of these young jumpers.

With a higher number of entries this year, after a round on Thursday, Sept. 1, one on Friday, Sept. 2 and the last one Sunday, Sept. 4, plus jump-offs in each division, three Young Jumper champions, ages five, six and seven years old, took a victory gallop with a tricolor ribbon, a brand new cooler and a prize money check.

Course designer for the week, Catsy Cruz of Mexico, was deliberate in her plan to give the young horses a great learning experience while making each day slightly higher and wider, with gradual changes.

“All the distances are very comfortable. The turns are as well. It is a matter of following a track, keeping a rhythm. Today (Sunday) I used a liverpool and a triple combination that they haven’t seen. It’s a little harder, but still keeps the mindset that it is a learning class for the young horses,” she explained.

Mandy Porter and Camelot BF. Photo: Captured Moment Photography

Mandy Porter and Camelot BF Capture the Win in the Five-Year-Old Division

Just as Cruz planned, today’s five-year-old course provided an opportunity for smooth sailing and 11 of the 19 entries went clean. Those with a score of zero after three rounds advanced to the jump-off. In this division a total of six horse and rider combinations were vying for the fourth clear round and the fastest time to earn the biggest win of their career to date.

The bar was set high right off the bat as Trudi Fletcher navigated Linda Irvine Smith’s Gee Whiz (KWPN/G/More than Luck - Amerika, by Acord I) through the eight-effort shortened course in 40.20, earning an admirable quadruple-clear in the championships, and ultimately finished in fourth place.

The pace of the jump-off increased with every trip, starting with Matt Archer and Rhys Farms, LLC’s Legolas (HOL/G/Larimar - Passina, by Lecantus), who opted for an inside turn back to the penultimate fence of the shortened course. The long, soft bend to the final effort offered room to gallop and Archer crossed the finish line in 36.16. Also opting for the inside turn and then taking perhaps even more advantage of the last stretch, Keri Potter and Melanie Brooks’ Jiminy Cricket (WES/G/Colestus - Cindy, by Cornet Obolensky) lowered the time to beat to 35.77, all the while maintaining the streak of quadruple-clears.

Both the fourth and sixth competitors ran into trouble with faults, but the fifth to go, Mandy Porter and Oak Meadow Ranch, LLC’s Camelot BF (OLD/G/Contiano BF - Jasnaya BF, by Cristo), soared to the top. Starting strong with a quick turn from the first fence to the second, the young horse tripped slightly at the beginning of the line from the second fence to the third, but Porter helped maintain his focus. She held a prompt pace and perfected the inside turn. A loping gallop to the final fence placed her atop the leaderboard in 35.56.

“I knew going to the last jump that I could just gallop and it would be faster than it looks because he has such a big stride,” Porter said of the gelding, whom she’s been working with since February.

She went on to say that showing him this last week as well as in this championship, with the opportunity to go in the ring several times and not focus on going fast until the end, has helped him. “He’s really matured in the last two weeks. In July, this ring scared him and made him nervous. He finally just relaxed in there and was able to jump how he jumps at home.”

Although Camelot BF is offered for sale, Porter hopes to take him to the Blenheim Young Jumper Finals that were set for late September, and if possible, would love to continue to ride the talented Oldenburg gelding.

Christian Heineking and Heineking Show Stables’ HSS Carrido. Photo: Captured Moment Photography

Christian Heineking and HSS Carrido Claim the Top Prize in the Six-Year-Olds

Of the seven double-clear horse and rider combinations vying for the Six-Year-Old title this Sunday, four maintained fault-free scores. An impressive eleven of 20 horses emerged from all three rounds with four or fewer faults, proving the quality of the six-year-old championships this year.

Fast moving from the start, first to go Keri Potter dashed around on Jo Cho’s Diabolical (OLD/G/Diarado - Clockwork III, by Carousel) in a clear 40.91. Olivia Brown and Yennie Folheim Fuller’s Churchill (HOL/G/Clarimo - Salina II, by Cardino) followed, finishing with eight faults.

Christian Heineking and Heineking Show Stables’ HSS Carrido (DWB/S/Carrico - Escudini, by Escudo II) demonstrated two inside turns - one to the oxer at fence 11 and then again to the vertical-oxer one-stride at 9AB - to take over the lead, clean in 40.48.

The 2015 Five-Year-Old Champions, Jamie Sailor and Felyn Farms’ Flashdance (HAN/G/For Edition - Virginia II, by Quinar), were last to go. The pair caught Heineking on the clock but had an unfortunate four faults.
Heineking has a history with this horse and his family. “The sire, Carrico, jumped at Beerbaum Stables in World Cup classes and then got sold here to the U.S. Two years ago he was in the top 10 in the Hunter Derby Finals. I rode him as a young horse as well,” he said.

He imported HSS Carrido to the States just last year. “I don’t think I was the fastest, but we got lucky. It was a young horse class and he hasn’t shown a lot in the States, so I am very happy,” Heineking said. He described the stallion as “very nice and simple, also naturally very careful.”

Heineking plans to give the champion six-year-old an easy rest of the year and then gear up for the seven-year-olds at Thermal in 2017. HSS Carrido will likely be available for breeding next spring.

Jason McArdle and Fairbanks Valley Farm’s Elicole. Photo: Captured Moment PhotographyJason McArdle and Elicole Bring Home the Seven-Year-Old Title

Ten of 19 pairs finished the challenging Seven-Year-Old final with four faults or less. Just three of the six who came in today with a zero score made it to the jump-off.

Jason McArdle piloted two of those three. First, he rode Fairbanks Valley Farm’s Elicole (KWPN/M/Hamlet - Vicole, by Guidam) to four clear rounds. Despite a risky distance to fence 15, McArdle galloped through the timers clean in 38.30.

Mandy Porter returned on Wild Turkey Farm, LLC’s WT Ca-Pow! (AHHA/G/Chesapeake - Ultima V, by Calato). The pair had the time, 37.80, but in an attempt to create a better turn to fence 15, she caught it at an angle and tipped the top rail.

McArdle chose a quieter pace and more conservative track on his second ride, Fairbanks Valley Farm’s Elrito (KWPN/G/Zapatero VDL - Zelrite, by Tenerife VDL). They completed the shortened course in a fault-free 49.16, earning the red ribbon.

Though he had opted for a clean, smooth ride earlier on Elrito, McArdle aimed to set the pace on the speedy Elicole. “In the jump-off, [Elicole] is really quick. I was trying to go fast enough. I know I left the door open if Mandy went faster, but then she had a rail,” he said. “It wasn’t my best jump-off, but today it worked out.”

McArdle has had Elicole since she was a four-year-old. She was the Five-Year-Old YJC Champion two years ago at Showpark, and has had an extremely successful season as a seven-year-old. McArdle plans to advance into the Interactive Mortgage 10 & Under Futurity classes with her next year.

Press release provided by Blenheim EquiSports.

The Gallop welcomes news, tips and photos. Contact Kim F. Miller at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 949-644-2165.