Brazilians Blaze and Medal Finalists Amaze: Eduardo Menezes Takes Top Placing in the $35,000 Summer Classic II Grand Prix, CPHA Medal Finalist Winners earn scores in the 90s
San Juan Capistrano, CA - August 20, 2011
- As the summer winds down, the competition is hot in San Juan Capistrano. The Brazilians were blazing today, with representing riders taking the top two spots in the $35,000 Summer Classic II Grand Prix, presented by EquiFit, inc.
Course Designer Guilherme Jorge, also Brazilian, set a straightforward course that jumped well. Ten horse and rider couples mastered the track, resulting in an exhilarating jump-off.
"Many horses came in today that hadn't shown all week," commented Jorge. "Since I didn't know each horse, I didn't want to the track to be too difficult for the field. Although ten clean were more than I had planned, the class worked out to be a great one."
The top six finishers were all double clean. First to return in the second round was Jill Humphrey aboard Rudy Leone's Kaskaya. No rails fell, but the pair slipped and almost went down taking a tight turn midway through the course. The recovery added to their time, 50.63, resulting in three time faults. Susan Hutchison and Muscadet De La Saveniere (owned by Veronica Tracy) set the pace going double clean in 46.46, ultimately fifth. Molly Talla, who qualified two for the jump-off, galloped in on Camaron Hills Quick Dollar, double clean in 47.34, ending sixth for the day. Michelle Parker, who also returned on two mounts, took the lead going clear in 44.52 on Cross Creek Farm's Socrates De Midos.
Eduardo Menezes and Reflection Mercedes Benz
Then the Brazilians blazed the way - winner Eduardo Menezes on his Reflection Mercedes Benz stopped the timers clean in a quick 42.07, melting more than two seconds off Parker's time. Josephina Nor-Lantzman on her Chello Z came close, fault free in 42.95, finishing second in the class, pushing Parker to the third spot. Rusty Stewart rode Grey Fox Farm's Bristol efficiently in 46.21, picking up fourth for their efforts. The final three to take the shortened track each had faults. Nicole Simpson on Monarch International's Candle Light Van De Warande had one rail, Talla on Java Keltic Courage had a rail and time faults as well as Parker on Xei Ha (owned by Tula Pinnella).
With the San Juan Summer Festival and Kids Day, it was truly fabulous way to spend the afternoon. Per usual the weather was idyllic. Menezes, who is based in Mexico but chose to live in California this year, is pleased with his decision. "They really take care of us. Grass field, good designers, I love it here."
When asked about his win and his plan, Menezes explained with a smile, "The wife and the groom are happy, so I'm happy." About Reflection he noted, "I bought the mare in January of this year. She'll go to Showpark next week and also the World Cup Qualifiers. The goal is to prep for the Olympics."
Medal Final Season Commences with CPHA
The competition didn't end in the grass field however. Down in the Blenheim Farms Covered Arena the CPHA Medal Finals third round for the Amateurs and the Juniors were beginning as the Grand Prix was ending. After two rounds over two days, the top ten returned for a final performance.
Course designer Scott Starnes built three related but challenging tracks in the indoor. Testing accuracy, opening and closing of strides as well as negotiating tight turns, each course required riders to have a well-executed plan.
Sitting separately each of the three judges, Leo Conroy, Anne Braswell and William Sparks, gave the winners well-deserved high scores. Topping the Amateurs was Sophie Verges riding Salerno, scoring an 86, 90, 90 in the final round, finishing 7.5 points ahead of the second place rider, Julia Nagler. Verges trains with Leslie Steele.
Sophie Verges, winner of the 2011 CPHA Amateur Medal Finals
With fifty competitors battling it out in the junior ranks, Demi Stiegler stole the show with third round scores of 93, 90, 90, almost thirty points ahead of second place finisher Hannah Von Heidegger. Stiegler rode Vigo to the win. She trains with Archie Cox as well as her mother Robyn Stiegler.
Demi Stiegler, winner of the 2011 CPHA Junior Medal Finals
The competition continues down in Del Mar with the Showpark Summer Classic and Showpark All Seasons Tournament with more medal finals, the $40,000 Showpark Summer Grand Prix, sponsored by California Horsetrader and our first World Cup Qualifier of the year, the $50,000 Grand Prix of Showpark, sponsored by the Grand Del Mar. New this year, the FEI classes at Showpark will be held on the gorgeous outdoor grand prix field.
Photos © CapturedMomentPhoto.com. High resolution photos available upon request.
$35,000 Blenheim Summer Classic II Grand Prix
1. Reflection Mercedes Benz - Eduardo Menezes (Eduardo Menezes) 0/0/42.07
2. Chello Z - Josephina Nor-Lantzman (Josephina Nor Stables) 0/0/42.95
3. Socrates De Midos - Michelle Parker (Cross Creek Farms) 0/0/44.52
4. Bristol - Rusty Stewart (Grey Fox Farm) 0/0/46.21
5. Muscadet De La Saveniere - Susie Hutchison (Veronica Tracy) 0/0/46.46
6. Camaron Hills Quick Dollar - Molly Talla (Camaron Hills Farm) 0/0/47.34
7. Kaskaya - Jill Humphrey (Leone Equestrians) 0/3/50.63
8. Candle Light Van De Warnde - Nicole Shahinian-Simpson (Monarch Intl) 0/4/46.59
9. Java Keltic Courage - Molly Talla (Molly Talla) 0/8/51.16
10. Xei Ha - Michelle Parker (Tula Pinnella) 0/22/61.41
CPHA Medal Finals - Juniors
1. Demi Stiegler - 781.75
2. Hannah Von Heidegger - 752.50
3. Kilian McGrath - 750.15
4. Alicia Gasser - 749
5. Clementine Yost - 742
6. Allison Levine - 707.25
7. Alexis Graves - 706.25
8. Molly Peddicord - 691.25
9. Savannah Dukes - 683.75
10. Mackenzie Drazan - 660.75
CPHA Medal Finals - Amateurs
1. Sophie Verges - 760
2. Julia Nagler - 752.50
3. Shannon Davidson - 713
4. Annie Finch - 697
5. Emily Winkler - 693.50
6. Belle Calkin - 688
7. Kristi Siam - 685.50
8. Rebecca Chesne - 648
9. Laura Ware - 634.50
10. Connie Yost - 618