Temecula, Calif. – May 18, 2019 – The penultimate day of the Temecula Valley National Horse Show I, run by Nilforushan Equisport Events, captured the crowd and some of show jumping’s most talented competitors Saturday afternoon for the $40,000 Jet Pets National Grand Prix held in the Audi Grand Prix Arena, presented by Evergate Stables. With only six horse-and-rider combinations earning a slot over the short course, the times were tight among the best-performing pairs, but Kaitlin Campbell and Sweet Oak Farm’s Belize D’Ive Z pulled away from the pack thanks to the mare’s quick footspeed and Campbell’s precise riding to capture the lead spot in the victory gallop. The only pilot with more than one mount in the jump-off, Campbell also earned fifth place with SWS Training’s Interline H, and Sloan Elmassian proved to be the best young athlete of the field to clinch the U25 Jumper Classic title with Centurion.
With course designer extraordinaire Alan Wade (IRL) at the helm, the 16-effort track was masterfully coordinated around the arena with a time-allowed of 84 seconds, which proved to be an obstacle for a number of the afternoon’s challengers. Statistically, Bjorn Ikast, Kaitlin Campbell, Lindsay Archer and Will Simpson each possessed the greatest odds of winning with two horses apiece in the class, and Ikast started strong with the reins on Classini as the second entry to ride and the first to successfully finish the course. He later logged another penalty-free round over the jumps, but unfortunately incurred one time fault aboard Castino to keep his second mount out of contention for the top honors. Chenoa Mcelvain and Wallstreet RC soon added their names to the short list, and Campbell produced double clear efforts in the saddle aboard both Belize D’Ive Z and Interline H. Already multiple-time winners for the week, John Pearce with Firestone S and Simpson in the irons on Chacco P were two of the final partnerships to qualify for the second round, putting the total number of returning jump-off pairs at six.
Serving as the pathfinders over the abridged 9-fence course, Ikast and Classini laid down the first double clear of the afternoon in 46.293 seconds to set the early pace. Moving up in the order to accommodate her second ride later, Campbell came back first with Belize D’Ive Z, and the duo proceeded to smash the frontrunners’ time by more than four seconds, tripping the timers in 41.922 seconds with all the fences intact to take over the lead. Fourth to go, Pearce and Firestone S were the third team to log a fault-free trip, but a time of 43.520 seconds kept them out of the winner’s circle.
Generously moving up in the order to allocate more preparation time for Cambell and her final mount, Simpson skipped ahead by one ride as the fifth to return. Aboard Chacco P, the Olympic champion sliced across the course without accruing any penalties and looked to be on pace to eclipse the leading pair, but ultimately broke the beam just over one second too slow in a time of 43.021 seconds. Last to go and with the pressure off having already secured first prize in the $40,000 Jet Pets National Grand Prix, Campbell rounded out the list of jump-off participants with Interline H, whom she navigated to a conservative clear time of 49.482 to add another top five place to her collection. Simpson and Coxe Horses, LLC’s Chacco P finished the night in second position, followed by Pearce and Firestone S, owned by Nicole Teague, in third place overall.
Run concurrently with the grand prix, the U25 Jumper Classic offered up-and-coming athletes under the age of 25 the chance to compete over the same track as the veterans to gain points towards the U25 division championships. To cap off the evening of awards, 20-year-old Sloan Elmassian was honored as the U25 Jumper Classic champion thanks to her status as the highest-placing eligible rider thanks to her finish aboard her own Centurion. Elmassian is racking up the U25 victories in Temecula, having also won the distinction during the Temecula Valley National Premier in April 2019.
The final day of the Temecula Valley National Horse Show I will take place Sunday, with a series of jumper classics offering one final shot at the prize money. The next week of the series, the Temecula Valley National Horse Show II, will begin Wednesday, May 22.
Kaitlin Campbell – $40,000 Jet Pets National Grand Prix winner
On her reaction to having two horses in the top five:
“I haven’t really had a grand prix horse in a while. I had a really good horse and he is older now, so it’s nice to be back and have something competitive and be able to go in there and take a chance and win.”
On her horses, Belize D’Ive Z and Interline H:
“Belize D’Ive Z is owned by Sweet Oak Farm, that’s Shane and Ali Sweetnam. They are really good about sending me horses to show and to sell, so I’m really thankful for them to give me this horse to ride. She is a really good horse. She is super fast and I just ran her as fast as she could go today, and she kept all the jumps. Interline is a 17-year-old horse and we kind of keep him for special occasions. We have to really pump him up and he gets excited, and he jumped fantastic today. At Del Mar he jumped really well, but here with the crowd and the ring he jumped probably as well as he has jumped all year.”
On Alan Wade’s course:
“Alan Wade is my favorite course designer. I won my first grand prix with him, so every time he is building I try to jump as many horses as I can because he never build too tall, and you can walk the course and sometimes think it is a little sleepy and not too difficult, but then you really have to ride. There is no place that is a trick, but the rails always fall.”
On showing at the Temecula Valley National Horse Show:
“I ride with SWS Training and Sales and Alex Wilson, it’s literally right down the road so it’s great to be in Temecula. We live just three minutes down the road, so most of our horses actually stay at home and can trail ride over here. It’s really great that we can all stay at home. We have a lot of young horses that are doing the young horse classes, and it is just great experience for all of them.”
Sloan Elmassian – U25 Jumper Classic winner
On her strategy and her horse, Centurion:
“First, the course was absolutely amazing. Walking it I knew it was going to be super, super fun to ride. I was super excited about it. It was kind of a straight-forward plan. [Fence] one set us up nicely to not waste too much time; [fences] two to three walked a nice seven strides but I planned to do eight. Right around I caught a great distance to number four so as not to bury him too deep. We did that nice in four strides, and then [fence] six I ended up having down. I think I came out a little too flat, and the rest of the course was just beautiful. Everything showed up perfectly and he was great. He always comes in ready to play and ready to win, so it is super nice to know that your partner, your companion, your teammate goes in there ready to win because it sets you up for success.”
On Alan Wade’s course:
“I really think the course designer gives you the opportunity to make it or break it. He leaves that up to you. As long as you go in with a plan and stick to that plan, your horse is ready to go and you’ve done all your homework at home, he really gives you a 100 percent chance to go out there and win it. He gives you lots of time and sets you up nicely, so it’s up to you to execute it nicely and go for the gold.”
On winning the U25 Jumper Classic for the second time:
“Ali and Francie [Nilforushan] have done so much for me in my career, and it is just an amazing feeling to win my first U25 in my career last month at this horse show and to continue to have success at this higher level. To have Francie and Ali be a part of it means the world to me. I’ll be here the next two weeks so hopefully we can keep the success going. I think we figured out what we need to do to be successful and continue this winning streak.”
$40,000 Jet Pets National Grand Prix
Place / Horse / Rider / R1 Faults/ R2 Faults / Time
1. Belize D’Ive Z / Kaitlin Campbell / 0 / 0 / 41.922
2. Chacco P / Will Simpson / 0 / 0 / 43.021
3. Firestone S / John Pearce / 0 / 0 / 43.520
4. Classini / Bjorn Ikast / 0 / 0 / 46.293
5. Interline H / Kaitlin Campbell / 0 / 0 / 49.482
6. Wallstreet RC / Chenoa Mcelvain / 0 / 7 / 57.857
7. Castino / Bjorn Ikast / 1 / 84.675
8. Eta Beta Di San Patrignano / Lindsay Archer / 2 / 85.425
9. Jarpur / Lindsay Archer / 4 / 76.294
10. Ircos IV / Everado Hegewisch / 4 / 77.389
11. Whoop De Doo / Will Simpson / 4 / 80.928
12. Edesa’s Dylan / Eddy Sepul / 4 / 81.862
For more information, please visit www.jump-nee.com.