Temecula, Calif. – May 19, 2019 – The final day of the Temecula Valley National Horse Show I took place Sunday to cap a week of equestrian competition at Galway Downs, with the steady rain not dimming the performances of hunter contestants in the Adult Amateur divisions and the $500 Adult Amateur 3’ Hunter Classic. Riding her own Lionheart to a clean sweep of five classes, Kathleen Bassett dominated the Adult Amateur 3’ Hunter 18 – 35 division to claim the championship, and added to her success with her jumper-turned-hunter mount as the leading scorer in the $500 Adult Amateur 3’ Hunter Classic. In the Adult Amateur Hunters 3′ 36 and Over, Bernadette Mulliken piloted Earl Grey, owned by Leslie Shein, to the tricolor following two class wins over fences Sunday.
Beginning the day with three victories already under their belts after winning twice over fences and once in the hack, Bassett and Lionheart held a commanding lead in the Adult Amateur 3′ Hunters for the 18 – 35 age group as the division returned to the ring Sunday. Unfazed by the uncooperative weather, the Texas-native and her 11-year-old gelding laid down multiple consistent trips around the ring to the tune of high scores from the judge. Though Lionheart only recently transitioned to the hunter ring from the jumpers, the bay horse carried longtime partner Bassett to smooth and steady rounds to capture the blue ribbons in the final two classes of the Adult Amateur 3′ Hunter 18 – 35 division, solidifying the duo as the overall champions.
Bassett and Lionheart also participated in the $500 Adult Amateur 3’ Hunter Classic, and ultimately topped the field thanks to two high-scoring rides, adding to their growing list of accomplishments. Since trading disciplines earlier this year, Bassett and Lionheart have steadily been making progress in the new ring, with Sunday’s championship and classic win marking the first for the team. Glamour Girl and owner-rider Sherry Kalish earned the runner-up position, while Elizabeth Goddard piloted Prime Equine LLC’s Hey Jude to third place overall.
In the Adult Amateur 3′ Hunters for the 36 and Over age bracket, Mulliken logged two blue ribbons aboard Earl Grey, coming out on top of a skilled pack to secure the most points in the division and capture the coveted championship honors. The previous day during the first half of riding, the pair earned first prize over fences, third place in the under saddle and fifth in another over fences class, helping to set them up for success during the division’s conclusion.
Sunday’s competition finalizes the Temecula Valley National Horse Show I, but two more weeks of the series will begin Wednesday, May 22 at Galway Downs.
Kathleen Bassett – $500 Adult Amateur 3’ Hunter Classic and Adult Amateur 3’ Hunter champion
On her reaction to winning:
“It feels really great! I’ve owned this horse for about four years now and did him up to the 1.30m Jumpers, and now this past year we switched to the hunters and this is our first time getting champion, so it feels really great to have a clean sweep.”
On her horse, Lionheart:
“We were doing the jumpers when we came to Erin Duffy, my trainer, and she kind of saw the diamond in the rough with him. It’s definitely been a transition but it’s been really great and I think he is really enjoying his job now. I went to Switzerland and we decided to import him from Pius Switzer, and then brought him to Texas, where I’m from. We started him in my first show at the 1.10m Jumpers and won our second class by accidentally taking out two strides because he was so strong. It’s been a process. We got him when he was seven years old and he is about to turn 12 now. It was my first time riding a younger horse, and he definitely has a lot of personality. He used to love to spin before the timers right before the first jump, and then when you brought him back around he would go beautifully. I love that cheekiness in some of the horses. He is a pretty solid horse now. Not much fazes him and he is pretty trustworthy, so we have a great bond now and both trust each other.”
On riding at the Temecula Valley National Horse Show:
“I love it! This is probably my favorite show in California. I think it is a great layout, I love the VIP and the footing is really great here. I can’t wait to come back next year.”
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