Temecula, Calif. – April 21, 2018 – Michelle Parker’s name topped the leaderboard twice during the penultimate day of competition at the Temecula Valley National Horse Show, which brought the elite of the week’s exhibitors to the Grand Prix Arena. She kicked off the day with a win in the $10,000 1.35m Shires Speed Classic aboard Bella Sofia, and then returned for an even bigger win when she topped a 9-horse jump-off during the $40,000 Snapbac National Grand Prix with Cupilor. Up the hill in the hunter divisions, Jacqueline Attwood Dupont and her mounts Focus and Spotlight made their marks on the Amateur-Owner 3’3” and 3’6” Hunters with two championship tricolors, while Brooke Morin, in the irons aboard Winterfell, captured the Junior 3’6” Hunter title.
Renowned course designer Anderson Lima’s (BRA) track challenged 31 competitors, each of whom attempted to take home the biggest check of the week during the $40,000 Snapbac National Grand Prix. Nine athletes advanced to the tiebreaker, which required horses to be quick and careful with a very long gallop to the final vertical. Parker was the first to return with Cross Creek Farms’ Cupilor, and with eight entries left to challenge her she did not hold back. Leaving out a stride in one of the early lines and picking up a blazing pace for the final fence, the duo stopped the clock in an unbeatable 39.776 seconds.
The last athlete to tackle the tiebreaker was John Perez riding Daniel Rihan’s Utopia, who came the closest to catching Parker when he and Utopia broke the beam in a clear 40.514 seconds, which would be good enough for second place. The third place honors went to Molly Talla with her own Complete Luck, who were also faultless over the course with a time of 41.400 seconds.
Parker’s win with Cupilor comes less than a year after the 11-year-old gelding underwent colic surgery. The pair have been partnered together since Cupilor was just 4 years old, and they were able to pick up right where they left off, competing in the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix during HITS Coachella earlier this year. Now the duo is stronger than ever and happy to be back in the ring during the Temecula Valley National Horse Show and leading the victory gallop during the show’s main event.
The show jumping action kicked off earlier in the day with the $10,000 1.35m Shires Speed Classic, and with ten double clear efforts it was once again Parker who proved to have the quickest effort, this time aboard Antonio Ramos’ Bella Sofia in a fiery 29.828 seconds. Kaitlin Campbell and Enjoy Life, owned by Sweet Oak Farm, took home the second place honors with a time of 30.587 seconds, while Russell Morgan and Jeronimo Bisschop rounded out the top three when they broke the beam in 31.612 seconds.
Jacqueline Attwood Dupont reigned supreme in the Grand Hunter Arena in the Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions at both the 3’3” and 3’6” heights, piloting her own Focus and Spotlight to the wins in the Amateur-Owner 3’3” 18-35 Hunters and Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunters, respectively. Though the two fleabitten geldings mirror each other in appearances, Attwood Dupont had very different rides on her hands. The feisty Focus is a novice to the show ring, while Spotlight is a seasoned veteran, recently transitioning like a professional out of the jumper ring and into the hunter sphere. In the 3’3” classes, Attwood Dupont navigated Focus to three wins and a second place over fences in addition to a third place finish in the under saddle. Over the larger fences, Spotlight carried her to four over fences victories and a fifth position in the hack to secure an easy division championship.
Tackling the 3’6” fences in the junior division, Brooke Morin and Strasburg Morin Inc.’s Winterfell, a 7-year-old grey mare, added two more top finishes to their list of accolades, earning a first place in the over fences and a third place in the handy to clinch the Junior 3’6” Hunter division title. During the first day of riding, the accomplished pair maneuvered their way to blue and yellow ribbons over fences and a third place finish in the hack, ultimately finishing on an impressive 38-point score. No stranger to the winner’s circle, Morin and Winterfell have been collecting championship ribbons across California since Morin took the reins on the horse early in the year.
The first installment of the Temecula Valley National Horse Show returns to Galway Downs for one final day of competition Sunday, with the juniors, amateur-owners, children and adults each offered prize money opportunities in their respective jumper classics. In the hunter ring, the $2,500 Theodosakis Family Adult Amateur Hunter Classic and the $1,500 Enchantment Farm USHJA Pony Hunter Derby will take center stage.
Michelle Parker – $40,000 Snapbac National Grand Prix champion
On her jump-off strategy:
“I think the first thing I did that not everyone was planning to do was from [fence] 2 to [fence] 15 I did an eight-stride line, and I was galloping but he was jumping really well. I was trying to get him to go because he felt a little tired and I got in a little tight. I just thought ‘leave it up.’ “
“I’ve had him since he was 4 years old. He’s won his whole life, he’s always competitive and fast. He is so sweet around the barn. He actually just came back from colic surgery, and when he was laid up he was just like a little pet in the barn, but he is always focused on jumping. His colic surgery was in August, so he just started back the second half of Thermal. He went right into the 1.35m division, and I was doing the Grand Prix by the third week and he did the $1 Million Grand Prix.”
On Bella Sophia:
“She’s owned by a client named Antonio Ramos, and we’ve had her about nine months. I don’t ride her on a regular basis like most of mine, but she’s always great when I do get to compete on her. She’s the whole package.”
On both of her wins on Saturday and the Temecula Valley National Horse Show:
“It’s great to win at an inaugural event and we always love winning the big money classes. I had one rail down in the $20,000 but had the time and ended up tenth, so it’s very exciting that we pulled it off today. We are very impressed so far; we love the main ring, the super footing and atmosphere. They are trying really hard to get everything just the way it should be. We are definitely coming back!”
Jacqueline Attwood Dupont – Amateur-Owner 3’3” 18-35 Hunter and Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter champion
On her horses, Focus and Spotlight:
“They are pretty different. My 3’3” horse, Focus, is very young still; he just turned 8 years old, and I have had him since he was 6 years old. He hasn’t shown a lot, so he is still pretty green. He tends to be a little feisty. He is a great jumper but with that comes a little attitude. Spotlight, my 3’6” horse, is the sweetest horse you’ll ever meet, the opposite of feisty. He just came out of the jumper ring, where he was doing High Amateur Jumpers, and he is making the transition to being a hunter perfectly. This is his third horse show in the hunters. He won his first class ever that we entered him in, and he has just gotten better since then. They look just alike.”
On her experience at the horse show:
“I’m loving the horse show. We have had perfect weather, and I love the trees and greenery all over the place. We did the Derby last night on my horses Brave, and it was so much fun. All the horses loved it, especially the duck jump. The viewing area is perfect – my mom and fiance were very happy with the wine! I’m always up for a wine country horse show. As an amateur, that’s an added perk. We will be back next month, fresh off the honeymoon.”
Brooke Morin – Junior 3’6” Hunter champion
On Winterfell and upcoming plans:
“She is 7 years old. I’ve had her for a few months, since January of this year. We have won champion six or so times in the eight times we have shown since I got her at Thermal, the Oaks and now here. We go to Showpark next and then will be back next month.”
On her experience at the horse show:
“I like the show. It’s been nice so far – the weather is great, and the horses are happy with all the grass and the space for trail rides.”
$40,000 Snapbac National Grand Prix
Place / Rider / Horse / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Michelle Parker / Cupilor / Cross Creek Farms / 0 / 0 / 39.776
2. John Perez / Utopia / Daniel Rihan / 0 / 0 / 40.514
3. Molly Talla / Complete Luck / Molly Talla / 0 / 0 / 41.400
4. Keri Potter / Diabolical C / Jung Cho / 0 / 0 / 42.485
5. Everado Hegewisch / Ircos IV / 0 / 0 / 43.644
6. Jeffrey Fields / Bybalia SMH / Stal Minion / 0 / 0 / 44.408
7. Lane Clarke / McLord’s T.K.O / Mickey Hayden / 0 / 4 / 39.990
8. Kenneth Vinther / Colicchio / Kenneth Vinther / 0 / 4 / 42.028
9. Soehnke Theymann / Cypress VF / Morgan Evans / 0 / 4 / 42.485
10. Mandy Porter / WT Ca Pow! / Wild Turkey Farm, LLC / 4 /78.275
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