Bjorn Ikast Wins Second Consecutive Grand Prix
Parker, CO — The second week of the Colorado Summer Circuit finished Sunday with great style. Summer in the Rockies II awarded cash and prizes to riders in all divisions, from the Adult Amateur Hunters to the Open Jumpers. Competitors and sponsors were treated to a range of hospitality. Among the social highlights — Friday Afternoon Club at A Bit of Tack with margaritas and munchies, a fabulous tented party complete with a band in Central Park, and a wonderful VIP party during the $25,000 Grand Prix Presented by Littleton Equine Medical Center and Platinum Performance. Sunday brunch on Father’s Day rounded out the fun.
“Our goal with the expanded circuit was to create a destination,” said CHP Vice President Brian Curry. “We have people that are staying in Colorado for the summer, so we wanted them to feel at home and help them have wonderful memories from their trip.”
Many riders that have attended shows at the Park for almost 20 years are saying that the facility never looked better. Not only are there many beautiful new flower beds, rings full of new jumps, including elegant water features in the hunter rings, there’s also the new permanent coffee shop, Stable Grounds, offering lattes, cappuccinos and pastries.
Of course, all of the new amenities are a wonderful backdrop to the real draw — the horse show. While this week’s $25,000 Grand Prix Presented by Littleton Equine Medical Center and Platinum Performance found the same three riders claiming the top three spots, they had to run for their placings in the jump-off, a real thrill for the spectators.
Each rider raised the bar for the one coming after, with Paul Rohrbach and Phoenix Equine Partners’ Simple Kaliber putting in a blistering round that appeared to be unbeatable. “I’ve been pushing the speed factor in the jump-offs,” Rohrbach said. “I’m delighted with how my horse is responding.”
However, last week’s red ribbon winner, Armando Hassey, wasn’t going to let Rohrbach run off with the prize. “Paul did a great job. He was very, very fast,” Hassey said. “But I wanted to try to get the win. I knew I had to go for it.” His 17-year-old stallion La Roche responded and left all the rails in the cups while shaving three-tenths of a second off Rohrbach’s time.
After Ceinwen Muma had four-faults, ultimately finishing in eighth place, the last rider, Bjorn Ikast, had the opportunity to clinch the class.
“It was a very, very fast jump-off,” the Denmark-native said of the Danny Foster-designed course. “When you’re last to go, you have to go for it. I took a few big, big chances.” The strategy worked; he cut nearly a second from Hassey’s time. Ikast credited his horse, Omar Shariff, for the victory. “He’s a very, very careful horse so I could gallop to those verticals.”
Ikast has owned Omar Shariff for two years and has worked to build the 15-year-old’s confidence to match his talent. “It’s been an emotional ride for me,” Ikast explained. Ikast also finished in fourth place with Brave Heart and sixth with Colorado. “The horses are feeling very good. The footing is very good,” Ikast stated.
The Colorado Horse Park relies on the generosity of its sponsors, including Parker Adventist Hospital and Foundation, Littleton Equine Medical Center, Platinum Performance, Holiday Inn of Parker, Hampton Inn of Parker, Super 8 of Parker, Griffis Group, Norstar, The Olson Family, Horse Connection, Comfort Suites of Castle Rock, Days Inn of Castle Rock, Nutrena, The Chronicle of the Horse, A Bit of Tack, Horseware Ireland, Grand Meadows and many more.
Check out all of the Flying Horse Photography photo galleries on Facebook and loads of videos on The Colorado Horse Park’s YouTube channel. Visit www.coloradohorsepark.com for more details.
$25,000 Summer in the Rockies II Grand Prix Presented by Littleton Equine Medical Center and Platinum Performance
1. Bjorn Ikast Omar Shariff
2. Armando Hassey La Roche
3. Paul Rohrbach Simple Kaliber
4. Bjorn Ikast Brave Heart
5. Brooke Kennedy MTM Waffle
6. Bjorn Ikast Colorado
7. Susan Griffis Udine
8. Ceinwen Muma Fly With Me
Equestrian Sports Promotions