Parker, CO — Kristen Vanderveen made her trip from Wellington, FL worthwhile when she capped three weeks in Colorado with a win in the $50,000 Parker Adventist Hospital Grand Prix. The six-week Colorado Summer Circuit ended with a bang, complete with Military Appreciation Day, a visit from Congressman Mike Coffman and the final distribution of nearly $1,000,000 in cash and prizes.
“When we expanded the Colorado Summer Circuit from four to six weeks, we had high expectations,” said vice president and general manager Brian Curry. “We were excited when we sold out more than 1,000 stalls, plus the 100 horses that call CHP their permanent home.”
Added show manager Pat Boyle, “Our goal is to build fun, exciting shows so that competitors will enjoy spending their summer in Colorado. The feedback for the new classes, additional prize money and more parties was really extraordinary.”
The six-week extravaganza was highlighted by the $50,000 Parker Adventist Hospital Grand Prix. Featuring Olympians and World Equestrian Games-competitors, the class was part of an afternoon of entertainment that included Military Appreciation Day. “We wanted to support and recognize military families. They deserve our gratitude and thanks for their service. We are very happy to do our part by offering them the chance to relax and enjoy a pleasant afternoon with their families,” said Helen Krieble, The Colorado Horse Park’s founder and president. Veterans and their families were able to enjoy the horse show, along with activities for the kids that included bouncy houses and pony rides. Congressman Mike Coffman, a Major in the Marines, Retired, also attended.
Leading the victory gallop in the Grand Prix over the Anderson Lima-designed course was Kristen Vanderveen riding Bull Run’s La Bamba. This was the pair’s first Grand Prix outing this year in Colorado and they made it memorable with a double clear that was unbeatable. Vanderveen felt that the course started out very friendly with the first two jumps being ramped oxers. After that things became more technical, with many options set on the half-stride, which Vanderveen believed ideally suited her horse. “She’s a very quick horse, so waiting [and doing more strides] works for us,” she explained. This strategy makes it easier for her to ride smoothly, resulting in a flawless round. “The less I do on her, the better she is,” Vanderveen added.
The 10-year-old Holsteiner gray Holsteiner mare (Lancer II x Carthago) is a very sensitive horse. “She’s very sweet, but very aware of everything,” says Vanderveen. “She’s a very hot horse.” To keep the mare happy, her program includes a lot of hand walking and grazing. Although the pair has only been together for two years, Vanderveen sees the mare’s talent and hopes to continue to aim her for the bigger classes next year in Florida. “I’m excited for the future,” she said.
Vanderveen has competed at The Colorado Horse Park for a number of years, but she was pleased with the new scheduling and distribution of prize money. “My brother came with me this year because of the prize money in the Junior/Amateur Owner (JR/AO) jumpers,” she said. And the trip was worth it. Joshua Vanderveen won both the $10,000 NAL Low JR/AO Jumper Classic sponsored by Wells Fargo Financial and the $20,000 High JR/AO Jumper Classic sponsored by Pony Lane Farm during the final week of the show.
For the past two and a half years Parker Adventist Hospital and Parker Hospital Foundation have been partners with The Colorado Horse Park. As community leaders, the organizations have worked together to increase awareness of equestrian safety. Helmet fittings and educational articles are just some of the ways that they are hoping to spread the message of safety. “Sometimes I wish riders would treat themselves as well as they take care of their horses,” explained Dr. Scott Stanley, Director of Spine Surgery at Parker Adventist Hospital. His daughter, Grace Stanley, is also an equestrian, competing in the pony division.
The Colorado Horse Park relies on the generosity of its sponsors, including Parker Adventist Hospital, Parker Hospital Foundation, Littleton Equine Medical Center, Platinum Performance, Holiday Inn of Parker, Hampton Inn of Parker, Super 8 of Parker, Gesco Nursery, Griffis Group, Norstar, The Olson Family, Horse Connection, Comfort Suites of Castle Rock, Days Inn of Castle Rock, Nutrena, The Chronicle of the Horse, Wells Fargo Advisors, WeatherTech, THIS, Pony Lane Farm, The Jensen Family, The Devencenty Family, A Bit of Tack, Our Day Farm, Douglas and Associates, Grand Meadows, MGP Ventures, Animo, Dev Cook, Horseware Ireland, Our Day Farm, C & E Horse Transportation, Charles Owen, Arenus, Today’s Horse Trader, Ariat, Cosequin, Sidelines, Equisure, Stable Grounds, Cheval Colorado, Goose Down Farm, Suzy Sweitzer, Sandy Lee, Once Upon a Horse, Mrs. Patricia Carney Calkins and many more.
$50,000 Parker Adventist Hospital Grand Prix
1. Kristen Vanderveen Bull Run’s La Bamba
2. Bjorn Ikast Colorado
3. Karen Cudmore Ceonto
4. Karen Cudmore Shea
5. John McConnell Katie Riddle
6. John Pearce Chianto
23 Horses Competed
Equestrian Sports Promotions