Marylisa Leffler and Bling Bling [photo credit Bob Bell]
Marylisa Leffler of Brookeville, Maryland is on a winning streak Week II of the Pensacola Winter Classic Circuit and galloped away with the win in the $25,000 Sidelines Grand Prix in the irons of Rolling Acres’ Bling Bling, besting a field of twelve horse and rider teams. “We really had a great week,” commented Leffler. “We won the Horseflight Welcome, I won the small derby and Ashley and Kevin were Champion and Reserve in the Adults,” she said. “It was just great for the whole barn,” she added.
The time allowed in the first round was set at 77 seconds and eight advanced to the jump off round. Shannon Hicks of Lake St. Louis, Missouri in the irons of Helen Gilbert’s Emir D were the first pair to go clear in a time of 68.656 seconds. Their jump off round was also clear and their time of 33.742 seconds, well within the 44 seconds time allowed, set the new time to beat.
Christian Rogge of Spring, Texas and GK Performance Horses, LLC’s Kahlua followed Hicks with a clear first round in a time of 69.983 seconds. Although Rogge and Kahlua turned in a clear jump off round, their time of 34.550 seconds was not quite fast enough to take the lead and would temporarily sit in second place.
Christian Rogge’s wife, Hailey Rogge, and her own Zine Dine followed with a clear first round in a time of 69.896 seconds, but with eight jump faults in the jump off round in a time of 33.261 seconds, would find themselves finish in sixth place overall.
Hicks returned to the arena, this time in the irons of Helen Gilbert’s Al Pacini. They turned in a clear first round in a time of 71.856 seconds but their jump off had a rail and subsequent four jump faults in a time of 33.617 seconds which would place them in fourth overall.
Juan Lavieri of Columbia, Connecticut in the irons of his own Don Pedro followed with the next clear first round in a time of 68.169 seconds, but eight jump faults in the jump off round in a time of 36.253 seconds would find them finishing in eighth overall.
Christian Rogge returned to the arena in the irons of his own Mojo TSP and posted a clear first round in a time of 73.236 seconds. Eight jump faults in a time of 33.937 seconds landed them in seventh place overall.
Hicks returned with her third ride in the event this time in the irons of Helen Gilbert’s C’Havinia. The pair turned in a clear first round in a time of 71.277 seconds, but earned eight jump faults in the jump off round in a time of 30.941 seconds, leaving them in the fifth place position overall.
Marylisa Leffler and Bling Bling were the last to go clear in the first round of the class in a time of 69.218 seconds. The horse and rider team flew through the jump off round in a time of 32.816 seconds, taking the win and moving Hicks and Emir D to second place. “I wasn’t really sure about how the first round was going to go because it was hard to get to the first fence which was a triple bar and a sharp left,” commented Leffler. “She really made up the time in the jump off on her turn back to the four to a one and then a tight turn to the last jump,” said Leffler. “But she really is pretty quick and all I had to do was think it and she just does it,” she added.
“I got Bling Bling last year. This time last year, Pensacola was my first show with her,” said Leffler. “She was doing the 1.40m in Holland before I got her and I think we’ve won four grand prix now with yesterday’s win included,” she said.
“I remember when I looked at her and heard her name and thought, ‘hmmm…Bling?’ Because, you know, I’m kind of conservative,” said Leffler. “But I think the name really suits her,” she added. “She even got a new brow band this week with lots of bling,” she laughed.
Third place was awarded to Christian Rogge and Kahlua. Hicks returned for a fourth place ribbon with Al Pacini and a fifth place with C’Havinia. Sixth and seventh went to the Rogge family: Sixth for Hailey and Zine Dine and seventh for Christian and Mojo TSP. Lavieri and Don Pedro picked up eighth and Hailey Rogge placed ninth with Andy Kocher’s Tresor Platiere. Leffler also picked up the tenth place ribbon with EMC International’s Fluttershy.
Leffler is going to celebrate with a massage and looks forward to competing Bling Bling in next week’s $25,000 Pensacola Sports Grand Prix, presented by Nutrena.
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