John Pearce and Chianto.
Parker, CO – June 14, 2014 – John Pearce left the others in the dust in the $25,000 Littleton Equine Medical Center/Platinum Performance Grand Prix, blazing through not one but two speedy jump-offs to capture the win with Chianto and second place with Johnny B Good. Karen Cudmore and Southern Pride finished third in the feature event of Summer in the Rockies II at the Colorado Horse Park.
Pearce had plenty of competition in the jump-off, with four other horse and rider combinations from the 21-horse field joining his two horses in the race for the top prize. Among those were Paul Rohrbach and Camerino, who won last week’s $25,000 Holiday Inn of Parker Grand Prix and were looking to build on that success. But Pearce was unstoppable with the two horses owned by Forest View Farm, and Chianto was quickest of them all.
“That horse is such a star,” Pearce said of Chianto. “He’s won more grand prixs than I can count.”
The event kicked off with a horseless jumper class for children, who raced around a course of beautifully designed small jumps. It set the festive mood for the afternoon, and spectators got into the competitive spirit, eagerly applauding clear rounds and cheering on each horse and rider who took center stage in the Kathy and Brad Coors Family Grand Prix Arena.
Representatives from sponsors Littleton Equine Medical Center, a well-respected large animal clinic in Littleton, CO, and Platinum Performance, producers of top-quality supplements, were on hand to watch the grand prix, and Colorado Horse Park founder and president Helen Krieble thanked them for their commitment over the years.
Hector Loyola designed the course with the aim of creating a fair test for the grand prix veterans in the field as well as those less seasoned at the upper levels. There was no single bogey fence, and rails fell throughout the course. Loyola said that he likes to put questions all around the course but also create an element that is a central focus for riders.
“The big question of the whole course was at fences 8, 9ab and 10,” he said. “I didn’t want to get too many people there, which I didn’t, but I did get them to concentrate on that line. That was the main part of the course that I put all their attention on. I thought it was a very fair course for everyone competing.”
That question asked riders to navigate a bending line from the Littleton Equine Medical Center oxer to a vertical-vertical combination, followed by another bending line to an oxer. The combination, set off the rail toward the center of the ring, tripped up a few horses, but many others successfully cleared the challenging element.
“He had rails everywhere, and there wasn’t any real trappy area,” Pearce said of Loyola’s course. “Some people knocked the first jump down, some people knocked the last jump down. Everything was relative, and it was well done.”
Rohrbach, of Parker, CO, and Camerino, owned by Wells Bridge Farm Inc., were first to go and advanced to the jump-off with a clear round. Pearce was fifth to go with Johnny Be Good and secured their jump-off position as well.
The first round was put on hold after the seventh rider due to a passing thunderstorm, but the weather gradually cleared and competition resumed. The first two to return after the hold, Armando Hassey on Taggert Enterprises LLC’s Eminem and Kelsey Van Ackeren on her own Vernon G, were unfazed by the weather and jumped clear rounds to earn enthusiastic applause from spectators.
Karen Cudmore and Southern Pride, owned by Blair Cudmore, joined them a few rounds later, and then Pearce and Chianto completed the group for the jump-off. Loyola had aimed for five to eight clear rounds, and the results were right on the money with six horses advancing.
The jump-off challenged riders to step on the gas and give their all. There were opportunities to save time with tight turns as well as pick up speed and gallop to a couple of the fences. A double combination – fences 9ab of the first round jumped in the other direction – partway through ensured that riders maintained precise control.
“I like to have both long gallops and turns, so there’s a balance of what the riders have to do and a fair chance for different types of horses,” Loyola explained.
Rohrbach and Camerino led off with a four-fault round, dislodging a rail at the combination and finishing in 42.158 seconds. Pearce and Johnny B Good followed them and laid down the first clear with a speedy time of 39.426 seconds.
Van Ackeren and Vernon G were up next. The pair had a scary moment at fence 12, but Van Ackeren made a good save, recovering and completing the short course with jumping and time penalties.
Hassey and Eminem tried to challenge Pearce’s lead with neat, efficient turns, completing a double clear effort in 41.297 seconds. Cudmore and Southern Pride bettered Hassey’s time but couldn’t quite catch Pearce despite a valiant effort. They finished in 40.867 seconds, leaving Pearce and Chianto to jump last and determine which of Pearce’s horses would come out on top.
“I really wanted to win with Johnny because he’s been second so many times but hasn’t won a grand prix yet,” Pearce said. “But I wanted to go fast with Chianto because I didn’t want him to be fourth. The gap between first and second was really tight to fit him in between, so I had to really try to win with Chianto today.”
And Chianto, as he has done many times before in his long grand prix career, came through with a top-notch effort in the jump-off to seal the victory. He made the short course look easy with fluid turns and rapid adjustments, completing it in the winning time of 37.858 seconds.
“I thought it was a really good class,” Pearce said. “I think it’s one of the best classes I’ve jumped here in a while. I don’t say that because I won – I just thought the course was good. We had the right amount clear. It wasn’t too small and it wasn’t too big, and it was technical enough. The class suited the group really well.”
Next week at Summer in the Rockies III, top show jumping competitors will return to face off in the $30,000 McElvain Energy Grand Prix. Summer in the Rockies II wraps up Sunday, featuring the $5,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior/Amateur Owner Classic in the Kathy and Brad Coors Family Grand Prix Arena.
The Colorado Horse Park Summer in the Rockies Fast Facts
What: Summer in the Rockies AA-Rated Hunter Jumper Show Series
June 4-8 Summer in the Rockies I
June 11-15 Summer in the Rockies II
June 18-22 Summer in the Rockies III*
July 2-6 Summer in the Rockies IV
July 9-13 Summer in the Rockies V*
July 16-20 Summer in the Rockies VI
*WCHR Member Events
$5,000 National Hunter Derby – Week III
$15,000 International Hunter Derby sponsored by Winsome Farm – Week III
$10,000 National Hunter Derby – Week V
$40,000 International Hunter Derby sponsored by Serenity Farm – Week V
$25,000 Summer in the Rockies Grand Prix sponsored by Holiday Inn of Parker Grand Prix – Week I
$25,000 Summer in the Rockies Grand Prix sponsored by Littleton Equine Medical and Platinum Performance – Week II
$30,000 Summer in the Rockies Grand Prix sponsored by McElvain Energy – Week III
$30,000 Summer in the Rockies Grand Prix sponsored by Griffis Residential – Week IV
$50,000 Kathy and Brad Coors Family Grand Prix – Week V
$50,000 Parker Adventist Hospital Grand Prix – Week VI
$10,000 High Junior/Amateur Owner Classic sponsored by The Kathy and Brad Coors Family
$20,000 High Junior/Amateur Owner Classic sponsored by The Kathy and Brad Coors Family
$10,000 July Grand Prix Rider Bonus for the Leading Grand Prix Rider sponsored by The Kathy and Brad Coors Family – Weeks IV-VI
For a hard copy of the prize list, please e-mail email@example.com with your name, address and phone number and specify which prize list you would like (spring/fall or summer).
Mail to The Colorado Horse Park, 7522 South Pinery Drive, Parker, CO 80134 or fax to (303) 841-7879. Entries close 30 days before each show.
Pat Boyle, Show Manager (847) 274-6834
Brian Curry, Show Manager (303) 918-2908
Show Office (303) 841-7461
Show Office Fax (303) 841-1419
Colorado Horse Park Main Office (303) 841-5550
Colorado Horse Park Main Office Fax (303) 841-7879
Address: 7375 E Bayou Gulch Rd, Parker, CO 80134
From North: I-25S exit Ridgegate Parkway – go east under the freeway. Ridgegate Parkway to S. Chambers Road, approx. 3 miles (Traffic light) – turn right/south onto Chambers Road. At end of Chambers Road turn left/east onto Hess Road. Hess Road to Parker Road/Hwy 83 – turn right/south onto Hwy 83 approx. 4 miles to Bayou Gulch Road. (Traffic light). Follow signs to Colorado Horse Park.
From South: I-25N, exit Founder’s Parkway. Founder’s Parkway to Highway 86, approx. 4 miles (traffic light). Turn east/left onto Hwy. 86 to Franktown/Hwy 83. At Franktown go north on 83 approx. 7 mi. to Bayou Gulch Rd. (Traffic light), turn right/east onto Bayou Gulch Rd. Follow signs to Colorado Horse Park.
About the Colorado Horse Park
Celebrating its 20th Anniversary, the Colorado Horse Park was founded by visionary Helen Krieble who acknowledged the need for a high-volume horse show and horse boarding facility to serve Colorado. The Colorado Horse Park welcomes more than 75,000 visitors per year and hosts over 40 competitions annually. CHP features a derby arena designed by Olympic-designer Linda Allen and a cross-country course designed by Olympic Gold Medalist David O’Connor and eventing super-star James Atkinson. There are 300 permanent stalls with capacity for more than 1,000 stalls.
The picturesque property, located only minutes from the town of Parker, hosts international equestrian events in multiple disciplines. Visitors enjoy the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountain surroundings and access to miles of trails and open space. The Colorado Horse Park is committed to supporting equestrian education and amateur athletics, preserving open space, fundraising for local charities and supporting the community.
Mary Adelaide Brakenridge for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International