It was a packed house at the Huntington Central Park Equestrian Center as spectators gathered at the Grand Prix arena for the $20,000 Grand Prix of Huntington Beach. As the sun set, the crowd was treated to an evening of excellent show jumping as top horses and riders took to the field to tackle the course designed by Scott Starnes. The first round course consisted of 14 jumping efforts including two double combinations, and faults were spread around the technical track. But three horse and rider pairs jumped clean and advanced to the 7-effort short course.
First to go was Michelle Parker (USA), and she laid down an incredibly fast and tight track aboard Bella Sofia, a 9-year old grey warmblood mare owned by Antonio Ramos. “She has a huge stride and she is careful off the big gallop,” said Michelle Parker. “I felt like she was really fast today and then still careful going into the combination in the jump off.”
Next up to challenge Parker’s time was Michelle Kerivan (USA) on her own Duc de Rhoan, a 9-year-old brown Oldenburg gelding, followed by Max Doldger (GBR) on his own Stakka Gold, an 8-year-old bay Oldenburg gelding. Both pairs put in exciting and clean rounds but couldn’t quite catch Parker. Doldger took second place and Kerivan rounded out the podium in third.
Michelle Parker (USA) & Bella Sofia riding the waves of victory adorned with blue ribbons
It could have easily gone differently for Parker and Bella Sofia, especially with the large audience: “She’s sometimes spooky about the crowds,” Parker explained. “But today she was great; she didn’t mind at all.” Parker has been riding Bella Sofia for a little less than a year, and only recently stepped up to the higher levels. But Saturday night at Huntington Beach, Bella Sofia proved she can hold her own against great competition.
Results – $20,000 Grand Prix of Huntington Beach
Rider / Country / Horse / Faults / Time
1) Michelle Parker (USA) & Bella Sofia – 0 / 0 / 75.017 / 32.308
2) Max Dolger (GBR) & Stakka Gold – 0 / 0 / 75.854 / 34.683
3) Michelle Kerivan (USA) & Duc de Rhoan – 0 / 0 / 75.598 / 36.163
4) Amanda Gomez (USA) & Calesco – 4 / 73.579
5) Katie Murray (USA) & Calgot Hero – 4 / 74.579
6) Michelle Rodal (MEX) & Printings Pola – 4 / 75.469
7) Noelle Roberts (USA) & D Valiant JF – 4 / 75.735
8) Danielle Lean (USA) & Dex Ceminka – 4 / 77.109
9) Judy Nielson (USA) & Costo Rico – 4 / 77.474
10) Gabriella Pattinson (USA) & Quadrigus – 7 / 82.542
11) Michelle Parker (USA) & CC Hibiscus Coast – 8 / 69.218
12) Amanda Gomez (USA) & Dahlia – 8 / 73.716
Source: Press Release by Lindsey Long for West Palms Events
Photos: © Treena Hall Photography