CSI 3*

Nicole Shahinian-Simpson & Akuna Mattata Top $100,000 1.50m Gold Tour Grand Prix CSI 3* at Blenheim Spring Classic III

2019.04.02 San Juan Capistrano CSI 3 GP Nicole S. Simpson & Akuna Matata McCool Ph

San Juan Capistrano, California, USA – March 31, 2019  – Competitors brought their A-game on Sunday afternoon for the final leg of the FEI CSI 3* Gold Tour. A sizeable crowd filled the hillside cabanas, the Riders’ Lounge and the grandstands at the Blenheim EquiSports Derby Field. The challenging course and top competition did not disappoint! With a jump-off of seven, it was last to go Nicole Shahinian-Simpson (USA) and Silver Raven Farms’ 11-year-old Holsteiner mare, Nicole Shahinian-Simpson, who topped the field in the $100,000 1.50m Gold Tour Grand Prix CSI 3*.

Twenty-seven competitors tested the track, created by Leopoldo Palacios (VEN), which included two liverpools, a line with an open water jump to a combination, and a final line away from the in-gate with five elements – an oxer to a triple combination to an oxer with yellow planks.That final test kept eleven competitors from returning to the jump-off round.

2019.04.02 San Juan Capistrano CSI 3 GP Cassio Rivetti & Kaiser vh Lambroeck McCool Ph

Cassio Rivetti (BRA) & Kaiser Van Het Lambroeck

First to ride without fault wasn’t until ninth in the order, Cassio Rivetti (BRA) and Neil Jones Equestrian’s Kaiser Van Het Lambroeck. Six more riders representing four countries, Mariano Maggi (SWE), Rich Fellers (USA), Shawn Casady (USA), Taylor Siebel (USA), Uma O’Neill (NZL), and Shahinian-Simpson (USA), joined the Brazilian in the jump-off.

Rivetti (BRA) was the first to ride against the clock setting the bar high going clear in a time of 39.69 seconds, a mark that would earn them silver honrs. A tough time to beat, the following five competitors weren’t able to go as fast and leave all the fences up.

With the enviable position of last to go, Shahinian-Simpson and Akuna Mattata, a pair known for their fast footspeed, came in blazing. The pair’s tidy turns and fast pace carried them through the timers one second faster in 38.71 to seal their victory.

2019.04.02 San Juan Capistrano CSI 3 GP Cel Nicole S. Simpson & Akuna Matata McCool Ph.jpg

Nicole Shahinian-Simpson (USA) & Akuna Mattata with friends, family, sponsors with representatives from Club Hípico La Silla and Blenheim EquiSports

Along with the glory, prize money and awards, Shahinian-Simpson is now also a strong contender to win the The Gold Tour Leading Rider Award. Shahinian-Simpson’s win puts her in the second spot in the standings, just behind Rivetti.

Earning second place in two of the three classes this week boosted Rivetti (BRA) to the top. Generously sponsored by Club Hípico La Silla, the rider with the most money won in the six Gold Tour classes at the Blenheim Spring Classic II CSI 3* and the Showpark Ranch & Coast CSI 2* will be given a chance to experience FEI competition in beautiful Monterrey, Mexico, this fall.

The Sunday afternoon’s competition concluded the FEI CSI 3* Tours for the Blenheim Spring Classic 2. Next week Spring Classic 3 will feature a Markel Jumper Classic, a Blenheim EquiSports U25 Classic, a USHJA International Hunter Derby, and a $50,000 1.50m Grand Prix, presented by EQU Lifestyle Boutique.

Top Placings – $100,000 1.50m Gold Tour Grand Prix

2019.04.02 San Juan Capistrano CSI 3 GP Top Placings Blenheim Equisports

Source: Press release by Blenheim EquiSports

Photos: © McCool Photography