Temecula, California – June 01, 2019 – Though the fourth and final week of the 2019 Temecula Valley National Horse Show series was nearing its end, one more grand prix victory was left to be had, attracting 48 hopeful entries to the Audi Grand Prix Arena, presented by Evergate Stables, for a shot at the purse in the $40,000 Snapbac National Grand Prix. The diverse field was comprised of horses and riders ranging from young rookies to Olympic veterans, with Femke Courchaine (CAN) and Dereusa S leading the lap of honor and earning the greatest share of the prize money as the fastest double clean partnership of the class by mere milliseconds.
Sixth in the start list, Harley Brown (AUS) and Mylord Cornet were the class’ early trailblazers as the first pair to successfully navigate course designer Olaf Petersen, Jr.’s (GER) 15-effort first round track, which posed an 88-second time allowed that proved to be the undoing of a handful of exhibitors.
Emily Esau-Williams (USA) and Crack One forced a jump-off as the next duo to leave all the fences intact, and they were soon joined on the short course list by Femke Courchaine (CAN) and Dereusa S.
Kenneth Vinther (DEN) & Colicchio
Following the halfway break, five additional partnerships qualified for the jump-off thanks to clean first round rides from Jamie Barge (USA) with the reins on Fioretti S, John Pearce (CAN) and Chantico, Hayden Zadel aboard Triskel de Kerliven, Kenneth Vinther (DEN) astride Colicchio and Cassio Rivetti (BRA) with Queen.
In total, 12 partnerships finished the course without lowering any fences, but Judy Nielson and Costo Rico, Bjorn Ikast (DEN) aboard Classini, Ikast with Castino and Carly Anthony (USA) in the saddle on Genesis each accrued minimal time faults to render them ineligible as jump-off returners, bringing the total tally of contenders to eight. Rails fell in no particular frequency over the course of the initial phase, with only one single fence staying upright for the entirety of the competition.
Riding in the same order in which they qualified, Harley Brown (USA) and Mylord Cornet were once again the pacesetters, tackling Petersen, Jr.’s condensed 9-fence jump-off pattern in 51.425 seconds but with one rail down to incur 4 faults. Second in the ring, Emily Esau-Williams (USA) and Crack One turned in the first double clear of the evening, tripping the timers in a quick 50.733 seconds.
Emily Courchaine (CAN) & Dereusa S
However, they were immediately overtaken by Emily Courchaine (CAN), who piloted Dereusa S (Numero Uno x Calvados) to the faster fault-free time of 48.791 seconds after a series of tight rollback turns. Jamie Barge (USA), John Pearce (CAN), Haydel Zadel (USA) and Kenneth Vinther (DEN) and their respective mounts each aimed to catch the early leaders but could not eclipse them, with Vinther putting forth the best effort in a penalty-free time of 48.853 seconds, less than one-tenth of a second off the pace.
Last to go, Cassio Rivetti (BRA) and Queen managed to turn in the fastest time of the class in a blazing 46.577 seconds, but felled two of the final rails to accrue 8 penalty-points, solidifying Emily Courchaine (CAN) and Dereusa S as the $40,000 Snapbac National Grand Prix victors.
John Pearce (CAN) & Chantico
Kenneth Vinther (DEN) and Colicchio finished the class in second place overall, and John Pearce (CAN) and Chantico concluded the day in third position.
Winner’s Circle: Femke Courchaine (CAN)
On Dereusa S:
“She is 11 years old, and I bought her in Holland as a yearling so I’ve had her now for ten years. She has two babies naturally and two embryos, so she has four offspring. She has always been super fast and a bit of a difficult lady, but we get along. Like her, we would do anything for a cookie. Her last baby is six years old, so she has only been competing now for a solid five years. She is a little bit greener than most 11-year-olds, but she is still pretty good. We did the embryo flushing – we just find times when we can still breed her and flush out embryos.”
On her strategy for the class:
“The first round, I know that she is fast, so I just needed to let her go her own speed. I usually don’t worry too much about time faults if I just let her do her thing. In the jump-off it was the same approach, she is already fast so I just need to do my turns and keep her under control because she is a bit wild. From [fences] one to [fence] two, it was just getting the inside turn off of that right in the beginning. Since it’s near the beginning I figured I should be able to control her, but if it had been near the end I wouldn’t be able to control her as much.”
On the Temecula Valley National Horse Show:
“I love it here. It really gave me my horse back because my horse was hurt last year and I have been waiting for her to come back. With all the amazing footing and the people, I just finally have my horse back, so I am really happy.”
Femke Courchaine (CAN) & Dereusa S during the awards ceremony
Results – $40,000 Snapbac National Grand Prix
Place / Rider / Country / Horse / R1 Penalties / R1 Time / R2 Penalties / R2 Time
1. Femke Courchaine (CAN) & Dereusa S – 0 / 85.424 / 0 / 48.791
2. Kenneth Vinther (DEN) & Colicchio – 0 / 84.410 / 0 / 48.853
3. John Pearce (CAN) & Chantico – 0 / 84.578 / 0 / 49.673
4. Emily Esau-Williams (USA) & Crack One – 0 / 84.623 / 0 / 50.733
5. Harley Brown (AUS) & Mylord Cornet – 0 / 85.467 / 4 / 51.425
6. Jamie Barge (USA) & Fioretti S – 0 / 85.743 / 4 / 52.328
7. Hayden Zadel (USA) & Triskel De Kerliven – 0 / 87.706 / 4 / 53.257
8. Cassio Rivetti (BRA) & Queen – 0 / 85.633 / 8 / 46.577
9. Bjorn Ikast (DEN) & Castino – 1 / 88.226
10. Carly Anthony (USA) & Genesis – 1 / 88.696
11. Bjorn Ikast (DEN) & Classini – 3 / 90.427
12. Tiffany Sullivan (USA) & Christian Grey – 4 / 79.032
Source: Press release from Riley Ingram / Phelps Media Group for Nilforushan EquiSports
Photos: © Phelps Sports / Riley Ingram