Thermal, California, USA – March 19, 2021 – The newly landscaped Grand Prix Stadium played host to the STX Vans $36,600 Jump-off Challenge CSI 4* Friday morning. Riders were preparing for the feature class on Sunday, the $250,000 Grand Prix CSI 4*. The final week of competition at the Desert International Horse Park (DHIP) includes some of the biggest classes to date with top quality athletes hailing from all over the world.
Forty-five horse and rider combinations challenged course designer Marina Azevedo’s (BRA) well-constructed 1.50m course. With sixteen total jumping efforts, riders were tested against a triple bar, a triple combination, and multiple rollbacks. The track kept riders looking forward and towards the next fence while keeping their mounts balanced and powerful.
Eric Navet (FRA) was first to go clear in the first round and shortly after Mavis Spencer (USA) aboard Con Calle posted a clear and lead the way for a jump-off round. Joining them would be Will Simpson (USA), Darrin Dlin (IRL), Luis Sabino (POR), Lindsay Archer (USA), Kyle King, (USA), Richard Spooner (USA), Chandler Meadows (USA), and Aly Ramsay (USA).
In the jump-off, riders had ample space to gallop their horses and cover the ground between fences. Eric Navet (FRA) posted the first double clear round at 40.39 seconds and claimed the Roeckl Time To Beat. Navet piloted his long time partner Cadillac Jack, an eleven-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Cantoblanco x Cordina) owned by Signe Ostby. The pair finished fourth overall in the class.
Galloping to victory with an impressive jump-off time of 38.16 seconds was Sabino and Argan de Beliard, an eleven year old Selle Français gelding (Mylord Cathago*hn x La Bella Normande), owned by Equivarandas II, LTDA.
Taking home the second place honors was Will Simpson (USA) aboard his own Chacco P, a twelve-year-old Mecklenburg gelding (Chacco-blue x Cera P).
The duo crossed the timers at 39.20 seconds. Rounding out the top three was Ali Ramsay (CAN) and Ramsay Equestrian Inc’s Lutz with a jump-off time of 40.30 seconds. Lutz is a twelve year old Westfalian gelding by Loradnos out of Parodie.
Sabino intends to head to the Olympics in the future with this horse and believes he has all the potential in the world to perform at such a prestigious event. The duo’s next feat will be the $250,000 FEI 1.55m CSI 4* held on Sunday of Desert Circuit VIII.
Final Results – STX Vans $36,600 Jump-off Challenge CSI 4*
1) Luis Sabino Gonçalves (POR) & Argan de Beliard – 0 / 0 – 38.16
2) William Simpson (USA) & Chacco P – 0 / 0 – 39.20
3) Ali Ramsay (CAN) & Lutz – 0 / 0 – 40.30
Source: Press release by Sydney Lowe for Desert International Horse Park
Photos: © ESI Photography