Temecula, California, USA – May 01, 2021 – Nilforushan Equisport Events’ Temecula Valley Premier II returned Saturday for the penultimate and largest day of the weekly competition at Galway Downs, with top horses and athletes taking center stage in the $40,000 Interactive Mortgage Grand Prix in front of an enthusiastic crowd. Pulling ahead of the field with the speediest double-clear ride of the evening was Ireland’s Lorcan Gallagher (IRL) and Cana Van De Blom, solidifying Gallagher’s second big win of the week following his top prize in Thursday’s $10,000 Tack of the Town 1.40m Speed Classic.
Oscar Soberon’s course challenged the competitors to test their horse’s rideability. In the first round, the 12-effort track featured a triple bar, a triple combination leading immediately to a liverpool, a skinny vertical, and the Nilforushan Equisport Events wall. With a time allowed of 82 seconds, the riders were prompted to not only be precise with their plan, but also efficient.
The first horse-and-rider combination that jumped Oscar Soberon’s 12-effort track without pulling a rail was Francie Nilfourshan on Valentino Z, but she unfortunately snagged a few time faults. It took until the twelfth athlete in the order of go, Alexandra Biederman (USA) on Interactive Mortgage 07, for the timers to be broken within the original 82-second time allowed while leaving all the rails in their cups. After deliberation, officials added two additional seconds to adjust the time allowed to 84 seconds.
While an oxer out of a turn and the final fence on course coming out of a triple combination heading home proved to be a challenge for many, Kaitlin Campbell (USA) was next to turn in a clear round. Aboard Dandy, an 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by HD Horses LLC Immediately following Biederman, Campbell’s performance prompted a jump-off to excite the crowd.
Though Gallagher pulled an unlucky rail on his first mount of the class, the winner of Thursday’s $10,000 Tack of the Town 1.40m Speed Classic Fasole Du Seigneur, he was determined not to make that mistake again when he returned to the ring on Cana Van De Blom, jumping fast and clear to earn his spot in the jump-off. Hot Horses LLC’s 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare is a new ride for the Irishman as he only partnered with her earlier last week.
C’est Roberto and Stephanie Gershon (USA) took the jump-off trio to a quartet becoming only the fourth of 31 rides to go clear and fast around the tricky track. The 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Everardo A Hegewisch galloped through the timers with about a second to spare at 82.93.
Heading into the jump-off, the four riders returned to the ring to fight for one of the three podium positions. Biederman was first in the ring and unfortunately pulled a rail to end the class with four faults in 43.2 seconds, leaving lion’s share of the prize money up for grabs for the remaining three contenders. At the end of the day, Gallagher and Cana Van De Blom raced through the shortened course clear to end in 40.67 seconds, two seconds faster than the rest of the field. Campbell ultimately finished in second place with a clear jump-off in 42.68 seconds, while Gershon rounded out the top three leaving all rails up in 43.56 seconds.
The Temecula Valley National Premier Series, presented by Interactive Mortgage, concludes Sunday, May 2 with the championship crowning of the Low, Medium, and High JR/AO/AM Classic as well as the amateur-owner hunter divisions. Competition will pick back up at Galway Downs for the Temecula Valley National series running from May 19-June 6. The three week series will feature classes such as FEI NAYC Young Rider Trials, the Memorial Day $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, and the $22,500 Spruce Meadows Need for Speed Final.
From the Winner’s Circles
Lorcan Gallagher – $40,000 Interactive Mortgage Grand Prix winner
On his win:
“It’s great! I have been very lucky to ride a group of really nice horses here. Again, the show is fantastic; it has a great atmosphere. I thought the course was very fair. There were 31 in the class and only 4 went clean, and it asked a lot of questions. My other two rides were fast 4-faulters and it is always nice to win.”
On the jump-off:
“It was quite wide open. There weren’t more turns or any related distances. Being up in the warm-up ring, I did not get to see anybody go before me, so I just tried to stay tight. Fence 9A up to 10 in the first round the other riders did eight strides and a couple of them did it with one extra stride, but I knew you could shave off a little bit of that corner. Nine strides is easy there. I think when I watched it back a couple of others might have done ten strides, so that definitely saved a bit of time.”
On his three mounts:
“Honestly the way the first horse [Fasole Du Seigneur] jumped I was very disappointed coming out of the ring, but it did not really change my plan at all for the next one. They are two different types. One is a little bigger and a slower mover [Cana Van De Blom] and the other one is smaller and mighty and a little bit hotter.”
On his summer plans:
“I know some of these horses come to Kentucky for a few shows there in the summer so maybe after this we will sit down and make a plan. This was a great two weeks and I am so grateful to Craig and Tina at Highpoint and the Sokolov family. I know Alexis is going to take these two horses [Fasole Du Seigneur and Cana Van De Blom] to another show in the next couple of weeks so hopefully their form continues for her. Hopefully she can push on for the [FEI North American Young Rider Championship]. But, Craig and Tina have a lot of other nice horses as well. We will sit down after this and make a plan.”
On Nilforushan Equisport Events:
“It is great. It’s been a very enjoyable weekend, and I am definitely going to come back. Honestly Ali [Nilforoushan] and his team have done an amazing job. As I said the other day, from week one to two even you can see. The jumping has just finished for the day and they are already working on the rings and it is really a testament to what they are doing here. Hopefully more and more people will start coming to this show because they definitely deserve it for what they are putting into it. Thank you to Interactive Mortgage for supporting this show!”
Final Results – $40,000 Interactive Mortgage Grand Prix
1) Lorcan Gallagher (IRL) & Cana Van De Blom – 0 / 0 – 40.673
2) Kaitlin Campbell (USA) & Dandy – 0 / 0 – 42.687
3) Stephanie Gershon (USA) & C’est Roberto – 0 / 0 – 43.564
4) Alexandra Biederman (USA) & Interactive Mortgage 07 – 0 / 4 – 43.2
5) Francie Nilforushan (USA) & Valentino Z – 4 / 85.504
6) Lorcan Gallagher (IRL) & Fasole Du Seigneur – 4 / 74.428
7) Jamie Taylor (USA) & Quatar – 4 / 76.46
8) Lorcan Gallagher (IRL) & Siegfried 68 – 4 / 76.77
9) Bruno Diniz Das Neves (POR) & Adele XIII – 4 / 76.77
10) Hanna Mauritzson (USA) & Parkmore Lux – 4 / 77.395
11) Jamie Taylor (USA) & Cocoliche of Greenhill Z – 4 / 78.182
12) Simon Schroeder (GER) & Alie B – 4 / 78.804
Source: Press Release by Annan Hepner / Phelps Media Group for Nilforushan EquiSports / Temecula Valley National Horse Show
Photos: © Phelps Sports / Annan Hepner