San Juan Capistrano, California, USA – May 16, 2021 – Bruno Diniz das Neves (POR) and Adele XIII punched a ticket to the top of the leaderboard in Saturday’s $75,000 Interactive Mortgage “Ticket to Ride” 1.50m Grand Prix, held during the Ranch & Coast Classic at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park, San Juan Capistrano, CA.
Neves and Adele XIII were one of only two entries from the 15-horse starting field to navigate the first-round, Ivan Tagle-designed course without fault, and Adele XIII’s naturally fast footspeed ultimately gave the pair the edge over second-place finishers Shawn Casady (USA) and Captain Jack.
Finishing in third place, with only one time fault in the first round, was Thursday’s $25,000 Markel Insurance Jumper Series 1.45m Jumper Classic winners, Saree Gordon Solanki (ISR) and Azuro 108.
“When I finished the first round, I could have already gone home happy!” said Neves, who rides for Portugal. “This is a big step up for my mare. I came here because I wanted to move up and try something different. I wanted to know if I’m ‘there’ or not and if my horse can do this or not.”
Neves got his answer as Adele XIII cleared the final Interactive Mortgage fence and flew through the jump-off timers. Casady (USA) and Captain Jack, owned by Neil Jones Equestrian, Inc., the first to return for the jump-off, had set the time to beat at 39.043 seconds, but Adele XIII made short work of that time, stopping the clock in 37.534 seconds for the win.
“With only two clear rounds, you go in the ring in the jump-off, and you know already that, worst-case scenario, you’re second,” said Neves. “I know that Shawn’s a very fast rider and very competitive; I know that horse wins a lot, but I trusted my mare because she’s so fast naturally. I knew I didn’t need to go crazy. So I just said, ‘I’m going to explore everything that she has naturally and hopefully we’re going to get there.’”
Neves has been partnered with Adele XIII for two years, and he’s found the Interactive Mortgage ‘Ticket to Ride’ High Performance Jumper Series to be the ideal move up for the 13-year-old Holsteiner mare owned by BDN Horse Investments.
“I did the first [Interactive Mortgage Grand Prix during the Blenheim Spring Classic 3], and Adele XIII was awesome,” said Neves, who finished in fifth in the first class of the three-part series. “I think Robert Ridland is doing a great job of bringing up the level. I took the good option of doing this series because I think it’s a very big test.”
The Interactive Mortgage ‘Ticket to Ride’ High Performance Jumper Series was introduced by long-time sponsors and supporters of the sport, Gregg and Evette DeLong of Interactive Mortgage.
Prior to the jump-off of Saturday’s class, Robert Ridland, President of Blenheim EquiSports, spoke to the significance of the series and expressed appreciation to the DeLongs for their dedication to supporting the continuation and growth of top-end show jumping at Blenheim EquiSports.
Thanks to the support of Interactive Mortgage, the series showcases three grand prix classes held at the national standard, including two $75,000 1.50m grand prix events in the spring and a $100,000 1.50m grand prix in the fall with a discounted entry fee, plus a $20,000 bonus awarded to the top three riders. The top rider will receive a custom built Grand Prix Locker courtesy of Flexi Equine Tack Lockers.
Neves currently leads the series standings on 42 points, including 25 points earned in the first qualifier and 17 points awarded on Saturday. Sitting in second with 38 points is Michelle Parker, and Will Simpson rounds out the current top three with 30 points heading into the final $100,000 Interactive Mortgage “Ticket to Ride” 1.50m Grand Prix, to be held during the Blenheim International Jumping Festival in September
Final Results – $75,000 Interactive Mortgage 1.50m Grand Prix
1) Bruno Diniz (POR) & Adele XIII – 0 / 0 – 37.534
2) Shawn Casady (USA) & Captain Jack – 0 / 0 – 39.043
3) Saree Gordon (ISR) & Azuro 108 – 1 / 74.062
Source: Press Release by Blenheim Equisports
Photos: © McCool Photography