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Kaitlin Campbell & Palina de L’Escaut Top $50,000 Interactive Mortgage Classic at Temecula Valley

Temecula, California, USA – June 6, 2021 – After three week of world-class competition, Nilforushan Equisport Events’ Temecula Valley National series, presented by Interactive Mortgage, came to a dramatic conclusion in the Grand Prix Arena with the $50,000 Interactive Mortgage 1.45m Classic – Final Zone 10 NAYC Young Rider Trial. Professionals, amateurs, and young riders left nothing on the table with the largest prize offered during the National or Premier series up for the taking. As the last chance for Young Riders to qualify for the team, there was added pressure on the juvenile section of the field to snag the final few points that could make or break their 2021 NAYC team spot. With the palpable excitement surrounding the stadium at Galway Downs, it was Kaitlin Campbell and Palina De L’escaut who harnessed the energy in the air galloping home with the last big win of the series.

Of the field of 48 horse-and-rider combinations, Thursday’s $22,500 Spruce Meadows 1.35m NEEd for Speed Final winning pair, Jamie Taylor and Cocoliche of Greenhill Z were the pathfinders over Anderson Lima’s (BRA) 16-effort first round course which featured an open-water jump. The pair, who saw much success over the course of both series, unfortunately, had two rails prior to crossing the finish.

Kaitlin Campbell (USA) & Palina de L’Escaut

Her time of 81.525 fell well within the time allowed of 85 seconds. Following several unsuccessful attempts to prompt a jump-off, it was Hanna Mauritzson and Parkmore Lux who were the first to go clear over the course in a time of 81.404, though Mauritzson opted not to jump-off, It would take over half of the order to see another clear round from none other than Kaitlin Campbell (USA) aboard Palina De L’escaut. Four other riders would join the jump-off including Robert Blanchette and Coupis, Bruno Diniz Das Neves and Adele XIII, Jamie Taylor (USA) and Quatar, and finally Alexis Sokolov (USA) and Cana Van De Blom.

Campbell (USA) was the first to take to the 8-effort shortened track, with SWS Training & Sales’ 12-year-old Hannoverian mare, Palina De L’escaut. After just missing the blue ribbon in Saturday’s $20,000 Interactive Mortgage 1.30m Classic by the skin of her teeth, the speed demon took to the course with vengeance. The pair were hot out of the gates, giving a forward ride to all of the fences, the pair delivered a solid performance keeping all the rails intact and setting the time to beat at 35.795. With a target on her back, Campbell would have to fend off four other contenders, and her breezy time proved a challenge to surmount.

Alexis Sokolov (USA) & Cana van de Blom

Blanchette walked away from his second round with a time of 37.342, but the duo took an unlucky rail with them on the way home. After a mishap at one of the oxers on course, Bruno Diniz Das Neves (POR) and Adele XIII retired from their round leaving just Taylor (USA) and Sokolov (USA) to content Campbell’s early lead.

Knowing that a clear round would at the very least secure a podium position, Taylor (USA) still rode for the win piloting JT Equine LLC’s 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding, Quatar over the fences in their usual speedy fashion. The pair were fast, clocking in at 36.891, but not fast enough to top Campbell’s leading time, and their race to the finish the duo took one singular rail with them on their way.

Last to go, young rider, Sokolov (USA) took to the ring aboard Hot Horses LLC’s 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood, Cana Van De Blom. Following her success in Saturday’s $1,500 Voltaire 1.45m JR/AO/AM Speed Special – Zone 10 NAYC Young Rider Trial taking home a first and third place ribbon aboard Fasole Du Seigneur and Cana Van De Blom, Sokolov was looking to continue her podium streak. In order to secure a podium, all Sokolov had to do was jump clear. Knowing that she could take the risk and go for gold, or play it strategically conservative and prioritize a careful ride above all, Sokolov chose the latter piloting the chestnut mare to a perfectly clean round and in a time of 44.80, the pair were not fast enough to top Campbell settling into a second place podium.

Kaitlin Campbell (USA) & Palina de L’Escaut

From The Winner’s Circle

Kaitlin Campbell – $50,000 Interactive Mortgage 1.45m Classic – Final Zone 10 NAYC Young Rider Trial Winner

On Palina De L’escaut:
“She’s coming up on two years with us. She’s one of my best horses and she’s twelve this year. She’s super-fast, always competitive, and always wants to win. This was a really good class for her tonight.”

On her strategy:
“This was one of the young rider trials, so this was the first open water that I’ve ever jumped on her. She’s super brave so I wasn’t worried about it, but the water really set you up for the next line to be really difficult. It was a long six or a short seven to the vertical, vertical, oxer combination that a lot of people had down. I know her so well, so I knew to land and get the six done so she didn’t end up bellying the verticals. I think we were both on the same page tonight and it worked out in the end.”

On closing out the series with a win:
“So I’ve been second a lot. I was third in the [NEEd for Speed] Final, Jamie [Taylor] beat me. I got beat yesterday in the 1.30m and that made me really hungry today for a win. I was either going to be first or last, but I wasn’t going to be second.”

On her future plans:
“We don’t show at all in June, then I’m on the Major League Showjumping tour for the Desert Horse Park. That starts in Traverse City in July, and she’ll be one of my top horses for that.”

Final Results – $50,000 Interactive Mortgage Classic

1) Kaitlin Campbell (USA) & Palina De L’escaut – 0 / 0 – 35.795

2) Alexis Sokolov (USA) & Cana van de Blom – 0 / 0 –  44.8

3) Jamie Taylor (USA) & Quatar – 0 / 4 – 36.891

Source: Press Release by Olivia Airhart from Phelps Sports

Photos: © Emma Miller