San Juan Capistrano, California, USA – July 01, 2023 – For the third week in a row, Mariano Maggi (USA) claimed victory in the Markel 1.35m Jumper Series at Blenheim EquiSports, this time taking the win in the $20,000 Markel Insurance Jumper Classic on Saturday, July 1, aboard Gogolinus.
On their way to the top of the podium, Maggi and Gogolinus were one of 24 entries in the featured jumper event of the Blenheim June Classic III. The first-round track, designed by Mauricio Garcia, cut that starting field roughly in half, with 11 horse and rider combinations qualifying for the jump off.
Maggi had three entries in the class and quickly moved into the lead aboard Tule, a Selle Français gelding, owned by Florencio Ramirez, that stopped the clock in 36.143 seconds. That time proved uncatchable by anyone but Maggi himself who returned with Gogolinus as the final entry in the Grand Looke Arena.
As Maggi and Gogolinus flew over the last Buchalter Equine Law oxer, the scoreboard flashed 35.057 seconds, clinching their win.
With Maggi taking both first and second – aboard Gogolinus and Tule, respectively – third place with a time of 36.402 seconds went to McKenna Skelton (USA) and Daytona Du Sud, owned by Double S Farm LLC. For the win, Maggi received a gift certificate to Riderzon, in addition to the lion’s share of the prize money.
“I’ve been using Gogolinus quite a bit in these types of classes,” said Maggi of the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, owned by Brylee Dickey. “He’s super easy; he’s like a car. You put him wherever you want. I was happy he was the last to go in the jump-off. Tule worked really well, and then I had another chance with [Gogolinus], so I used it!”
Maggi was named the Leading Gentleman in the 2022 Markel 1.35m Jumper Series, earning him an extra $5,625 bonus check and making him an even bigger fan of the Markel-sponsored series.
“I really like and appreciate the support of Markel. Last year, they were some of my favorite classes to come and ride, and now I’m winning, so they’re still my favorite!” stated Maggi.
In addition to the opportunity to earn great prize money at the 1.35m level, Maggi appreciates the series’ ability to help develop young horses, including Superman MT, the horse he rode to great success in 2022.
“[Superman] got a very good 7-year-old experience doing these classes, and this year, he’s already a level up,” explained Maggi. “I think 7- and 8-year-old horses improve a lot if you do a couple of these Markel classes instead of the ‘normal’ classes. If there’s one of these classes, I come, and I ride it. It’s good for the horses. I think these 1.35m are a lot more difficult than a normal 1.40m during the week. It feels more important; when you ride for more money, you have to ride better, and the horses, they feel that.”
Saturday’s $20,000 1.35m Markel Insurance Jumper Classic marked the seventh class in the 11-event series that offers horses and riders the opportunity to compete regularly in $5,000 – $20,000 national and FEI-sanctioned jumper events in various formats. At the conclusion of the series, Leading Lady and Leading Gentleman bonus checks will be presented. To view the standings heading into Saturday’s class, click here.
Blenheim EquiSports is the place to jump all season long, with hunter/jumper competition resuming on July 18-23 for the Blenheim Summer Festival. To learn more, visit www.ThePlaceToJump.com.
Final Results – $20,000 Markel Insurance Jumper Classic
1) Mariano Maggi (SWE) & Gogolinus – 0 / 0 – 35.057
2) Mariano Maggi (SWE) & Tule – 0 / 0 – 36.143
3) Mckenna Skelton (USA) & Daytona du Sud – 0 / 0 – 36.402
Source: Press Release for Blenheim EquiSports
Photos: © McCool Photography