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[San Juan Capistrano, CA] It was a day designed for the next generation of top show jumpers as Eduardo Menezes (BRA) guided his up and coming eight-year-old star, Caruschka, to the only double clear round of the day in Saturday's $25,000 Blenheim Summer Classic Grand Prix.
The Southern California late summer weather was all the rave during the day, but it truly was the competition that brought the heat as many riders look to Blenheim to prep for their World Cup Qualifying season and aim to wrap their year with a bang.
Menezes (BRA) guides the eight-year-old Caruschka to the only double clear effort of the day
"We have a lot of young jumpers moving up today so it will be a unique class," course designer Jack Robson noted as competitors began to warm up for the $25,000 Blenheim Summer Classic Grand Prix, presented by Royal Champion. Twenty-five horse and rider combinations attempted Robson's track, but only three were able to leave all of the sixteen efforts untouched.
"I built a course for the class," Robson added. "There are many young horses so it is still a technical track, but with many options to take." The course set up nicely for the majority of the class, however faults began to add up when competitors approached Robson's double combinations. A triple bar to plank vertical, a vertical-vertical, and an oxer-vertical combination on the final line whittled down the competition where nearly half the class accrued numerous faults.
Antonio Maurer (MEX) and Callao were the first pair to turn in a fault free round one half of a second under the 86 seconds time allowed. Brazilian rider Eduardo Menezes (BRA) took on the challenge and guided his new mount Caruschka to an even quicker clear round, making it a jump-off. Following Menezes was Nicole Shahinian-Simpson aboard Picturized. Shahinian-Simpson rode a beautiful course, leaving all the rails in the cups however stopped the clock with one unlucky time fault, securing her a third place finish.
Shahinian-Simpson and Picturized rode a picture perfect round, but with one time fault did not advance to the jump off.
The battle between Maurer (MEX) and Menezes (BRA) was underway after a quick course change. Maurer galloped in and took off after the jump-off course like a bullet knowing he had to again create a challenge for Menezes to chase. After clipping the second obstacle, Maurer continued to gallop between fences and cut his corners hoping to set an unbeatable four fault time of 34.313 seconds.
Maurer and Callao settled for second
Coming into the jump-off, Menezes knew he simply had to be clean to seal the win. "I knew going in, we just had to be careful, but that's what she is, she's careful" Menezes commented regarding his mount. Menezes calmly entered the ring eyeballing each obstacle to confirm his clear round plan of action. Riding each line with precision, Menezes guided Caruschka to an effortless fault free round, earning the victory.
Menezes and Caruschka were also the runner-up in Friday's $10,000 1.35M Jumper Classic. "This young mare is great and she has quite a future ahead of her," Menezes praised the eight-year-old. "I only started working with her after the spring series in Spruce Meadows so that was only her second Grand Prix with me. She is just so careful and makes everything easy. I will continue to show her next week here at Blenheim, but I am also really looking forward to next weekend's Grand Prix with my other Grand Prix horses as well."
The action packed Blenheim Summer Classic II will resume next week, featuring the first HITS Million Grand Prix League qualifier in the $40,000 Blenheim Summer Classic Grand Prix, presented by CardFlex. The CPHA Jr and Amateur Medal Finals will also be showcased next week with both Friday and Saturday evening rounds taking place in the Blenheim Farms Indoor Arena. Visit the Blenheim EquiSports website for up to date event details.
$25,000 Blenheim Summer Classic Grand Prix, presented by Royal Champion
Rider | Hose | Round 1 Faults | Round 2 Faults | Jumpoff or Round 1 Time
- Eduardo Menezes | Caruschka | 0 | 0 | 39.807
- Antonio Maurer | Callao | 0 | 4 | 34.313
- Nicole Shahinian-Simpson | Picturized | 1 | 86.724
- John Perez | Utopia | 4 | 80.120
- Samantha Harrison | Santika | 4 | 82.980
- Francisco Pasquel | Montejo | 4 | 83.078
- John Perez | Arezzo | 4 | 84.657
- Joie Gatlin | Colande | 4 | 85.838
- Antonio Maurer | Uno nMomento | 8 | 83.465
- Ivonne Balz | Unique Star | 8 | 83.681