Temecula, California, USA – May 19, 2021 – Competitors descended upon the Grand Prix Arena at Nilforushan Equisport Events’ Temecula Valley National Week I to kick off three weeks of world-class jumper competition. 22 horse-and-rider pairs battled it out in hopes of claiming the premiere prize offering in Wednesday’s $5,000 1.35m Welcome Stake sponsored by ShowMD. Leaving the best for last was Kendall Gath (USA) and Corale Van’t Glemhof Z who swept in at the last minute to snag the blue ribbon.
Following several unsuccessful attempts to make it around Guilherme Jorge’s (BRA) 15-obstacle track fast and clean, Jamie Taylor (USA) and Chaman Semilly broke away from the pack expertly navigating the highly technical course leaving all the rails intact and within the time allowed of 76 seconds. Taylor and Ali Nilforushan’s 9-year-old stallion immediately proceeded to pioneer Jorge’s 7-effort jump-off. The pair were not only the first to go clean in the first round but also turned in a second clear with a baseline time of 32.805.
First to contend Taylor’s lead was Francie Nilforushan aboard Ali Nilforushan’s, Valentino Z. Competing head to head with fellow Ali Nilforushan student, the long-time duo blazed around the shortened course tripping the timers nearly a full second ahead of Taylor at 31.98. On their race to the finish, the duo caught an unlucky rail taking them out of contention for first place and settled right behind Taylor.
Halfway through the order, Charlie Jones (GBR) and Charismo Z entered the ring ready to take home a win. The pair rode the first round to perfection. After securing a chance at the jump-off, Jones amped up the pace in hopes of dethroning the now long-time leader. While he put forth a valiant effort, he and the Zangersheide gelding tripped the timers a fraction of a second too late with a time of 32.9 seconds.
Having the advantage of watching several jump-off rounds prior to her own trip, Allison Kroff (USA) had a game plan when she entered the arena. She and Elyse Buscema’s 9-year-old Hanoverian mare, Emmy Lu 3, kept their ride conservative and tidy in the first round, easily securing a chance at the blue ribbon. The duo shaved precious time on the shortened course by taking tighter turns and giving a gutsy gallop to the final fence. Their strategy paid off as the pair turned in an impressive time of 31.966 nabbing first place from the long-time leader, Taylor.
Jumper competition continues at Nilforushan Equisport Events’ Temecula Valley National Week I, presented by Interactive Mortgage on Thursday, May 20 with the $10,000 1.40m Speed Classic sponsored by CWD.
Kendall Gath – $5,000 1.35m Welcome Stake sponsored by ShowMD WINNER
On her relationship with her horse:
“I have had her for about 2 years now. Our relationship started off rocky because she is super hot and super sensitive, but she is also super careful. I had to learn how to ride her as accurately as possible. But, she has a massive heart, is super fast, and always tries as hard as possible. She is super careful so it makes my job pretty easy!”
On her plans for the summer:
“I ride with Cassio Rivetti, which I have had a partnership with since the beginning of the year. I do most of the shows on the West Coast, but this summer we will go out to Colorado and if Canada is open at that point we will head up there to do Thunderbird and Spruce Meadows.”
On her plans for the rest of the week:
“I am planning on doing the $10,000 1.40m Speed Classic tomorrow and if that goes well we will probably do the $40,000 Grand Prix on Saturday!”
On Nilforushan Equisport Events:
“I come to this show a lot. I love it and Ali does an amazing job, and the footing is spectacular. I was here in 2018 and 2019 and he has done a great job ever since. He has really brought the level up of a West Coast show which was really needed at that time.”
Final Results – $5,000 Welcome Stake sponsored by ShowMD WINNER
1) Kendall Gath (USA) & Corale Van’t Glemhof Z – 0 / 0 – 31.36
2) Allison Kroff (USA) & Emmy Lu 3 – 0 / 0 – 31.97
3) Jamie Taylor (USA) & Chaman Semilly – 0 / 0 – 32.81
4) Charlie Jones (GBR) & Charismo Z – 0 / 0 – 32.90
5) Rachel Glicklich (USA) & Mj – 0 / 4 – 30.79
6) Francie Nilforushan (USA) & Valentino Z – 0 / 4 – 31.99
7) Lane Clarke (AUS) & Venom – 4 / 69.22
8) Lisa Hansen (DEN) & Winchester Ii V Chapelbridge Z – 4 / 69.90
9) Katie Harris (USA) & Quantanamo Z – 4 / 70.80
10) Jamie Taylor (USA) & I’m Special – 4 / 71.80
11) Alexandra Biederman (USA) & Chazino – 4 / 72.11
12) Savannah Jenkins (USA) & Comrado 4 / 72.40
Source: Press Release by Olivia Airhart from Phelps Sports
Photos: © Emma Miller