San Juan Capistrano, California – July 31, 2021 – Joie Gatlin (USA) earned plenty of high fives on Saturday, July 31, after topping the $25,000 1.45m Silver Tour Markel Insurance Grand Prix with her mount High Five.
As one of the featured events of the Blenheim Racing Festival at Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano, CA, Saturday afternoon’s class attracted a large number of spectators to the Olympic Sand Arena. There, attendees enjoyed an exhibitors’ social featuring local food and beverage trucks in addition to the top equestrian sport on display.
In front of the crowd, 12 horse-and-rider combinations contested the course designed by Olaf Petersen before four of them ultimately advanced to the jump-off.
Hanna Mauritzson (SWE) and Parkmore Lux were the first to return for the short course, and they set the standard at a clear 36.401 seconds. As the third to return, Gatlin (USA) and High Five shaved tenths of a second off of Mauritzson’s time to clinch the win in 35.931 seconds. Rounding out the top three with four faults in a time of 35.409 seconds was the final pair to return, Bruno Diniz Dias Neves (POR) and Adele XIII . Fourth place went to Daniel Zilla (USA) and Chromatic who finished on eight faults in 35.883 seconds.
“I’m really pleased with him!” said Gatlin of High Five, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by JGMA Meadows. “We picked him up from Stal Hendrix in the summer of 2018 in Europe. So we’ve been bringing him along now for the last few years. He really didn’t know anything when we first got him. Jump-offs were very foreign to him. The prize giving ceremonies were very foreign to him, but he’s starting to understand that those are very important! He’s developed very nicely. He’s a very brave, very intelligent horse. He just keeps doing more and more.”
For the win, Gatlin was presented with a Shady Lady neck scarf and a $50 gift certificate to SmartPak, as well as 13 points toward the Markel Insurance 1.40m-1.45m Jumper Series standings. Saturday’s class marked the 10th of 15 classes in the series, which culminates in a $30,000+ finale at the Las Vegas National Horse Show in November.
Thus far, more than 60 riders have accumulated points toward the series standings, with the top 25 ultimately earning their spot in the final event. Leading the way in the standings with 58 points is Jason McArdle, while Nicole Haunert sits in second place with 46 points. Gatlin’s win on Saturday moved her up the leaderboard into sixth place on 40 points. (The full series standings are available to view here.)
“We’ll probably take a little break, and then we’ll be back in August to try to take a little more prize money home!” said Gatlin (USA). “I love showing here in the Olympic Sand Arena. It has a great feel. Today we had Olympic flags flying; we had Olympic music going, and we had a little Olympic feel to it. We had a nice crowd and a very supportive local crowd, which was really, really nice.”
Also earning Silver Tour wins throughout the week were Alexandra Biederman and Chazino in Wednesday’s $2,500 1.40m Silver Tour and Jason McArdle and Elicole in Thursday’s $7,500 1.40m Silver Tour.
The Silver Tour continues next week with the Blenheim August Festival, and Blenheim EquiSports is the #PlaceToJump all season long. Learn more and
Final Results – $25,000 Silver Tour Markel Insurance Grand Prix
1) Joie Gatlin (USA) & High Five – 0 / 0 – 35.931
2) Hanna Mauritzson (SWE) & Parkmore Lux – 0 / 0 – 36.401
3) Bruno Diniz Das Neves (POR) & Adele XIII – 0 / 4 – 35.409
Source: Press Release from Blenheim EquiSports
Photos: © McCool Photography