San Juan Capistrano, California, USA – August 28, 2021 – As the first entry in the ring for Saturday’s $15,000 1.35m Bronze Tour Jumper Classic at the Showpark Summer Classic, Hannah Selleck (USA) and Kasper van het Leliehof quickly took over the top of the leaderboard, and the pair never relinquished their winning position.
The duo produced a clear round with seeming ease, but it was not until 12 trips later and the final entry in the class that spectators at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano, CA, saw another faultless effort, this one turned in by Jason McArdle (USA) and Cabacento.
With only Selleck (USA) and McArdle (USA) qualified to jump-off over the Leopoldo Palacios-designed short course, Selleck (USA) was the first to return and finished on four faults in a time of 44.22 seconds. As two rails fell early for McArdle (USA), he elected to retire, knowing that the second-place honor would still belong to him and Cabacento, owned Fairbanks Valley Farms LLC.
With Selleck (USA) and McArdle (USA) taking the top two spots, third place with just three time faults went to Lauren Kolbe (USA) and her own Cooper 166. Fourth place also went to Selleck, this time as the fastest four-faulter aboard Rumpleteazer DF, owned by Descanso Farm.
“I was very happy that my plan worked,” said Selleck of her strategy for the course that she walked with Meredith Herman of Burgundy Farms. “I moved up in the order because Claire [Follmer], who was meant to go ahead of me, was putting in her studs. My horse was ready, and I had my plan, so I thought, ‘Let’s get on in there before Kasper falls asleep!’”
Selleck first took over the ride on “Kasper” in 2020 as a sales horse for her own Descanso Farm, and the 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding recently returned to Selleck following the conclusion of a lease.
“He’s a lovely sales horse,” said Selleck, who earlier in the week also rode Kasper van het Leliehof to a third-place finish in the $7,500 1.40m Silver Tour Speed Stake and a second-place finish in the $2,500 1.40m Silver Tour. “He started in the 1.30m and moved all the way up to the two-star and three-star level with me at [the Winter Equestrian Festival] and [the Palm Beach Masters] in 2020. Then he got leased out, and he just came back to me, so I’m lucky to get a little bit of time with him again. I’m looking forward to getting back in the two-stars for a little bit before we turn him back around.”
Of Saturday’s course, Selleck felt that it well-suited both Kasper and Rumpleteazer DF, providing each of them with opportunities to learn and improve.
“I always love Leopoldo; he’s technical and challenging,” said Selleck of the course designer who set the tracks all week on the Oaks International Grand Prix Field. “The track was super fun today. Your horse had to be careful to get in and scopey to get out. My other mare, Rumple, was great, but she had one down in the triple because she’s a little bit greener. She hadn’t seen all of that before, so it was a fabulous learning track for her.”
Also earning Bronze Tour victories throughout the Showpark Summer Classic were Jeffrey Fields and King-Boy in the $2,500 1.35m and Saturday’s second-place finishers, McArdle and Cabacento, in the $5,000 1.35m Bronze Tour Speed Stake.
Final Results – $15,000 Bronze Tour
1) Hannah Selleck (USA) & Kasper Van Het Leliehof – 0 / 4 – 44.22
2) Jason McArdle (USA) & Cabacento – 0 / 80.447 RT
3) Lauren Kolbe (USA) & Cooper 166 – 3 / 86.934
Source: Press release by Blenheim EquiSports
Photos: © McCool Photography