Temecula, California – April 20, 2022 – The sun shone over Galway Downs on day one of the Temecula Valley National Horse Show as competitors were warmly welcomed back to the 2022 season for the Temecula Valley National Premier I. Show jumping athletes took to the Grand Prix Arena for the feature class of the day, the $5,000 1.35m Welcome, sponsored by Tack of the Town. Over a course set by Germany’s Olaf Petersen Jr., 43 horse-and-rider combinations navigated the first-round track. Of those 43, 19 completed the course fault free and advanced to the jump-off to claim top honors. Ultimately, it was Mavis Spencer securing the first big win of the 2022 season aboard Con Calle.
Petersen Jr.’s course featured 11 numbered obstacles with 14 efforts total, featuring an oxer-vertical double combination and a vertical-oxer double combination, plus several tricky bending lines across the expanse of the Grand Prix Arena. Riders who navigated the first round clear and within the time allowed of 85 seconds immediately advanced to the jump-off, which was shortened to just seven obstacles. With only a few options to take inside turns, riders galloped between fences in the jump-off in order to cover ground and take the win.
First in the ring, Misti Cassar and Casino jumped to a clear first-round effort but accumulated faults in the jump-off. The first double-clear effort came from Jamie Sailor (USA), who piloted Fire Flash Toltien to a jump-off time of 39.731 seconds. Shortly after, Spencer and the 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding, owned by Georgy Maskrey-Segesman, cut two seconds off the leading time, clocking in at 37.449 seconds. Picking up a gallop from the start, Spencer pulled off the first optional inside turn before stepping on the gas pedal and subtracting strides, opting to not take the second two inside turns but rather keep on the galloping pace, which proved effective as the pair slid into a convincing first place.
Jake Endicott (USA) and Carisma, an 11-year-old Hanoverian mare owned by Christa Endicott, gave their best effort, speeding around the short course and subtracting strides, but came up just short of Spencer’s time, taking over second place, which would hold through the end of the class. Sailor and Caroline Mittler’s 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare placed third as the class drew to a close. No pairs in the second half of the order of go were able to successfully dethrone the top three riders.
Earlier in the day, athletes vied for top honors in the 1.40m Open Jumper class. Set in the two-phase format, each combination tried to navigate a clear round over the first half of the course and then kick into their speed gears in order to set the fastest time in the second phase. Ultimately, Hanna Mauritzson and Unique Star, owned by Ritz Fuente LLC, claimed the class with a second phase time of 31.85 seconds.
Temecula Valley National Premier I continues on Thursday with the $10,000 1.40m Speed Classic, sponsored by CWD, which serves as a qualifier for the 1.40m division of the inaugural National Equestrian Tournament, which will take place during Temecula Valley National III from June 1-5, 2022.
From The Winners Circle
Mavis Spencer (USA) – $5,000 1.35m Welcome Winner
On Con Calle:
“‘Calvin’ is one I’ve had basically since I started working for Georgy [Maskrey-Segesman]. He won the Grand Prix my first show back after the COVID shutdown in 2020 here, which was really exciting because it was my first grand prix in about two years and my first show with the horse. He won this class last year. Hopefully it bodes well for the rest of the week. He’s one that you never have to worry about running him one day to the next. He’s 13 now so he knows his job. I can just come out and blast around and we know each other really well so I can take risks in places where other people wouldn’t. I’ve got three really good ones; hopefully I didn’t use all my luck today!”
On today’s course:
“I thought it was a really good course. I think you had options in a couple of places, even when I walked I thought I’d do seven up the first line, and you could do eight or nine up to the double. For a first day class I didn’t think it was too big by any means. I think it was inviting and gave you options to work with what your horse was going to be best at. In the jump-off there were some inside turns – I only ended up doing one but he’s so quick across the ground I kind of knew I could leave strides out on the front side and still be quick, which worked out. Since most people are coming back from a big show break, I had the benefit of being on a really fast 13-year-old that I know really well; I knew I could still blast around today and not feel like I ruined the rest of my week or that he wasn’t ready to do that.”
On the Temecula Valley National Horse Show:
“Temecula, for me, has always given me such great memories. All my horses love it. Coming here and having this facility and the footing and the jump selection and the course building and the atmosphere and environment – every time I come here I have an incredible time. I’m super lucky to have the group of horses that I have and to be able to go to this show in Southern California. I’m so grateful to Ali and Francie for creating this. I got back on Monday and just looking around at everything they’ve done. As a rider it’s such a pleasure to come to a place like this and it makes it more special because we’ve had so many weeks off now. It’s nice to start this way.”
Final Results – $5,000 Welcome, Sponsored by Tack of the Town
1) Mavis Spencer (USA) & Con Calle – 0 / 0 – 37.449
2) Jake Endicott (USA) & Carisma – 0 / 0 – 38.235
3) Jamie Sailor (USA) & Fire Flash Toltien – 0 / 0 – 39.731
Source: Press Release by Tori Bilas / Phelps Media Group for Temecula Valley National Horse Show
Photos: © Phelps Sports / Tori Bilas