Temecula, Ca. – April 22, 2021 – Hunter riders flocked to the Grand Hunter Arena at Galway Downs Thursday, April 22 for their final chance to show off before the crowning of each division’s respective champions. After delivering solid performances in Wednesday’s initial showings, followed by stellar rounds Thursday morning, it was Jamie Sailor and Rainier who were awarded the coveted title of champion. Tricolors were also awarded to Jamie Taylor riding Ever So Often in the Green 3’6” Hunter division, as well as the Green Conformation Hunters where Leslie Steele and Aventus would rise to the occasion.
Thursday’s class lineup included another over fences round, as well a handy course. Riders were tested on their skill and accuracy in the handy with tight rollbacks and a trot fence to finish out the course. Following scores that would earn them two fifths over fences and a first in Wednesday’s under saddle, Sailor and Rainier delivered an elegant handy trip which would earn them a score of 85 and the blue ribbon in both of their over fences rounds Thursday morning.
Sailor’s partnership with Rainier is a fairly new one, with the Aquitaine Equine, LLC owned gelding only joining her roster in March of 2021. Sailor acquired the ride on the nine-year-old Oldenburg when student Kyra Russel began leasing him earlier this year, with Sailor piloting him to two championships now in their short time together while Russel shows him in the Junior Hunter division. Russel is planning to show the gelding, lovingly known as “Lucas” in the barn, in this year’s Junior Hunter Finals and Sailor’s plan is to help her keep him fit and prepared for the task while continuing to show him in the High Performance classes along the way.
The Green Conformation Hunter division also concluded Thursday with Steele and Aventus holding their lead from Wednesday to secure the championship. In the Green 3’6” Hunter Division, it was Taylor and Ever So Often who would solidify their lead and secure the championship after continuing on their streak of excellent performances from Wednesday.
Hunter competition will take the forefront in the Grand Prix Arena Friday, April 23 with the $15,00 USHJA International Hunter Derby in the afternoon, while the Junior divisions kick off for the week in the Grand Hunter Arena.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
“His barn name is Lucas and he is a new horse for us. Kyra Russel is leasing him for the Juniors, so he will continue this week in the Junior Hunters with Kyra. We got him from Florida and I think so far he is loving the California life. He has been really fun to work with, he listens and he has a beautiful stride and slow, soft jump. When we tried him in Florida I knew I really liked him. I am enjoying working with him so far. We showed him at [Blenheim EquiSports] and I was champion the first week in the Performance 3’6” Hunters on him, and that was the first time we showed him!”
On the future plans with Ranier:
“He was doing the High Performance back East. At [Blenheim EquiSports] I only did the Performance 3’6” Hunters with him so this is our first week in the High Performance and I think he did pretty well! I know he will do Junior Hunter Finals, which is really not meant for me but I am helping keep him trained up for Kyra as it is her horse.”
On her experiences with Nilforushan Equisport Events:
“I love it. I love it here. I have been coming here pretty much since the first show that Ali [Nilforushan] has had. He has done a great job with it. The changes he has implemented every time I come here are just remarkable. Especially this time with the permanent VIP area! The Grand Prix Ring is amazing and I like what they did with the Grand Hunter ring. I have shown here many times on the grass and I love the look of the grass, but it definitely had its challenges, so I really am happy to ride on the new, fancy footing here.”
On her transition to Meadow Grove Farm:
“Thank you to Susie Schroer at Meadow Grove Farm as I am new to them this year! I started with them December 1st and did all of Thermal with them. It has been really great and I am really loving it. I am so grateful for them for these opportunities and being able to ride these horses.”