Temecula, Calif. – May 30, 2021 – Amateur riders took to the Grand Prix Arena early Sunday morning for their final classes of the action-packed week at The Nilforushan Equisport Events’ Temecula Valley National II, presented by Interactive Mortgage. The day kicked off with the $5,000 Tack of the Town Junior/Amateur-Owner/Amateur 1.45m High Jumper Classic. Of the talented field, it was ultimately Jenny Calandra and Farambole who took home top honors in their first-ever 1.45m class.
The California native entered not one, but two of her own mounts in Sunday’s Classic, the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Farambole, and the 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Shantonagh, doubling her chances at a podium finish. Calandra was the first to navigate Manuel Esparza’s (MEX)’s 15-effort track, which featured two triple combinations, aboard Shantonagh. As her first ever 1.45m course, she played it safe, testing the waters aboard her more experienced mount. Though the duo tripped the timers with 8 faults, their performance would yield a third place finish. Calandra would return with one round already under her belt for a second chance at the first place podium.
Of the pack, none had yet to go clear over Esparza’s technical course. Nicholas Choi, who rode away from his round aboard his own 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, Grand Desert, with one unlucky rail, was the fastest four-faulter of the bunch. His quick, nearly clear round would place him in second just above Calandra and Shantonagh.
Knowing she only had to go clear and make it around the course within the time allowed of 84 seconds, Calandra focused on staying consistent over the fences as opposed to relying on sheer speed to win the day. Turning in a conservative ride aboard Farambole, the duo produced the best ride of the day turning in the only clear round and ensuring a first-place podium finish.
Also closing out their day with a blue ribbon was Sarah Freedman who took home top honors in the $2,500 Equ Lifestyle Boutique Junior/Amateur-Owner/Amateur 1.35m Medium Jumper Classic aboard Chicharito Blue. Also topping the field in their respective class, Brooke Mostman and Herma took the win in the $1,500 Voltaire Junior/Amateur-Owner/Amateur 1.25m Low Jumper Classic.
Competition at Nilforushan Equisport Events’ Temecula Valley National II, presented by Interactive Mortgage returns on Monday, May 31, with a Memorial Day celebration featuring the highly anticipated, $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. Competition continues for a dramatic third and final week on Wednesday, June 2, with highlight events such as the $22,500 Spruce Meadows 1.35m NEEd for Speed Final and Young Rider Trials.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Jenny Calandra – $5,000 Tack of the Town Junior/Amateur-Owner/Amateur 1.45m High Jumper Classic Winner
“I’ve had him since the end of October, he’s 11. He’s great, a good boy. Riding wise, he is probably the most balanced horse I’ve ever ridden. He has an amazing canter and is always so balanced. He is a taller horse for me, so it’s really fun to learn to ride something different than what I usually have. He’s very kind, he really wants to be good. It’s funny because he can be spooky sometimes, but not in a bad way, he acts like he really wants to be good! He’s a sweet guy, pretty chill!”
On her strategy for the course:
“This is actually my first time in the 1.45m on him, so I just wanted a good, positive round. I was really happy that I got that. That was my strategy, just being able to follow my plan on him and make everything positive for our first 1.45m together.
On the courses this week:
“I like the courses! I think they’re challenging but in a good way, nothing seems too out of the question. I’ve ridden him in the 1.30m and 1.40m, and my other horse in the 1.35m and 1.45m classes. They’ve all been nice! It’s a great show and the footing is good. We’re going to continue showing and hopefully be competitive in the 1.45m and see where that takes us!”