Temecula, Calif. – October 20, 2021 – Week II of the Temecula Valley National Fall Series kicked off in the Grand Hunter Arena on Wednesday afternoon. Riders and their respective mounts took to the tree-studded ring to lay down solid scores for the first day of division competition in the Combined Green 3’3” and 3’6” Hunters as well as the Performance 3’6” Hunters. Eager to take home the last championship title of the series, competition was tight, though Molly Brock and Charismo took the early lead in the division. Nick Haness and Reese’s topped the leaderboard in the Performance 3’6” Hunter division heading into Thursday’s championship crowning.
Athletes first took to the ring for the combined Green Hunter division early on Wednesday morning. Following two over-fences rounds and an under saddle, it was Brock who led the field with her own 6-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Charismo. The duo took the second-place ribbon in the first over-fences round with a score of 80 points, only to top their efforts in the second over-fences round with a score of 84 points proving good enough to take the blue ribbon. Brock and Chad Mahaffey were tied on the leaderboard following the over-fences rounds, each taking a one-two finish heading into the under saddle. Mahaffey, who piloted Paperboy, the 7-year-old Zanfgersheide gelding owned by Julia Greenspan, tried to top Brock in the flat to secure the early lead but settled for a second-place finish on the flat behind Brock and Charismo.
Haness returned for the second week of hunter competition and continued his winning streak taking home two blue ribbons on the first day of the Performance 3’6” Hunter division, topping the leaderboard heading into Thursday’s final two rounds. Haness piloted West Coast Equine Partners, LLC’s 8-year-old gelding, Reese’s. He and the outgoing gelding laid down impressive rounds posting scores of 85 points in the first over-fences round, 83 points in the second over-fences round, and won the under saddle.
Haness originally imported the petite 16-hand-high gelding from Germany in 2018 and personally owned him for the first part of his career before being taken over by West Coast Equine Partners, LLC. He and the “late bloomer,” as Haness described him, have developed their partnership over the past three years taking top placings in numerous hunter derbies as well as winning the 2018 Young Hunter Championships. With plans to make “Reese’s Pieces” a top international derby mount, Haness continues to rack up division championship wins with the talented young mount.
Alexis Taylor, who also competed in the Temecula Valley National Fall Week I, returned with her trusty mount, Gatsby. The duo led the Performance 3’6” division last week heading into Thursday’s third and final over-fences round and the handy round but was ousted from the top of the leaderboard. Taylor and Alerono LLC’s 10-year-old Warmblood gelding, Gatsby returned to the ring eager to solidify a tricolor ribbon before the end of the two-week series. Though the pair did not take the lead in the division heading into the final day of competition, they settled into a close second taking home first place in the first over-fences class of the day with a score of 86 points. Taylor piloted Gatsby to two second-place finishes in the other over-fences round and in the under saddle phase.
Jumper competition at Nilforushan Equisport Events’ Temecula Valley National Fall Week 2 will continue Thursday, October 21, in the Grand Prix Arena for the Low, Medium, and High Junior/Amateur/Amateur-Owner classes before the class of the evening, the $20,000 1.40m Speed Classic sponsored by EquiFit.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Nick Haness – Performance 3’6″ Hunter division leader
“Reese’s is the perfect horse. I’ve had him since he was a 4-year-old and his very first horse show of his life was actually here in Temecula, so it’s kind of fun that he’s back here showing again.”
On the course:
“The jumps were awesome. There is kind of a new course this week. A different placement of the jumps but they brought in this new green jump that I think is really beautiful. It was a nice course for a nice sunny day.”
On future plans:
“My long-term plans with Reese’s are for him to continue winning the National Derbies and look as beautiful as I’ve ever seen him.”