Temecula, Calif. – June 2, 2021 – Nilforushan Equisport Events’ Temecula Valley National III kicked off on Wednesday, June 2, seeing the West Coast’s top hunter exhibitors return for another week of world-class competition. One of the day’s highlight events of the Hunter Arena, the $5,000 NEE 3’6”/3’9” Hunter Classic sponsored by CWD, saw some stiff competition, but in the end, it was Jamie Sailor who piloted Skyhawk to the winner’s circle.
Starting her day off in the venue’s newly improved Grand Hunter Arena, Sailor and Skyhawk, a 12-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Laura Wasserman, expertly navigated around the Performance 3’6” Hunters course to claim a blue ribbon in both of their rounds, earning scores of 84 and 82 respectively. Taking a confident lead in the division going into Thursday’s classes that will decide who takes the championship title, Sailor was also named the winner of the $5,000 NEE 3’6”/3’9” Hunter Classic, sponsored by CWD, for her effortless and stylish rounds that earned a total score of 166. With her first round score of 82 and a second round score of 80, the pair earned a total of 162 for the Classic.
Taking second place in the 3’6”/3’9” Hunter Classic was Kaitlin Campbell aboard Playmaker, a 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Ali Filler. The red ribbon in the first round just behind Sailor, and third place in their second round also positioned them well in the Performance 3’6” Hunter division standings going into Thursday.
In the $5,000 NEE 3’3” Hunter Classic sponsored by Hygain, Tory Bova claimed the victory aboard Caresso, an 11-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Katie Kotler with a combined total score of 172. The pair was awarded an impressive score of 87 in their first round, and another great score of 85 in their second round to secure the Classic win. Taking the Classic’s second place honors was Nora Thomas and Campari, a 12-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Gabrielle Moline. Earning a first round score of 85, a second round score of 82, and a combined total of 167, they took home the red ribbon on the first day of the Temecula Valley National III competition.
In the combined Green 3’9” Hunter and High Performance Hunter division, it was Ilana Halpern and Long Game, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion owned by Peggy Towers, who took the clear lead following their stellar trips around the Hunter 1 Arena that made a lasting impression on the judges. Sitting pretty going into Thursday’s final rounds, the horse-and-rider combination will put their best foot forward to defend their lead against Mimi Harwell and Gold Coast, a 9-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Alexa Collins, currently sitting in second place.
In the Green 3’6” Hunter Dezraye Choi and Quax, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Eavan Bronfman, are leading the competition going into Thursday’s final day for the division. Claiming two blue ribbons in their over fences rounds and second place in the under saddle, the pair positioned themselves well to strive for the division championship. Following closely behind in the second place position are Denise Tilley and Oliver Van De Leeuwerk, a 7-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding owned by Christine Appelkvist.
Hunter competition will resume at the Temecula Valley National III on Thursday, June 3, seeing new division champions crowned. The day will also feature the $5,000 NEE 3’6”/3’9” Hunter Classic, held in the Hunter 1 arena.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Jamie Sailor – $5,000 NEE 3’6”/3’9” Hunter Classic Sponsored by CWD Winner
On leading the 3’6” Performance Hunter division and Winning the NEE 3’6”/3’9” Hunter Classic sponsored by CWD:
“I was very happy with how he jumped and how he was feeling. Unfortunately, we were not able to do the derby on Monday because there is a 24-hour rule. My goal was the [$25,000 USHJA International Hunter] derby, and I loved the fact that there was a derby on Memorial Day, but we were at a previous show on Sunday and I just couldn’t get here. So, we just decided to do the 3’6” [Performance Hunter] division and he stepped right up to the plate. I think it is really cool that there is a nice $5,000 classic [NEE 3’6”/3’9” Hunter Classic sponsored by CWD] for the division. We got pretty decent scores and took home the blue. I was very proud of him.”
“He is owned by Laura Wasserman, and I ride for Meadow Grove [Farm]. He is a big boy, but he definitely finds some lightness. Watching him go he is light on the ground and for being a big boy it is surprising how talented he is. He has done all the big derbies and that is generally the direction we go, but he moves well, he jumps beautifully, he is super fun to ride, and he definitely knows his job. As long as I can point him at the middle of the jump and find the distance I mean he definitely loves to win. He knows when he is in the winner’s circle. So when he was coming back up with the blue ribbon on he was very happy. I could see it in his eyes, I just love him.”
On Nilforushan Equisport Events:
“We come here often. I really enjoy it and I think Ali [Nilforushan] is a great showman because he puts on other events, not just the horse show. And he makes the horse show like an event, not just a competition. I really enjoy that aspect of it. The VIP area is beautiful, I love the venue, and we are out here in wine country, so I think it is nice to be able to go wine tasting. I enjoy the area and I appreciate everything Ali does to try and make our sport better!”