Jenny Karazissis and Big Shot Take the Lead in High Performance Hunter Division With a Hat Trick on First Day of Temecula Valley National II Competition

Temecula, Calif. – May 26, 2021 – Competition resumed at Nilforushan Equisport Events’ Temecula Valley National Horse Show for a second week of world-class competition at Galway Downs on Wednesday, May 26. The new and improved Grand Hunter Arena at the venue welcomed some of the west coast’s top hunter riders, looking to position themselves above the competition on the first day of classes before the division champions would be decided on Thursday. Jenny Karazissis aboard Big Shot meant business on Wednesday, putting down picture-perfect rounds and displaying their impeccable style to claim three blue ribbons and a clear lead in the High Performance Hunter division. 

Jenny Karazissis and Big Shot-2
Jenny Karazissis and Big Shot

For the show’s many hunter exhibitors, their focus on the first day of classes was to dazzle the judges right out of the gate, aiming to ride clean rounds in great style and form. No exception to the rule, Jenny Karazissis entered the scenic Grand Hunter Arena ready to make her presence known. Piloting Big Shot, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Dulcie Lou Morris, around the expansive arena, Karazissis put down a text-book first round, earning a score of 85 to claim their first blue ribbon of the day. 

Temecula native Jamie Taylor, riding both Casalino and Black Jack, also put in a solid first round on her mounts, earning scores of 76 and 78 respectively. Going into the second round, Taylor upped her game, riding Black Jack with ease around the ring to be awarded a score of 82. Although Taylor put forth a strong effort in her second over fences round, it was not quite enough to challenge Karazissis, who boasted the two highest scores of the day, one upping her first round score with an 86 in the second over fences class.

Jamie Taylor and Black Jack
Jamie Taylor and Black Jack

To close out their day and take an even tighter grip on their lead, Karazissis and Big Shot were also awarded first place in the under saddle finishing out their day with a hat trick. The pair will return to the Grand Hunter Arena Thursday  in hopes of earning the division’s championship honors. After securing a second place ribbon in the under saddle, Taylor and Black Jack are currently poised in second place going into the final day of High Performance competition, while her other mount Casalino sits in third place.

Jamie Taylor and Casalino
Jamie Taylor and Casalino

Competition at the Temecula Valley National II, presented by Interactive Mortgage will continue Thursday, May 26, at 8 a.m. with new champions being named in the High Performance Hunters, the Green 3’6” Hunters, the Conformation Hunters and the Performance Hunters. 


Jenny Karazissis – High Performance Hunters Division Leader

On Big Shot:
“This horse is so special. He is a little on the fresh side today but I’m really gearing up for Memorial Day’s International Derby, so I didn’t want to make him too tired just for this. He was just great. The Grand Hunter Arena is so grand, it’s really great to ride in. I love it, it’s a really nice setting. I enjoyed it out there.”

On riding in the Grand Hunter Arena:
“[Having the new barrier] really makes a difference. Someone mentioned it would be nice to block off [the back fencing] because some of the horses look past the railing there and get scared of the RVs, and boom, it’s done. It’s done already for this week! It really has made such a difference.”

Jenny Karazissis and Big Shot
Jenny Karazissis and Big Shot

On her rounds:
“I’m focusing on gearing him up for the Memorial Day International Derby. He handled it really well considering I think he wanted to explode today, but he managed to keep his composure and he jumped great.”

On showing at the Temecula Valley National II:
“It’s wonderful, we were here last week and had a blast. I’m really looking forward to this week and the International Derby!”

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