Temecula, Calif. – May 25, 2022 – Horse-and-rider pairs returned for more action at Galway Downs kicking off the second week of the Temecula Valley National Horse Show in the Grand Prix Arena with the feature event of the evening the $10,000 1.35m Welcome Stake sponsored by BioXcellerator. With only a few qualifying classes remaining before The National Equestrian Tournament finals hosted during TVNHS III, riders were eager to top the podium in hopes of not only taking home the largest portion of the purse but also having the opportunity to jump for even bigger prize money pots the following week. In the end, it was Jessica Gleason and Cerafina who led the victory gallop.
A total of 28 riders contested over Olympic course designer Guilherme Jorge’s (BRA) 14-effort track. With a time allowed of 84 seconds in the first round, the competitors and their respective mounts twisted and turned around the expertly manicured arena facing numerous challenges on course including a sizable triple combination, a precarious plank jump, and many new, flashy fences that many of the horses had not seen before proving an added distraction for the riders to keep their eyes on.
With an emphasis on speed and strategy as opposed to calculated carefulness and technique, Jorge’s course saw the first horse-and-rider pair go double clear setting the precedent that it would be a race to the finish. Carla Diewert and Cogito were the first to pioneer the track setting the bar at 37.737 seconds. She settled into an early lead and waited with anticipation to see if her lead could stick.
Eager to top her performance in the $10,000 1.35m Welcome Stake just weeks earlier During the Temecula Valley Premier, California professional Jamie Sailor returned to the ring aboard her trusty mount, Fire Flash Toltien. She and Carolyn Mittler’s 12-year-old KWPN mare showed the buzzing crowd just how serious they were laying down the fastest first-round time. The duo proceeded to the immediate jump-off with fervor taking a technical approach to the tight and concise shortened track. Sailor and Fire Flash Toltien raced over the final vertical to trip the timers in 34.686 seconds, nearly three seconds faster than Diewert and securing her place at the top of the leaderboard for the moment.
The middle of the pack, try as they might, were not able to catch Sailor’s speedy trip. Temecula Valley National first-timer, Jessica Gleason, made the trek all the way down from Portland, Oregon where she bases her training and sales business, to show against the best of the best. She and her own 16-year-old Westphalian mare breezed through the first round with ease and had their chance to go head to head with Sailor’s yet unbeatable round. Cerafina, her partner of six years, flipped the switch picking up a swift canter that opened and gained speed as the second-round course went on. The compact, nimble mare was able to take the tightest turns of the bunch saving precious time on the clock. The duo held nothing back picking up an open gallop to the final fence leaving out a stride and sailing over the finish to clock in at 33.005 seconds. The crowd, having thought they had seen the fastest round of the day broke out in excitement as Gleason laid down the round of the day rocketing to the first place position and leaving Sailor in second place.
Second to last in the class, Uruguayan grand prix show jumper, Kendall Gath, was prepared to give Gleason a run for the money leaving nothing on the table with The Equine Platform’s 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding, Buzz L’eclair Teamjoy. A familiar face at Galway Downs for the Temecula Valley Horse Show series, Gath posted several top placings earlier in the spring and was hoping for a repeat performance. Following their initial clear round, and with only one horse-and-rider pair to go after her, she put the pedal to the metal racing around the seven obstacle jump-off. With a swift flap of the arms she and the powerful gelding launched to through the beams. Swiftly turning around to see if she had bested the leaderboard her time of 34.682 fell just shy of a blue-ribbon but was fast enough to secure her a second-place podium, bumping Jamie Sailor down to third.
The excitement at Galway Downs continues at the Temecula Valley National II Thursday, May 26 with the $25,000 1.40m Speed Classic sponsored by Hygain.
FROM THE WINNER”S CIRCLE
Jessica Gleason – $10,000 1.35m Welcome Stake Winner
“She is a 16-year-old Westphalian mare. I have had her for six years and she is the light of my life and the reason I do this. She will literally do anything for me. She is like a vacuum. In the barn, she is off and in the ring, she is on. Otherwise, she is as chill as a cucumber but in the ring, she is on fire.”
On her plan for the jump-off:
“I was going to go fast. That was my plan. I was going to go fast. I was going to keep my horse connected and I was going to try and win. I knew I could be really fast from in the double. She can turn on a dime and I knew I was going to try and do the least amount of strides that I could.”
On the footing:
“I think it held up fantastically and I would not have changed a thing. My horse jumped amazing and I couldn’t have asked for her to do any better.”
On Nilforushan Equisport Events:
“I think it is awesome! It is actually my first time here. I am from Portland, Oregon so it is our first time down to Temecula and it beats the rain and I love it here. All of my good friends are here so I am having a great time.”
On her favorite part of a horse show:
“My favorite part of showing is going back with my horse, giving her lots of treats, and getting ready for the next day ahead.”
$10,000 1.35m Welcome Stake
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults | R1 Time / R2 Faults | R2 Time
1. Cerafina / Jessica Gleason / Jessica Gleason / 0 | 76.325 / 0 | 33.00
2. Buzz L’eclair Teamjoy / Kendall Gath / The Equine Platform / 0 | 77.035 / 0 | 34.68
3. Fire Flash Toltien / Jamie Sailor / Carolyn Mittler / 0 | 75.38 / 0 | 34.69
4. Cristal De Menardiere / Cassio Rivetti / Delaney Batter / 0 | 76.55 / 0 | 34.98
5. Imara M / Allison Kroff / TC Sport Horses LLC / 0 | 83.99 / 0 | 37.21
6. Cogito / Carla Diewert / Carla Diewert / 0 | 80.64 / 0 | 37.74
7. T-Quick Hurricane Z / Allison Kroff / TC Sport Horses LLC / 0 | 81.51 / 0 | 38.20
8. Tizian 79 / Eric Navet / Signe Ostby / 0 | 81.85 / 0 | 39.08
9. Zella 2 / Ariel Marx / Ariel Marx / 0 | 83.68 / 0 | 40.01
10. Gochka / Hudsyn Horn / Hudsyn Horn / 0 | 76.89 / 4 | 34.91
11. Hha Padden / Kristen Holwick / Kristen Holwick / 0 | 77.44 / 4 | 35.29
12. Chesterfield / Ava Spinale / Ava Spinale / 0 | 78.20 / 4 | 37.39