Temecula, Calif. – May 28, 2022 – Spectators traveled from all over the country Saturday evening to watch 31 horse-and-athlete pairs contest for the win to wrap up competition at Nilforushan Equisport Events’ Temecula Valley National II. Saturday night’s $50,000 Grand Prix sponsored by Interactive Mortgage is the final Grand Prix qualifier for the National Equestrian Tournament. Observers packed the grandstands, ringside tent and VIP to watch horse-and-athlete combinations representing seven nations try their hand at Guilherme Jorge’s (BRA) technical 13-obstacle track. The field saw numerous professional and amateur riders, as well as multiple promising junior athletes. Ultimately it was professional rider Matt Archer (USA) and Luigi VD Bisschop that stood atop the podium after a thrilling 6-horse jump off.
Jorge’s tactfully set course was complex and required riders to utilize proper flat work in the turns to exhibit the best jumps out of their mounts within the time allowed of 84 seconds. The first round of competition impressed many of the horses, causing them to jump exceptionally carefully in the beginning of the course, using every bit of scope and athleticism to keep the rails in place. Exuberant hind ends and tight, square front knees were frequent scenes from the incredible field of horses that tried their hearts out over the difficult track. However, the combination elements of the first round kept horse-and-athlete pairs out of the jump-off through the entirety of the class. Jumps 12A-B in particular proved troublesome for riders as it was the final gymnastics element of the first round track that followed a built up wall and a triple bar accompanied by a liverpool. It left for heartbreaking rails for the majority of the field as horses settled into their jump and became causal that late in the track. Going second in the order, Matt Archer and Luigi VD Bisschop led the way and took well to the pressure of posting a fault free round as the first pair to jump clear.
Archer and Luigi VD Bisschop, owned by Rhys Farm LLC, had the most brilliant ride of the field. Not shaken by the high stake environment and taking the win during Temecula Valley National I in the $25,000 1.40m Speed Classic, the pair proved that they are a powerhouse. With pristinley perfected equitation, Archer was able to ride the 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding to a triumphant first round. The highly schooled gelding took to the track with ease, settling into the atmosphere quickly and rising to the challenge without question. The duo set the bar high for the rest of the class and remained the only pair to jump fault free until France’s Eric Navet gave him a run for his money aboard Cadillac Jack.
Coming in first for the jump-off round, Archer and Luigi VD Bisschop yet again put the pressure on the rest of the athletes with a clear effort and time of 37.313 seconds. Navet and Cadillic Jack entered the ring next to make a tidy, clear effort. Navet and the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Signe Ostby, stayed on Archer’s heels through the entire class. Eager to best the leading partnership, Navet left out a stride in the first line to compete for the first place position, but took a more conservative track in the final bending line adding just one more respective second to their time, leaving them with a red ribbon.
Hanna Mauritszon and Unique Star were fifth to go in the jump-off order and came in prepared to fight for their spot on the podium. To take the top spot the pair needed to be quick and clear to take over Archer’s long lasting lead. The sunset over Temecula was the perfect scene for the stunning 14-year-old Selle Francais stallion as he was powerful and did not crack under the pressure. Familiar with the Nilforushan Equisport Events’ Temecula Valley National Horse Show, Mauritzson and Unique Star posted two energetic rounds in exemplary jumper fashion. Utilizing the stallion’s cattiness for the turns, Mauritzson made all of the difficult inside turns; however, like Navet, added one extra step in the final bending line, putting them in third place.
Before the kick-off of the $50,000 Grand Prix, seasoned contenders took over the Grand Prix arena to try their hand at the $10,000 1.35m NEEd for Speed sponsored by First National Bank of Pasco. Coming out on top was Jamie Sailor aboard Kalina with a clear time of 62.489. Earning the second place title was Simon Schroeder aboard Centazar and wrapping up the top three was Jamie Sailor and Fire Flash Toltien.
Show jumping competition will continue Sunday, May 29th, with the Junior/Amateur Low, Medium and High Jumper Classics taking over the Grand Prix Arena to wrap up Nilforushan Equisport Events’ Temecula Valley National II. The final week of the Nilforushan Equisport Events’ Temecula Valley National Series kicks off Wednesday, June 1, and comes to a final conclusion on Sunday, June 5.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
On his feeling after the win:
“I am just super grateful. I am grateful for my wife, my children, and the support of Catherine Harvey. It is just a lot of gratitude.”
On Luigi VD Bisschop:
“He is just a wonderful, wonderful, good character. He is honest and brave. He has taught me how to jump bigger jumps and he has been the one to teach me how to do this. I owe him everything. He is careful. Just a brave, careful, amazing horse.”
On the plan:
‘Yes, we had to go really early in the order. We had walked originally out in 9 from the triple combination to the oxer at the end of the ring. My dearest friend Cassio Rivetti told me to lope up there in 8, and thank goodness he did that because 9 would not have worked. 8 was great and the rest of it worked out of rhythm.”
On the future with Luigi VD Bisschop:
“My big focus this summer is Traverse City. I am really excited about that now and then we are going to see what happens in the fall. We tossed around some ideas about going to Canada but it really depends on how things fall together. Right now we will drive home tomorrow and give the horses some time in the paddock before going to Traverse City.”
$50,000 Grand Prix
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / Country / R1 Time | R1 Faults / R2 Time | R2 Faults
1. Luigi VD Bissschop / Matt Archer / Rhys Farm, LLC / USA / 81.25 | 0 / 37.31 | 0
2. Cadillac Jack / Eric Navet / Signe Ostby / FRA / 80.41 | 0 / 38.32 | 0
3. Unique Star / Hanna Mauritzson / Ritz Fuente LLC / USA / 82.41 | 0 / 39.45 | 0
4. Di Caprio RV / Hannah Heidegger / Monarch International / USA / 82.91 | 0 / 37.20 | 4
5. For Gold / Alec Lawler / Alec Lawler / USA / 77.22 | 0 / 39.42 | 4
6. Dexter R / Kasey Ament / Lornnah Investments, LLC / 83.38 | 0 / 42.34 | 8
7. Parkmore Lux / Hanna Mauritzson / Ritz Fuente LLC / USA / 76.08 | 4
8. Testigo LS / Angel Karolyi / Angel Karolyi / VEN / 77.44 | 4
9. Chaccrobat / Mitch Endicott / Bridgeport Farms LLC / USA / 79.70 | 4
10. Uccello De Will / Joie Gatlin / Oakland Ventures LLC / USA / 79.78 | 4
11. Limbossini RC / Mark Watring / Mark Watring / USA / 81.25 | 4
12. Centurion / Sloan Elmassian / Sloan Elmassian / USA / 81.43 | 4