Temecula, Calif. – June 3, 2021 – Top-tier hunter competition resumed at the Temecula Valley National III, presented by Interactive Mortgage, on another sunny California day at Galway Downs. Riders returning with their mounts to the Grand Hunter and Hunter 1 arenas once again to vie for division championships, numerous winners were crowned as the day wore on. In the Performance 3’6” Hunter division, Savannah Jenkins and Gustavo Dudamel reigned supreme to take home the tricolor ribbon.
Jenkins and Gustavo Dudamel, a 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Heatherly Davis, started off their day on the right foot, navigating around the Performance 3’6” Hunter course in perfect form and cadence to grab the judges’ attention. Earning top placings in both of her over fences rounds, Jenkins and Gustavo were able to edge out the competition and be crowned the champions. Michelle Berry and Caprio 33, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Jeffrey McGuire, earned a close second finish in the division to take home the reserve championship honors.
The $5,000 NEE 3’6”/3’9” Hunter Classic sponsored by Hygain saw a tough competition once again on Thursday, but in the end, Jamie Sailor and Princeton could not be caught. Sailor and Princeton, an 8-year-old Selle Francais gelding owned by A.F.M. Investments, earned a first classic round score of 84 and came back even better for their second round to be awarded an impressive score of 88. With their total score of 172, the pair was well in the lead to claim the 3’6”/3’9” Classic victory with their effortless rounds.
Finishing in second place for the Classic was Jenkins and Gustavo Dudamel. Although the pair started off their first round with a more modest score of 78, they upped the ante in their second round to claim a score of 87. Their combined score of 165 in the Classic was enough to help them claim the second place prize. Mimi Harwell and Gold Coast, a 9-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Alexa Collins, rounded out the top three with a combined total of 164.
In the combined High Performance/Green 3’9” Hunter division, it was Ilana Halpern and Long Game, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion owned by Peggy Towers, who took home the championship honors on Thursday morning. Halpern and Long Game, bringing their best to the Hunter 1 Arena, were undefeated in both of their over fences and handy rounds, as well as the under saddle portion. Pinned with three blue ribbons on Thursday morning, the pair was named the undisputed champions in the series’ final week.
Harwell aboard Gold Coast finished with the High Performance/Green 3’9” Hunter division’s reserve championship. Earning red ribbons in the over fences and under saddle, as well as yellow ribbon in the handy round, Harwell and Gold Coast sat comfortably in the second place position at the wrap-up of competition.
Hunter competition at the Temecula Valley National III will resume Friday, June 4, with the ASPCA Maclay riders taking center stage in the Hunter 1 arena.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Savannah Jenkins – Performance 3’6” Hunter Division Champion
On Gustavo Dudamel:
“His name is Gustavo Dudamel. I think this is just the third time I have ridden him. He is a little bit green to the hunters, and he came from doing 1.30m so we decided he wanted to try this and so far so good. He has been good so far. He is super willing, he jumps unbelievably, he is beautiful, and he just needs those finishing touches and he is going to be awesome.”
On Gustavo Dudamel’s plans for the rest of the week:
“He will go and do the adult hunters and then the derby on Sunday so that is his plan for the rest of the week.”
On Nilforushan Equisport Events:
“It is like none other in California. WE basically changed our entire show schedule when we came here the first time and Ali has done an amazing job. The footing is amazing. The hospitality is amazing. My parents even flew out from back East to come here because I told them how amazing it was. They got to hang out in VIP, and it feels like a European experience which is awesome for us, especially since we cannot go there. It is just unbelievable and so horse-friendly while also bringing in spectators. Every time I come something is different. Something has been upgraded or changed and I think by next year it is going to be unbelievable. We love it, just absolutely love it.”