Sophie Simpson Sweeps the $5,000 CWD 1.35m Welcome Classic on Opening Day of Temecula Valley National Horse Show

Temecula, Ca. – April 16, 2019 – Tuesday saw the first day of competition in the Audi Grand Prix Arena at Galway Downs, kicking off the Temecula Valley National Horse Show (TVNHS) WCHR Premier Week. The highlight jumper class of the day was the $5,000 CWD 1.35m Welcome Classic featuring 40 competitive horse-and-rider combinations that were vying to establish a name for themselves early in the competition week. In the end, it was Sophie Simpson that sped to the win with Zeidler Farm’s Lady Margaret ZF in a time of 34.52 seconds. Angel Karolyi claimed second place honors with April Moon, while Cassio Rivetti piloted Footloose to round out the top three.

Sophie Simpson wins the $5,000 CWD Welcome Stake

Sophie was not the only Simpson to enter the Audi Grand Prix Arena, presented by Evergate Stables, with the goal of taking home top honors. Her father, Olympic gold-medalist Will Simpson, was also on the class roster aboard Whoop De Doo, owned by Coxe Farm, LLC. Tuesday’s class was not the first time that the father-daughter duo have gone head to head with Sophie prevailing. At last year’s inaugural TVNHS, she beat her father in the $10,000 1.35m class by only two-tenths of a second. Tuesday afternoon, Simpson’s race to the win wowed the crowd, proving that success runs in the Simpson genes.

Sophie Simpson on Lady Margaret ZF

Another commonality that the Simpson family shares is their time riding Zeidler Farm’s 10-year-old Canadian Warmblood mare, Lady Margaret ZF. Sophie took over the ride from her father in the early months of 2019, competing at HITS Thermal and the Blenheim Spring Classic before making their way to Temecula.

Angel Karolyi piloting April Moon

Venezuela’s Karolyi was the last competitor to enter the ring, wisely using his time to watch fellow competitors tackle designer Olaf Petersen, Jr.’s tricky course. Karolyi successfully navigated a clear first round, following up with a quick enough jump-off to earn the second place spot aboard Carl Rosenstein’s 11-year-old warmblood mare, April Moon. As an FEI World Equestrian Games™ veteran, Karolyi proved his skill with a tidy jump off, narrowly missing Simpson’s lead by less than one second, finishing on a time of 35.444 seconds.

Brazilian show jumper Rivetti had a busy afternoon riding three horses in the 1.35m Welcome Classic. Aboard his third and final mount in the class, Caliber Show Jumpers LLC’s Footloose, Rivetti clocked in a jump-off time of 38.108 seconds, rounding out the top three.

Cassio Rivetti on FootLoose

Show jumping competition at Galway Downs continues Wednesday in the Audi Grand Prix Arena, presented by Evergate Stables, at 8:00 am, with the feature $20,000 1.40-1.45m Speed Classic presented by Osphos later concluding the afternoon. The highly-anticipated $40,000 National Grand Prix, sponsored by Kindred Bio, takes place Saturday, April 20. As a designated WCHR Week, the horse show puts a spotlight on hunter competition, namely the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby as well as the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby.


$5,000 CWD 1.35m Welcome Classic
Place / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults | R1 Time / R2 Faults | R2 Time
1.   Lady Margaret / Sophie Simpson / Zeidler Farm Canada / 0 | 70.983 / 0 | 34.520
2.   April Moon / Angel Karolyi / Carol Rosentein / 0 | 75.892 / 0 | 35.444
3.   Footloose / Cassio Rivetti / Caliber Show Jumpers LLC / 0 | 77.008 / 0 | 38.108
4.   Colicchio / Kenneth Vinther / Kenneth Vinther / 0 | 71.195 / 0 | 38.269
5.  Dollar Girl / Rebecca Bruce/ Rebecca Bruce / 0 | 74.996 / 0 | 38.402
6.  Killosery Kuidam / Julia Nagler / Julia Nagler / 0 | 72.622 / 0 | 38.588
7.   Simpatica 33 / Wendy Thompson / Wendy Thompson / 0 | 75.966 / 0 |38.633
8.   Whoop De Doo / Will Simpson / Coxe Horses, LLC / 0 | 74.669 / 4 | 34.518
9.   Belize D’ive Z / Kaitlin Campbell / Sweet Oak Farm / 0 | 76.010 / 4 | 35.689
10. Cochabamba / Serena Anand / Serena Anand / 0 | 74.097 / 4 | 38.802
11. Gracile / Cassio Rivetti / Neil Jones / 0 | 75.467 / 4 | 40.050
12. Panama / Cassio Rivetti / Neil Jones / 0 | 79.436 / 4 | 46.905


Sophie Simpson – $5,000 CWD 1.35m Welcome Classic winner

On her strategy for the class:
“[Lady Margaret ZF] is a really fast mare, so I knew in the jump-off I could really take a shot. She’s jumping unbelievably today and I really thought I could take a good chance at the vertical; she helped me out there at the eighth fence, she was just great today.”

On her partnership with Lady Margaret ZF:
“She is 10 years old and Zeidler Farm Canada owns her. I rode her a little through HITS Thermal and my dad [Will Simpson] had her in his stable through Thermal, and then she came home with me right after. So I’ve had her for about four or five weeks.”

On competing against her family:
“It means a ton to me. We’re such a close-knit family and obviously it’s all with love and support, but we are definitely competitive. Last year here, I won the $10,000 1.35m class on a different horse but my dad, [Will Simpson], was just about two-tenths of a second behind me. We’ve kind of had this little battle going for the last year and to be here again and to beat him again was really fun!”

On showing at the Temecula Valley National Premier:
“This is just a great show. This is only the second year so it’s new for us, but it’s new and exciting, and Ali [Nilforushan] does an amazing job. The footing out here is unbelievable and he’s made great improvements to the other rings as well. I was only here for two days last year just to show in the grand prix arena for big classes, but as a rider the footing is something you look for in the facility, so he’s done a great job. The VIP is unreal – breakfast, lunch, and dinner are gourmet which is nice. He’s just done an amazing job. We’re so lucky to have another place to show here in California.”

On her plan for the rest of the week:
“Lady Margaret will probably do the 10 and Under [Futurity] class, and then I will try to use her to take my trophy back home for my $10,000 1.35m class, but tentative obviously. She was amazing today and I’m so happy with her.”

No Comments Yet

Comments are closed