Temecula, Calif. – June 29, 2020 – The first week of Nilforushan Equisport Events’ Temecula Valley National Summer Series, presented by Interactive Mortgage, concluded Sunday, June 28, but not before some of the top hunter riders on the West Coast pulled out all the stops in hopes of acquiring bragging rights in the $5,000 Equitex NEE Hunter Derby. Ultimately topping the field of 34 was Ilana Halpern and Peggy Towers’ Long Game, who turned in back-to-back high-scoring performances on the grass field to claim victory. Clea Caddell and Cavaljo, owned by Spyglass Hill, earned second place overall, and wrapping up the top three was Shiloh Roseboom and Enchantment Farms, LLC’s Venice.
Another feature class on Sunday’s schedule was the crowd-favorite $5,000 Hunter/Jumper Team Challenge, which partnered one hunter horse and rider with one jumper horse and rider, of which only one can be a professional, in a tag-team effort. Each rider jumped a shortened course, designed by John Manning, of six to eight jumps with hunter jumps set at 3’ in height and jumper jumps set at 1.20m. Scores were calculated by subtracting the time from the jumper portion of the course from the score awarded by a judge to the hunter counterpart to determine a final tally, with the highest score winning the day. The hunter half of the duo rode first over appropriate natural fences, followed by the jumper horse-and-rider pair navigating eight brightly-colored obstacles.
Topping the scorecard thanks to exemplary performances from both team members, Anna Moellenhoff and Roseboom rode away with the win. Jumping first as the hunter half of the duo was Roseboom aboard Enchantment Farms LLC’s Venice, followed by Moellenhoff riding Eliza Kimball’s Chemas as the jumper leg of the duo.
Wrapping up the week on a win in the $1,000 Amateur-Owner 3’3”/3’6” Hunter Classic was Christina Smith and her own Soon to Be, with second place awarded to Joie Gatlin riding Smith’s Chancellor. Owner-rider Natalie Medlock finished out the podium with Luciano.
The $500 Junior 3’6” Hunter Classic win went to Heaven’s Dream, ridden by Augusta Iwasaki and owned by Isabella Griffin. Iwasaki and Small Kingdom, owned by Iwasaki & Reilly, brought home the second-place honors. In the $500 Junior 3’3” Hunter Classic, Shiloh Roseboom rose to the occasion aboard Enchantment Farms LLC’s Likely Story to emerge victorious, with Tyler Adams and his own Fetish Du Roi following closely behind to earn the runner-up honors.
Hunter competition concluded Sunday, June 28, for the first week of the Temecula Valley National Summer Series, presented by Interactive Mortgage, and will return to Galway Downs on Tuesday, June 30, for the first day of the second and final week of competition, which will finish Saturday, July 4.