Spooner and Robinson Back on Top at Indio in the $75,000 Bayer/USET Grand Prix
Indio, CA - February 10, 2003 - Richard Spooner of Burbank, CA and his mount Robinson, owned by Half Moon Bay Investment Group, proved that the magic is still there by winning the $75,000 Bayer/ USET Grand Prix at the HITS Indio Desert Circuit. Always a strong contender in the Grand Prix ring at Indio, Spooner had an amazing 2001 season with Robinson, winning three $25,000 Grand Prix competitions, and a $100,000 Grand Prix at the HITS-produced Tahoe circuit.
The $75,000 Bayer/USET World Cup qualifying class attracted a field of 35 entries, including 26 World Cup hopefuls. With two World Cup qualifying classes left, the competition is heating up. Spooner's win has secured him 20 points towards a qualification for the Finals in Las Vegas, NV.
World-famous course designer, Olaf Petersen of Germany designed the 13-obstacle course. Petersen has been appointed as the course designer for the Athens Olympics in 2004, making him the first individual ever to be the course designer at two Olympic Games. Seven horse/rider combinations, including six World Cup contenders, mastered Petersen's course to advance to the jump-off.
Nicole Shahinian-Simpson of Westlake Village, CA, on El Campeons Cirka Z was the first to attempt the eight-fence jump-off, going clear in a time of 48.64 seconds. Gerardo Tazzer of Mexico on Chanel followed up with another faultless round, shaving almost four seconds off Simpson's time. Spooner and Robinson were the third in the order, and the pair blazed around the course in the winning time of 42.61 seconds.
Jeff Campf of Canby OR, on Lady D left all the rails up but could not beat Spooner's time. Sarah Baldwin of San Marcos, CA, and her mount Kiljoy Forever delivered another clear but clocked in at 46.53 seconds leaving Spooner still safely in the lead.
John Pearce of Stoufville, ON, riding Jamco's Champagne dropped a rail and left it to Eddy Sepul of Rancho Santa Fe, CA, on Edesa's Divine to try to best Spooner. Sepul knocked a rail at the double and it was all over. Spooner and Robinson fought a hard contest and emerged victorious in the $75,000 Bayer/USET Grand Prix.
Other major award winners at the Indio Desert Circuit III included:
Leading Hunter Rider - Peter Pletcher, Houston, TX
The Sunday crowd at the Indio Desert Circuit not only enjoyed a terrific display of horsemanship in the Grand Prix ring, but also enjoyed Kids Day presented by Fox 11 KDFX. Hundreds of kids and their parents were treated to entertainment including, a petting zoo, games, prizes, crafts, pony rides and face painting.
will resume at HITS Indio Desert Horse Park on Wednesday, February 19th.
The $50,000 Rio Vista Grand Prix will be the feature event of the week,
taking place on Sunday, February 23 at 1:00pm.
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