Encinitas resident Nicole Haunert took the top spot in the $25,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park at San Juan Capistrano, riding Calgary IV, owned by Cherokee Show Horses Inc. She also placed second aboard Jamaico Drum van de Breepoel, owned by NJK Show Jumpers, Inc.
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Encinitas resident Nicole Haunert earned the top spot in the $25,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park at San Juan Capistrano.
After finishing in second place the week before, it was Nicole’s turn to lead the victory gallop as she and Calgary IV, owned by Cherokee Show Horses Inc., wrapped up a very successful June series at the Blenheim Red, White and Blue Classic. John Pearce and his mount, Chantico, owned by Karen Ball finished in second place.
At the conclusion of round one, the only pair able to master Garcia’s course without accumulating any faults were John Pearce and Chantico. However, because this week’s Grand Prix was run as USEF Table II, 2(e), the top six riders were invited back, although carrying their faults into the second round.
The jump-off track proved equally challenging, seeing the first two riders, Marcelo De Los Santos Jr. aboard Cayetana, and Allison LaJoie on Delmonde, accumulating additional faults.
First to go clear in the second round, Michelle Parker and Guess, finished their jump-off in a respectable 47.727 seconds. However, their eight faults carried over from the first round would eventually land them in third place.
Up next, John Pearce and Seven Seas added six faults to their five-fault first round.
Following Pearce and carrying over a single time fault from round one, Haunert and Calgary IV dashed around the track with speed and precision, finishing clear in only 46.460 seconds.