Jun 16, 2024

Grandia Moves Into the Lead at Inaugural Aspen Farms CCI4*-S

By Chesna Klimek - Edited Press Release
Marc Grandia and Campari FFF. Ashley Kemp Photography photo

Yelm, Wash.—June 15—A big crowd gathered at Aspen Farms Horse Trials Saturday afternoon to watch the inaugural CCI4*-S division take on the show jumping track designed by Chris Barnard. Supporters, sponsors, competitors, and visitors enjoyed watching FEI show jumping during a 4-Star Reception with catered food and beverages, sponsored by Southern California Equestrian Sports.

The show jumping course proved influential—it narrowed the field in the CCI4*-S from five to four competitors and shook up the leaderboard.

Marc Grandia and Campari FFF, owned by Team Rebecca LLC, delivered the only double-clear show jumping round in the CCI4*-S, holding on to their dressage score of 32.9 and moving up to first place.

"He's a great horse," said Grandia. "He's an old friend to me at this point; we've been doing this a long time together. It was fun to get to go out there—and I don't want to say 'play around' because it's definitely hard work—but I didn't feel like I was on my game with him today switching between the two horses, and he's just happy to jump clear anyways. He's such a great horse to get to jump."

Grandia shared he's excited for cross-country on Sunday; in particular, "what I'm excited about is that we have a four-star in Washington in June. It's fantastic. The course looks amazing. Jonathan [Elliott] and the crew decided to do this four-star in May, really just because there was a need for it in our area. It doesn't matter how tomorrow goes—just the fact that they were willing and able to put it on is a wonderful thing for the development of our area. Everyone's here to help get ready to go run at Rebecca Farm in a few weeks."

The leaders after dressage in the CCI4*-S, Karen O'Neal and Clooney 14, owned by Annika Asling, dropped one rail and fell to second place on a score of 34.4.

"The course was great," said O'Neal. "It was very well designed. I'm just trying to make time in the show jumping. I've had a few courses where I've been very conservative, careful, and clean—I've been trying to step it up a bit to make time. His stride just got so big, and I didn't trust it and pulled; that's why we dropped one rail. But overall, he was going great, the footing was perfect, and it was so fun having the crowd. He woke up out there; he had the perfect energy."

Looking to cross-country tomorrow, O'Neal shared that, "the course looks good. We've competed here at Aspen Farms a lot, so he should be comfortable and not spooky. I feel confident about it!"

Sophie Click has two horses entered in the CCI4*-S and held on to third place, but did so with Tarantino 54, who was placed fourth after dressage. They added just one rail to their dressage score.

"The course rode really well," said Click. "It can be stressful in this atmosphere with everyone watching. I'm really proud of him and the way he jumped for me today. I hope I can bring that feeling into cross-country tomorrow. The cross-country course looks great. There are definitely some tough questions. I'll be rewalking the course tonight and again tomorrow morning, and I hope everything goes to plan."

Jen Moody and Eye Of The Storm added 20 jumping penalties which meant they received a compulsory retirement (CR) score and will not run cross-country.

Erin Grandia and Hyacinth.

The CCI3*-S proved to be a competitive division with 14 total competitors closely packed after dressage—less than 10 points separated first from14th in the division, leaving no room for error. The overnight leaders Tommy Greengard and That's Me Z, owned by Andrea Pfeiffer, took just one rail to move from first to third.

Erin Grandia and Hyacinth succeeded in delivering a double-clear round to break their earlier tie with Harper Padgett and Captivate and take the overall lead in the CCI3*-S on their dressage score of 31.4.

"She was great!" Erin shared after their show jump round. "She was listening and forward and all the things I wanted from her. I rode a little outside my lines because she has a big stride, and she likes me to ride forward, so the lines rode a little more forward than I expected which helped me out. She was unreal; it felt great."

Erin is confident heading into cross-country with Hyacinth because, "she loves to jump; it doesn't matter what it is. I don't go very fast on cross-country usually, so I'm going to be putting my foot on the gas pedal tomorrow and trying to practice that."

Marc and GHS Calexico, an Irish Sport Horse mare owned by the Colexico Syndicate, also jumped double-clear and moved from sixth to second in the CCI3*-S, less than 2 points behind his wife Erin on the leaderboard. "If anyone is going to be beat me, I'm glad it's Erin," said Marc. "But when she jumped clean, I thought 'Man, I better do it too now!' "

Marc was very pleased with his mare's performance in the ring: "She's fantastic. With her it comes down to me not screwing it up,” he said. “I had a nice tour around the course on my young horse earlier in the division. It was good to be able to go clean with Colexico after the mistakes I made with the first round. I'm looking forward to cross-country. The course looks fantastic. The ground is going to be wonderful with the rain we got. It's going to be just a little bit sloppy which is the way it rides best here."

Chloe Kischuk and Dassett Endeavour

In the CCI2*-S, Chloe Kischuk of California and her gelding Dassett Endeavour held their overnight lead despite having one rail. Asia Vedder and Isi are still in second, and Stephanie Goodman and Elwenda DP are in third.

"The course was lovely," said Kilchuk following her show jumping round. "It was fun to ride. There was just enough to do, but nothing terrifying. For tomorrow, the cross-country course looks like a challenge. The chevron skinnies are pretty big! But I'm excited to get after it. I think it will be so fun."

In Open Intermediate, Stephanie Goodman and her gelding Drs Resolute maintained their overnight lead, adding just 2 time penalties to their dressage score for an overnight score of 29.8. They are nearly 10 points ahead of their nearest competitors, Hailey Blackburn and Baral Villester on 39.6 and Mickayla Howard and HH Ontario on 43.4.

"I thought the course was great," said Goodman. "The sun was shining, and the footing stays really good here when it rains. I thought it was spooky enough and big enough. It rode really well. Chris always does such a good job with all the related lines."

Considering the Intermediate cross-country course set for Sunday, Goodman said, "I think it looks great. Morgan [Rowsell] always tries to throw in some accuracy questions for us. This is the best terrain in the country, and he used the terrain to challenge us tomorrow. I think it looks awesome."

Only one combination jumped double clear in Open Preliminary: Brooke Phillips and JL’s Dartagnan. They moved up from second to first after their clear ride, and they are going into cross-country tomorrow on their impressive dressage score of 19.7.

In Open Preliminary Sara Sellmer and JB Virgin Electric, owned by Jil Walton, are second and Greengard and I’m All In, are third.

There were no changes to the top three competitors in Preliminary Rider after show jumping today thanks to double clear rounds from all three. Madison Langerak and Normandy Kivalo, owned by Kelly Langerak, are leading the division on 26.1

Reese Blinks and I'M Jaguar are second in Preliminary Rider on 28.4, and Mickayla Howard and Miss Tique are third on 30.3

All six Novice divisions and five Beginner Novice divisions completed their cross-country rounds over the courses designed by Rowsell on Saturday. The mostly sunny day was punctuated by periods of rain.

All scores are available online here.

Follow along with more show coverage on Instagram @AspenFarmsHorseTrials

Or on the Aspen Farms Horse Trials Facebook page.

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