From Pony Derby to Grand Prix–Jackson Brittan Wows Crowd
Parker, CO–The $40,000 Weathertech.com Grand Prix presented by Wells Fargo Advisors was the highlight of week five of the Colorado Summer Circuit. Thirty-one competitive horse and rider pairs tested their mettle against a challenging course set by Anderson Lima, with eight jumping clean to advance to the second round. Talented riders like Hector Florentino, Maggie Jayne, Kelsey Thatcher and Bjorn Ikast gave the jump-off a valiant effort, but Canadian Olympian John Pearce had another victory in his pocket.
Seemingly unstoppable, Pearce has become a frequent presence in the winner’s circle, this being his third win in five weeks of shows. This week his World Equestrian Games’ partner Chianto was the winning ride, with stablemate Johnny B Good finishing eighth.
“I’ve been riding for 41 years,” reported Pearce, “and I’m just starting to figure it all out!” Following in his father’s footsteps, Pearce began riding when he was 11 years old. He attributes his interest and passion for horses to his father.
Like Pearce, Kelsey Thatcher, of South Jordan, Utah began riding at a young age, in her case, the ripe old age of three. Now just 20 years old, Thatcher has become a strong competitor in both the hunter and jumper ring. During this Grand Prix, Thatcher bested many other top riders to take home the second-place red ribbon on her horse Dulf Van Den Bisschop, a ten-year-old stallion by Heartbreaker out of a Vigaro Mare.
Though Thatcher and her mount have obviously clicked as a fantastic pair, their backstory demonstrates how the transition to the top can be an interesting one. The stallion was originally purchased for Thatcher’s younger sister as a jumper, but Kelsey soon had the ride on the athletic horse, first trying the hunter ring. Although he jumps in magnificent form, Thatcher soon concluded that Dulf Van Den Bisschop was actually best suited for the jumpers. The duo has only had a few competitions together, but the Grand Prix ring is clearly where this exceptional horse belongs.
“I just tried to keep his head on straight while in the ring,” revealed Thatcher. “With a big crowd of people and distractions, you need to be overly ready to answer the course’s questions.”
Finishing in third, was Bjorn Ikast, a CHP favorite for 18 straight years. Ikast rode his horse, the aptly named Colorado, as the closer in the jump-off. Strategically, Ikast chose to focus on precision over speed, locking in his third-place ribbon. Ikast is undoubtedly a wise rider, with his horse and its future in mind.
“It was a great day,” said Ikast. “My horse is jumping well and we’re at a top facility with a friendly atmosphere. The horse park is continuously improving.”
Christopher Murphy, Managing Director at Wells Fargo Advisors, agreed. “We are excited to partner with the Colorado Horse Park,” he explained. “It’s a privilege to be here. It’s a fantastic venue.” Wells Fargo Advisors have had great success sponsoring Grand Prix Show Jumping events in other parts of the country. Murphy continued, “We are excited to hear [show manager] Pat Boyle’s plan for the future and be a part of it.”
“CHP is always making positive changes with competitors, spectators and sponsors in mind,” shared Brian Curry, Vice President of CHP. “We have been working around the clock for nearly a year to get new jumps in the ring and make improvements to the facility, and we’re happy with the park’s evolution.”
From the Pony Derby to the Grand Prix
Another highlight of the Grand Prix was young rider Jackson Brittan. Brittan is just 13 years old and jumped alongside some of the North America’s top competitors in his Grand Prix debut. Riding a borrowed horse, Brittan had only one rail down, hinting at his promising future.
“It was awesome,” exclaimed Brittan. “It’s only my second week showing this horse and she was really good. It felt really cool to be able to do that for a crowd!”
Join us at CHP for the final $50,000 Parker Adventist Hospital Grand Prix on Saturday July 21at 4:30 p.m. For more information, visit our website at www.coloradohorsepark.com. Also check out our Facebook page for other upcoming events, photos and more.
The Colorado Horse Park would like to recognize their other generous sponsors:
Parker Adventist Hospital, Parker Hospital Foundation, Littleton Equine Medical Center, Platinum Performance, Kathy and Brad Coors, Friends of Walden Farm, Griffis Residential, Guaranty Bank, Murdoch’s Ranch and Home Supply, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Suzy Sweitzer, Gesco Nursery, Bessemer Trust, Holiday Inn, Super 8, Hampton Inn, Norstar Industries, Nutrena, Pfizer, Grand Meadows, A Bit of Tack, Horse Connection, Equine Comfort Products, Days Inn, Sidelines, Comfort Suites, Chronicle of the Horse, Jump 4 Joy and Wild Ranch.
Results $40,000 Weathertech.com Grand Prix Presented by Wells Fargo Advisors
|2||Dulf Van Den Bisschop||Kelsey Thatcher|
|4||Katie Riddle||John Mc Connell|
|5||Thomas Edison||Maggie Jayne|
|8||Johnny B Good (aka Verrochio)||John Pearce|