INDIO, CA (February 11, 2001)--Dick Carvin, 44, of La Canada, California, and the 12-year-old Holsteiner stallion Sam Malone, went double-clear today at the Indio Desert Circuit in California to win the $75,000 Bayer/USET Grand Prix presented by HorseCity.com. The win moved Carvin up to the top of the West Coast League standings to qualify for the World Cup Final that will be held in Goteborg, Sweden, in April. Three riders were faster in the jump-off--Richard Spooner on Bradford, Olympian Lauren Hough riding Clasiko, and Ray Texel on Fleur--but they all had faults and placed third, fourth, and sixth respectively. Second place went to Nicole Shahinian-Simpson on El Campeon's Jo Jo--the only other double-clear--whose performance was edged out of the win by just 0.84 seconds. Carvin took home $22,500 for owner Debbie Burrows. The event was filmed by Winner Communications and will be broadcast on ESPN2 on March 25 from 2:30pm to 3:30pm EST.
Dick Carvin and Sam Malone - $75,000 Bayer/USET Grand Prix presented by HorseCity.com
Dave Ballard of Toronto, Canada, was the course designer. Mr. Ballard was one of four Assistant Course Designers at the Olympics in Atlanta and in Sydney. Prior to today's class he said that the fact that the $75,000 Bayer/USET Grand Prix presented by HorseCity.com was a World Cup qualifier influenced how he would build the course. "Absolutely. Being a World Cup qualifier means that there is a pre-set difficulty factor. I'm not necessarily going to spend that much time looking at who's in the class, but basically the value of the class is that it is a World Cup qualifier, so it has to meet a certain standard. You shouldn't be able to win a World Cup qualifier here and then go to Goteborg in April and find out that it's a whole lot bigger. Goteborg is substantial. This year I am the Technical Delegate there so I have some say in how tough it gets. Olaf Peterson is the German Course designer."
For Round One, Mr. Ballard built 13 jumps including a double at Fence No. 4, a triple at Fence No. 7, and water at Fence No. 10. Time Allowed was set at 87 seconds. Thirty-five horses took the test that included several jumps set at 5' 2" high and spreads up to 5' 3". Seven riders had clear rounds and moved on to the jump-off.
Ballard built six jumps for the short course and set Time Allowed at 47 seconds. Carvin was third in the order of go and had the first clear round, setting the pace at 40.47. Nicole Shahinian-Simpson, 27, of Hidden Valley, California, riding El Campeon's Jo Jo owned by El Campeon Farms, was fifth to go but at 41.31, she had to settle for second place. Richard Spooner, 31, of Burbank, California, went last in the order with Bradford--hot off the win in Friday's $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix--and burned up the course in 35.84 seconds, but had a rail at the second-to-last fence for four faults, placing third for owner Tracy Kenly and Kenly Farms.
Carvin said his plan for the Indio Desert Circuit this year was to compete during Weeks II and III, use the off week to rest, then return to the ring for Weeks IV and VI. All of these weeks have a World Cup qualifier on Sunday. In last Sunday's Grand Prix Carvin and Sam Malone placed fourth. "Today's course was bigger," he said. "Time was tight. Last week was technical. I was clear in Round One the first two Grand Prix classes that I was in and you start to play games with yourself coming in. Can I do three clear in a row? He's jumping really well. He's great." Carvin went on to describe the learning process he's gone through since beginning his Grand Prix show jumping career last year that culminated in his qualifying for the World Cup Final held in Las Vegas. "Thierry Pommel held a USET show jumping clinic here at Indio before the circuit and he told me two things: One, that this horse can do it all--in flatwork he has equal-sided movement. Two, I can't afford to lose track of a step. I've been thinking about every step and I was really channeled, very focused today on every step. Last year, I was in the USET Clinic with Clover Heights. Ludger Beerbaum led that USET clinic and Clover Heights ended up winning two Grand Prix classes. The clinics have each given me something that I've tried to keep focusing on."
Carvin said that when he walks the course he sets his plan and sticks to it. "My horse doesn't have any weaknesses, so I have lots of options. I can decide on any plan and I always stick to it. Today, however, after the water to the Ford plank, I planned to do eight strides and he did seven. There's only so many times you can do that, so I said, 'Not at the last jump' and I added the stride he would have left out."
Dick Carvin and Sam Malone-winner: $75,000 Bayer/USET Gramd Prix presented by HorseCity.com. (l-r) Bill Kennedy, Jessica Benson, and Robbie Kennedy, representing the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation; Anne Moss, English Content Director, HorseCity.com; Terry Collier, Bayer; and Bob Standish, USET Executive Director
Last year's World Cup was Carvin's first year jumping indoors and his first international event. "I had to go. In this business, you never know if you'll have the chance again. It was over my head. The jumps were big. I put my horses through a lot. Right after the World Cup, I won the first Grand Prix I was in, the Memorial Day Classic. It came out well and I learned some things." Following the World Cup, Carvin went on the USET Developing Rider European Tour with Molly Ashe, Misti Cassar, Schyler Riley, and Marilyn Little. They competed in Spain and Dublin. "In Europe, you can't help but learn. It brought my focus and goals to another level. And here I am again facing the World Cup." Carvin says he has a lot of factors to consider before committing to going to Sweden to compete. "Last year it was in my own backyard. Sweden will be a foreign atmosphere with the biggest jumps. And this is my only Grand Prix horse. I'll have to make that decision. I'll talk it over with my wife." Carvin is married to show jumper Francie Steinwedell-Carvin.
Today's class was also a qualifying Grand Prix for the Cosequin U.S. Grand Prix League Invitational Finals to be held in Culpeper, Virgina, September
$75,000 Bayer/USET GRAND PRIX presented by HorseCity.com, February 11, 2001
Indio Desert Circuit III, Indio, California
Course Designer: Dave Ballard
Horse/Rider/Owner/Prize Money/Rd 1/Rd 2/Faults/J-O Time
1 Sam Malone/Dick Carvin/Debbie Burrows/$22,500/0/0/40.47
2 El Campeon's Jo Jo/Nicole Shahinian-Simpson/ El Campeon
3 Bradford/Richard Spooner/Tracy Kenly and Kenly Farms/$9,750/0/4/35.84
4 Clasiko/Lauren Hough/Clasiko Group/$6,000/0/4/40.32
5 El Capricho Farmer/Guillermo Obligado/Woodgrove Farm/$4,500/0/4/45.55
6 Fleur/Ray Texel/Beverly Hills Equestrian Park, LLC/$3,750/0/8/36.99
7 Maloubet/Hap Hansen/Linda Smith/$3,000/0/12/8.50.73
8 Apprapos/Michael Endicott/Martin Albertson & Rolling View Farm/$2,250/2/NA
9 Pershing/Ray Texel/Beverly Hills Equestrian Park, LLC/$750/4/NA
9 El Campeon's Circa Z/Nicole Shahinian-Simpson/El Campeon Farms/$750/4/NA
9 El Campeon's Ado Annie/Will Simpson/El Campeon Farms/$750/4/NA
9 Rio Grande/Jenni Martin/Augustin Walch/El Campeon Farms/$750/4/NA
9 Robinson/Richard Spooner/Half Moon Bay Investment Group/$750/4/NA
9 Incento/Richard Spooner/Oscany Inc./$750/4/NA
9 Libra/Jenni Martin/Karim Ghaibi/$750/4/NA
9 Grace/Tracy Fenney/Hidden Lake Farm/$750/4/NA
9 Favre/Kyle King/George/Kim Dixon/Kyle King/$750/4/NA
Number of horses who competed in this class:35
Class Prize Money: $75,000
HITS Indio Desert 2001 Show Jumping Action continues &
Circuit IV February 21-25
Circuit V February 28-March 4
Circuit VI March 7-11
$25,000 Ariat Grand Prix Every Friday1pm
$50,000 Rio Vista Grand Prix Sunday, February 25 1pm
$50,000 HITS Grand Prix Sunday, March 4 1pm
$50,000 East Meets West Hunter Challenge
Presented by The Chronicle of the Horse Sunday, March 11 8am
$150,000 Ford Grand Prix of the Desert Sunday, March 11 2pm
Special Day Events:
Heritage Palms Seniors Day
Presented by KESQ TV3 & Palm Springs Follies Sunday, March 4 11am-1pm
Fiesta DaySunday, March 11 11am-1pm