Rich Fellers (OR) did not need to call "911" for help when he stopped the timers in 36.911 in the $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix. Sixth to go in the eight-horse jump off, Fellers took on Juan Carlos Tafur Eisenmeyers technical jump off course. "I had a good position," commented Fellers after the class. "Not only did I go late in the jump off, but I had the advantage of having ridden the track on Amos." Fellers was very pleased with Gallaghers performance as the eleven-year-old gelding has been a challenging horse to develop. "He is kind of quirky, but I like that in a horse. He is also very powerful and scopey." This was Gallaghers first grand prix victory, and based on todays performance Feller plans to ride the horse in Sundays $75,000 Bayer/ USET Grand Prix.
Susie Hutchison (CA) made a welcome return to the jump off field aboard Jenny McLaughlins La Gometa. "It's really nice to be back," grinned Hutchison after her second place finish. W"e havent done that many jump offs so my plan was to go double clear, be smooth, and take my time. I do think she will be fast when she gets more experience," predicted Hutchison of the Eleven-year-old Holsteiner mare.
Fastest of the two four-faulters, Fellers was third with Amos. They finished in a time of 38.087 and Richard Spooner (CA) was the other four-fault rider aboard Jewel Thief (39.534).
Jeehye Lim (CA), an amateur, got a piece of the prize money aboard her Orkaan. Second in the original order, the pair was the first to post a clear round. In the jump off she accumulated eight faults and a time of 37.304. Nicole Shahinian-Simpson (CA) was thrilled with her new grand prix mount, El Campeons Petri. Although the pair had eight faults (36.186), Shahinian-Simpson was pleased that the relatively inexperienced horse handled the difficult course.
Fifty-five horses tackled Eisenmeyers course, and they found it challenging with jumping faults accumulated throughout the course. "I think this is challenging, no?" stated the Colombian course designer. "But not too hard. It will help them be ready for Sunday!"
Show jumping action continues this third week of the HITS Indio Desert Circuit, culminating with the $75,000 Bayer/ USET Grand Prix on Sunday.
$25,000 Ariat Grand
Prix - Friday, February 8, 2002
RESULTS SUMMARY (Top Eight Placings):
Place Horse Rider Owner Prize Money Rd 1/ Rd 2 Faults/ JO Time
1st Gallagher Rich
Fellers Harry & Mollie Chapman $7,500 0/0 - 36.911
February 10 11AM-1PM