Mary Tyng and Southshore were the only pair able to log a clear round among the eight horse and rider pairs jumping off for the top prize in today's $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix at the HITS Indio Desert Circuit. Show jumping action continued after a week break, and Tyng came into the second half of the Circuit ready for top competition. "I am not trying to qualify for the World Cup this year, so I planned a heavier season in the last half of this Circuit," said an ebullient Tyng after her victory.
Although Southshore is used to leading the victory gallop at the HITS Indio Desert Circuit, the brown half-Thoroughbred gelding is a new ride for Tyng. Southshore was one of the mounts contributing to Richard Spooner's 2001 HITS Indio Desert Circuit 2001 Leading Grand Prix Rider title. "We bought Southshore because he was a successful and seasoned grand prix horse," explained Tyng. "We are going through an adjustment period as we get to know one another, but he is so careful.? Tyng is quick to point out that Southshore is a California-bred horse by Joan Irvine Smith's famous South Pacific. "With so many horses being imported from Europe, we really need to promote our American-bred horses," emphasized Tyng.
Tyng was fourth to go in the jump off and posted the only clear round in a conservative time of 53.776. Two horses after her, Will Simpson had the time, 46.071, aboard El Campeon?s Ado Annie, but a rail at the Ariat vertical and then the final oxer dropped the pair to fourth. However, Simpson holds a commanding lead in the West Coast League World Cup standings. Ray Texel and his new grand prix mount, Lexicon, finished second with a time of 50.296 and four faults, accrued at the final element of the 5b-5c combination.
With half the circuit completed, the HITS Indio Desert Circuit Leading Grand Prix Rider standings are wide open, as no single rider has dominated the grand prix classes. In fact, no rider has posted double wins during the Circuit, speaking to the high level of competition present.
This fourth week of the Indio Desert Circuit also marks the first of seven Zone 10 North American Young Rider Selection Trials. The Indio Desert Circuit is hosting two of the seven trials, with the next one held during the final week of competition.
For Agate Records:
Place Horse/ Rider/ Owner/ Round 1/Jump-off Faults/Jump-off Time
1st Southshore/ Mary
Tyng/ China Blue Farm/ 0/0/53.776