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Tahoe Mexico's Javier Fernandez Wins $15,000 Open Jumper Prix With Loreto at HITS Tahoe Week II

MINDEN, NEVADA (July 6, 2001)- Javier Fernandez, of Zapopan Jalisco, Mexico, riding Loreto, won the $15,000 Open Jumper Prix at HITS Tahoe II in Minden, Nevada, today. Fernandez out-jumped a field of 24 horses and took home $4,500 for owner Charles R. Parks of the U.S. Today's course designer was Michael Curtis of Tucson, Arizona.

For Round One, Curtis built a 12-jump course that included an oxer-vertical-vertical triple combination at Fence No. 6 and an oxer-vertical double at Fence No. 9. Time Allowed was set at 100 seconds. Two horses were eliminated on course. Seven horses had clear rounds and moved on to the jump-off.

On the short course, Curtis used Fences 2, 3, 4, 5, 9AB, 10, 11, and 12. Time Allowed was set at 45 seconds. First to go was Jenni Martin of Central Point, Oregon, and Careless, the pair that won this class last Friday. Martin set the pace with a clear in 33.987, but her double-clear today proved only good enough for fourth place. Next in the order was Kandi McCoy of Leona Valley, California, the Cosequin® USGPL Rookie of the Year in 2000, with Careful 019, but today McCoy retired on course after failing to clear Fence 10. Third in the order was 16-year old Ashlee Bond of Hidden Hills, California, who won the $50,000 Cosequin Grand Prix on July 1 at HITS Tahoe with Lapaloupe and was second with Pablo. She rode both horses in Round One today, but only qualified with Pablo for the jump-off. Bond and Pablo were clean in 31.823 seconds, making her the new leader with three riders to go. Andrea Hill of Sacramento, California, on Prinzess lowered the first fence for four faults in 32.526 for fifth place. Fernandez and Loreto went next and chased Bond, besting her time by almost a second with his clear in 30.834, taking the lead for the win. Two riders followed Fernandez, Leslie Steele of Calabasas, California, on Technicolor, who had two fences down for eight faults in 32.677, taking sixth. Last to go was Steve Bond, Ashlee's father, on Fabius who raced to the finish, with Ashlee audibly shouting to him over the final fence. Bond finished in second place with a clear round in 31.494.

Fernandez said he watched some of the riders go before him in the jump-off. "I saw the girl, Ashlee, who won the Grand Prix, go and she was incredible. I went fifth and there were just two clear. I knew I just had to go around clear and fast. In these kinds of classes, the difference in time is not in seconds, but fractions. I saw Ashlee, and she was very fast in 31, and I had 30, then the last rider, her father, had my heart pounding, he was so fast. But thank God everything was good for me."

Fernandez arrived with Loreto last weekend and has been competing since the start of HITS Tahoe II on Wednesday. Loreto is a 10-year old Holsteiner that Fernandez has been riding for two years. Fernandez said that he plans to compete at the HITS Tahoe circuit for the next three weeks, including the Grand Prix classes on Sunday. "I wanted to ride in this class and then decide about the Grand Prix," said Fernandez. "Now with a first place with this horse, of course I'm going in the Grand Prix. I love him. He's a very nice horse."

According to Fernandez, his father is an international course designer who built courses at the Sydney Olympics along with his friend, Leopoldo Palacios, and Fernandez is also planning to design courses internationally. "I love to design. I am a candidate for international course designer credentials with the FEI. I love everything about courses," he said. Assessing the course he jumped and won today, Fernandez said, "The course was very good. There were some combinations with medium strides-for example from Fence 10 to 11 you had to do 5-1/2 strides, then you had to shorten in the combination."

Fernandez brought only one horse, Loreto, to HITS Tahoe and has been competing in one class every day. On Wednesday they won the $500 Preliminary Jumper 2, and on Thursday, the pair was second in the $1,000 Open Jumper class. "Yesterday and the first day were easier than today," said Fernandez. "But the courses are a little bit more difficult each day. The Grand Prix will be even more difficult, but that's great for the horses to keep going up."

$15,000 Open Jumper Prix, July 6, 2001
HITS Tahoe II, Minden, Nevada
Course Designer: Michael Curtis
Pl#/Horse/Rider/Owner/Prize Money/Rd 1 Faults/J-O Faults -Time
1 Loreto/Javier Fernandez/Charles R Parks/$4,500/0/0-30.834
2/Fabius/Steve Bond/Steve Bond/$3,300/0/0-31.494
3/Pablo/Ashlee Bond/Ashlee Bond/$1,950/0/0-31.823
4/Careless/Jenni Martin/Augustin walch/$1,200/0/0-33.987
5/Prinzess/Andrea Hill/Rudy Leone&Leone Equestrian/$900/0/4-32.526
6/Technicolor/Leslie Steele/Nancy Markwell/$750/0/8-32.677
7/Careful 019/Kandi McCoy/Aspen Springs Ranch/$600/0/VW
8/Landaris/Jennifer Rossire/John Ducharme/$450/ 1-1/4/NA
9/Sunrise/Julie White/Douglas White/$450/4/NA
10/Delta Frenchy/Damian Gardiner/Delta Farm/$300/4/NA
11/Alcatraz 34/Jenni Martin/Augustin Walch/$300/4/NA
12 Delta Pablo Van Papingro/Damian Gardiner/Delta Farm/$300/4/NA
Number of horses that competed in this class:
Class Prize Money: $15,000

Week I June 27-July 1
Week II July 4-8
Week III July 11-15
Week IV July 18-22
$50,000 Cosequin® Grand Prix Sunday, July 1 1pm
$50,000 EMO Grand Prix Sunday, July 8 1pm
$50,000 Coldwell Banker ITILDO Grand Prix Sunday, July 15 1pm
$100,000 Rio Vista Grand Prix Sunday, July 22 1pm
Resort Sports Network's Kids Day presented Sunday, July 8 10am-1pm
by Douglas County Parks and Recreation
Department and Douglas County Library
Seniors Day presented by Douglas Sunday, July 22 10am-1pm County Senior Services and Douglas County Library

DIRECTIONS: From the Reno/Tahoe airport (about 40 miles), travel south on Highway 395 to Minden; at Stockyard Road, turn left; show grounds entrance is on the left. From Lake Tahoe (about 12 miles), take Route 207 (Kingsbury Grade), cross Foothill Road to Mottsville, proceed 3 miles; turn left onto State Highway 395 North; turn right at Stockyard Road; show grounds entrance is on the left. From Minden (about 2 miles), follow 395 North; turn right at Stockyard Road; show grounds entrance is on the left.

HITS TAHOE: 1901 N. Hwy. 395, Minden, Nevada, 89423. Phone during show dates: 775-783-8907.

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