Bjorn Ikast Wins Colorado Horse Park $25,000 Grand
CO Riders from over 30 states, Canada, Mexico, the Dominican
Republic, Denmark and New Zealand converged in Parker, CO during
the second week of the 2004 Colorado Horse Park Summer Circuit.
We are thrilled with this years attendance. The event
is at capacity, said show organizer Charlotte Skinner. This
show offers wonderful international competition. Everyone really
enjoys this series.
Ikast and I.Z.s Lifetime claim victory in the $25,000 Colorado
Horse Park Grand Prix.
Photo by Horse and Ryder Photography
a field of 33, Bjorn Ikast of Mexico City, Mexico turned in a fast
double clear round to win the $25,000 Grand Prix. One of only four
riders jump clean over Scott Starnes challenging first course,
Ikast and his 11-year-old Russian Stallion, I.Z.s Lifetime
mastered the derby fields terrain, lengthy course and technical
am very, very happy with this win, commented a smiling Ikast.
This is his first event back after a three month break and
to start off our U.S. tour with a win is amazing. Going first in
the jump-off, I knew there were three very fast riders and horses
behind me so I had to just go for it. Ikasts speed and
gutsy turns, including a near impossible angel on the last fence,
a huge triple bar, earned him the win in 42.675 seconds and left
the crowd gasping in amazement.
comments regarding three fast challengers were well founded as Mexico
Citys Antonio Maurer and his horse Odamildo turned in a jump-off
time a mere .286 seconds slower than the winner.
place went to John McConnell, who is based at the Colorado Horse
Park, on his horse Spanish Eyes with four faults and a jump off
time of 43.675 seconds. The crowd favorite was all smiles as he
galloped past the stands in the victory round.
place belonged to Elani Rager of Albuquerque, NM on her horse Chamonix.
The success was a dream for Rager, who has owned Chamonix since
she was a foal.
and competitors alike enjoyed the challenges presented by course
designer Scott Starnes. He explained his plan, By using the
derby field, I am able to incorporate terrain into the questions
being asked. The course begins with a vertical going towards the
in-gate to get horses moving forward. From there, the course becomes
big and technical. Fence seven, a white skinny vertical set two
strides off a steep incline, really demands focus and adjustability
on the part of the horse. The last line also demands attention from
both horse and rider. At the end of a long course this line going
away from the in-gate asks for a forward four [strides] to a snug
two [strides] requiring concentration.
$25,000 Grand Prix is a warm-up for the AGA $40,000 Rocky Mountain
Grand Prix on July 17 and the AGA $60,000 Grand Prix of Denver Presented
by Dillards and Ariat on July 24. But thats not all the prize
money to be won; there is the $100,000 bonus offered to the horse
and rider that win all three grand prix. Although riders have come
very close to earning the bonus in previous years, it has remained
unclaimed. Will this be Ikasts year?
are welcomed at each grand prix. Tickets are just $10 for adults
and $5 for children under 12. The AGA $40,000 Rocky Mountain Grand
Prix begins at 5:00 p.m. on July 17. Opening ceremonies begin at
4:00 p.m. on July 24. Tickets are available by calling 303-841-5550
or at the gate. VIP tickets, which include hospitality on July 24,
are $65. Parking is free. Snacks, dinner and equestrian-themed shopping
are available on the grounds.
Colorado Horse Park is a 501 (c) 3. Visit www.coloradohorsepark.com.