In a thrilling evening at Sonoma Horse Park, Jill Humphrey on Zubleim, owned by Alicia and Chris Foster, emerged victorious in the $25,000 Classic Equine Equipment Grand Prix!30 riders entered the class, with a large field of 17 riders jumping fault free to return for the jump off.
Tonight’s Grand Prix also served as a NAJYRC Young Rider Trial, bringing six riders 20 years of age and under to compete for their spot on the Young Rider team. Uma Oneill and her own, Clockwise of Greenhill Z, led the NAJYRC tonight. Oneill and Eve Jobs were the only two young riders who had jumped the track clear.
Riders were asked to tackle the course, by Heiko Wahlers of Germany, in 88 seconds. This is Wahlers first time at Sonoma Horse Park, adding to the impressive list of venues he has designed. Time allowed appeared to be a factor for some in the course consisting of a triple combination, double combination, open water and bending lines, but tonight produced mostly clear rounds.
When asked what Humphrey thought of the course, “The course was great, up to par with the standards as the courses have been all week. This class was full of quality horses, and talented riders and the stars aligned for that many people tonight. Quality courses and great footing has encouraged all the horses to jump super this week.”
First to go in the jump off, Humphrey set a blazing fast time of 42.150 and the only rider to leave out a stride in the first line, laying down a time that couldn’t be beat. Olivia Brown and Cash, owned by Heather Nicholson, was the only pair to come close. Brown took home the red ribbon with a quick time of 43.047. “I haven’t shown Zubleim since November, and I am so thankful to Alicia for giving me the ride on him today. He was spectacular. I have to thank everyone who brings this all together, my team, owners, and the show,” said Humphrey.
Uma Oneill was the top scoring young rider, going double clear with a jump off time of 46.565. This was a great step on her goal of heading to Kentucky for the NAJYRC finals over the summer. Oneill was all smiles leaving the ring, “I am very happy with my horse, and after a few minor setbacks, I am excited with how far we have come. Next we are headed to the Oaks, and then hopefully Kentucky.”
Congratulations to all of the riders on a wonderful class, and to Jill Humphrey and Zubleim on the win. We are now looking forward to a successful Sunday, and the HMI June Classic on June 10-14.