At the Del Mar International Horse Show on the Southern California coast, Mandy Porter spent her Saturday night by continuing to blaze a trail of winning rounds through high profile West Coast grand prix classes with the talented grey mare Eminent. Porter and Eminent topped a ten-horse jumpoff in a challenging class of 43 to win the $25,000 Del Mar Welcome Prix.
The locally-based grand prix rider who is still widely known for her success from 2006 – 2008 with another grey mare –the now-retired Summer– paired with Eminent, the David Murdoch and Duffy Sporthorses owned Oldenburg mare (Larino x Stakkato) earlier this year. California’s Lauren Kardel, who works in partnership with Duffy Sporthorses in Ireland, found the mare in Denmark and facilitated her development in Europe with Michael Duffy, and 2014 sale to the United States.
Since Porter picked up the ride on Eminent, they have gone from success to success on the West Coast circuit: by winning the venerable $40,000 Bentley Grand Prix at the Menlo Charity Horse Show in August, winning the $30,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix at the Blenheim Summer Classic, and the $25,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix at Showpark All Seasons. This latest victory at the CSI2* rated Del Mar International Welcome Week was perhaps the most difficult; with several of the United States’ very top riders ranked in the order and hot on Porter’s tail.
But Porter’s key was clinching a clear round, which she did as only one of four double clears with a jumpoff time of 78.536 seconds. Karl Cook was 2nd in 78.998 seconds with Caillou 24, and Michelle Parker placed 3rd. The aforementioned top-ranked riders included the new World No. 2 Beezie Madden, who was 4th with Quister, and World No. 7 Kent Farrington, 5th with Creedance.
Porter and Eminent were also well-placed in Friday evening’s 1.45m $25,000 LA Saddlery 1.45m Speed, finishing in 2nd behind Will Simpson and The Dude.
Competition continues through next week at Del Mar with an increase in rating to CSI4* and another chance for riders to earn World Cup Qualifying North American League points in the $150,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Del Mar Grand Prix CSI4*-W.