Friday night’s $25,000 Surfside Grand Prix Presented by iJump Sports is always an exhilarating experience for spectators. The class began with 60 starters, including top international show jumpers, including Richard Spooner, Will Simpson, Rich Fellers, Mandy Porter, and Nayel Nassar.
This speed class, designed by world renowned course designer Marc Etter of Switzerland, was created to test the competitors’ speed and agility. In addition to being agile and quick in the speed class, the horses and riders need to be tidy and leave all the jumps up, too, in hopes of moving on to Saturday night’s $100,000 Grand Prix of Del Mar Presented by Pacific Sotheby’s International Equestrian Division!
The course contained a triple combination across the diagonal and an oxer-oxer combination on the long side of the arena, for a total of 15 efforts. There were a few single fences where the riders were able to lengthen their horse’s stride in an effort to stay under the time allowed of 82 seconds.
In the end, it was Mandy Porter and Coral Reef Ranch’s Coral Reef Follow Me II taking home the blue ribbon in the qualifying speed class. Michelle Parker and Cross Creek Farms’ Cupilor took second and Jennifer Gates and Evergate Stables’ Pacific Des Essarts rounded out the top three. What a great class!