Double the Glory in the $25,000 Racing Festival Grand Prix
“What a great day for Indigo Farms! That was Cruise’s first grand prix. For him to jump double clear was amazing. He has a bright future. I’m fortunate to have owners such as Indigo Farms to support me with horses like G5 & Cruise,” remarked a pleased Pratt. With several technical lines, Guillermo Diaz designed a 16-effort course in a tight time allowed of 72 seconds. Over half of the entrants had time faults, including the first two on course. However, third to go Pratt on G5 set the stage for his fellow competitors. Proving that riding within the time allowed was possible, and without fault at that, the pair went clean in just over 69 seconds. Iran’s Ali Nilforushan and his own Pegasus as well as California’s brilliant pair Susan Hutchison and Cantano (El Dorado 29, owner) matched Pratt’s clean efforts. On his second of three mounts, Pratt once again jumped clean, this time aboard Cruise. Two from Mexico joined the jump off group: Octavio Penedo riding Don Arturo EquiSearch and John Perez aboard Utopia. Seventh clear was local Del Mar star rider Josephina Nor-Lantzman on Chello Z in their third grand prix outing together.
Pratt and G5 were first to negotiate the shortened track of eight fences. Clearly in to win, the well-matched pair had an unbeatable performance, crossing the timers clean in 33.03. Next in the ring, Nilforushan and Pegasus had the third to the last fence down in a time of 33.60 for four faults and third place. Always a force to be reckoned with, Hutchison and Cantano knew they had to be quick but pulled an uncharacteristic two rails at the last two fences on course for eight and a seventh place finish. Penedo in the tack of Don Arturo EquiSearch dislodged the third jump-off fence in a time of 34.26 for fourth place honors. Pratt returned to the ring next aboard Cruise and the pair sailed to second place with a double-clean performance in a time of 42.16. Perez went next on Utopia incurring a rail halfway through the course and stopping the clock in 37.84 for sixth. Last to give it a go was twenty-six-year-old Nor-Lantzman and Chello Z. The gutsy pair maneuvered the course in a time of 36.861 but just clipped the second fence for four faults and the fifth place award.