This year’s Sacramento International Horse Show from West Palms Event Management was a truly great event. There were perfect rounds, spectacular crashes, great feats of power, speed and courage…and adorable children on ponies (we all know the real winners there right?). This multi-day show featured some of the best hunter/jumper competition on the west coast and it did not fail to draw fans. If Friday night’s Lasher’s Elk Grove Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram Ride and Drive competition and 1.54m Grand Prix drew a crowd, Saturday’s Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Sacramento 1.6m competition drew a horde. They couldn’t have shoved more people in the arena if they tried and there wasn’t an empty seat in the house. The crowd was fabulous…hushed when rides started, appropriate gasps and groans at knocked rails, screams at some crashes and loud cheers for the winner. It was a fantastic experience for everyone, even for a laughing Richard Spooner after he crashed through the last fence in the jump off. The winner of the evening was Samuel Parot and his horse Atlantis (Chile). 2nd went to Quentin Judge on HH Copin van de Broy (USA) and 3rd went to Eric Navet on Jonkheer Z (France).
I was excited to see Rick Fellers and Flexible (though they knocked two rails as the first pair to go) and Will Simpson on his stunning mount The Dude (though they parted ways and were eliminated) even though neither made it to the jump off.
Here’s a video compilation of the jump off rounds and award ceremony in case you missed it. Enjoy!
After the evening wrapped up, I hauled my tired butt up to the press conference to hear what the winners had to say. They riders were more tired than I was, and didn’t talk too long (though their rides really did all the talking…especially the skill and speed of Samuel Parot). Riders and press dispersed, some to go work and others to party. I had a couple hour drive ahead of me so I skipped the after-party (maybe next year).
Now on to the rest of the show. I had some big favorites and these are what stand out to me most from the weekend.
- The Lasher’s Elk Grove Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram Ride and Drive was hilarious and amazing.
- I really enjoyed watching Kelly Mcknight ride his mare Zan Chin in a halter.
- Some spectacular hunter ponies and children. I really enjoyed watching these amazing little athletes on their feisty (and not always perfectly behaved) ponies.
- Friday Night’s 1.45m Grand Prix was a monster! 37 combinations went and it proved to be a hard course and just a few managed to go clear (Eric Navet was the winner on Jonkheer Z). It was a fun and long night of competition!
- I enjoyed watching each class of the Young Horse Finals. There was a lot of promising young talent featured.
There was of course a ton of other action (hunters, team competitions and wonderful clinics), but there was too much going on to catch everything! There was fabulous shopping and a couple of notable artists featured that I was excited to meet (look for a feature from Patricia Borum soon).
I apologize for the poor quality of the indoor photos. The lighting conditions of the facility pushed my camera (and my skills) beyond its limits. Hopefully you enjoy them anyways!