Rich Fellers and Flexible Win $50,000 Sunshine Series Grand Prix at National Sunshine Series I

THERMAL, CA (November 3, 2015): Showjumping returned to Southern California this past week with the National Sunshine Series at HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal, California.  Hailed as this Fall’s premier boutique show, Nation Sunshine Series I featured thrilling competition in preparation for week two, which features an all-new FEI CSI-5* jumping division.

Rich Fellers, of Wilsonville, Oregon, and Flexible, owned by Harry and Mollie Chapman, gave spectators a beautiful effort to win Sunday’s $50,000 Sunshine Series Grand Prix. Fellers, a familiar face at the HITS Desert Park, sped through the jump-off course to earn the blue ribbon, a $15,000 check, and a boost of confidence going into next Sunday’s $350,000 Sunshine Grand Prix FEI CSI-5*.

Of the round one entries, six riders went clear over the 13 effort course designed by Olaf Petersen Jr., of Muenchen, Germany, to secure a spot in the jump-off. First to reenter the ring was Jenni McAllister aboard Here I Come, owned by, and clocking in at 51.126 the pair took home the first clear round of the jump-off and set the bar for the remaining five riders.

Second in the order, Karl Cook, and Basimodo, owned by Signe Ostby, chased McAllister’s time to beat and they did just that, finishing clean in a time of 45.083 for the lead.  The next two entries attempted to follow Cook’s lead and although clear, they weren’t quick enough to take the top spot away from him.

Fellers and his chestnut stallion were fifth in the order and ready to shake up the leader board. Zooming through the course in a quick 42.917, a full two seconds faster than Cook, Fellers staked his claim for first.  With just one jump-off entry left, onlookers wondered if Fellers had it in the bag or if the last rider would swoop in for the win.

Cook, on his second mount of the day, Tembla, owned by Signe Ostby, took the final trip of the afternoon knowing what they had to do to win. Cook navigated through the course without a misstep along the way, but finished with a time of 43.217 that wasn’t enough to take first from Fellers and landed him in second.

Third place went to Cook and Basimodo, while fourth place was awarded to Enrique Gonzalez and his own Chacna. Matthew Williams and Valinski S, owned by Wyndmont, rounded out the top five. 

Place Horse Owner Rider Prize R.1 Faults JO Faults JO Time
1  Flexible Harry & Mollie Chapman Rich Fellers $15,000 - - 42.917
2 Tembla  Signe Ostby Karl Cook $11,000 - - 43.217
3 Basimodo Signe Ostby Karl Cook $6,500 - - 45.083
4 Chacna Enrique Gonzalez Enrique Gonzalez $4,000 - - 46.071
5 Valinski S Wyndmont Matthew Williams $3,000 - - 47.545
6 Here I Come Jenni McAllister $2,500 - - 51.126
7 NKH Selena  NKH LLC Christian Heineking $2,000 4 - -
8 Santos  Carlos Hank Jr Enrique Gonzalez $1,500 4 - -
9 Semira De Saulieu  Brookelane Farms Lane Clarke $1,500 4 - -
10 Lapsus du Lavoir Prentiss Partners Francie Steinwedell-Carvin $1,000 4 - -
11 Juncal Woodgrove Farm Guillermo Obligado $1,000 4 - -
12 Cash  Heather Nicholson Olivia Brown $1,000 8 - -

Rich Fellers and Flexible on their way to a $50,000 Sunshine Series Grand Prix win at National Sunshine Series I in Thermal, CA. 
$30,000 SmartPak Grand Prix
The weekend kicked-off on the right foot for Olympic Gold Medalist Eric Navet, and Signe Ostby’s Catyspo when they claimed the first place in Friday’s $30,000 SmartPak Grand Prix. Besting a field of 34 competitors, including the likes of Rich Fellers and John Pearce, Navet added the Grand Prix win to his already impressive resume to take home $9,000 prize.

Eleven riders went clear over Petersen’s round one course and would move on to an eight obstacle jump-off. Things heated up when the fourth entry, Lane Clarke and Semira De Saulieu, owned by Brookelane Farms, entered the ring. Ready to impress, they cruised to a clean finish in a time of 37.064 to take their spot at the top of the leader board.

Next in the order was Christian Heineking riding AJE Cluny, owned by AJE Equitation. Trying to top the previous trip, Heineking raced through the course and finished fast, but not fast enough. A clean round and a time of 37.27 placed Heineking just behind Clarke.

Enrique Gonzalez and Santos, owned by Carlos Hank Jr., were eighth in the order and the next to give the current leaders a run for their money.  Clocking in with a time of 36.980 and an intact course in their wake, Gonzalez took over the top spot for the time being.

Tenth to go was Heineking on his second entry, NKH Quanto, owned by NKH LLC. Knowing just what he had to do, he led his partner to a clean, fast finish in a time of 36.739 to switch up the leading spot once again.

Navet, the final entry of the day, was in it to win it, and did just that finishing clear in a time of 36.288 for first, bumping Heineking and NKH Quanto to second, Gonzalez to third, Clarke to fourth and Heineking and AJE Cluny to fifth. 

Place Horse Owner Rider Prize R.1 Faults JO Faults JO Time
1  Catyspo  Signe Ostby Eric Navet $9,000 - - 36.288
2 NKH Quanto NKH LLC Christian Heineking $6,600 - - 36.739
3 Santos  Carlos Hank Jr Enrique Gonzalez $3,900 - - 36.980
4 Semira De Saulieu  Brookelane Farms Lane Clarke $2,400 - - 37.064
5 AJE Cluny AJE Equitation Christian Heineking $1,800 - - 37.271
6 Basimodo Signe Ostby Karl Cook $1,500 - - 37.272
7 Revenge Shelley Fellers Rich Fellers $1,200 - - 37.780
8 Valinski S  Wyndmont Matthew Williams $900 - - 40.360
9 Lapsus du Lavoir  Prentiss Partners Francie Steinwedell-Carvin $900 - 4 37.163
10 Arivaderci Alex  Pamela Bilek Peter Petschenig $600 - 4 39.224
11 Here I Come Jenni McAllister $600 - 8 43.582
12 Edesa's Basantos  Edesa Horse Promotions Inc Chris Pratt $600 3 - -

(C) ESI Photography
Eric Navet and Catyspo win the National Sunshine Series I $30,000 SmartPak Grand Prix in Thermal, CA