National Sunshine Series II Round-Up

Thermal, CA (November 17, 2016): The second week of the 2016 National Sunshine Series included a combination of spectacular events, great weather and three FEI CSI-4* classes along with a $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. Riders, trainers and owners, along with their family and friends, settled at HITS Desert Horse Park to enjoy the experience.

The atmosphere was electric for a great, season-ending horse show. Not only did HITS Desert Horse Park play host to a competitive FEI Week and Hunter week, but young riders turned out for the inaugural NCEA Junior Hunt Seat Medal West Coast Finals, as well as the Zone X Equitation Finals. 

$200,000 Sunshine Grand Prix FEI CSI-4*

Spectators filed into the stands to witness the grand finale of the two-week series on Sunday. The weather was just right for a big afternoon competition, and the jump-off would prove nothing short of exhilarating.

Kevin Babington scooped up the win with his dynamite mare Shorapur, owned by Shorapur, LLC.
In a seven horse jump-off, Babington came in as the last trip in the order to steal the victory with a fault-free round in 43.23, just a hair quicker than second-place Nayel Nassar aboard Lordan with a 43.66-second round.

“It was a strong, [FEI] 4* Grand Prix on Sunday, I thought the course suited the class and there were plenty of talented riders and horses there,” said Babington. “I really enjoyed being out here for both weeks.Obviously the weather is really nice— the horses seem very happy here, they’re relaxed.
Third place went to Mexico’s Enrique Gonzalez piloting Chacna—they too clocked in clear, but in 43.73, just behind Nassar.
Place Horse Owner Rider Prize Rd. 1 Faults JO Faults JO Time
1 Shorapur Shorapur, LLC Kevin Babington $66,000 0 0 43.23
2 Lordan Nayel Nassar Nayel Nassar $40,000 0 0 43.66
3 Chacna Enrique Gonzalez Enrique Gonzalez $30,000 0 0 43.73
4 Atlantis Samuel Parot Samuel Parot $20,000 0 4 40.78
5 Stranger 30 The Stranger Group Andrew Ramsay $12,000 0 4 44.19
6 Lafino 4 Katie Harris Katie Harris $9,000 0 4 47.13
7 Apex Emma Catherine Reichow Harley Brown $6,000 0 8 49.21
8 Catypso Signe Ostby Eric Navet $5,000 4 - -
9 Flexible Harry & Mollie Chapman Rich Fellers $4,000 4 - -
10 Zantos II MKO Equestrian LLC Andrew Kocher $4,000 4 - -
11 Quintol  Eduardo Menezes Eduardo Menezes $2,000 4 - -
12 NKH Calango  NKH LLC Christian Heineking $2,000 4 - -
(C) ESI Photography
Kevin Babington and Shorapur on their way to a $200,000 Sunshine Grand Prix FEI CSI 4* win. 
(C) ESI Photography 
Kevin Babington winning the $200,000 Sunshine Grand Prix FEI CSI 4*
$50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
Saturday’s course, designed by Rian Beals of Saugerties, New York, was bright, beautiful and nothing short of supreme-caliber competition standard. The riders were also thrilled to show beneath the lights of the newly updated Grand Prix Ring.

“I really enjoy building the courses for the hunter derbies,” said Beals. “We can get creative with the natural elements used in the fences to create a very interesting challenge for the horses and riders.”

A crowd gathered at an exhibitor party during the derby to watch riders and horses go head-to-head for the prestigious title. John French would be the rider to take home the victory in Saturday’s Hunter Derby with Center Court, owned by Hiller Farms, LLC.

“It was nice showing in the Grand Prix ring, and all of the horses all seemed to jump well,” said French. “The course was nice and allowed for some areas with tighter turns that you could try—that’s good when there is a variation of what you can and can’t do in the course; the jumps were very nice as well.”

French and Center Court took the blue with an overall total score of 374, nearly twenty points above the competition.

“My plan was to play it a little safe— I wanted to be handy but also prudent,” said French. “[Center Court] was super smooth, and although we didn’t take all of the height options, it worked out well getting a high score from the judges. It’s also really nice to have this kind of prize money for the hunters on the west coast.”

Second place went to Hope Glynn riding Lake of Stars, owned by Sabrina Hellman. Third place was Sami Milo and Lulavani, owned by Cavallo Stables, LLC.
Place Horse Owner Rider Prize Rd. 1 Total Rd. 2 Total Overall Total
1 Center Court Hiller Farms, LLC John French $15,000 178 196 374
2 Lake of Stars Sabrina Hellman Hope Glenn $11,000 175 182 357
3 Lulavani Cavallo Stables, LLC Sami Milo $6,500 165.75 141 356.75
4  LEGIS Venice Jenni McAllister $4,000 175.8 126 351.5
5 Matador Taylor Cusumano Jamie Sailor $3,000 158 193 351
6 Undeniable Hope Town Farms Jenny Karazissis $2,500 157 159 346
7 Really Michelle Cobb Jenny Karazissis $2,000 156 185 341
8 Finally Ours Derby Hill LLC Buddy Brown $1,500 161 173 334
(C) ESI Photography 
John French and Center Court on their way to a $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby win. 
(C) ESI Photography 
John French and Center Court winning the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. 
$34,600 HITS Welcome Stake FEI CSI-4*
Rich Fellers dominated the Welcome Stake to kick of the FEI-4* Week last week piloting the infamous Flexible, owned by Harry and Mollie Chapman.

“I showed Flexible in the Grand Prix Ring on the brand new footing installed here in Thermal prior to this show,” Fellers said after the win on the freshened up footing. “He is 22 years old and he had the longest stride of his illustrious career. Congratulations on the new ground.”

In a ten-horse jump-off, they clocked in with the final clear round of the field in 39.51 for the blue ribbon. Second in the ribbons was Samuel Parot riding Atlantis, and third was Andrew Ramsay riding Stranger 30, owned by The Stranger Group.
Place Horse Owner Rider Prize Rd. 1 Faults JO Faults JO Time
1 Flexible Harry & Mollie Chapman Rich Fellers $11,418 0 0 39.51
2 Atlantis Samuel Parot Samuel Parot $6,920 0 0 40.61
3 Stranger 30 The Stranger Group Andrew Ramsay $5,190 0 0 41.08
4 Chivas Z Richard Spooner Richard Spooner $3,460 0 4 41.28
5 Baldira Katie Harris Raymond Texel $2,076 0 4 43.13
6 Firestone S Nicolette Hirt Kristin Hardin $1,557 0 4 44.19
7 Revenge Shelley Fellers Shelley Fellers $1,038 0 4 44.36
8 Avantos Montis Horse Management LLC Kasey Ament $865 0 4 44.46
9 Asagan-M Guido Klatte Sr Guido Klatte Sr $692 0 4 45.48
10 Acitya Nayel Nassar Nayel Nassar $692 0 12 44.60
11 Cristallo Show Jumping Syndications Int'l Richard Spooner $346 0 - DNS
12 Clockwise of Greenhill Z Uma O'Neill Uma O'Neill $346 4 - -
(C) ESI Photography 
Rich Fellers and Flexible on their way to a $34,600 HITS Welcome Stake FEI CSI4* win. 
(C) ESI Photography 
Rich Fellers winning the $34,600 HITS Open Welcome (Flexible not pictured). 
 $52,500 Coachella Valley Classic FEI CSI-4*
As the buzz of FEI week came to a median, Friday’s FEI class was underway to generate a weekend full of excitement.

Guido Klatte Jr. took home the win at National Sunshine Series aboard Qinghai, owned by Guido Klatte Sr. They garnered the quickest trip out of only two clear rounds in the eight-horse jump-off. They clocked in at 39.75 for the lead.

Nayel Nassar and Lordan followed just fractions of a second behind in 39.91 for second place. Third place honors went to Kevin Babington riding Double O Seven 7.

Nassar and Babington battled it out all week. Nassar took home a ribbon in the top three of two FEI classes and Babington garnered a win or place in the top three in a plethora of classes over the two-week series.
Place Horse Owner Rider Prize Rd. 1 Faults J.O. Faults J.O. Time
1 Qinghai Guido Klatte Sr Guido Klatte Jr $17,325 0 0 39.75
2 Lordan Nayel Nassar Nayel Nassar $10,500 0 0 39.91
3 Double O Seven 7 Kevin Babington Kevin Babington $7,875 0 4 39.85
4 Chacna Enrique Gonzalez Enrique Gonzalez $5,250 0 4 39.93
5 Luebbo Kylie Co. Jamie Barge $3,150 0 4 40.65
6 Apex Emma Catherine Reichow Harley Brown $2,362 0 4 42.55
7 Disco Lady Neil Jones Equestrian, Inc. Mavis Spencer $1,575 0 4 43.23
8 Catypso Signe Ostby Eric Navet $1,312 0 8 41.43
9 Quintol Eduardo Menezes Eduardo Menezes $1,050 5 - -
10 NKH Calango NKH LLC Christian Heineking $1,050 5 - -
11 Stranger 30 The Stranger Group Andrew Ramsay $525.50 8 - -
12 Tembla Signe Ostby Karl Cook $262.50 8 - -
(C) ESI Photography 
Guido Klatte Jr. and Qinghai on their way to a $52,500 Coachella Valley Classic FEI CSI4* win. 
(C) ESI Photography 
Guido Klatte Jr. winning the $52,500 Coachella Valley Classic. 
$5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Open Welcome
Wednesday’s Welcome kicked off an exciting week at HITS Desert Horse Park. Joie Gatlin took home the top honors with Rammstein, owned by Jasmine Weber Tally.

Second place belonged to Sarah Cillie riding Amiracle, owned by DP Racing, and rounding out the top three was Laura Hite aboard Solos Consept.

For full results, please click here.
(C) ESI Photography 
Joie Gatlin and Rammstein on their way to a $5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Open Welcome win. 
Click here for the results of the Zone X Equitation Finals.
Click here for the NCEA Junior Hunt Seat Medal Finals results.
About HITS, Inc.
HITS, Inc. produces high-quality, international-level hunter/jumper horse shows. Based in upstate New York in the Village of Saugerties, HITS has been producing shows since 1982 and is now a nationwide company with world-class circuits in California, Florida, Arizona, New York, and Virginia.

While hosting the richest weekend in show jumping at HITS-on-the-Hudson, HITS also formed the Triple Crown of Show Jumping. This includes the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix in Thermal, California, the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix in Ocala, Florida, and the Saugerties $1 Million Grand Prix in Saugerties, New York.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit Stay connected with HITS! Join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Media should contact the HITS Media Team at 845.246.8833 or e-mail