Articles: Press Release
Pearce and Urioso Blaze To Victory in the $75,000 HITS World Cup
Qualifier Grand Prix
PHOTO CREDIT: Urioso and John Pearce win $75,000 HITS Grand Prix. Photo
by Josh Walker.
Joshua Walker for PhelpsSports.com
Kenneth Kraus of Phelps Media Group, Inc.
at (561) 753-3389 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Indio, CA - February 5, 2006 - The sun blazed in Indio and so did the
$75,000 HITS Grand Prix jump-off. One by one the bar was raised during
the uncompromising competition of the class, but John Pearce and his
9-year-old Belgian Warmblood, Urioso, set the final standard to a level
the other competitors couldn't reach.
As promised, Anthony D'Ambrosio designed a bigger and more technical
course than Friday's Ariat Grand Prix arrangement. With three difficult
combinations and numerous challenging lines throughout the 13-question
course, it became a game of precision and scope where one mistake would
be too many. Question 5, a 5'1" oxer-to-vertical 2-stride combination,
prevented many riders in the class of 30 from advancing to the jump-off.
But today's crowd seemed to favor fence 4, an intimidating and exciting
triple bar that most horses faced at a gallop in the fast-paced
"I think this was a really good class and a really good course.
[D'Ambrosio] got the right number of clear rounds to have a good
jump-off. And it was a particularly fast jump off with a lot of fast
riders," said Pearce. "Richard [Spooner] is always quick and when he
goes in and sets a tone like that, you know you're in the right class."
Throughout the jump-off, each rider dared the next to beat his time, and
each dare received a rebuttal. One by one, times progressively dwindled
from an already searing speed of 37.72 seconds, set by Spooner and his
World Cup nominee, Live Fire. The pair was the first to ace D'Ambrosio's
methodic course in round 1 and advance to the jump-off. Spooner and Live
Fire then blazed the initial trail through the jump-off course, as if to
say "catch me if you can".
"I wanted to go as fast as I could," said Spooner. "There were really
only 2 turns in the jump-off but I missed them both."
After Kim Faringer and Del Destino dropped 2 rails, Eddie Macken
finished clean aboard Tedechine Sept, but was 2 seconds late. But Will
Simpson and Boxter answered Spooner's round with tighter turns and
shorter lines to seize the lead with a time of 36.80 seconds. Rich
Fellers and McGuinness galloped a clean round next but couldn't match
pace with Simpson.
And then, Pearce and Urioso cantered into the ring, composed and
confident. They took to the short but technical jump-off course with
aggressive precision and inspired a roar from the crowd that grew louder
as the span of their final gallop shortened. Pearce and Urioso cleared
the final oxer and stopped the clock at 36.20 seconds.
Ali Nilforushan and Cellist 2 followed but knocked a rail loose from
fence 3. Guillermo Obligado and Carlson finished with all jumps in tact
but just a fraction over 2 seconds late. With Presto B and Susan Artes
as the final pair to go for glory, a refusal at fence 15 ended their
trek short. The next gallop for Pearce and Urioso would be with the
tricolor ribbon attached.
Urioso's first experience in show jumping took place at the Indio Desert
Circuit in 2004, only a year after Pearce purchased him. "I bought him
as a 6-year-old, basically unbroken," said Pearce. "This was the first
world cup of his career and his fourth Grand Prix."
But Pearce put in some serious time with this horse to bring him up to
Grand Prix level. "He was very difficult, I must say. I've put more time
into him in the last few years than any horse I've ever had. But he's
really starting to figure it out and enjoy his job. He's got a lot of
jump and a lot of heart," said Pearce.
And it showed in the ring. This relatively young competitor performed
with assertive accuracy and seemed to take pleasure in the race against
the clock with a recognizable style. "He's got an usual style that most
professionals wouldn't like, but he's got great athleticism, great power
and great stamina," Pearce said.
With the $30,000 Ariat Grand Prix win for Champagne in week 1 and the
$75,000 HITS Grand Prix for Urioso this week, could week 3 bring victory
for Archie Bunker?
Results - $75,000 HITS Grand Prix, HITS Indio Desert Circuit, 2-5-06
1 - Urioso- Forest View Farms- John Pearce - 0/0-36.20
2 - Boxster- El Campeon Farms- Will Simpson - 0/0-36.80
3 - McGuinness- Harry/Mollie Chapman- Rich Fellers - 0/0-37.30
4 - Live Fire- C&S Partnership- Richard Spooner - 0/0-37.72
5 - Carlson- Guillermo Obligado- Guillermo Obligado - 0/0-38.73
6 - Tedechine Sept- David M Robinson- Eddie Macken - 0/0-39.08
7 - Cellest 2- Ali Nilforushan Equestrian- Ali Nilforushan - 0/4-38.27
8 - Presto B- Alix Fargo- Susan Artes - 0/4
9 - Del Destino- Peter Farlinger- Kim Farlinger - 0/8-40.63
10 - Ezrah- S&B LLC Corp- Richard Spooner - 4-77.98
11 - Lady-D- Oz Investments/Sequoia Farm- Jeff Campf - 4-80.25
12 - Black Ice- Stacie Ryan- Jill Henselwood - 4-82.69
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