Cruise Controls $100,000 Villas At Rancho Valencia Grand Prix Of Del Mar

May 22, 2011 - 7:00 PM
Rick Osteen Photo

When Chris Pratt qualified Cruise for the $100,000 Villas At Rancho Valencia Grand Prix of Del Mar, he knew it would be the biggest challenge the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood had ever faced. 

But Pratt also believed the gelding would be up to the task at the Del Mar National Horse Show (Calif.) on May 7, even though Cruise, owned by Indigo Farms LLC, only started jumping in grand prix classes last July.

“He’s really an intelligent horse and really likes to win,” Pratt said.

Cruise and Pratt were fifth to go in an 11-horse jump-off, and the crowd had yet to see a fault-free performance. The tests started immediately on the shortened course as riders had to navigate a tight bending line with a 1.60-meter vertical bending to a plank vertical that caused knockdowns for five competitors right off the bat. 

“I think the first two jumps you had to be very careful; they were easy to knock down,” said Pratt, 41.

“Any time Leopoldo [Palacios] builds a course, it’s brilliant. You need a careful and rideable horse, and a brave horse for the wall, and a scopey horse. He asks all the questions, Leopoldo.”

Venezuelan course designer Palacios said the Del Mar indoor arena is one of his favorite venues. 

“There’s a very nice atmosphere, and the people here know about these courses. This is a very good, educated crowd,” he said.

“When you have an educated crowd, they appreciate the show jumping, and there’s a reason for a course designer like me to challenge the riders. It’s a big commitment to build here where the people are educated. If I do badly, they will understand.”

The jump-off also featured several long runs between jumps, where Cruise ate up the ground with his long stride. But Pratt opted not to take an inside turn by slicing a vertical in order to go inside another jump, a route used by all his fellow riders.

“The way my horse was jumping, I wanted to make sure I was clear,” Pratt said. “He’s a little bit green at a jump-off at this height, so I didn’t want to put too much pressure on him. He hadn’t jumped over 1.40 meters prior to last July.”

Pratt crossed the finish line in 49.82 seconds, a slower time than most of the four-fault finishers, proving his approach of going clear and tidy worked best. 

Originally from Belfountain, Ont., Pratt moved to California in the beginning of 2007 to work for Richard Spooner after riding on the Canadian team at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games (Germany) with Rivendell. In September of 2008 he decided to go out on his own and opened up Epic Stables with the help of his girlfriend Jenn Badala, former assistant to Eric Lamaze, and assistant trainer Lisa Cahn. The business is based at Middle Ranch, just outside of Los Angeles. 

Pratt, 42, praised his entire team for Cruise’s achievement.

“Thanks to Sue Geleibter and Indigo Farms for owning such a great horse,” he said. “And I have a great team at Epic Stables; they really work hard.”

“Thanks to Sue Geleibter and Indigo Farms for owning such a great horse,” he said. “And I have a great team at Epic Stables; they really work hard.”

Pratt hopes to compete Cruise (Gran Corrado—Nelana, Holland) in cooler climes this summer—he’s planning to head north for shows in Vancouver, B.C., and at Spruce Meadows (Alta.)

Superman Flies To The Top

There aren’t many junior hunter tricolors Hannah Goodson-Cutt has failed to capture, after winning championships at all four Indoor shows, as well as the West Coast Junior Hunter Finals with her horse Superman last year. So it was no surprise when she turned in her usual stellar performance during Hunter/Jumper Week at the Del Mar National Horse Show, May 3-8.

With a win in each large junior hunter, 15-17, class, Goodson-Cutt was the clear cut grand champion junior hunter winner, earning the Stash The Cash Perpetual Trophy with Superman, a 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding. She also took home the small junior hunter, 15-17, championship with Caretano.

“She got [Superman] a bit over a year ago, and he’s just blossomed into a wonderful horse,” said trainer Kate Considine.

“He’s pleasant in the morning; he’s a happy hack and lands on the leads. Also, my 6-year-old daughter walk-trots around on him, and if a horse could smile, he would. He’s just super happy to be part of the family, and I think that’s helped him mature into being the horse that he is.”

This show season will wrap up Goodson-Cutt’s junior career, and she plans to make the Devon Horse Show (Pa.) her final event before she heads off to college at Georgetown University (D.C.).

“It always feels good [to win],” she said. “I still get really frustrated if I don’t win, and it’s my last year, so you don’t want to go downhill as you get older. I actually had never won each class before, so that was pretty cool. Sometimes you can win all the jumping classes but not the flat, so I’m lucky to have a horse who’s a good mover.”

Goodson-Cutt has trained at Willow Brook Stables in Lake View Terrace, Calif., with Considine for the past eight years. They’re like family, and Considine said it will be difficult when Goodson-Cutt leaves for college.

In order to help her student win so consistently, Considine keeps an open line of communication with her about the partnership between the rider and horse and how to approach each day and each round fresh. Goodson-Cutt’s fiercely competitive attitude is also in her favor, according to Considine.

Still, she’s managed to keep a sense of humor when the occasional flub happens in the show ring. Goodson-Cutt laughed off a “full-on chip” to a hand gallop fence in the handy round with Caretano, as she described how she must have made a funny face over the jump.

“It happens,” she said with a shrug.

Von Heidegger Does Double Duty

Hannah Von Heidegger signed on for catch rides in the junior hunters with her eye on the Petrus Perpetual Trophy, which goes to the Pacific Coast Horse Show Association overall high point small junior hunter, 17 and under, winner. The trophy already had her sister Nicoletta’s name engraved on it for her victory in 2004 with Breckenridge.

When Olivia Esse, the rider of Oscany Inc.’s Illusion and Iwasaki & Reilly’s Small Affair, couldn’t be at the show due to school conflicts, Von Heidegger was asked to take the reins. For her first weekend ever riding the horses, it couldn’t have gone better. She won both junior, 14 and under, hunter championships and added her name to that trophy.

“It feels great, and it’s really exciting, especially since there were a lot of people in it,” said Von Heidegger, 13.

“Also, it’s just cool because my sister has won it, and I wanted to, but I didn’t know if I would because I’d never ridden [Small Affair and Illusion] before.” 

Her weekend at the Del Mar National was a complete success, including a top 10 finish in the Del Mar National Open Equitation Championship on Monarch International’s Beckham.

In the large junior hunter, 14 and under, division, Von Heidegger rode Small Affair to wins in all the jumping classes, along with a third-placed finish in the under saddle class. 

“ ‘Poker’ is the most amazing jumper,” she said. “When I first started jumping him I got a little left behind because he has such a great jump, and I wasn’t expecting it. He was just awesome, he didn’t look at anything.”

In her turns on Illusion, Von Heidegger took the same exact placings, two blues and a yellow, to secure a championship ribbon in the small junior hunter, 14 and under, division. 

Wasserman Wins Big

Overseas is another horse with a lengthy show record, and he came through for Laura Wasserman by collecting the overall amateur-owner hunter championship as well as winning the $2,000 Amateur Owner Hunter Classic.

The 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Ramiro is equally as comfortable in national competition as he is galloping around at home with no other equipment other than a wire around his neck. 

“He’s just been a fantastic horse for me,” Wasserman said. “It’s been such an amazing journey riding him and starting to get the groove now. Every time I ride him I have fun.”

Wasserman, Beverly Hills, Calif., is a music supervisor in the movie industry and trains at Brookway Stables in Lake View Terrace. She’s owned Overseas for four years, and trainer Archie Cox said the pair has really hit their stride.

“Overseas is a true gentleman,” said Cox, who rode Overseas to the reserve championship in the 3’3″ performance hunter division. “I think he’s one of the nicest horses I’ve had to work with.”

The Devon Horse Show (Pa.) will be up next for the consistent duo. Last fall Overseas helped Wasserman claim blue in the amateur-owner hunter stake at the Washington (D.C.) International, and Cox said their goal is to add a few more East Coast wins to their collection. 

When Chris Pratt qualified Cruise for the $100,000 Villas At Rancho Valencia Grand Prix of Del Mar, he 
knew it would be the biggest challenge the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood had ever faced. 
But Pratt also believed the gelding would be up to the task at the Del Mar National Horse Show (Calif.) on May 7, even though Cruise, owned by Indigo Farms LLC, only started jumping in grand prix classes last July.
“He’s really an intelligent horse and really likes to win,” Pratt said.
Cruise and Pratt were fifth to go in an 11-horse jump-off, and the crowd had yet to see a fault-free performance. The tests started immediately on the shortened course as riders had to navigate a tight bending line with a 1.60-meter vertical bending to a plank vertical that caused knockdowns for five competitors right off the bat. 
“I think the first two jumps you had to be very careful; they were easy to knock down,” said Pratt, 41. “Any time Leopoldo [Palacios] builds a course, it’s brilliant. You need a careful and rideable horse, and a brave horse for the wall, and a scopey horse. He asks all the questions, Leopoldo.”
Venezuelan course designer Palacios said the Del Mar indoor arena is one of his favorite venues. 
“There’s a very nice atmosphere, and the people here know about these courses. This is a very good, educated crowd,” he said. “When you have an educated crowd, they appreciate the show jumping, and there’s a reason for a course designer like me to challenge the riders. It’s a big commitment to build here where the people are educated. If I do badly, they will understand.”
The jump-off also featured several long runs between jumps, where Cruise ate up the ground with his long stride. But Pratt opted not to take an inside turn by slicing a vertical in order to go inside another jump, a route used by all his fellow riders.
“The way my horse was jumping, I wanted to make sure I was clear,” Pratt said. “He’s a little bit green at a jump-off at this height, so I didn’t want to put too much pressure on him. He hadn’t jumped over 1.40 meters prior to last July.”
Pratt crossed the finish line in 49.82 seconds, a slower time than most of the four-fault finishers, proving his approach of going clear and tidy worked best. 
Originally from Belfountain, Ont., Pratt moved to California in the beginning of 2007 to work for Richard Spooner after riding on the Canadian team at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games (Germany) with Rivendell. In September of 2008 he decided to go out on his own and opened up Epic Stables with the help of his girlfriend Jenn Badala, former assistant to Eric Lamaze, and assistant trainer Lisa Cahn. The business is based at Middle Ranch, just outside of Los Angeles. 
Pratt, 42, praised his entire team for Cruise’s achievement. “Thanks to Sue Geleibter and Indigo Farms for owning such a great horse,” he said. “And I have a great team at Epic Stables; they really work hard.”
“Thanks to Sue Geleibter and Indigo Farms for owning such a great horse,” he said. “And I have a great team at Epic Stables; they really work hard.”
Pratt hopes to compete Cruise (Gran Corrado—Nelana, Holland) in cooler climes this summer—he’s planning to head north for shows in Vancouver, B.C., and at Spruce Meadows (Alta.)
H Superman Flies To The Top
There aren’t many junior hunter tri-
colors Hannah Goodson-Cutt has failed to capture, after winning championships at all four Indoor shows, as well as the West Coast Junior Hunter Finals with her horse Superman last year. So it was no surprise when she turned in her usual stellar performance during Hunter/Jumper Week at the Del Mar National Horse Show, May 3-8.
With a win in each large junior hunter, 15-17, class, Goodson-Cutt was the clear cut grand champion junior hunter winner, earning the Stash The Cash Perpetual Trophy with Superman, 
a 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding. She 
also took home the small junior hunter, 15-17, championship with Caretano.
“She got [Superman] a bit over a year ago, and he’s just blossomed into a wonderful horse,” said trainer Kate Considine. “He’s pleasant in the morning; he’s a happy hack and lands on the leads. Also, my 6-year-old daughter walk-trots around on him, and if a horse could smile, he would. He’s just super happy to be part of the family, and I think that’s helped him mature into being the horse that he is.”
This show season will wrap up 
Goodson-Cutt’s junior career, and she plans to make the Devon Horse Show (Pa.) her final event before she heads off to college at Georgetown University (D.C.).
“It always feels good [to win],” she said. “I still get really frustrated if I don’t win, and it’s my last year, so you don’t want to go downhill as you get older. I actually had never won each class before, so that was pretty cool. Sometimes you can win all the jumping classes but not the flat, so I’m lucky to have a horse who’s a good mover.”
Goodson-Cutt has trained at Willow Brook Stables in Lake View Terrace, Calif., with Considine for the past eight years. They’re like family, and Considine said it will be difficult when Goodson-Cutt leaves for college.
In order to help her student win so consistently, Considine keeps an open line of communication with her about the partnership between the rider and horse and how to approach each day and each round fresh. Goodson-Cutt’s fiercely competitive attitude is also in her favor, according to Considine.
Still, she’s managed to keep a sense of humor when the occasional flub happens in the show ring. Goodson-Cutt laughed off a “full-on chip” to a hand gallop fence in the handy round with Caretano, as she described how she must have made a funny face over the jump.
“It happens,” she said with a shrug.
H Von Heidegger Does
 Double Duty
Hannah Von Heidegger signed on for catch rides in the junior hunters with her eye on the Petrus Perpetual Trophy, which goes to the Pacific Coast Horse Show Association overall high point small junior hunter, 17 and under, winner. The trophy already had her sister Nicoletta’s name engraved on it for her victory in 2004 with Breckenridge.
When Olivia Esse, the rider of Oscany Inc.’s Illusion and Iwasaki & Reilly’s Small Affair, couldn’t be at the show due to school conflicts, Von Heidegger was asked to take the reins. For her first weekend ever riding the horses, it couldn’t have gone better. She won both junior, 14 and under, hunter championships and added her name to that trophy.
“It feels great, and it’s really exciting, especially since there were a lot of people in it,” said Von Heidegger, 13. “Also, it’s just cool because my sister has won it, and I wanted to, but I didn’t know if I would because I’d never ridden [Small Affair and Illusion] before.” 
Her weekend at the Del Mar National was a complete success, including a top 10 finish in the Del Mar National Open Equitation Championship on Monarch International’s Beckham.
In the large junior hunter, 14 and under, division, Von Heidegger rode Small Affair to wins in all the jumping classes, along with a third-placed finish in the under saddle class. 
“ ‘Poker’ is the most amazing jumper,” she said. “When I first started jumping him I got a little left behind because he has such a great jump, and I wasn’t expecting it. He was just awesome, he didn’t look at anything.”
In her turns on Illusion, Von Heidegger took the same exact placings, two blues and a yellow, to secure a championship ribbon in the small junior hunter, 14 and under, division. 
H Wasserman Wins Big
Overseas is another horse with a lengthy show record, and he came through for Laura Wasserman by collecting the overall amateur-owner hunter championship as well as winning the $2,000 Amateur Owner Hunter Classic.
The 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Ramiro is equally as comfortable in national competition as he is galloping around at home with no other equipment other than a wire around his neck. 
“He’s just been a fantastic horse for me,” Wasserman said. “It’s been such an amazing journey riding him and starting to get the groove now. Every time I ride him I have fun.”
Wasserman, Beverly Hills, Calif., is a music supervisor in the movie industry and trains at Brookway Stables in Lake View Terrace. She’s owned Overseas for four years, and trainer Archie Cox said the pair has really hit their stride.
“Overseas is a true gentleman,” said Cox, who rode Overseas to the reserve championship in the 3’3″ performance hunter division. “I think he’s one of the nicest horses I’ve had to work with.”
The Devon Horse Show (Pa.) will be up next for the consistent duo. Last fall Overseas helped Wasserman claim blue in the amateur-owner hunter stake at the Washington (D.C.) International, and Cox said their goal is to add a few more East Coast wins to their collection
When Chris Pratt qualified Cruise for the $100,000 Villas At Rancho Valencia Grand Prix of Del Mar, he 
knew it would be the biggest challenge the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood had ever faced. 
But Pratt also believed the gelding would be up to the task at the Del Mar National Horse Show (Calif.) on May 7, even though Cruise, owned by Indigo Farms LLC, only started jumping in grand prix classes last July.
“He’s really an intelligent horse and really likes to win,” Pratt said.
Cruise and Pratt were fifth to go in an 11-horse jump-off, and the crowd had yet to see a fault-free performance. The tests started immediately on the shortened course as riders had to navigate a tight bending line with a 1.60-meter vertical bending to a plank vertical that caused knockdowns for five competitors right off the bat. 
“I think the first two jumps you had to be very careful; they were easy to knock down,” said Pratt, 41. “Any time Leopoldo [Palacios] builds a course, it’s brilliant. You need a careful and rideable horse, and a brave horse for the wall, and a scopey horse. He asks all the questions, Leopoldo.”
Venezuelan course designer Palacios said the Del Mar indoor arena is one of his favorite venues. 
“There’s a very nice atmosphere, and the people here know about these courses. This is a very good, educated crowd,” he said. “When you have an educated crowd, they appreciate the show jumping, and there’s a reason for a course designer like me to challenge the riders. It’s a big commitment to build here where the people are educated. If I do badly, they will understand.”
The jump-off also featured several long runs between jumps, where Cruise ate up the ground with his long stride. But Pratt opted not to take an inside turn by slicing a vertical in order to go inside another jump, a route used by all his fellow riders.
“The way my horse was jumping, I wanted to make sure I was clear,” Pratt said. “He’s a little bit green at a jump-off at this height, so I didn’t want to put too much pressure on him. He hadn’t jumped over 1.40 meters prior to last July.”
Pratt crossed the finish line in 49.82 seconds, a slower time than most of the four-fault finishers, proving his approach of going clear and tidy worked best. 
Originally from Belfountain, Ont., Pratt moved to California in the beginning of 2007 to work for Richard Spooner after riding on the Canadian team at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games (Germany) with Rivendell. In September of 2008 he decided to go out on his own and opened up Epic Stables with the help of his girlfriend Jenn Badala, former assistant to Eric Lamaze, and assistant trainer Lisa Cahn. The business is based at Middle Ranch, just outside of Los Angeles. 
Pratt, 42, praised his entire team for Cruise’s achievement. “Thanks to Sue Geleibter and Indigo Farms for owning such a great horse,” he said. “And I have a great team at Epic Stables; they really work hard.”
“Thanks to Sue Geleibter and Indigo Farms for owning such a great horse,” he said. “And I have a great team at Epic Stables; they really work hard.”
Pratt hopes to compete Cruise (Gran Corrado—Nelana, Holland) in cooler climes this summer—he’s planning to head north for shows in Vancouver, B.C., and at Spruce Meadows (Alta.)
H Superman Flies To The Top
There aren’t many junior hunter tri-
colors Hannah Goodson-Cutt has failed to capture, after winning championships at all four Indoor shows, as well as the West Coast Junior Hunter Finals with her horse Superman last year. So it was no surprise when she turned in her usual stellar performance during Hunter/Jumper Week at the Del Mar National Horse Show, May 3-8.
With a win in each large junior hunter, 15-17, class, Goodson-Cutt was the clear cut grand champion junior hunter winner, earning the Stash The Cash Perpetual Trophy with Superman, 
a 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding. She 
also took home the small junior hunter, 15-17, championship with Caretano.
“She got [Superman] a bit over a year ago, and he’s just blossomed into a wonderful horse,” said trainer Kate Considine. “He’s pleasant in the morning; he’s a happy hack and lands on the leads. Also, my 6-year-old daughter walk-trots around on him, and if a horse could smile, he would. He’s just super happy to be part of the family, and I think that’s helped him mature into being the horse that he is.”
This show season will wrap up 
Goodson-Cutt’s junior career, and she plans to make the Devon Horse Show (Pa.) her final event before she heads off to college at Georgetown University (D.C.).
“It always feels good [to win],” she said. “I still get really frustrated if I don’t win, and it’s my last year, so you don’t want to go downhill as you get older. I actually had never won each class before, so that was pretty cool. Sometimes you can win all the jumping classes but not the flat, so I’m lucky to have a horse who’s a good mover.”
Goodson-Cutt has trained at Willow Brook Stables in Lake View Terrace, Calif., with Considine for the past eight years. They’re like family, and Considine said it will be difficult when Goodson-Cutt leaves for college.
In order to help her student win so consistently, Considine keeps an open line of communication with her about the partnership between the rider and horse and how to approach each day and each round fresh. Goodson-Cutt’s fiercely competitive attitude is also in her favor, according to Considine.
Still, she’s managed to keep a sense of humor when the occasional flub happens in the show ring. Goodson-Cutt laughed off a “full-on chip” to a hand gallop fence in the handy round with Caretano, as she described how she must have made a funny face over the jump.
“It happens,” she said with a shrug.
H Von Heidegger Does
 Double Duty
Hannah Von Heidegger signed on for catch rides in the junior hunters with her eye on the Petrus Perpetual Trophy, which goes to the Pacific Coast Horse Show Association overall high point small junior hunter, 17 and under, winner. The trophy already had her sister Nicoletta’s name engraved on it for her victory in 2004 with Breckenridge.
When Olivia Esse, the rider of Oscany Inc.’s Illusion and Iwasaki & Reilly’s Small Affair, couldn’t be at the show due to school conflicts, Von Heidegger was asked to take the reins. For her first weekend ever riding the horses, it couldn’t have gone better. She won both junior, 14 and under, hunter championships and added her name to that trophy.
“It feels great, and it’s really exciting, especially since there were a lot of people in it,” said Von Heidegger, 13. “Also, it’s just cool because my sister has won it, and I wanted to, but I didn’t know if I would because I’d never ridden [Small Affair and Illusion] before.” 
Her weekend at the Del Mar National was a complete success, including a top 10 finish in the Del Mar National Open Equitation Championship on Monarch International’s Beckham.
In the large junior hunter, 14 and under, division, Von Heidegger rode Small Affair to wins in all the jumping classes, along with a third-placed finish in the under saddle class. 
“ ‘Poker’ is the most amazing jumper,” she said. “When I first started jumping him I got a little left behind because he has such a great jump, and I wasn’t expecting it. He was just awesome, he didn’t look at anything.”
In her turns on Illusion, Von Heidegger took the same exact placings, two blues and a yellow, to secure a championship ribbon in the small junior hunter, 14 and under, division. 
H Wasserman Wins Big
Overseas is another horse with a lengthy show record, and he came through for Laura Wasserman by collecting the overall amateur-owner hunter championship as well as winning the $2,000 Amateur Owner Hunter Classic.
The 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Ramiro is equally as comfortable in national competition as he is galloping around at home with no other equipment other than a wire around his neck. 
“He’s just been a fantastic horse for me,” Wasserman said. “It’s been such an amazing journey riding him and starting to get the groove now. Every time I ride him I have fun.”
Wasserman, Beverly Hills, Calif., is a music supervisor in the movie industry and trains at Brookway Stables in Lake View Terrace. She’s owned Overseas for four years, and trainer Archie Cox said the pair has really hit their stride.
“Overseas is a true gentleman,” said Cox, who rode Overseas to the reserve championship in the 3’3″ performance hunter division. “I think he’s one of the nicest horses I’ve had to work with.”
The Devon Horse Show (Pa.) will be up next for the consistent duo. Last fall Overseas helped Wasserman claim blue in the amateur-owner hunter stake at the Washington (D.C.) International, and Cox said their goal is to add a few more East Coast wins to their collection
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