Thermal, Calif.—Feb. 12
As Julie canters into the ring, there’s a natural elegance to her step, but behind that elegance is a fire. She hops excitedly as her young rider Jade Fowler brings her back to wait for the bell. Once it does, the mare gallops forward exuberantly. And after she’s cleared the course, it’s clear the mare’s not ready to be done, she hops again in protest as Fowler tries to bring the mare back to a walk.
It’s easy to see why the mare’s dressage career was short lived. Bred to be a dressage horse, Julie competed up to third level with Fowler’s mom Dagmar Fortmuller, however her spicy attitude didn’t make it an easy road.
Jade Fowler and Julie. Photo by Kimberly Loushin
“She was too hot and frantic for that and didn’t have enough patience for that. She’s proven herself for this,” laughed Fowler as the pair walks back to the barn adorned in a cooler and blue ribbon from the $5,000 Medium Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic at the HITS Coachella IV show.
Jade Fowler was thrilled with her victory aboard Julie. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.
Marina Azevedo’s course proved difficult with rails falling throughout, but it was the time allowed the caused the most heartache. Many riders jumped clear over the fences only to fall victim to the clock. In the end only Fowler and Sean Summers with Cantara 60 advanced to the shortened course. In the end neither of them could turn in a double clear performance, picking up a rail apiece, however Fowler and Julie found the fastest way around the track to take home the blue ribbon.
“I thought it was a good course,” said Fowler. “This is our last day [at this horse show]. It’s an awesome way to end.
Sean Summers and Cantara 60 were second in the $5,000 Medium Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.
The course was the same for the $10,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic, and while more riders made the time, rails were still prevalent. In the end only Nicolette Hirt with DSP Cheer made it around without fault. Katherine Brewer rode Corleone E to second.
Hirt has been paired with the 12-year-old Brandenburg gelding since November 2016 and spent the remaining part of the year showing in the low junior jumpers as they got to know each other before moving up to the mediums and eventually the high junior jumpers for this week of the circuit.
Nicolette Hirt and DSP Cheer were the only pair to go clean in the $10,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.
Katherine Brewer and Corleone E were the fastest of the 4-faulters in the class to finish second. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.
The day finished with the $25,000 SmartPak Open Grand Prix which was held in conjunction with the $5,000 Interactive Mortgage U25 Classic. That class saw a very different result with 11 competitors advancing to the jump off. Seven of those combinations completed the short course without fault, but it was Mandy Porter aboard Milano that lead the victory gallop for the $25,000 SmartPak Open Grand Prix at the end of the day.
Owner Abigail Weese brought the 12-year-old gelding up to the grand prix level before handing the reins to Porter in 2016. The pair earned their first grand prix victory at the Blenheim June Classic III (Calif.) that year and have been steadily building their partnership.
Chenoa McElvain had quite the successful day as she finished fifth in the grand prix and took home the top prize in the U25 with Wallstreet RC. McElvian has also had a longstanding partnership with her 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood stallion, crossing from coast to coast competing in amateur-owner jumper classes and regional-level grand prix events.
Mandy Porter was the fastest double clear in the $25,000 SmartPak Open Grand Prix with Milano for the win. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.
Chenoa McElvain and Wallstreet RC topped the $5,000 Interactive Mortgage U25 Classic. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.
See full show results here.
Want more from HITS Coachella? Read about John French’s hunter derby victory and young rider Ali Ramsay who won with a special mare and pick up a copy of the Feb. 27 issue of the Chronicle.