Parker, CO - June 4, 2014 - John Pearce and Paul Rohrbach proved they are sharp and ready to go for the start of Summer in the Rockies I, collecting wins in the Kathy and Brad Coors Family Grand Prix Arena on opening day of the Colorado Horse Park's six-week circuit.
Rohrbach and Camerino, owned by Wells Bridge Farm Inc., prevailed over a competitive field in the $2,500 Open Jumper 1.30m, while Pearce and Forest View Farm's Johnny B Good took home the blue in the $2,500 Open Jumper 1.40m. The course for both classes was designed by Mauricio Garcia, and the jump-off featured several rollbacks as well as a double combination leading up to the final oxer.
Camerino was the first to go in the 1.30m, and none of the 15 horses to follow, including two others piloted by Rohrbach, could match him. Seven advanced to the jump-off, but Camerino's time of 32.666 seconds held up for the win.
Chenoa McElvain and Coco Colette came the closest with their clear jump-off in 33.790 seconds. McElvain returned second to last in the order with WildThing 2 and achieved the quickest time of the class, 32.123 seconds, but a rail coming out of the double combination dropped them back into fifth.
"It was a very nice start," Rohrbach, of Parker, CO, said. "The course rode well."
He purchased Camerino from Europe less than a year ago and noted he was happy with the feeling the horse gave him today.
"He's affectionately known as 'The Battleship,'" Rohrbach joked. "In the beginning, he took quite a bit to turn. He's coming along. I competed him at Thermal and did a couple weeks at the Oaks this spring, and I really got a lot done with him. So far, we're off to a great start."
"He's on his job," he added. "He seems very level. He was aggressive enough and wanting to do his job, but paying attention to the jumps."
Armando Hassey set the mark as the first to go in the 1.40m, piloting Cora Leeuwenburg's Lambert Louis through a clear jump-off in 34.509 seconds. His lead held up until Pearce and Johnny B Good, last to jump, shaved 7/10ths of a second off his time to finish in 33.797 seconds and claim the blue.
Pearce, of Bermuda Dunes, CA, used the 1.40m as preparation for Thursday's $15,000 Open Welcome Stake and Saturday's $25,000 Holiday Inn of Parker Grand Prix.
"I went around and tried to be fairly quick," he explained. "I wasn't too concerned about winning today, but I focused on being efficient. We're building toward Saturday, and winning today is an extra bonus."
Hassey likewise said the class gave his horse a positive experience to begin Summer in the Rockies. The pair will compete in Saturday's Grand Prix and possibly the Welcome Stake as well.
"I just tried to get there and get him confident," he said. "He'll be ready for the rest of the week. I think the course was pretty fair. A nice 1.40m like it should be, but fair for the first day. The course designer did a great job."
Hassey, Pearce and Rohrbach are regulars at the Colorado Horse Park, but with entries higher than ever this year, they will be joined by new faces during the circuit.
"[Founder and president of the Colorado Horse Park] Helen Krieble and show manager Pat Boyle have done an incredible job of upgrading the footing and upgrading the show in general," Rohrbach commented. "I think that's pretty evident in the turnout they've had for the first week here, and I think they're looking forward to a solid turnout for the rest of the circuit."
Jumper competition on Thursday at Summer in the Rockies I features the $15,000 Open Welcome Stake. Click here for full results from Wednesday. Visit the Colorado Horse Park's website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter for updates throughout Summer in the Rockies.
Results: Summer in the Rockies I - Wednesday, June 4
$2,500 Open Jumper 1.40m
1. 236/Johnny B Good/Forest View Farm/John Pearce/730.00
2. 321/Lambert Louis/Cora Leeuwenburg/Armando Hassey/482.50
3. 207/Iz's Viva La Vida/Bjorn Ikast/Bjorn Ikast/357.50
4. 338/Witchita/Kimberly Little/Mickie Sage/230.00
5. 208/Brave Heart/Bjorn Ikast/Bjorn Ikast/175.00
$2,500 Open Jumper 1.30m
1. 261/Camerino/Wells Bridge Farm Inc/Paul Rohrbach/730.00
2. 225/Coco Colette/Rancho Corazon, LLC/Chenoa Mc Elvain/482.50
3. 275/J.E.S. Quito/Nicki Wilcox/Nicki Wilcox/357.50
4. 125/Keepsake/Stacey Swink/Stacey Swink/230.00
5. 221/WildThing 2/Rancho Corazon, LLC/Chenoa Mc Elvain/175.00
6. 196/Cutler/Twisted Tree Farm/Janet Hischer/175.00
7. 263/Akkato/Wells Bridge Farm Inc/Paul Rohrbach/175.00
8. 322/Quite Quick/Irish Rose Stables/Delaney Flynn/175.00