The $40,000 Blenheim Spring Classic III Grand Prix on April 8 welcomed 27 competitors onto the Oaks International Grand Prix Field in San Juan Capistrano, California. Of those, only seven mastered the Peter Holmes course to return for the jump-off. The speediest pair to go double clean was Will Simpson aboard his own Chacco P, adding this to the numerous victories they’ve earned in their five months together.
The seven clear rounds returned in this order: Simon McCarthy, Carly Anthony, Natalie Dean, Delaney Flynn, Simpson, Jim Ifko, and Samara Heinrichs. Unfortunate rails cost several riders that top spot, with each posting solid times but only three double clear. Simpson demonstrated impressive speed, fastest by over a second.
Close but not close enough to top the time were Carly Anthony riding Neil Jones Equestrian Inc.’s Clochard and Jim Ifko aboard Eventyre Farm Ltd’s Un Diamant des Forets. Both double clear, in 41.04 seconds and 41.40 seconds, to earn second and third.
Chacco P’s scope and speed are notable, and Simpson is making strides with the partnership. “I knew he could walk the six strides up the first line. I was a bit bold to jump two, and I knew that there were shadows at the next jump, so I gave myself a bit more room there. I came smoking into the combination and took a big risk, but he was able to leave it up and he listened to me very well,” the winner noted. “He jumped so high at the last jump. I’m just thrilled to have a horse of this caliber at the end of my career.”
Simpson is looking forward to continuing the show season in Southern California. “There are a lot of great shows locally that I’d like to support. The show managers here do a great job and try really hard to put on quality horse shows, so I enjoy supporting them in return.”