Michelle and Alex spent two weeks in Tucson with a string of high quality jumpers. They arrived just in time to compete in the SW Fair Commission’s Variable Grand Prix at the Tucson Fall Preview show and galloped away with 1st place aboard Tula Pinella’s Reina
and a 4th for Michelle’s own horse Clever
. Two more weeks of showing followed: the Tucson Fall Festival and the Tucson Fall Classic. At the Festival more blue ribbons for Lassila de Moyon
(1.2m jumpers) ridden by Alex Alvarado, Solomon’s Pride
(1.3m jumpers and the EMO Mike Moran Five Bar), and Xel-ha
(7-8 year old jumpers), and Reina
placed 2nd in Friday’s $5,000 Welcome Stake.
Last show of the year was the Tucson Fall Classic where Michelle ended the season with a one-two punch in Sunday’s Grand Prix, scoring 1st place on Clever and a close 2nd with Xel-ha. With six horses in the jump off, Bjorn Ikast laid down two clean trips on his mounts before Michelle aboard Xel-ha beat his time. Xel-ha’s time held until the very last round when Michelle squeaked in an even faster round aboard Clever to take home the blue. In addition Cross Creek Farms’ Tocayo was the winner of Friday’s $7,500Welcome Stake, and Lassila de Moyon with Alex earned the championship in the 1.2m jumpers. Michelle’s only hunter ride of the circuit was Angie Firestone’s youngster Accordingly who brought home several blue ribbons in the Restricted Hunter division, as well as prizes in his debut in the jumper ring.
The horses are home for some downtime before the 2011 circuit starts up. Thanks to the entire Cross Creek West team for their professionalism and hard work that contributed so much to a successful season.
PRESS (Chronicle of the Horse)
PRESS (HITS Press Release)
Reina, Tula Pinella’s Holsteiner mare, had a great weekend in Tucson during the 2010 HITS Arizona Desert Circuit. In only the second Grand Prix of her career, she jumped to the win in the $25,000 Strongid C 2X Grand Prix, laying down a double-clean round that stood up to challenges by Brandie Holloway on Alley Oop and Bjorn Ikast on Omar Shariff. Both followed Reina in the jump-off but dropped rails trying to best her time. The Grand Prix wasn’t Reina’s only win – on Friday she topped the $5,000 Open Welcome Class for a double-header, and the previous weekend in her first ever Grand Prix she placed fourth with a another double-clean performance.
Cross Creek West traveled to Tucson to compete during the final three weeks of the six-week long HITS circuit. Disappointingly, a deluge of rain caused the cancellation of the first Grand Prix, although Michelle aboard Socrates de Midos did enjoy winning the Friday $5,000 Welcome class.
However the final two weeks of the circuit were highlighted by a multitude of clean rounds and high placings. During the Arizona Winter Festival Michelle rode Reina, Clever and Socrates de Midos all to clean rounds in the Grand Prix, ultimately placing 3rd, 4th and 5th. During the Arizona Desert Finals she placed 1st and 2nd in the $5,000 Welcome, and again garnered multiple prizes in the Grand Prix. In addition to Reina’s blue, Michelle took home two more ribbons aboard Clever (5th) and Socrates (9th).
Cross Creek West has moved on to Houston for the Pin Oaks Charity Horse Shows. Good luck in the Lone Star State!
Michelle, Armando Salazar and Katie Rotunno celebrated birthdays this weekend, so cake was enjoyed by all in the barn aisle between classes. In honor of the horses carrot cake was served, and Davey (jack russell) snuck in a few nibbles when no one was looking! Meanwhile back at Cross Creek’s Tucson branch (also known as Michelle’s mom’s equine retirement home and baby nursery), the first of a crop of four foals was born Friday night. Another birthday to add to the weekend! This little guy is a bay colt, all thoroughbred, very handsome and correct and with a great temperament.
This was the final week of the Arizona Winter Circuit – the barn is packing up the trailer for the drive back to California tomorrow morning. Lots of nice prizes for all the horses this week. Although he didn’t win the blue like last week, Socrates still was double-clean in the Grand Prix for 4th place, even though Michelle injured her hand earlier in the class and rode the jump-off with what we suspect might be a broken bone. That’s three Grand Prix classes in a row with double-clear rounds for Socrates, earning a 1st, 2nd and a 4th. Not a bad start for a new horse!
Some other nice prizes during the week, especially for a couple of horses coming out of mothballs. CCF Starfish competed in Low and Pre Green hunters and was Reserve Champion in both divisions. Nouska showed in the Level 5 jumpers with double clean rounds earning two blue ribbons and the Champion rosette. Reina won a Level 6 class, was 2nd in a Level 7 class, and was Reserve Champion. In the Friday $5,000 Level 8 Welcome, Socrates placed 2nd and Clever placed 7th.
Photo Gallery Week 6
Video Socrates Grand Prix