A New Year

Congrats to Michelle and Socrates de Midos for their appearance on the cover of the 2011 Celebration issue of Horse ShowBiz Magazine! Not only did they adorn the cover, there was an accompanying 4 page feature story with lots of pictures starting on page 68 of the magazine. You can access the entire issue below. When it opens up you can type 68 inside the nice little white window at the top and it will take you directly to the article.

Horse ShowBiz Magazine

Now the new year is well underway and Cross Creek West is in the throes of last-minute packing, preparing for the HITS Circuit in Thermal starting this week. A string of talented up and coming horses are going to test their mettle in the desert; Socrates de Midos, Reina, Xel Ha, Clintord, Solomon’s Pride, Tocayo, Sir Jones and Cupilor all taking their turn in the jumper rings.

Also congratulations to the proud new owners of Lassila de Moyon and Cameo, both now settled in to their new home in Florida. Best of luck with these quality horses.

Cover Girl Again!

Prize lists for the upcoming HITS winter shows are ready for publication, and look who’s on the cover for the 2012 Arizona Winter Circuit prize book!  Here’s Michelle aboard Lassila de Moyon (Santiago) en route to a win in one of last year’s Arizona Grand Prix competitions.

In 2010 Michelle was also on the cover of the Arizona prize book aboard Socrates de Midos.

Photo Credit:  The 2012 HITS Desert Circuit, 2012 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, and 2012 HITS Arizona Winter Circuit prize lists.  Photo courtesy of client.

R.I.P. Wisby D

Sadly, on Thanksgiving Day, Michelle’s old campaigner Wisby D was humanely euthanized after suffering a spinal injury. Twenty-seven years of age, Wisby had been enjoying his years of retirement at Michelle’s mom’s Cross Creek Farms in Tucson where he shared the barn with other former Grand Prix competitors including Rigoletto B, Treffer, and Acapulco – top mounts all.

But Wisby held a special place in our hearts. Purchased sight unseen from Europe except for videotape and a recommendation from trusted mentor Frank Selinger, Wisby was a hot and ready horse who tested Michelle’s skills as a rider but rose to the occasion with some memorable performances. Michelle won her very first Grand Prix aboard Wisby during the 1998 HITS Desert Circuit, where they topped the field in the $75,000 Bayer/USET Grand Prix of Indio.

He went on to more Grand Prix wins and multiple placings, but the highlight of his career had to be his outstanding round in the 2000 Spruce Meadows Shell Cup Derby. A fiercely demanding course, in its history up to that date only eleven horses had ever completed the Derby fault-free.  Wisby and Michelle laid down a 4-fault round to the cheers of a crowd of some 50,000 spectators and took home a healthy share of the purse.

Wisby Prof Calgary Herald Fall-Off_1-1Sometimes, instead of rising to the occasion, he blew a fuse and all chances of a prize.  Most notably, in the million dollar duMaurier at the Spruce Meadows Masters, he started out brilliantly but after rubbing a jump he ran away with Michelle in his hackamore which led to a refusal that almost unseated her.  The next morning she woke to find her photo in full color on the front page of Canada’s nationwide newspaper, the National Post, more or less the equivalent of USA Today! After that he always wore a bit with his hackamore!

We will miss his inquisitive face and ever hopeful quest for treats, but we will always remember him gratefully as the “breakthrough” horse who jump-started Michelle’s Grand Prix winning career.

VIDEO: 2000 Spruce Meadows Shell Cup Derby

VIDEO: 1998 $75,000 Bayer/USET Grand Prix of Indio

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Two Weeks in Tucson

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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.

A Red White and BLUE Ribbon Day for Socrates & Michelle

Contrats to Michelle Parker on ANOTHER win aboard her Socrates de Midos, Cross Creek Farms’ handsome gray gelding who just keeps bringing home the Grand Prix prize money to pay for his oats.  This time the venue was the $25,000 Red White and Blue Festival at the Mission Viejo Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano.

Nineteen horses competed, with only Socrates and Chello Z (Josephina Nor-Lantzman) going clean in the first round.  Socrates went first in the jump off, starting out conservatively but really opening up his big stride at the end to win by .28 of a second.  Michelle also brought home an 8th place ribbon aboard her second ride, Clever.

Other recent placings for Socrates include a strong 3rd place finish in the $35,000 Blenheim Spring Classic III Grand Prix and an 8th place finish last weekend in the $30,000 Copa de Amistad Grand Prix also at the Mission Viejo Park.

PRESS RELEASE for Blenheim EquiSports Press Release

Cover Girl!

004153Prize lists for the upcoming HITS winter shows are ready for publication, and look who’s on the cover for the 2010 Arizona Winter Circuit prize book!

Press Release: HITS Winter Show Circuit Prize Lists Now Available Online

Photo Credit:  The 2010 HITS Desert Circuit, 2010 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, and 2010 HITS Arizona Winter Circuit prize lists.  Photo courtesy of client.

Athletica wins $5,000 Super Stake

IMG_0197-624-625Cross Creek West had a good showing at the Tucson Fall Festival and the Tucson Fall Classic horse shows in Arizona this month.  Michelle brought a string of young up-and-coming equine stars to gain some experience and ring mileage.  All moved up in levels and earned some nice prizes in the big money classes offered at the shows.

Best video footage of the show was taken the last week during the $5,000 Super Stake on Saturday.  The grey mare Athletica with Michelle in the irons was double-clean with a blazing fast jump off round that no one could touch.  The second place horse was almost 5 seconds slower!  Click HERE to watch the video of Athletica’s winning round.

Other notable prizes went to Reina who placed 3rd in the Grand Prix and Tocayo who placed 4th in the same Grand Prix.  Photo of the week (above) went to Xel-ha, an impressive six-year-old mare who jumped the standards in the triple combination.

Congrats to all!