(C) ESI Photography
Jill Humphrey and Zubliem on the way to their $25,000 Sunshine Classic win during National Sunshine Series Week II.
The all-new National Sunshine Series called it a wrap late Sunday afternoon, but not without a final exhilarating jumper class. All eyes were on the Grand Prix Stadium for the $25,000 Sunshine Classic which drew an impressive list of decorated riders and horses, including Olympians and World Cup alumni.
Thirty-eight took a go at the 13-fence course designed by Alan Wade, which proved tricky for all but eight who would move into the jump off. Jill Humphrey, of Sacramento, California, rode Alicia and Chris Foster’s Zubliem to lead both rounds in time and secured the win in a crisp 42.21 only after besting Bliss Heers’ and Cortina 179 clear track and 43.04.
Humphrey’s trainer and business partner at Leone Equestrian, Rudy Leone, was ecstatic about the win and the overall show experience.
“Ali and Francie with HITS have created a pretty exciting event that has remained entertaining and competitive the entire time. I think they knocked it out of the park in working to please exhibitors,” said Leone.
“All the little details made for a terrific but extremely competitive time for both hunters and jumpers alike,” he continued. “It’s like going on a vacation but coming to compete with hundreds of your friends too.”
Heers, of Olivenhain, California, placed second behind Humphrey, adding to her other National Sunshine show ring success, including third in the $35,000 FEI Sunshine Welcome.
$25,000 Sunshine Classic
1 Zubliem/Jill Humphrey $7,500 0/0/42.218
2 Cortina 179/Bliss Heers $5,500 0/0/43.04
3 Paloma/Keri Potter $3,250 0/4/39.953
4 The Dude Monarch International William Simpson $2,000 0/4/41.572
5 Lux Lady/Rich Fellers $1,500 0/4/42.524
6 Big Star/Sayre Happy $1,250 0/4/47.163
7 Geledimar/Hannah Heidegger $1,000 0/8/45.235
8 New York/Juan Pablo Gnecco $750 0/12/42.585
9 Valencia/Darragh Kenny $750 4 – –
10 Soraya De l’obstination/Reed Kessler $500 4 – –
11 Miss CashCall/Eduardo Menezes $500 4 – –
12 Chianto/John Pearce $500 4 – –
Source: HITS Media, Inc.