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Hap Hansen and Maloubet Win $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix at Indio

INDIO, CA (February 2, 2001)--Hap Hansen, riding Maloubet, bested a field of 48 riders over Course Designer Michel Vaillancourt's $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix course at the Indio Desert Circuit in Indio, California, today, adding another victory to his career record of more than 90 Grand Prix wins. Hansen, 49, from Encinitas, California, rode three horses in Round One and was clear on all of them. Maloubet, a 12-year-old Belgian warmblood owned by Linda Smith, was last to go in the 10-horse jump-off and snatched the lead from Ray Texel on Fleur by 0.471 seconds. Hansen also placed fourth on Magnetic, a horse he owns with The Magnetic Group; and seventh on Jaguar, owned by Linda Starkman Burke. Richard Spooner, who won the first two Grand Prix classes at Indio, rode four horses in today's class, but had only one clean for the jump-off, Prestige owned by Hanover Meadows. The pair earned 12 faults in 35.661 for tenth place. Lauren Hough on Clasiko, her horse for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, had four faults in Round One and placed 12th.

Before the start of the Grand Prix, Course Designer Vaillancourt said, "I have one line after the water jump that's going to be very challenging. The triple combination will be a scope test but it's not going to be that technical. The double combination will be very difficult. The pair of verticals is set in a bad distance that will sort them out. Otherwise, we're looking for good sport and safe journey. Hopefully we'll have a good outing today and be better prepared for Sunday. That's where the real test will be. When the riders come out of today's competition they'll have a much better assessment of how their horses are behaving and how satisfied they are with their ride-ability and performance. Then they can make a small adjustment if necessary for Sunday." The $50,000 Cosequin® Grand Prix to be held on Sunday, February 4, is the first of four World Cup Finals qualifiers at Indio.

For today's Round One, Time Allowed was set at 83 seconds to clear 15 fences. Vaillancourt built a double at Fence No. 4; water at Fence No. 6; and a triple combination at Fence No. 11. It proved to be the triple not the double that sorted out the field--12 riders tumbled the double, and 18 riders couldn't clear the triple. Seven riders were clean for the jump-off on ten horses, including Hansen on three and Texel on two.

Vaillancourt built six jumps for the Jump-Off and set Time Allowed at 50 seconds. Seven horses had double-clear rounds, and the placings were made based on fractions of a second. Third in the order on Magnetic, Hansen held the lead for four rides, including his second ride on Jaguar who was clear in 36.703. Texel, 28, from Malibu, California, rode two horses for owner Beverly Hills Equestrian Park, LLC. He was clear in 36.337 on Pershing to finish fifth, but momentarily had the lead on Fleur with a time of 34.201, ending up second. Rich Fellers on Amos owned by Harry and Mollie Chapman was ninth in the order and gave the leaders a run for their money with a clear round in 35.034 but had to settle for third. Hansen was last to go with Maloubet and stopped the clocks at 33.730 for the win.

Today's class was a qualifying Grand Prix for the Cosequin U.S. Grand Prix League Invitational Finals to be held in Culpeper, Virgina, September 26-30,

$25,000 ARIAT GRAND PRIX, February 2, 2001
Indio Desert Circuit II, Indio, California
Course Designer: Michel Vaillancourt

Pl# Horse/Rider/Owner/Prize Money/Rd 1/ Rd 2/Faults/J-O Time

1 Maloubet/Hap Hansen/Linda Smith//$7,500/0/0/33.730
2 Fleur/Ray Texel/Beverly Hills Equestrian Park, LLC/$5,000/0/0/34.201
3 Amos/Rich Fellers/Harry & Mollie Chapman/$3,500/0/0/35.034
4 Magnetic/Hap Hansen/The Magnetic Group & Hap Hansen/$2,250/0/0/35.606
5 Pershing/Ray Texel/Beverly Hills Equestrian Park, LLC/$1,500/0/0/36.337
6 Happyness/Michelle Parker/JR Farms/$1,125/0/0/36.562
7 Jaguar/Hap Hansen/Linda Starkman Burke/$875/0/036.703
8 El Campeon's Cirka Z/Nicole Shahinian-Simpson/El Campeon
9 Leoncuso/Sarah Baldwin/Brookwood Stables Inc./$650/0/4/39.375
10 Prestige/ Richard Spooner/Hanover Meadows/$625/0/12/35.661
11 Grace/Tracy Fenney/Hidden Lake Farm/$625/4/NA
12 Clasiko/Lauren Hough/Clasiko/$625/4/NA

Number of horses who competed in this class: 48
Class Prize Money: $25,000

HITS Indio Desert 2001 Show Jumping Action Continues
Circuit II January 31-February 4
Circuit III February 7-11
Off Week February 14 - 18
Circuit IV February 21-25
Circuit V February 28-March 4
Circuit VI March 7-11
Featured Events:
$25,000 Ariat Grand Prix Every Friday 1pm
$50,000 Cosequin® Grand Prix Sunday, February 4 1pm
$75,000 Bayer/USET Grand Prix of Indio
Presented by Sunday, February 11 1pm
$50,000 Rio Vista Grand Prix Sunday, February 25 1pm
$50,000 HITS Grand Prix Sunday, March 4 1pm
$50,000 East Meets West Hunter Challenge
Presented by The Chronicle of the Horse Sunday, March 11 8am
$150,000 Ford Grand Prix of the Desert Sunday, March 11 2pm

Special Day Events:
Kids Day
Presented by Fox Kids Club and KDFX Sunday, February 11 11am-1pm
Heritage Palms Seniors Day
Presented by KESQ TV3 & Palm Springs Follies Sunday, March 4 11am-1pm
Fiesta Day Sunday, March 11 11am-1pm

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