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Canadian John Pearce And Jamco's Champagne Win $75,000 Bayer/USET Grand Prix

INDIO, CA (February 16, 2004)—John Pearce of Stouffville, Ontario, riding Jamco's Champagne, captured the $75,000 Bayer/USET Grand Prix during week III of the HITS Indio Desert Circuit. Pearce bested a field of forty-seven horses, and was the fastest of four double-clears in an eight-horse jump-off. Pearce, who was last in the jump-off, edged out John French and Millenium by .24 of a second, leaving the pair in second place. Third place went to Mark Watring and Sapphire. Ashlee Bond and Fabius 45 took fourth place in the competition.

The $75,000 Bayer/USET Grand Prix was a qualifying class for the World Cup Finals to be held April 21-25 in Milan, Italy. Riders earn points that will determine their standings in the West Coast League. Richard Spooner, who took fifth in the competition aboard Hilton Flight, is currently top in the standings.

Course designer, Anthony D'Ambrosio of Red Hook, New York, built a 13-obstacle first round course including water at Fence No. 4, a double at Fence No. 5, and a triple at Fence No. 8. The time allowed was set at 92 seconds. Of the forty-seven starters, only eight horses advanced to Dambrosio's seven-element short course. The time allowed was set at 50 seconds.

“I was really happy with the outcome,” said Anthony D'Ambrosio. “I thought I would have six to eight in the jump-off, and we had eight. A lot of the horses made just one mistake. It was an exciting jump-off. Sometimes things just get faster and faster and become very exciting and suspenseful. Today was one of those days.”

Ashlee Bond and Fabius 45, owned by Little Valley Farm, went fourth in the order of go in the jump-off, and had the first clear round in a time of 44.37 seconds. Mark Watring and Sapphire were up next, delivering another clear round while shaving over a second off Bond's time. John French and Millenium, the third successive pair with a clear round, powered through the course in a very fast time of 39.74 seconds—a full three seconds faster than Watring. John Pearce and Jamco's Champagne were last in the order. Knowing what they had to beat, the pair decided to pull out all the stops. Pearce set a blistering pace, guiding Jamco's Champagne clear while shaving .24 of a second off the lead time, clocking in at 39.50 seconds for the win.

“I had a great start the first week and then I had a bit of a rough time last week,” said John Pearce. “I was bound and determined to do better this week. I did my homework and it paid off. John French and Richard Spooner are always threats. This is the second year for my horse at this level. I had to ask him to make moves that he's not used to. And in the end, I decided it was all or nothing.”

Other major award winners at Indio Desert Circuit III included:
Bayer Legend Leading Hunter Rider - Peter Pletcher, Houston, TX
Bayer Legend Leading Jumper Rider - Richard Spooner, Burbank, CA
HBO Junior Medal Winner - Jamee Crawford, Colorado Springs, CO
Charles Owen Children's Medal Winner - Julie Michelle Weisz, Coto De Caza, CA
Charles Owen Adult Medal Winner - Elizabeth Dickinson, Calabasas, CA
$25,000 Ariat Grand Prix - Richard A Spooner, Burbank, CA, riding Robinson, owned by Half Moon Bay Investment Group

John Pearce and Jamco's Champagne - Winners of the $75,000 Bayer/USET Grand Prix
(photo courtesy of Todd Sutherland Photography, © 2004)

$75,000 Bayer/USET Grand Prix - Sunday, February 15, 2004
Indio Desert Circuit III - Indio, CA
Course Designer: Anthony D'Ambrosio, Red Hook, New York

Place Horse Rider Owner Prize Money Rd 1
Faults JO
1st Jamco's Champagne John Pearce Forest View Farms $22,500 0 0 39.50
2nd Millenium John French Cathy / Alex Mendez $16,500 0 0 39.74
3rd Sapphire Mark Watring
Watring / Bohannan $9,750 0 0 42.82
4th Fabius 45 Ashlee Bond Little Valley Farm $6,000 0 0 44.37
5th Hilton Flight Richard A Spooner Freedom Farms Inc. $4,500 0 4 37.77
6th Robinson Richard A Spooner Half Moon Bay Investment Grp $3,750 0 4 38.93
7th Remember Me 9 Laura Linback Woodrun $3,000 0 4 40.29
8th Mogharebi's Jente Joie Gatlin Phoenix Equestrian Inc. $2,250 0 12 42.29
9th Itano De La Bastide Susan Hutchison Jenny McLaughlin $613.63 4
9th Pasadena Misti Cassar Sopranos Farm $613.63 4
9th Kir Royal Erin Duffy Erin Duffy $613.63 4
9th Grand Soso 2 Laura Linback Woodrun $613.63 4
9th Horalas Hap Hansen Diane Rushing $613.63 4
9th Scappino Chanel Gerardo Tazzer Gerardo Tazzer $613.63 4
9th El Campeons So Long Nicole Shahinian-Simpson El Campeon Farms $613.63 4
9th It's Cruising Bernie Traurig Blenheim Farms LLC $613.63 4
9th Callisto Jill Henselwood Juniper Farms LTD $613.63 4
9th Special Ed Jill Henselwood Juniper Farms LTD $613.63 4
9th Aka Canabis Z Manuel Senderos Manuel Senderos $613.63 4


Rest Week - No Show - February 16-22
Desert Circuit IV - February 25-29
Desert Circuit V - March 3-7
Desert Circuit VI - March 10-14

$25,000 Ariat Grand Prix - Every Friday at 1:00pm
$50,000 King Shavings Grand Prix - Sunday, February 29 at 1:00pm
$50,000 King Shavings Grand Prix Presented by Adequan ® - Sunday, March 7 at 1:00pm
$150,000 Ford Grand Prix of the Desert - Sunday, March 14 at 2:00pm

Kids Day Presented by KDFX Fox 11 - Sunday, February 15 from 11:00am-1:00pm
Seniors Day, Presented by KESQ TV3 and LaQuinta Rotary - Sunday, March 7 from 11:00am-1:00pm
Fiesta Day, Presented by Nextel and Avis Rent A Car - Sunday, March 14 from Noon to 2:00 pm
Circuit Awards - Sundays Prior to 1:00pm Grand Prix

Directions to HITS Desert Horse Park: Take I-10 to the Monroe Street exit in Indio. Go south approximately five miles to Avenue 52, and then turn right onto Avenue 52. Horse Show entrance is ½ mile on right. Tel: 760-775-7731; Fax: 760-775-7752. Website:



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