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Nicole Shahinian-Simpson Triumphs At Indio Show Jumping Finale

Indio, CA (March 9, 2003)—Nicole Shahinian-Simpson of Westlake Village, California, rode El Campeon Farms' "Cirka Z" to the blue ribbon in the $150,000 Ford Grand Prix of the Desert. Shahinian-Simpson bested a starting field of 39 horse and rider pairs in the Conrad Homfeld designed show jumping course that had 14 challenging efforts in the first round. Only seven of the first round riders managed to go clean and return for the jump-off and of them, only two were "double-clear." In second place was Guillermo Obligato of Carlsbad, California aboard Charlotte Mashburn's "Lou Lou." The pair had no knockdowns, but were more than a second slower through the timers. Finishing in third place was "Pasadena," piloted by Misty Cassar for Chris Albrecht's Sopranos Farm of Malibu, CA.

Today's Ford Grand Prix of the Desert was also the final qualifying event for the selection of the West Coast squad that will represent the United States Equestrian Team at the Budweiser World Cup of Show Jumping to be held April 16 - 20 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The riders named to the west coast squad are Nicole Shahinian-Simpson, her husband Will Simpson, Richard Spooner (Burbank, CA) and John French (Menlo Park, CA). Spooner, who was the winningest rider on this year's six-week series in Indio, also took home the prestigious Golden Horse "Super Bowl" ring as the leading Grand Prix Rider on the circuit.

The Ford Grand Prix competition coincided with Fiesta Day at the HITS Indio Desert Horse Park. Several thousand spectators were enthralled to watch Hollywood stunt rider, champion roper and horse trainer Ramon Becerra perform aboard his Andalusian and Fresian horses. Ramon, who trains and rides with Hollywood actress Bo Derek, was joined on field by international dressage riding star Brigitte Huber. Other Fiesta Day festivities included performances by the Abel Garcia Youth Mariachi Band. Authentic Mexican food was served by Teddy's Restaurant of La Quinta and Toni's Mexican Seafood Restaurant of Indio.

Other major award winners at the Indio Desert Circuit VI included:

Bayer Legend Leading Hunter Rider - John Bragg, Petaluma, CA
Bayer Legend Leading Jumper Rider - Guy Thomas, Burson, CA
HBO Junior Medal Winner - Pauline Poe, Rancho Santa Fe, CA
Charles Owen Children's Medal Winner - Chelsea Wilkinson, Rancho Santa Fe, CA
Charles Owen Adult Medal Winner - Tarni Bell, Rickridge, CA
Patricia O'Connell Grand Hunter Champion - Corallie, Carleton Brooks & Margaret O'Meara, Bellevue, WA
Michael Patrick Perpetual Trophy for High Point Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Circuit Champion, trophy donated by Cathy Hayes - Double Take, Eva Gonda, Beverly Hills, CA
Potcreek Meadow Farm Junior Sportsman Award - Kasey Ament, Reche Canyon, CA
Jimmy Kohn Style of Riding Perpetual Trophy, sponsored by Karen Healey Stables - Marley Goodman, Wellington, FL
Lifetime Achievement Award - Dr. William R. Nissen, Valley Center, CA

Televised Coverage - $75,000 Bayer/USET Grand Prix
Continuing its commitment to equestrian sports television coverage this winter, Outdoor Life Network (OLN) will air the $75,000 Bayer/USET Grand Prix held at the HITS Indio Desert Circuit. Show jumping fans can tune into the OLN national cable telecast to be aired on:

Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 3:00-4:00pm ET
Friday, April 25, 2003 - 12:00-1:00pm ET

$150,000 Ford Grand Prix of the Desert - Sunday, March 9, 2003
Indio Desert Circuit VI - Indio, CA
Conrad Homfeld, Southampton, NY: Course Designer
Place Horse Rider Owner Prize Money Rd 1 Faults Rd 2 Faults JO Time

1st El Campeons Cirka Z Nicole Shahinian-Simpson El Campeon Farms $45,000 0 0 44.47
2nd Lou Lou Guillermo Obligado Charlotte L Mashburn $33,000 0 0 45.88
3rd Pasadena Misti Cassar Soprands Farm $19,500 0 4 46.73
4th Robinson Richard A Spooner Half Moon Bay Investment Group $12,000 0 8 42.36
5th El Campeons Ado Annie Will Simpson El Campeon Farms $9,000 0 8 43.49
6th Grand Soso 2 Laura Linback Woodrun $7,500 0 8 44.00
7th Apprapos Marley Goodman Marley Goodman / Turtle Lane Farm $6,000 0 12 46.50
8th Adonis All Star Peter Breakwell Adonis Capital $2,700 4
8th Lexicon Helen McNaught Beverly Hills Equestrian Partners $2,700 4
12th Bradford Richard A Spooner Tracey Kenly / Kenly Farms $1,028.57 8
12th El Campeons Petri Nicole Shahinian-Simpson El Campeon Farms $1,028.57 8
12th Lady D Jeff Campf Oz Investments / Sequoia Farm $1,028.57 8
12th El Campeons So Long Eva Gonda El Campeon Farms $1,028.57 8
12th Quietude Cathleen Calvert Cathleen Calvert $1,028.57 8
12th Horalas Hap Hansen Diane Rushing $1,028.57 8
12th Edesa's Divine Eddy Sepul Edesa Horse Promotion Inc. $1,028.57 8



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