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Will Simpson wins 4th consecutive Del Mar International Grand Prix CSI-W title

Del Mar Fairgrounds - For an unprecedented fourth consecutive year, Will Simpson riding El Campeon's Ado Annie owned by El Campeon Farms won the $35,000 Del Mar International Grand Prix CSI-W, a World Cup Qualifier, on Saturday, Sept. 27 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds Arena.

This was the fourth year for the Del Mar International Grand Prix; which, since its debut, has crowned only one champion: Will Simpson and El Campeon's Ado Annie.

The $35,000 Del Mar International Grand Prix, CSI-W, was the featured event of the Del Mar International Horse Show, which ran from Sept 25 - 28. Other major competitions during the horse show included: the Mary's Tack and Feed $5,000 Double Slalom, won by Guy Thomas riding Play Boy, owned by Carolyn Putney; and the $5,000 Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic (Section II) won by Heather Olson riding Kuroso, owned by Orchard Hill Farm.

Will Simpson riding El Campeon's Ado Annie rode two clean rounds to win the $35,000 Del Mar International Grand Prix, CSI-W. This was the fourth consecutive year the team has won the Del Mar International CSI-W Grand Prix, which may be a record for annual CSI-W wins. (Photo courtesy of Daniel Lew)

The Del Mar International Grand Prix, CSI-W, featured an enormous course set by Leopoldo Palacios with an initial time allowed of :74 seconds, which was expanded to :77 seconds. A total of 26 riders entered the class with three scratching -- two upon walking the course and one prior.

The first clean round in the time allowed was posted by defending champion Will Simpson and Ado Annie, riding 17th in the order of go. A second clean round was ridden by Helen McNaught on Lexicon owned by Beverly Hills Equestrian Park of Simi Valley, CA.

Guillermo Obligado, riding for Argentina, rode two separate clear rounds; but received one time fault on each: Carlson owned by Woodgrove Farm of Carlsbad, CA; and Lou Lou owned by Charlotte Mashburn of Bonsall, CA.

In the jump-off, the excitement grew as Simpson and Ado Annie went first and came through with a clean round. McNaught and Lexicon dropped an early rail, at which time the crowd roared with excitement knowing Simpson and El Campeon's Ado Annie may have made history by winning their fourth consecutive Del Mar International Grand Prix, CSI-W, title. Officials from the United States Equestrian Team are researching their records to determine if any other team has won four consecutive annual CSI-W events.

The team not only may have made it into the record books for consecutive annual wins in the same event, but also took home the $12,000 first place prize money and the Thomas Endicott Perpetual Memorial Trophy; which has only been awarded to one pair: Will Simpson and Ado Annie.
"This was a great Grand Prix. It's just incredible that Will's won it four times, this was a very difficult and demanding course," said Dale Harvey, the horse show's coordinator.

McNaught and Lexicon earned $8,000 second place money, while Obligado tied for third place on both his mounts.
The results from the Del Mar International Grand Prix, CSI-W, are as follows:

Place Horse Rider Owner
1. El Campeon's Ado Annie Will Simpson El Campeon Farms
2. Lexicon Helen McNaught Beverly Hills Equestrian Park
3. Carlson Guillermo Obligado Woodgrove Farm
3. Lou Lou Guillermo Obligado Charlotte Mashburn
5. Robinson Richard Spooner Halfmoon Bay Investment Group
5. El Campeon's So Long Nicole Shahinian-Simpson El Campeon Farms
5. Only One Josephina Nor Josephina Nor


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