As the third week of the HITS Indio Desert Circuit concluded, mid-circuit champions were presented with championship ribbons and special awards during the opening ceremonies of the $75,000 Bayer/USET Grand Prix. During the first three weeks, some of the top equitation and hunter judges in the country have presided over very competitive divisions and classics.
Horses owned by Cathy Mendez of Menlo Park, CA and ridden by well-known hunter rider and trainer John French captured several mid-circuit awards. Lucky Brown won dual championships in the Low and Pre-Green Hunters. Molly Malone captured the championship in the Green Conformation. Mendez herself finished as the reserve mid-circuit champion aboard Windsor in the Adult Amateur Jumpers 31-40.
Nicoletta Von Heidegger of Chatsworth, CA is best known for her dominance in the pony division. She continued with the mid-circuit championship in the Pony Equitation and the Medium Pony Hunters. However, the young rider also won the Modified Child/Adult Hunter mid-circuit championship with her horse, Material Girl.
Kirsten Coe of North Hollywood, CA continued her winning streak with In Style in the Regular Working Hunters. With championships Weeks I and III, and a reserve championship Week II, the pair cantered off with the mid-circuit championship. DiAnn Langer (N. Hollywood, CA) trains the lovely thoroughbred mare, and she also trained two other mid-circuit winners. Gina Groth-Moffatt, a perennial winner in the equitation division, was mid-circuit champion in Amateur Equitation 36-50. Annie Finch (Los Angeles, CA), a relative newcomer to the equitation ranks finished as reserve mid-circuit champion. Finch also won two of the three Arait classes so far in the Indio Desert Circuit.
Andrew Ramsay has won two of the three USET Talent Search classes, and he has dominated the High Junior Jumpers. Nighty took the mid-circuit championship and Solitude was the reserve mid-circuit champion. In the Amateur Owner Jumpers High, Dana Levin and Blackmail edged out Jenny Williams and Mariska.
Mary Ann Weisberg-Perry has returned to the Amateur Owner Hunter ranks with a vengeance. Under Karen Healeys watchful eye, Weisberg-Perry is enjoying great success with her four quality horses. However, it was Petrus, a champion in his own right, that garnered the mid-circuit championship for Weisberg-Perry. Laurie Lewis and Lifestyle earned the reserve honor.
After a one week break, the HITS Indio Desert Circuit resumes for its final three weeks of keen competition, culminating with the $150,000 Ford Grand Prix on Sunday, March 10 at 2:00 p.m.
UPCOMING EVENTS AT