Hilary McNerney (USA) piloted her Balans RV to the fastest clear at 30.05 seconds. She purchased the 9-year-old, Dutch Warmblood gelding last year in Florida and campaigned him on the European Tour, but the Longines Masters of Los Angeles is the first indoor that they’ve entered together.
“I was a little nervous, but he was perfect,” McNerney said. “I moved up a division this year from last year’s LA Masters. I love this show—the atmosphere is amazing and the set up is impressive. It’s a high-class show.”
“I’m going to the gala tonight,” she added, in response to how she’ll celebrate her win. “And I’m going to watch my friends in the evening class.”
In the CSI2* competition, Ray Texel (USA), aboard Baldira, bested a field of 23 to claim the victory. It was the first appearance for the 10-year-old chestnut mare at a Longines Masters event and the second for Texel.
“I thought the course was a lovely first course for the level, with a nice use of the ring” Texel said. “It was an open, relaxed experience, although I’m sure the courses will become more technical throughout the show.”
“The improvements to the show’s setup from last year are well thought out and better for the horses, and I couldn’t ask for a better atmosphere,” he added. “It’s impressive but not overwhelming. The show encapsulates refinement and attention to the details, which goes hand in hand with what we do as horsemen.”