Prestige Riders Hoist the Champagne Barons de Rothschild Trophy and Just One Eye Trophy
Friday 02nd October 2015 Los Angeles
The first CSI2* class for Prestige Trophy riders began with great excitement in a speed class that also incorporated bonus points for certain fences jumped. The crowd in the stand showed enthusiasm for riders’ decisions with collective gasps and cheers, to fill the arena with palpable energy.

A field of 23 riders boldly attempted complicated courses, with horses in high gear, but it was Karrie Rufer (USA) with a daring round that racked up the maximum number of points with the fastest time. Rufer was riding her 11-year-old, dappled gray, Dutch Warmblood stallion Clapton (Clinton I x Triumph) that she purchased from Europe in January.

“I rode like it was a speed class and as smooth as possible,” Rufer said. “If you never adjust a horse on course, you’re able to go much faster. This horse goes like an equitation horse—soft but with an energetic canter, which makes it easy for me to find the jumps.”

“The show is great,” she added. “There’s enough diversity for riders and for people who don’t ride. After yesterday’s class, I remembered that it was my mom’s birthday so I ran over to Gucci to buy her a gift. It saved me.”

Rufer nearly repeated her winning performance in the Just One Eye Trophy class aboard her 9-year-old black mare Lotta 167 (Landor S x Graf Grannus) with a clear round that landed her a spot in the jump off, in addition to Meagan Nusz (USA) and Juan Jose Zendejas Salgado (MEX). But two rails in the final round took Rufer out of contention to win.

The first in the order to jump off, Nusz kept the rails up and recorded a time that encouraged the other two to chase her. Zendejas Salgado, riding 11-year-old Heros de Papignies Z (Heartbreaker x Ahorn Z), took the bait, but unfortunately knocked down a few rails and finished with 20 faults. So when the dust cleared from the three fast rounds, Nusz emerged the victor aboard 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Vesuvius (Numero Uno x Expert).

“My horse is a fantastic teacher for me,” Nusz said. “Now that I’m riding as a professional, he’s stepped up as my speed horse. He’s spooky and super careful and super competitive.”

“Los Angeles is an amazing city,” she added. “The restaurants and my hotel are fantastic, and my parents are here so we can make it a mini vacation. The organizers have done an incredible job with the show. I’m excited to watch my trainer Kent Farrington show one of my horses in tonight’s Longines Speed Challenge. I hope they win a bottle of champagne, too.”

And how will Vesuvius celebrate his big win? With Skittles, his favorite treat.