• USEF Network Cellino, owned by Julie Thompson and ridden by Martien Van Der Hoeven win today's Intl. Hunter Derby at #GCWClassic 3/6/2015 1:09:34 PM
  • USEF Network Bowie & Courtney Calcagnini close the Handy rd. with a 187 . Their total is 363 #GCWClassic http://t.co/crpw6XMxrI 3/6/2015 1:08:09 PM
  • USEF Network Cellino & Martien Van Der Hoeven have 194 in the Handy rd. Their total is 365 and gives them the lead! http://t.co/qWsBOr75K8 3/6/2015 1:04:03 PM
  • USEF Network Player & Thomas Le Blanc score 166 in the Handy rd. 336 is their total score. #GCWClassic 3/6/2015 12:59:43 PM
  • USEF Network Gabriella & Sarah Young score 171 in the Handy rd. Their total score is 340.50 #GCWClassic http://t.co/6NiqTcU9Fe 3/6/2015 12:56:39 PM
  • USEF Network 164 Handy rd. score for Manchester & Holly Shepherd. Their total is 329 #GCWClassic http://t.co/FPSbddWRHS 3/6/2015 12:52:39 PM
  • USEF Network White Lightning & Callie Schott score 188 in the Handy rd. Total score is 352, good for the lead right now. http://t.co/3IeqC1SXzS 3/6/2015 12:49:42 PM
  • USEF Network 160 Handy rd. score for La Roxx & Jessica Harries. Total is 323,50 #GCWClassic http://t.co/EuuflGriyF 3/6/2015 12:46:23 PM
  • USEF Network Cousteaux & Dan Urban score 183 in the Handy rd. Their total is 346, making them the new leaders. #GCWClassic http://t.co/KX8KhjM6fL 3/6/2015 12:42:22 PM
  • USEF Network Handy rd. score for Christabel & Rebecca Odom is 181. Total of 342 takes the lead #GCWClassic http://t.co/hqWcejTzxC 3/6/2015 12:39:20 PM


Josephina Nor-Lantzman Cracks Florencio Hernandez’s Code to Win the $30,000 SmartPak Grand Prix at HITS Thermal

RELEASE: February 13, 2013

Josephina Nor Lantzman and Chello Z topped a field of 52 to win $30,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, at HITS Thermal before the HITS Desert Circuit takes a week off and returns with four more weeks of competition February 19 (©Flying Horse Photography)
Josephina Nor Lantzman and Chello Z topped a field of 52 to win $30,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, at HITS Thermal before the HITS Desert Circuit takes a week off and returns with four more weeks of competition February 19 (©Flying Horse Photography)
Thermal, CA
- A week of thrilling show jumping competition culminating in the $30,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis,  brought HITS Desert Circuit III to wrap Sunday, concluding the first half of the 2013 winter circuit.

The grace note grand prix of Desert Circuit III was a show closer, with a tight contest that had spectators on the edge of their seats as 52 battled it out for the blue. Testing their skill over another scopey, technical course by Mexico’s Florencio Hernandez, five made it to the jump-off, but it was Del Mar’s Josephina Nor-Lantzman, riding her own Chello Z that took the top prize.

The 12-obstacle round one course was as much a test of mental concentration as physical agility and stamina, with some very technical questions. There were 15 jumping efforts, including three doubles and two very tight turns, with a tough line from an oxer at 10 to an oxer-vertical in-and-out at 11 a-b.

Nor-Lantzman was the only one to deliver double clear rounds. “During round one, when they first adjusted the time allowed, I thought it was too generous,” said Nor-Lantzman of the adjustment from 84 to 91 seconds. “I expected there to be 10 or 12 clear, but there were only five.”

It was the twenty-third entry in the ring, Stanford, California’s Saer Coulter on her own stallion Don VHP Z, that produced the first clear round. That performance was matched four tries later by Eduardo Menezes of Carlsbad, California, and his own Tomba Mercedes Benz. Menezes and Tomba would ultimately drive into second and Coulter third, each with a rail in the jump-off.

Canadian rider John Pearce was the next to go clear, riding Forest View Farm’s Chianto. Then came Nor-Lantzman’s ride as the fourth clear. The second to last on the field, Liz Ashton of Victoria, British Columbia, and her own Serafina also went clean, making it five for the jump-off.

As the second to last to go in the jump off, Nor-Lantzman saw the three before her spill rails, and had the luxury of knowing that speed would be less of an issue than precision. “I took my time and ultimately went for the clean round. It was a definite advantage going late in the jump-off,” she said.

When Ashton and Serafina dropped a pole, Nor-Lantzman’s win was secured, with Ashton fourth and Pearce fifth.

“It was a very good course – technical and challenging enough, without being too much,” said Nor-Lantzman, who will be taking the next few weeks off for some trail riding and relaxation, she said. With plans to return for Desert Circuit VI and VII, she hopes to compete with Chello Z in the AIG Thermal $1 Million Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, for which this class was a qualifier.

“We might come back for week V. We’ll see how we feel. We absolutely want to qualify for the AIG Million, and have been moving up the rankings. Hopefully this will move us up a bit,” said Nor-Lantzman.

For his part, Menezes, who has had a great first half of the Desert Circuit, also winning the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix presented by Zoetis, during week I, aboard his Caruschka, said it was a great competition. “This was Florencio’s best course of the week. It was very physically challenging. It offered plenty of options with the turns, and really made you think.”

Now riders, trainers, owners and show attendees get to relax with a week off before heading back for more of the West Coast’s best hunter-jumper action, beginning February 19 with Desert Circuit IV. The excitement continues through Desert Circuit VII, which culminates with the AIG Thermal Million March 17 in a weekend build-up that heats up with  the $50,000 East Meets West Hunter Challenge March 16.

$10,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic High

Earlier in the day, it was Stanford, California’s Nayel Nassar and his own Dunsoghly Junior who won the $10,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic High, taking home $3,000. Lauren Hester of and Wender came in second, for a prize of $2,000 and Hannah Von Heidegger riding Monarch International’s Geledimar third, for $1,400.

Kara Chad was fourth aboard Stone Ridge Farms, LLC’s Wing Sublieme and fifth went to Lauren Kay in the irons of her own Siendifie.