• Lo Elizabeth. Kentucky Rolex starts tomorrow. You know I'm gonna be on @USEFNetwork all day. 🐎😍🙌 Retweeted by USEFNetwork 4/23/2014 11:21:10 PM
  • USEF Network Ride times for tomorrow...anybody excited yet ;) #rk3de http://t.co/ZZv790e72E 4/23/2014 10:27:47 PM
  • Amanda Kornacki Yep I'm not going to be mentally in school for the rest of the week. Instead I'm going to be watching the @RolexKentucky on usef network😊 Retweeted by USEFNetwork 4/23/2014 9:39:01 PM
  • USEF Network 12 hours...#rk3de #eventinglive http://t.co/LSdqo5gDYc 4/23/2014 9:30:38 PM
  • USEF Network We're pretty stoked to have all-star voice @JohnKyleSpeaks as our #rk3de soundtrack this year. http://t.co/3VzcieAGzM #eventinglive 4/23/2014 7:45:45 PM
  • USEF Network Large Field Ready for Start of 2014 @RolexKentucky http://t.co/cQypMPitoH It's going to be a great one! #rk3de 4/23/2014 7:14:13 PM
  • John Kyle Lovely first day at #RK3DE. @USEFNetwork broadcast should be excellent, tune in every day. Gutted for connections of the 3 horses spun. Retweeted by USEFNetwork 4/23/2014 6:49:00 PM
  • Glorious Alliance Remember that @USEFNetwork is live streaming the Rolex Kentucky and the Del Mar National this weekend!!! Retweeted by USEFNetwork 4/23/2014 6:48:52 PM
  • Kentucky Reining Cup Competitors schooling at the @KyHorsePark today to prepare for this weekend! Get tickets at http://t.co/aWzDDyDMWT! http://t.co/ERxzulkHZP Retweeted by USEFNetwork 4/23/2014 5:07:50 PM
  • USEF Network Fun info graphic from @eventingnation about the riders at #rk3de http://t.co/PCsw0JKF1w 4/23/2014 5:03:11 PM


John Pearce Wins the $30,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, at HITS DC IV

RELEASE: February 26, 2013

Thermal, CA - The crowd had plenty to cheer about as Canadian rider John Pearce and his majestic grey mount Chianto sped to victory in the $30,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, on Sunday.

With 10 making it into the jump-off from a field of 55 starters, there was no question that the final round would provide a fast and furious finish to HITS Desert Circuit IV. And it did. Pearce’s jump-off time of 39.56 seconds was less than a half-second faster than Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum’s 39.96 second-place finish on Octavia Farms’ Malou. In third, Mexico’s Enrique Gonzalez and his own Quilebo Du Tillard broke the beam at 40.97 seconds.

Saer Coulter of San Francisco, California, was fourth, clocking in at 41.458 seconds on Copernicus Stables’ Don VHP Z, and Jill Henselwood, another Canadian rider, with Juniper Farms’ New Idol Z were fifth with a jump-off time of 42.98 seconds.

“From beginning to end, it was a very technical course, and very hard to jump clean,” Pearce said after the class, adding, “I never go into a jump-off not trying to win. Chianto and I gave it everything we had and it worked.” In addition to Chianto, Pearce competed his own Son of a Gun.

The afternoon unfolded under picture-perfect California skies – sunny and about 75 degrees. The field took to German designer Olaf Petersen, Jr.’s round-one course of 13 obstacles and 16 jumping efforts. Sixteen rounds later, the audience got its first clear round from Mexico’s Gonzalez and Quilebo Du Tillard, followed by two more perfect tours, from Canada’s Tammie Philips and her own Lerche 37 – who ultimately finished ninth – and Coulter with Don VHP Z.

The other clears were evenly spaced through the remaining order of 37 rides, making for intense bursts of excitement as Egypt’s Nayel Nassar rode out, 25th in the order on his own Lordan and delivered a clean tour and was  followed three rounds later by Coulter and Carmena Z, then Pearce and Chianto.

“For a $30,000 course, it was plenty scopey,” Pearce added. “The triple combination made the horses work very hard.” The time-allowed of 79 seconds was generous, resulting in few time faults other than in cases where refusals factored in.

The top 12 riders in the $30,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, earned valuable prize money and another week’s qualification for the highly-anticipated AIG Thermal $1 Million Grand Prix, presented by Lamborghini Newport Beach, taking place March 17.