Cansas Takes John Bragg to Top of the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix

RELEASE: March 9, 2013

John Bragg and Cansas were the ones to beat this week in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix at HITS Thermal and pocketed a total score of 172 for the win (Flying Horse Photography)
John Bragg and Cansas were the ones to beat this week in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix at HITS Thermal and pocketed a total score of 172 for the win (Flying Horse Photography)
Thermal, CA
 - It was a hard fought contest for the ribbons in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix Friday, with 46 horse-and-rider combinations on course. At the end of the day, it was three top California riders in the first three slots, with John Bragg of Rancho Santa Fe and Cansas in first. Carleton Brooks of Pacific Palisades and Crown Royal were in second, while Hope Glynn, of Petaluma finished third with Clivenden and fourth with Winter Rose.

Cansas is a new ride for Bragg, who purchased the horse for Grady Lyman, the 12-year-old rider who won last week’s Devoucoux Prix riding Flirt. Lyman trains at Bridgeport Farms with Bragg and Richard Slocum. “He’s a very talented horse, and he and Grady are going to be a great combination,” Bragg said, noting that he would be readying the six-year-old by competing him through 2013 with Lyman taking the reins in 2014. Bragg scored an impressive 85.5 in round one, and 86.5 in round two, for a total score of 172.

Carleton Brooks was also on a new ride. This is his first circuit competing Crown Royal, owned by Carolyn De van, who came to his barn in December. This was also Brooks’ first Devoucoux Hunter Prix of the circuit.  “I thought I’d better try it, to prepare for next week’s $50,000 East West Challenge,” Brooks said of competing on the Outside Course.  Of Crown Royal, whose 16-year-old owner rides in the juniors, Brooks continued, “This horse is one of the very best. His jumping style, overall presence and consistency are phenomenal. You can count on him every time. He’s a real show horse.” Brooks and Crown Royal pocketed scores of 85.25 in round one and an 85.5 in round two, for a combined 170.75.

Hope Glynn was the busiest rider of the day and was pleased that she made it back for the second round with all of her horses. “The goal is to make it to round two, everything else is just icing on the cake,” Glynn said. On the third-place Clivden, a catch ride for owner Celine Claessens and trainer Devon Gibson, Glynn scored an 84.75 in her first go and an 85.5 on the second trip, for a total of 170.25. Fourth-place Winter Rose, a lovely dapple gray owned by Georgy Maskrey-Segesman, helped Glynn to a collective 170. Glynn also finished eighth with Emma Townsend’s CR Haribo.

Melissa Doddridge, riding Pamela Doddridge’s Bentley, was fifth, with a total of 169. All the top five riders kept competition tight with only three points separating first and fifth. This week’s Devoucoux Hunter Prix course was set by Tucker Williams of Houston, Texas. Williams has been designing at HITS Ocala and HITS Thermal this winter while showcasing is inventory of CCI Jumps at both shows. “What an excellent opportunity this has been for me,” he said. “I was so impressed this week with the quality of horses and horsemanship on the West Coast. I see these new Outside Courses and bank options included in the hunter prix as the wave of the future.”

$1,500 HITS Hunter Prix

Earlier in the day, it was 27-year-old Emily Winkler of Long Beach, California, and her own Brenner who rode to the blue in the $1,500 HITS Hunter Prix. A total of 32 horses competed, but Winkler’s score of 171 was four full points ahead of second-place Erika Scherer and Starview LLC’s Serantino.

“I have so much fun competing in this class and look forward to it each week,” said Winkler, who trains with Tracy Baer. “Brenner was imported from Germany in June and had previously only done dressage, so I’m thrilled about his first big Hunter Prix win.”

Winkler also picked up third in the irons of her own Landmark. Brooke Sassa was four with Tracy Baer’s Widget and Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave capped the top five with Polly Sweeney’s Duet.