REGION — On the evening of June 28, the inaugural $5,000 Markel Insurance Pony Hunter Derby at the Blenheim Red, White & Blue Classic welcomed a group of small, medium and large ponies to the San Juan Capistrano North Grass Field.
Young rider Jillian Stuart of Rancho Santa Fe earned a third place riding Prima Ballerina and placed fifth astride Anisette.
After two rounds, Classic and Handy, it was Bianca Jenkins on her medium pony Fine Art that took home the top prize. Showpark Summer Festival is planned for July 16 to July 20 at the Blenheim facility.
Coming into the second round with an 82, Jenkins earned a score of 77 with five handy bonus points to take the lead. Her total score of 164 narrowly beat second place finisher Woodland’s Huck Finn with Grace Tuton. Tuton and her large pony earned 80 in both rounds, and three handy bonus points, which gave her a final score of 163. Rounding out the top three, small pony Prima Ballerina danced into third, with Stuart, of Rancho Santa Fe, aboard. Her final score was 162, with a 76 in the first round and an 80 in the Handy round, plus six handy bonus points. Stuart also earned a fifth-place finish on Anisette.
Devon Gibson and Christy Arbuckle of Seahorse Riding Club train Jenkins. They also train Emily Maclean, winner of the 2014 Zone 10 Pony Hunter Challenge.