Temecula, Calif. – June 2, 2018 – Equestrian competition resumed at Galway Downs for the second-to-last day of the Temecula Valley National Horse Show series Saturday, with Mandy Porter adding to her recent streak by finishing third with WT Ca-Pow! in the $40,000 Aon Grand Prix. Porter also won the class aboard Milano, owned by Abigail Archer.
During the $40,000 Aon Grand Prix, the highlight class of the week, Olaf Petersen, Jr.’s (GER) 16-effort track looked to be the most technical grand prix design of the three-week series, asking horses and riders to maneuver the sweeping 1.50m course within a tight 84-second time allowed. Fence 12, a liverpool oxer serving as the penultimate obstacle of the track, proved to be the bogey fence of the afternoon, with a sizable portion of the field clipping the front rail. Of the more than 30 hopeful entries, only an elite five pairs qualified for the jump-off with clean and clear first rides.
Porter and Abigail Archer’s Milano, last weekend’s winners of the $60,000 KindredBio Grand Prix, followed suit to ensure a jump-off, and Shawn Casady aboard Highpoint Farm, LLC’s Durango VDL added their names to the list shortly thereafter. Solidifying herself as the best bet statistically to win, Porter navigated her second ride of the class, the Wild Turkey Farm, LLC’s Week II $30,000 Voltaire 1.40 – 1.45m Speed Classic champion WT Ca Pow!, to a clear round.
Guaranteed the win after the jump off’s fastest clear aboard Milano earlier in the order, Porter returned to the Audi Grand Prix Arena with the reins aboard WT Ca Pow! to determine which of her mounts would nab the top spot. Adding the fifth and final double-clear trip of the night, Porter and WT Ca Pow! crossed the finish line in a more conservative 47.734 seconds to secure a third-place finish with the young gelding.
“The strategy after watching [the earlier rounds in the jump off], was to go quite fast,” said Porter. “[Kenneth Vinther] had an amazing tight turn so I knew that I had to go fast. That was my goal on Milano, and on WT Ca Pow! I wanted to go fast but not rush him because he doesn’t quite have that experience yet and I didn’t want to overface him.”