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Mandy Porter and Milano take AIG $1 Million Grand Prix in Thermal on March 19.


Mandy in a million


Encinitas-based Porter and Milano take AIG $1 Million Grand Prix in Thermal


special to the horsetrader T


HERMAL—Mandy Porter rose to the occasion against a top-notch field of 54 riders March 20 in the most popular AIG $1 Million Grand Prix class


to date. Porter, based in Encinitas, rode Milano, owned by


Abigail Weese, to a thrilling fi nish as the second-to-last rider in a six-horse jump-off . The starting order includ- ed several prior victors of the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix at HITS Desert Horse Park including 2016, 2015 and 2014 winners: McLain Ward, Charlie Jayne and Ashlee Bond. “It’s an honor to win this class, coming into this


I always hoped that this result would happen,” said Porter. “I always try to go into an event like this hoping to do the best that I can—I think it’s great that the West Coast won this one!” New for the 2017 class was a 1.50-meter course height


and the Top 20 qualifi ed riders had the opportunity to enter two horses into the class for a second shot at the money. Of the top three, two West Coast riders walked away with the top portions of the prize purse: Porter and second-place rider, Tamie Phillips, who rode Cristar, owned by Merle Gardner. “My horse was just absolutely on fi re today,” said


Continued on page 40


ESI photo


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