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44


Dynamic duo


Richard Spooner and Cristallo soar to victory in the $60,000 Grand Prix of California, held May 13 at Showpark.


D


Spooner and 19-year-old Cristallo push to dramatic .04-second win in $60,000 Grand Prix of California special to the horsetrader


EL MAR—The Master of Faster turned on the heat with his equine partner of 15 years to clinch the


$60,000 Grand Prix of California, presented by Equ Lifestyle Boutique. The unstoppa- ble duo, known as Richard Spooner and Cristallo, executed a flawless jump-off in 33.75, less than .04 seconds faster than the previous leaders, Vani Khosla and Billy Mexico. Relegated to a well-deserved second by a show jumping veteran, Khosla earned her second impressive grand prix red rib- bon for the week. World-renowned course designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil built a stout,


fl owing 1.50m track for the class. A scopey double combination by the in-gate contrib- uted to a number of faults, although rails fell throughout the course. Two riders rode without fault over the jumps, but exceeded the time allowed by minute amounts, ulti- mately fi nishing tenth and eleventh. Nine horse and rider combinations advanced to the jump-off , of which just three fi nished double-clear. With each time faster than the one before it, it was a spectacular aſt ernoon of show jumping. Mandy Porter and Coral Reef Follow Me


II at empted the shortened course fi rst and set the bar at a double-clean ride in 35.15. Khosla reentered the ring third and laid down a seemingly unbeatable trip in 33.79. Veteran that he is, Spooner then snatched


the lead by just a hair, stopping the clock in 33.75 seconds. “From one to two, I was very, very fast. I


Continued on page 46


“We’ve had a very long and extraordinary relationship, and it just amazes me that he is still fi t and strong.”


– Richard Spooner on Cristallo


Capturedmomentphoto.com photo


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