On Saturday, September 24th, 2022, Joie Gatlin rode Uccello de Will to victory in the Blenheim International Jumping Festival 1.5m Grand Prix with a win of $50,000. This competition was a thrilling finale in the Grand Prix division of The Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano, CA.
Created by renowned course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio, the track in the Oak International Grand Prix Field presented quite a challenge for competing riders. Out of 13 entries, only 3 completed the entire course with no mistakes. With the jump-off competition remaining, Mark Kinsella of Ireland, riding Quality H, had a runout at the final fence which put him in third place with eight faults and a time of 55.296 seconds. Tina Yates, riding Ivaludine S, ran into some difficulties as two rails fell which brought her final score to eight faults in 39.885 seconds. This left a great opportunity open for Joie Gatlin who kept the crowds on the edge of their seats due to a refusal early on in the short course. She was successfully able to secure a first-place victory with four faults at a time of 47.962 seconds.
“It’s always nice to jump Anthony’s course, ” said Gatlin. “He makes you ride better. He makes you think. He makes the horses have to be rideable, and he makes you have to step up. “
Gatlin and Uccello de Will have been partnered since January when she acquired the ride on the 14-year-old gelding for owner Darragh Kenny of Oakland Ventures LLC.
For the win, Gatlin was presented with a Top Line Design Ribbon Wreaths gift certificate and picture frame, a Blenheim EquiSports coolerette, and an $80 dollar gift certificate from Riderzon.
This was not the first time that Gatlin has had great success at Blenheim Equisport. In the same month, she finished first in the $10,000 Markel Insurance 1.35m Speed Stake on Thursday, the 15th, riding Fiona and took first place again just 7 days later in the $5000 1.40m Jumper Classic while riding Koddac van het Indihof.
Gatlin has been a sponsored rider for nearly 20 years with Auburn Labs.
For the list of full results at the $50,000 Blenheim International Jumping Festival 1.50m Grand Prix, please click here.