Menezes wins Vegas National

By November 6, 2011
Eduardo Menezes sails over a vertical jump on his horse Calavda before a full house in Las Vegas.

Eduardo Menezes wins the $50,000 Las Vegas National aboard Calavda. (

Riding  a horse he’d never competed at the grand prix level, Eduardo Menezes won the $50,000 Las Vegas National CSI-W Grand Prix on Calavda, Nov. 5. It was a repeat for Menezes, who won the 2010 Las Vegas National.

The Brazilian pro rider, who lives in Mexico and California, said Anthony D’Ambrosio’s course “started off with a couple of easy jumps and gradually increased in difficulty, where the horses had to be careful and have scope. He is a phenomenal designer. I love this show, this venue. Vegas is like Disneyland for adults.”

The opening ceremonies entertained young and old, beginning with a rockin’ light show, followed by a Parade of Nations with an introduction of each rider. A quick transition to the JustWorld International High Jump competition where kids large and small leaped up to 1.20m. The ceremonies culminated with the Girl Scouts of Las Vegas marching in with the American flag for the National Anthem.

The 24 grand prix entries represented six nations. D’Ambrosio set a 1.60m track with spreads of up to 1.65m, a triple bar at 1.90m, a triple combination with two oxers and a delicate 1.60m skinny vertical. Over half the class rose to the occasion, with eight moving on to the jump-off round and five with just four faults.

Canadian John Pearce on Chianto returned first in the second round. With a surprising two rails in 38.38, the pair finished seventh. Ali Nilforushan of Iran on Warco van de Halhoeve (Katie Harris, owner) scored four faults in 39.91, taking home fifth. Enter American John McConnell aboard Katie Riddle. The well-matched pair sailed smoothly around the shortened course clean in 40.57, taking the lead,  however short-lived. Karl Cook on ASB Conquistador (Signe Ostby, owner) followed with another double clean effort in 38.56.

Karl Cook pilots his horse JonKheer leap a vertical jump in Las Vegas.

Karl Cook and JonKheer came in second. (

The tried and true team of Rusty Stewart and Bristol had trouble out of the turn to the double, resulting in a refusal. They finished up with 11 faults for eighth place. The petite Danish rider Emilie Martinsen rode the powerful Toscane double clean in 45.16, earning a respectable fourth place.

American Kirsten Coe on Ilan Ferder’s Baronez lowered the height of the last vertical for four faults in 43.01, which earned her sixth. Menezes entered the ring last on Francisco Pasquel’s Calavda. On a horse he’d only been riding a few months, Menezes went double clean, stopping the clock in 38.15, four-tenths of a second faster than Cook for another sweet Vegas victory. The crowd went crazy as Menezes crossed the finish line. As was the case last year, Menezes’ closing ride clinched the top prize.

Nine Clean and Again, Last Proves Prowess in Winning Round Format

In the $10,000 Winning Round Classic, presented by Royal Champion, 27 pairs gave it a go and nine completed the course fault-free. Unique to the Winning Round Format, riders return according to their score and time in the first round.

Since all were clean, time determined the order of go in the second round. Known for speed, it was no surprise that Karl Cook and Jonkheer Z (Signe Ostby, owner) was the last to come back in the second round. Shaving almost two seconds off Kirsten Coe and Vernon G’s leading time, Cook took the win.

Adult Medal Finals, Quiett Maintains Her Reign

Melissa Brandes and Will Simpson, wearing his red team USA blazer, carry the flag at the opening ceremonies.

Melissa Braunstein and Will Simpson (

In its inaugural year at the Las Vegas National, the PCHA Victor Hugo-Vidal Adult Medal Finals challenged riders with not only built-in tests but also the indoor setting. Three riders finished the first two rounds within three percentage points of each other and returned for a work-off. Called in second, Lorri Quiett on Abigail performed well and ultimately earned the top spot. Quiett and third place finisher Lorena Christie train with Carolyn Biava of First Field Farm. Karoline Sauls finished second and is trained by Tasha Visokay of Karen Healey Stables.

The inaugural North American League West Coast Finals will crown champions in five divisions on NAL Sunday.

$50,000 Las Vegas National CSI-W Grand Prix, presented by Summit General Insurance
1. Cavalda – Eduardo Menezes BRA (Francisco Pasquel) 0/75.37 0/38.15
2. ABS Conquistador – Karl Cook USA (Signe Otsby) 0/74.07 0/38.56
3. Katie Riddle – John McConnell USA (Rancho Corazon LLC) 0/77.29 0/40.57
4. Toscane – Emilie Martinsen DEN (J.a.j Van Rijiswijk) 0/78.98 0/45.16
5. Warco van de Halhoeve – Ali Nilforushan IRAN (Katie Harris) 0/76.77 4/39.91
6. Baronez – Kirsten Coe USA (Ilan Ferder) 0/78.41 4/43.01
7. Chianto – John Pearce CAN (Alison Moore) 0/75.75 8/38.38
8. Bristol – Rusty Stewart USA (Grey Fox Farm) 0/76.16 11/50.35

For complete results, click here.

$10,000 Winning Round Classic, presented by Royal Champion
1. Jonkheer Z – Karl Cook (Signe Ostby)
2. Vernon G – Kirsten Coe (Ilan Ferder)
3. Corrye Sanders – Jamie Taylor (Jamie Taylor)
4. Zico 13 – Tammy Chipko (Tammy Chipko)
5. Xei Ha – Michelle Parker (Tula Pinnella)
6. Columbus van de Helle – Jenni Martin-McAllister (David Sterckx)
7. Varon – Kasey Ament (Kyn Jin Michael Whang)
8. Avargo – Tina Dilandri (Highpoint Farm LLC)

PCHA Victor Hugo-Vidal Adult Medal Finals
1. Lorri Quiett
2. Karoline Sauls
3. Lorena Christie
4. Claire O’Connor
5. Sheila Hart
6. Andrea del Pizzo-Roberts
7. Virginia Fout
8. Robin Martinez


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1 Comment for “Menezes wins Vegas National”

  1. worldclock

    Menezes wins Vegas National | The Equestrian News – just great!

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