Big Wins at Blenheim for Big Shot and Jenny Karazissis

Blenheim Spring Classic III 0

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. – April 10, 2021 – Twenty-two horse and rider combinations embarked on the Grand Prix Field at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park to contest the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby during Blenheim Spring Classic III. Judges Sue Ashe and Mark Bone, paired as panel one, alongside Brian Lenehan and James Waldman, paired as panel two, watched as riders navigated the course designed by Kerry Kocher (Central Hall, PA). Wowing both panels and earning the blue ribbon with a two-round total score of 393 points was Jenny Karazissis (Calabasas, CA) aboard Big Shot, owned by Dulce Lou Morris.
Judge Sue Ashe gave insight in a pre-show interview as to what she was looking for while judging this prestigious class: “I would say brilliance. We are lucky to have Kerry Kocher as a course designer. He does a beautiful job. He is as much for the horses to show their brilliance as we are to judge them from their brilliance.”
According to Ashe, great hunters should also possess a fantastic jump and good movement plus wear their ears pointing forward to each fence, which is exactly how Big Shot performed under Karazissis on the wide-open grass field. In round one, the duo impressed both panels. With base scores of a 94 and 90 plus the 8 points added for jumping the higher options, their overall score of 192 earned them top billing going into the Handy. After a brilliant second round, which totaled to 201 points, there was no doubt who the eventual overall winner would be.
Said Karazissis, “It was a lot of fun, a lot of galloping which I love. You can really hunt to the next fence and there was really only one related distance, ten strides, it rode very forward and up which was a lot of fun. It matched the course really well.”
Winning is not new to Big Shot, who is fresh off claiming victory in the $100,000 USHJA WCHR West Coast Hunter Spectacular held at the Desert Horse Park earlier in the season. ‘Dude’, as he is known around the barn, began his career as a Dressage horse before becoming a hunter in 2017. With owner Morris they competed in the Children’s Hunters before moving up to the Junior Hunter division while Karazissis competed him in the bigger divisions and the hunter derbie.
The second-place honors were awarded to Small Social piloted by Augusta Iwasaki (Calabasas, CA) to a two-round total of 379.5 points. Small Social is an eleven-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Iwasaki & Reiley. Rounding out the top three with a score of 374 points across the two rounds was Shawn Casady (Harriman, TN) and Cassario 8, owned by Ashland Farms.
Between the first and second round, Gail Ellis was presented with the Arthur Hawkins Award of Excellence. Given annually to an individual who has contributed to the industry of Show Hunters in significant ways during prior show years, Gail Ellis is very deserving of this award both in and out the saddle.

Gail has owned countless top hunters throughout the years. Two of her horses have been inducted into the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame – Touch the Sun and Isle of Erin. Many of her horses have competed at the National USEF Horse of The Year Championships. As a rider, Gail has earned a plethora of prestigious awards herself. In 2017, she claimed the Grand Amateur Owner Championship at the Menlo Horse Show aboard Saphir.

source: press release Blenheim Spring Classic III
photo: McCool Photography

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