Michelle Parker Stars in $50,000 Grand Prix at Blenheim June Classic

Michelle Parker and Vivalunaika Blue. Photo by McCool Photography

June 30, 2024 – San Juan Capistrano, CA – Michelle Parker and Vivalunaika Blue took home the blue on Saturday, June 29, after racing to the win in the $50,000 Stars & Stripes Grand Prix at the Blenheim June Classic in San Juan Capistrano, CA.

A field of 29 entries took on the track set in the Ortega Ebb & Flow Arena by course designer Mauricio Garcia, and as nine horses advanced to the jump-off, it made for an exciting finale to the week’s 1.40m-1.45m jumper competition at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park.

Michelle Parker and Vivalunaika Blue were joined in the winners’ circle by members of the Blenheim EquiSports team. Photo by McCool Photography

Early in the jump-off, Skylar Wireman and her 2024 FEI World Cup™ Final mount, Tornado, set the time to beat at a speedy 35.071 seconds, but Parker and her 10-year-old Oldenburg mare were up for the task of toppling the leading time. 

Thanks to Vivalunaika Blue’s quick foot speed across the ring, the pair cruised through the timers in 33.505 seconds. That pace would hold up through to the end to give them the win, while Australia’s Lane Clarke slid in between Parker and Wireman to take second place with a time of 33.644 seconds aboard Venom, owned by Horsemanship Unlimited. While Wireman took home third, she also earned the win in the $1,000 U25 Jumper Classic held concurrently with the grand prix.

Michelle Parker and Vivalunaika Blue. Photo by McCool Photography

Of her path to the win, Parker said, “[Vivalunaika Blue]’s hard to turn, so I was a little wide on one of the turns, but fortunately, she made up for it galloping in the middle lines.”

Parker has had the ride on the Vivalunaika Blue, owned by Cross Creek Farms, Inc., for roughly the past year and a half, and the large mare requires a different ride than what Parker would usually choose for herself. However, they’ve proven to be quite a successful partnership, having now notched numerous top five grand prix finishes at Blenheim EquiSports. 

“We had a fancy horse deal happening, and I ended up with her,” explained Parker. “She’s super consistent. She always tries to jump clean, and you can never complain about that.” 

For Saturday’s victory, Parker was presented with a custom Top Line Design ribbon wreath picture frame and gift certificate, a supply of Mary’s Tack & Feed Nutrient Scoop Supplement, a full set of Majyk Equipe jumper boots, donated by LA Equestrian Company, and more.

Second place went to Lane Clarke and Venom. Photo by McCool Photography

The class marked Parker’s second major trip to the winner’s circle during the Blenheim June Classic, as she also topped the $20,000 Markel Open Jumper Speed Stake held on Thursday, June 27. That victory came aboard Easy Does It, while she also finished second in the class with Vivalunaika Blue. Third place went to Sophie Simpson-Leckie and Interactive Mortgage Tolero 3. 

Onsite representing Markel during the class were Josh Mullins of LSI Insurance and Markel Associate Director Brandon Seger. Blenheim EquiSports wishes to thank Mullins, Seger and all of the Markel team for the ongoing support.

For full results of the $50,000 Stars & Stripes Grand Prix, click here, and for full results of the $20,000 Markel Open Jumper Speed Stake, click here.

Michelle Parker also earned the win in the $20,000 Markel Open Jumper Speed Stake aboard Easy Does It. Photo by McCool Photography

Hunter/jumper competition at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park continues next with the San Juan Capistrano Outreach Classic 2, presented by Equi Sports Inc. and to be held July 12-14. To learn more about all competition at The Riding Park, visit ThePlaceToJump.com.


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