All Roads Lead to Thermal

Posted by Lisa Zumpano at

All Roads Lead to Thermal

Or so it seems.

The Crusaders had nothing on riders bound for the sunshine and warmth of the Californian desert in March. Horses and riders flock in the thousands to the sun drenched and palm tree laden Mecca of Thermal to get their fill of dry weather, camaraderie, and big prize money. A few of the crusaders even come home with new additions to their equestrian families - buying and selling horses is just one of the many pastimes of down south horse shows.

This year has been no exception. Our illustrious leader Anne was on sight this year to give us first hand pictures of the action. While we whittle away day by day on the rainy west coast, Anne donned her sunglasses and hit the horse show.

The big event is always the AIC Grand Prix. This yearʼs purse was a cool $1million. Nothing to sneeze at. While spectators sipped their lemonades under the shade of striped umbrellas, 40 riders raced against the clock as temperatures soared to the high 90ʼs (thatʼs smokinʼ hot for Centigrade folks). Among the competitors were an Olympic Gold Medalist, World Cup qualifiers and even a few seasoned Olympians.

In the end, Mexican Olympic rider Jaime Azcarraga from Mexico City took home top prize aboard Anton Radio Formula. Second place went to Olympic Gold Medalist McLain Ward aboard Rothchild, owned by Sagamore Farms. Charlie Jayne and Chill RZ rounded out the podium with a third placed finish.

Asked what was her favorite part of the day Anne quipped “the shade!”

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