Halie Robinson Caps Off a Stellar Day in $50,000 Valencia Saddlery Pro Eq Challenge

Halie Robinson Caps Off a Stellar Day in $50,000 Valencia Saddlery Pro Eq Challenge

Halie Robinson had herself a day on Friday of Desert Circuit 7, presented by Kask and Vogel. A derby win to start, and a Pro Eq Challenge win to end. Specifically, the $50,000 Valencia Saddlery Pro Eq Challenge, and the first-ever running of the class in the Grand Prix Arena. Robinson went first in a field of 48 entries, and she took the highest round one score, claiming the win as hers after three competitive rounds.

“I am just so thankful to get to ride the horses that we have in the barn and do it with all the people that are so wonderful and so special to me, so I’m just happy,” Robinson said of her incredible day. “I’m so grateful for all of it.”

In rounds one and two, Robinson piloted Tangled Up In Blue, a horse owned by 3P Equine Partners LLC. The pair rode to a score of 91, despite being the first ones to take on the track.

“This horse is 15 years old this year,” she said of the Dutch Warmblood mare. “She is a very seasoned derby horse, actually. She’s an international derby specialist. There’s really nothing that she hasn’t seen or done. With her age we try to save her for the special classes.”

Robinson competed quite a bit to warm up this week, but “Piper” actually came in completely fresh to the Friday evening class.

“She didn’t show at all this week. She actually didn’t even do a warm-up class,” Robinson explained. “She hasn’t jumped since week five here and I said to Emily, who owns her, that I think this would be a great set up, and I think she would be really really fantastic doing it. She’s so brave, she’s so stridey, she’s so scopey, and she’s just such a wonderful mare, so it worked really well.”

After all 48 trips, there was an additional course walk before the top 12 returned in reverse order of scores. Robinson waited patiently, enjoyed the class, and came back fighting as the last to go in round two.

“I have so much confidence on that horse, so I never really feel any pressure,” she said of handling the situation. “We got to do Derby Finals last year together and everything after that felt really easy. She’s just a horse and I have so much trust in. I was honestly just so excited to do a different class. I wanted to win it for sure, but I was just excited to go out there with a horse that’s so special to me and Emily and give her a nice experience.

“The first round was honestly quite easy,” Robinson continued. “It was nice and it was built up really beautifully, which is great for her. She’s so brave so the spookier the better and then I just kind of hung out with some friends and sat around and enjoyed the class and hopped back on and did it again.”

The top four returned for a third round, where they switched horses. Robinson swapped horses with Kendall Bourgeois, and Savannah Jenkins swapped horses with Nicole Bourgeois. All four riders stood atop the podium to accept awards, with Robinson on top, Nicole in second, Kendall in third, and Jenkins in fourth.

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Halie Robinson Caps Off a Stellar Day in $50,000 Valencia Saddlery Pro Eq Challenge | Desert International Horse Park (deserthorsepark.com)