Mark Kinsella and Quality H Command $75,000 Adequan® Grand Prix
Mark Kinsella was a force to be reckoned with in Saturday afternoon’s $75,000 Adequan® Grand Prix at Desert Holiday III. Back on the grass field, the Irishman topped a competitive field of horse-and-rider combinations aboard Ben Asselin’s Quality H, taking top honors and leading the victory lap.
Only three pairs navigated Joey Rycroft’s first-round track fault free, with Nicky Galligan being the first to do so with Javas Miss Jordan. Joining him right after and guaranteeing a jump-off was Kinsella’s student Kyara Semrau with Carola Z. Kinsella had the final spot in the jump-off, with the advantage of knowing just what needed to be done.
“I know Nicky Galligan, with his mare, is always wicked fast, so I knew I had to be quick everywhere,” Kinsella remarked on his strategy in the short course. “My horse has a very big stride, so I knew my numbers. I left out one to the combination and I left out one to the last. I thought if I did all that and I stuck to my plan I’d be there, and it paid off.”
Galligan took second, going clear in the jump-off with Javas Miss Jordan, while Kyara Semrau took third place aboard Carola Z on another double-clear effort.
Quality H earned Kinsella a big win during National Sunshine Series, and since then the horse has been competing at the CSI5* level with Kinsella in the irons.
“Quality’s been excellent,” he continued about the 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding (FRH Quaid x Stakkato). “He’s had a couple heavy weeks. Last Saturday he was third in the CSI5* 1.50m class, which was excellent. I just wanted to give him one more outing here on the grass. As luck played out, they had an extra show here with this nice Grand Prix, and it was a really nice way to finish the year.”
As for the start of the new year and Desert Circuit, Kinsella will continue to build Quality H and carefully select classes for him. “The FEI schedule here is excellent so I’ll pick and choose a couple weeks as targets for him,” he noted. “He’s gotten lots of valuable experience the past few months so now we can ease off and have him do his job whenever he’s asked.”