We may be jumping through the Summer Series but that doesn’t mean the fun here has an expiration date! HIPICO Santa Fe hosts events year-round—there’s much more in store as Grand Prix de Santa Fe Week gets underway. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s talk about another amazing week of horse showing behind us. Santa Fe Fiesta Week featured the inaugural Fiesta Auction as well as annual favorite classes of the Summer Series – the Sandia BMW/MINI Cooper Ride-&-Drive, the Pro/Am Hunter Classic and of course, the Chorizo Wiener Races! HIPICO Santa Fe celebrates all of the horse show moments—the triumphant times, the learning experiences, the ups and downs and the breakthroughs.


Taking the Ring in a Grey Hurricane

The flags surrounding the Grand Prix Field, representing many different countries and states including Canada, Mexico, Germany, Colorado, Texas and New Mexico, waved proudly as the afternoon breeze ushered in the start of Friday’s $7,500 Santa Fe Welcome Stake. Over Mauricio Garcia’s challenging course, only two of the thirty-four entries made it to the jump-off—Jenni McAllister and Nicki Wilcox. Colvados, ridden expertly by Jenni McAllister, sped around the arena like a grey hurricane to capture the blue ribbon.

With her long blonde braid whipping as Colvados rocketed over each jump, Jenni McAllister sealed the win by galloping to each of the fences, executing tidy turns and crossing the lines with fewer strides. Knowing only one other rider had advanced to the jump off served to McAllister’s advantage, who admits to performing better when the pressure is on. “I always do better under pressure. The crowd was very excited and that helps—I also like rising to the crowd,” she said. Steve McAllister, trainer and supportive husband, said, “We have a great fan club here so it’s always fun to come up with a win!”

Owned in partnership by Madison Myro and Cathy Jones, Colvados continued his streak of success after winning the $30,000 Santa Fe Welcome Week Variable Grand Prix earlier in the Summer Series. “The first week

[of the Summer Series], all of a sudden the pieces fit together, which was great,” said the Jenni McAllister, who is pleased with this short, but increasingly successful partnership with the Holsteiner gelding. Colvados is a newer ride for McAllister, who has known only known the gelding a couple months. Steve McAllister noted, “When he came to us, we knew [Colvados] would be good, but we didn’t know he’d come [along] so quickly! What’s special about this partnership is that [Jenni and Colvados] are able to get along so well without a relationship,” He added with a smile, “They’re not even dating yet, they’ve just started ‘going out.’”

Nicki Wilcox, sped to the second prize in Friday’s class—tailing just behind McAllister. She captured a jump-off time of 43.51 with four faults. Wilcox was giddy to gallop around on the grass and is pleased to return to HIPICO Santa Fe. Her horse, J.E.S. Quito marks a personal achievement in her career, “I broke this horse and started him under-saddle when I was a working student for Frank Selinger in Calgary Alberta Canada when [J.E.S. Quito] was about 3 years old. He’s 11 now,” said Wilcox. When asked why her horse is so special, the professional and head trainer of Nicki Wilcox Show Jumping said, “He has the biggest heart for me. You can make a lot of things in horses, but you can’t make a heart like that!”


A Derby Day in Style

As fierce as Paul Rohrbach was on the Derby field, earning a near perfect score in the Handy round of 199 in the USHJA $10,000 International Derby, the action in HIPI-Hangout was just as tough! The Derby Hat Contest was hotly contested as many stylish competitors and friends of HIPICO Santa Fe brought their Derby best with fabulous hats that were voted on by a panel of judges. The fashionable winners of the 2018 Derby Hat Contest were Laurencia Duncan, the mother of a young competitor from El Paso, Texas, and the Orsborn family, Chanda, Ella, and Amelia of Santa Fe. A sense of style and a glue gun were the keys to winning  prizes from CWD Saddles, EquoWare, Quail Hollow Tack, and Lux EQ.

The Vendor Fashion Show featured a glamorous catwalk through the VIP Lounge and the HIPI-Hangout. The crowds lined the walkway to witness the chic looks of fine equestrian and southwestern apparel. Representatives from the downtown Santa Fe store, Mavericks of Santa Fe – the sponsor of this year’s El Jefe jacket – glamorously wore turquoise accessories. Thank you to the vendors who provided outfits and all of the models who rocked the runway!


A Dach-shing Success!

The Chorizo Wiener Races could bring the most solemn of characters into a laughing fit. In a wave of giggles and cheers as the dogs raced past the VIP Lounge—only two pups prevailed!

Saturday’s winning mixed-breed winner refers to himself as a “Chih-weenie” explained his owner C.C. Castillo. Samson is really attached to his owner, so when she stood by the finish line calling to him, he raced his heart out to cross the finish line. Samson raced to his owner like a long lost lover, “I took him home from the pound one day and he’s been my soulmate ever since,” smiled Castillo.

After a couple weeks of practice, the other Dachshunds still couldn’t beat Porky! Sharon McElvain’s champion dog has done it again! Although there was a dash of sibling rivalry in last week’s race, Porky prevailed and took the prize! “He’s just so competitive and goes in to win! That’s his whole thing, to go as fast as he can everyday,” said McElvain. Even after an enduring race, Porky was ready to race again after he crossed the finish line and tried to run back to the starting gate! We’ll see if Porky can continue his streak next week.

A special thank you to the sponsors of the pet gift baskets—Marty’s Meals, The Critters and Me, and Tullivers.


It’s Race Time!

As a spirited miniature pony galloped across the Grand Prix Field, some may have wondered if the class was actually about mini-ponies, rather than MINI Coopers! Rachel Lindsey and Bob & Dana Brawley’s son Lucas, sat atop the small chariot with an American flag in tow. The 5-year old and the adorable miniature horse named Noel from Madrone Ranch Stables in Texas, was the perfect prelude to the afternoon festivities. It was a cheerful beginning to Saturday’s $5,000 Sandia BMW/MINI Cooper Ride-&-Drive. This class marked the largest yet—with 19 entries brave enough to go out of their element in a class combining more than just doubles or triples!

Sponsored by Sandia Automotive Group, this crowd-favorite and signature Santa Fe Summer Series class is a bit like watching a tennis tournament for those in the VIP Lounge who were sandwiched between both of the arenas in action. You have to run from one side of the tent to the other to be able to catch each element of this thrilling spectacle. The class begins with each rider jumping a course in the Grand Prix Field at 1.20m. After the rider clears the last obstacle of the course, they go from an all-out gallop to a quick halt, where their trainer or groom is waiting to catch the horse. Just as the rider hits the ground in a quick dismount, they climb through the fence to sprint across the VIP Lounge to the Jumper arena on the other side.

Stylishly awaiting them was a FAST, ice-blue edition MINI-Cooper S driven by Gabriel Rincon—a car enthusiast who works for BMW. After the class, Rincon confessed that in addition to each rider telling him to go as fast as possible around the arena, one rider even tried bribing him to speed up! But don’t worry, Rincon drove the same speed for all rider passengers as they whipped around the giant orange traffic cones in a serpentine and through jump standards before coming to a sliding stop.

After zipping around the driving course, the rider sprints back across the VIP Lounge to execute the agility portion of the event— scrambling under a limbo bar, across a Liverpool, attempting to sink a golf putt and, finally, executing a shot on a pool table. Although the entire class is exclusively for the lighthearted, riders seriously prepared beforehand. New this year was an option for riders to “phone a friend” to do the golf putt or pool shot portion of the competition. The golf and pool shots proved the toughest part of the class —only one made the hole-in-one and no one made the pool shot!

After coming home with second in the class last year, this time Trapp O’Neal trapped the blue ribbon aboard Elle Fortuna-MS. Owned by Marieke Slik, the grey mare hit full speed around the course with impressive tight turns in the big grass arena. Although many riders were fast, O’Neal’s competitive advantage was to dismount off of the right side of his horse rather than the left before running across the VIP Lounge to hop in the MINI-Cooper. When asked if that’s was why he won, he said, “I think that did it—and a good horse really helped too!” His time of 92.201 was the fastest time, even though he comedically took his time at the limbo and showboated over the liverpool!

Eryn Remiger, General Manager for Sandia Automotive Group, was having nearly as much fun as the participants! Sandia Automotive is long-time supporter and sponsor of HIPICO Santa Fe and sponsored the first Ride and Drive class during the 2007 Grand Prix de Santa Fe, when HIPICO Santa Fe was just a dream. It shows off all the cars, all the riders, and it’s just very entertaining!” When asked why Sandia Automotive Group decided to support the class, Remiger laughed, “It makes sense—HORSEPOWER!”


“Buy Local – Win Everywhere!”

“We’re making history folks – here we go!”, announced Tom Brown, the auctioneer of the inaugural Santa Fe Fiesta Auction. The auction – sponsored by Electronic Vet – sported the motto “Buy Local, Win Everywhere!”, as seen on the heart shaped bidding paddles provided by Rancho Corazon.

Building off of Wednesday’s Sale Horse Exhibition, where the horses jumped a course, Saturday’s auction showcased the horses in front of the VIP Lounge, while the crowd enjoyed beverages of their choice and appetizers. The gleaming horses were shown in hand as Betty McElvain shared the lineage of each Rancho Corazon bred entry.

The auctioneer created a playful atmosphere with funny phrases as the crowd got more engaged in the bidding. “Buy ‘em like you see ‘em,” “Whatcha gonna do, yes or no??,” “Six thousand—bring me that water—sixty-five hundred,” “You’re the man, you was my favorite,””eight-thousand dolaaaa,” “They awful shy, I must be intimidatin’,” and “man it takes him a long time to decide, wonder what he says clothes shopping!”

Four well-bred Rancho Corazon horses sold: Ellie Mae RC, Eyes For You RC, Quintero RC, and Emerald Bay RC. The crowd cheered each time someone joined the bidding, the excitement and adrenaline palpable in the air. One buyer followed her trainer’s advice – “You’d be crazy not to buy her [Eyes for You RC] at such an affordable price!”

As Quintero RC was being bid on, with Tom Brown’s lips whizzing off bidding values, he turned the microphone over to Guy McElvain to share some parting information on the gelding. “Buy today and ‘Tequila’ victory gallop tomorrow!” referring to both the gelding’s ability and the signature song played during every victory gallop during the Santa Fe Summer Series.

Rob Jordan, the C.O.O. of Electronic Vet, based out of San Diego, California, was thrilled with Fiesta Auction’s success. “The auction itself was smooth, fun, and the quality of the horses was amazing! Whoever bought them got incredible bargains. We gave a year’s subscription to the buyers so they can start new right off the bat with their new horse!” said Jordan. Electronic Vet is a service that makes biosecurity and equine management a breeze by storing horses’ medical documents on a secure online platform.

Looking to the future, Guy McElvain said, “It’s the start of something great.” McElvain was pleased to see the crowd’s appreciation of the quality of horses New Mexico has to offer, as well as the well-bred young horses offered in the auction. “We want to make New Mexico a horse buying destination. This horse show is a great place to look for good horses and is a market that hasn’t been tapped,” he said. McElvain wants the Fiesta Auction to become an equine community event where people come to buy and sell horses. “I know people are skeptical about horse auctions, but I think we proved that they don’t have a reason to be,” he said. All auction horses were pre-vetted and had x-rays completed beforehand.

After the auction ended, new owners and auction attendees were invited on to the Grand Prix field to meet the horses – celebrating with hugs and photos. An especially excited attendee was boosted up for a ride on Ellie Mae RC, afterward asking her mom if she could have this one for her own. The first Fiesta Auction marked an exciting beginning for horse-shopping in the Land of Enchantment.


Congratulations to our Weekly Award Recipients!

Trainer of the Week: Nicki Wilcox, Nicki Wilcox Show Jumping, TX

“It’s an honor that people recognize me as a trainer and as a sportswoman. I started out like most kids started out, I worked my way up cleaning stalls to pay for my horse show bills and did local level stuff and then rated stuff in Colorado. I went to college and got a degree and tried to work in the real world and decided it wasn’t for me. I moved to Canada and worked for Frank Selinger for five years before coming back to be a professional. My favorite part about this sport is there’s no horse and rider combination that will ever be the same. There is a gazillion different body types and personalities of people. And there’s a gazillion different body types of horses. And finding that perfect pair is just priceless.”

Jumper Rider of the Week: Trapp O’Neal, TKO Sporthorses, TX

“It’s great to be here again this year. This is my first Jumper Rider of the Week [award]. I love the horse show and I thank them very much for this. I love New Mexico, it’s where I was born. My family lives here and it means a lot to me for them to come out and see me show. I love seeing a horse show grow like this every year and do well in our sport. I’ll absolutely be out here next year. New Mexico’s putting it’s own twist to it-—there’s a lot of culture here. And they do a super job at bringing that into the horse show. That’s what makes it special.”

Hunter Rider of the Week: Paul Rohrbach, Wells Bridge Farm, CO

“I thank HIPICO very much for these special awards, because it’s recognition for the individual who has put a lifetime of work into their sport.”

Grooms of the Week: Ricarrdo Torres and Efren Molinar, Wells Bridge Farm, CO

Ricarrdo Torres and Efren Molinar have jointly worked a total of 25 years for Paul Rohrbach; Torres for 17 years and Molinar for 8 years. They are both friendly guys who like how beautiful HIPICO Santa Fe is and enjoy working with Corcovado, this week’s International Hunter Derby winner!


Breezy light clouds filled the sky, but the upper register notes sounded by Kaitlyn McMonigle, an apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera, seemed to part the cloud-filled horizon at the commencement of the $30,000 Santa Fe Fiesta Week City of Santa Fe Grand Prix. The slim, blond opera performer was elegantly transported to and from her powerful performance by Clint Mortenson in a horse drawn carriage—like Cinderella departing from a ball.

The Pojoaque Youth Hoop Dancers, annual performers during the Santa Fe Summer Series, also graced the Grand Prix field—further livening the afternoon’s ambiance. Through dance and symbolic movements of the hoop, the dancers, who range in age from 6 to 16, infused the day’s festivities with New Mexico’s rich culture and history. Light jazz filled the VIP Lounge as patrons congregated in the outer cabanas to watch the athletes take on Mauricio Garcia’s challenging Grand Prix course. The route was technical, had many related distances, and questioned the rider’s ability to navigate a large grass field—beginning with the adobe HIPICO Santa Fe oxer.

Of the 29 entries in the class, only two went double clear to proceed to the jump-off—and those riders were Jenni McAllister and Jenni McAllister!

McAllister walked her track twice beforehand. “I knew it’d be tricky” said McAllister, adding, “There were a lot of related distances with no breaks. You had to ride, ride, ride! A lot of bending lines can get riders in trouble. You’re trying to pick up time and then you end up too early or too late, and if you’re too direct in one line, it causes problem in next one.” McAllister always makes sure she has a plan A, and a Plan B. Although it was a technical route, McAllister appreciated the course’s questions and planned strategically for her two very different mounts.

McAllister took tight inside turns on both horses, but really pressed the gas pedal on Colvados to get the fastest time, coming on the field with confidence from the pair’s Welcome Stake win earlier in the week. She cut out strides and galloped across every stretch of grass possible. McAllister impressively maneuvered the gelding to a clear first round time of 73.04, but unfortunately had a rail as she drove for the faster time, trying to catch Escada VS in the jump off.

Because Escada VS is an even newer ride to McAllister—partnering with second place Colvados for a mere two months—she rode a bit more conservatively than the mare could have gone, “I held her in the turns and did all the inside options,” McAllister said. Strides weren’t cut out in the speedy first round with a time of 70.50; McAllister dialed it down a notch by riding more conservatively in the jump-off—which proved to be a winning strategy. McAllister carefully executed the jump-off in 42.13 seconds, making Escada VS the only horse double clean in the class.

The winning pair brought some serious fire to the arena—galloping around in a chestnut blaze, almost lighting the field aflame with the mare’s hot blood and high energy. “I had a really good feeling about this mare today. I actually woke up this morning thinking I could win this class!” said the professional of Team McAllister in Sun Valley, California.

McAllister is a queen of adapting quickly to new mounts, because of her long catch-riding history. “I ride off instinct,” said McAllister, who will watch videos to give herself as much information about a new ride beforehand, but otherwise must trust her riding experience. McAllister has only sat on Escada VS a few times since the mare’s journey from Sweden to the United States a few weeks ago.

McAllister’s partnership with the mare started a week ago, but Team McAllister had their eye on the horse for the last two years, when they first saw Escada VS abroad. This is Escada VS’s first show in the United States, although the mare is familiar with the game—competing abroad at high levels. “She wants to win and is a real show horse. And very opinionated! When I went into the first round she was a little nervous, but then she got straight down to business. She’s a true competitor,” said McAllister. According to McAllister, Escada VS is everything one would want in a jumper, “She’s got a lot of blood, very careful, has a great hind end, is quick up-front, is very light, and wants to get the job done. You never feel like any [jump] is too big!”, said McAllister. In fact, McAllister says that when the jumps get bigger, the mare gets more powerful! Team McAllister believes Escada VS has potential to be Jenni’s World Cup horse.

It was certainly a successful day for Jenni McAllister—two new horses, two clear first rounds and top two finishes. HIPICO Santa Fe seems to be second home to Jenni McAllister!


In case you haven’t had enough fun this summer, the menu is full of choices for Grand Prix de Santa Fe Week’s festivities! Bring your best tulle to the table on Tutu Tuesday—barns are getting mighty creative and we can’t wait to see what this week brings! Enjoy a relaxing evening with your barn-mates, chat with your trainers and catch up with old horse show friends at Wednesday’s Competitor Welcome Party, to include complimentary food and refreshments generously sponsored by Queenie Productions. Stroll down to the Derby Field to watch the best of what hunter horses have to offer at Friday’s $5,000 National Hunter Derby.

Later in the afternoon, Friday’s $10,000 Santa Fe Welcome Stake will preview the competition for Sunday’s Grand Prix. The inaugural $5,000 1.20m AOHCJI Jumper Challenge will take place Saturday and there are rumors the class is developing into a feisty competition among participating riders from various proud states. Who’s going to win the right to have their flag flown center field for 2019 Santa Fe Summer Series?

The final Chorizo Wiener Races will follow immediately after the inaugural AOHCJI class! And to wrap up the Santa Fe Summer Series, Sunday’s $40,000 Grand Prix de Santa Fe is an absolute must-see spectacle, bringing together the top athletes of the circuit in a feat of power, determination, preparation and adrenaline. Grab a picnic blanket, gather your family and friends and enjoy the grassy Grand Prix Field as top-level riders and their mounts jump for the biggest prize money in the Summer Series!

Stay on top of your schedule with instant updates, orders of go, and live-scoring! Be sure to download the Equestrian Digital App to stay up-to-date with each of our jumper rings. This is the app’s United States debut and has been a great addition to the Summer Series.

The Santa Fe Summer Series offers 3 photographers on site for purchasing and perusing through show photography.  You can find their images on the links below:
Sharon McElvain Photography
Mary Neiberg Photography
Jerry Mohme Photography