azou Hoffman on her way to her first career grand prix win. Ph. ©Piper Klemm
Zazou Hoffman of the USA made it a day to remember on Friday, February 3, 2017 at HITS Coachella in California. The young professional and riding star marked her first career grand prix win when she topped a field of veterans in the $25,000 SmartPak Open Prix.
Twenty-five year old Hoffman, of Santa Monica, was one of ten combinations to move on to the jumpoff round from a start list of 24 pairs.
Aboard W Zermie 13, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare by Rubert R, the pair thrilled the desert crowd with their blazing fast jump off. Her strategy was clear: “try to win.”
“The mare is super competitive and fast, so I went for it!” Hoffman explained. The 2009 winner of the ASPCA Maclay Equitation Final works for Dick Carvin and Francie Steinwedell Carvin’s Meadow Grove Farm in Thousand Oaks, California. W Zermie 13 is owned by Saree Kayne, and Hoffman has been showing the mare since last summer.
Although the starting line-up listed some of the best riders in the West, including Will Simpson, Ashlee Bond, and Karl Cook, it was Hoffman who delivered the quickest jumpoff pace with a time of 35.12, edging out 2nd place finishers The Dude and Simpson by almost a full second, who crossed the timers in 36.07 seconds. Third place went to Chris Pratt aboard Concorde in 37.8 seconds.
“The class was nicely technical but not so enormous that anyone got into trouble,” Hoffman said. “It seemed really suited to the group of horses jumping today.”
She plans to continue on the HITS Coachella circuit and is setting her sights on the upcoming Sunday Grand Prix, which will conclude Week 3 of competition at the HITS Desert Circuit.