THERMAL, Calif. – February 28, 2020 – Friday welcomed back the FEI Ruby and Diamond Tour in the Grand Prix Stadium for the Ruby Speed Stake, sponsored by Green is the New Blue, and the Diamond Speed Stake, sponsored by Vita Flex.

Lauren Hester (USA) and Happy Feet B danced their way to the top of the $5,000 Ruby Tour Speed, sponsored by Green is the New Blue, with a time of 54.47 seconds in the speed course. Lane Clarke (AUS) finished out the top three, placing second aboard Epic Air with a time of 54.85 seconds, and third aboard Frodosi with a time of 55.12 seconds.

The speed course designed by Bernardo Cabral (POR), challenged twenty-six pairs in the Grand Prix Stadium on Friday morning. “I did not plan on going as fast as I did,” Hester admitted. “She is very fast naturally, so going to the last jump I was like ‘well, I might as well try!’ and that is where I made up a lot of time.” Hester shared. “I also took the longer track to one of the jumps instead of taking the inside turn which made for a very difficult track and when I talked to the course designer after, even he said it was better to take the longer track.”

Hester and the 2012 Dutch Warmblood mare have been partnered together for the mare’s entire career, “I bought her as a foal in Holland and imported her when she was five.” Hester noted that Happy Feet B is not always the easiest mare but that she is willing to fight for her. “We started working with her instead of against her; she is naturally very careful so you just kind of let her go and do her job,” Hester concluded.

Photos © ESI Photography

Originally published by Desert International Horse Park