Richard Spooner and Arthos R; Photo by Amy McCool

November 18, 2017 – Las Vegas, NV – In a class of thirty-three entries, Richard Spooner and 12-year-old stallion Arthos R galloped into the winner’s circle in the $50,000 FEI 1.45m Winning Round Classic, presented by Park Place Foundation. Not only was this his second win of the week, it was also the second year in a row that he led the victory gallop in the Winning Round Classic at The Las Vegas National.

The course featured 16 jumping efforts, including a triple bar and one triple combination. With 25% of the class to return under FEI rules, ten returned with a clean slate, in reverse order of the slowest first round time to the fastest.

The second-round course included all the ingredients for a nail-biting finish – long gallops, big oxers, tight turns and tall verticals. Half of the returning riders posted clean rounds. Michelle Parker, first to go in the second round, set a clean and quick pace in 45.91 seconds. Karl Cook returned for the second round on Calliou and posted the exact same time of 45.91 seconds! Only in Vegas…

The young and talented Jennifer Gates didn’t let those odds take the top call. She broke that tie riding Alex, taking the lead in a speedy 45.27 seconds. But it was the final rider to compete in the second round, Spooner aboard Arthos R, who stole the show, stopping the clock in 44.39 seconds for the win.

Jennifer Gates aboard Alex; Photo by Amy McCool

Spooner explained how he was able to cut almost a full second off Gates’ time. “I was lucky to be able to practice the inside turn after 6B with Quirado RC [whom he also rode in the second round]. I executed the inside turn much better on Arthos. I also came out of the turn to the next oxer with more pace, which set up a nice turn for me to go out and around to get to the last fence of the jump-off. I knew that if I could get to the left side of the oxer I would be able to make the inside turn and end up with a faster time.”

Richard Spooner and Arthos R with Peyton, Hillary, and Robert Ridland, and Melissa Brandes; Photo by Amy McCool

Spooner and Arthos R are a fairly new pairing, but the veteran rider is quite fond of the stallion. “I began riding him in May of this year. He was a little out of shape, but now his muscle tone has improved quite a bit. He’s a very careful and scopey horse that is one of the easiest, if not the easiest, horse I’ve ever ridden. He’s like riding an equitation horse over the 1.50m jumps. His future is very bright and he continues to improve as his fitness has increased and our relationship has become closer. He is a phenomenal horse.”

Catherine Tyree Honored with the M. Michael Meller Style of Riding Award
Displaying exemplary style with sportsmanlike composure, Catherine Tyree was honored as the recipient of the M. Michael Meller Style of Riding Award at The 2017 Las Vegas National, CSI4*-W.

M. Michael Meller Style of Riding Award winner Catherine Tyree
with the Ridland family and Melissa Brandes; Photo by Amy McCool

Chosen unanimously by the voting panel, Tyree’s quiet demeanor, devotion to the horse and style, from the beginning of the FEI jog to the end of this week’s competition, lead to her win.

This award is presented annually to an international rider from the FEI division. Previous winners include notable athletes Laura Kraut, Charlie Jacobs, Chloe Reid, Alison Robitaille, Conor Swail, and Eric Navet. Navet was the inaugural winner of the West Coast award at last year’s Las Vegas National.

Be sure not to miss tonight’s $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Las Vegas, presented by Interactive Mortgage, available via a live stream feed.


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The Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League boasts a minimum of US $2.4 million prize money across the series, and offers the best Jumping athletes from North America and around the world the chance to qualify for the jackpot of more than US $1.4 million (€1.3 million) on offer annually at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final.

A total of 14 athletes from the North American league will qualify for next year’s prestigious Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final, which will take place at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris, France, from April 10-15, 2018. The top seven athletes from the East Coast US, top three from West Coast US, and the two best-placed athletes from Canada and Mexico, will qualify for next year’s Final, alongside winners of 15 leagues around the world.

The 2017-2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League competition begins in August, across seven East and seven West Coast venues in three countries: the United States, Mexico and Canada. The Las Vegas National Horse Show is one of only 14 events chosen, and this is the only leg of the prestigious tour that will be hosted in Las Vegas. More at:

Park Place Foundation was formed to promote and embrace a healthy lifestyle for children and teens as they embark into their journey toward adulthood. It strives to make changes in how society perceives and treats addiction and mental illness through education, increased awareness and sharing the personal stories of peers. Learn more at