They say practice makes perfect, and if that also applies to grand prix classes, there was certainly a case to be made this weekend for Mavis Spencer. The 26-year-old rider for Neil Jones Equestrian Inc. handily capped off her time at the Blenheim Equisports Showpark August Festival in Del Mar with back-to-back wins in the $25,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix on Friday, August 4, and the $25,000 August Festival Grand Prix on Sunday, August 6th.

In a field of 26 riders, Spencer and Neil Jones Equestrian, Inc.’s Clochard were the first to go clear on Friday, the first to come back in the jump-off, and the first to lead the victory gallop after an impressive showdown with second place finisher Tina Yates on Highpoint Farm, LLC’s Zelote VDL. On a time of 41.40, Spencer took the win with just 0.4 seconds to spare, capping off an impressive circuit with Clochard, who has only competed in four shows with her previously. The pair has already earned top placings in the 1.35m – 1.40m classes, though this victory on course designer Mauricio Garcia’s 1.40m track is one of their most impressive to date. “He’s so quick and he’s so careful, I knew I had a shot and it was just a matter of going as fast as I felt comfortable going,” Spencer told Blenheim Sports.

Sunday’s $25,000 August Festival Grand Prix, this time aboard Neil Jones Equestrian, Inc.’s Chacco (Mavis’s ride since early 2017), saw 11 riders taking to the field with all but Spencer, the last to go, having faults. “He’s so careful with so much scope that he really helped me out down some of the lines and over the back rails of some of the oxers,” she explained, adding that her wins at the Showpark this week were especially meaningful as they were her first at the grand prix level since taking time away from the ring to groom for various riders, including Kent Farrington, Darragh Kenny and Neil Jones in Belgium.

It’s also a pleasant homecoming for the California native, who relocated her Gallop Apace LLC to Fairview Farms in Vista this summer for the duration of the show year. “To [have success] on two different horses in the same week just goes to show how fortunate I am in the group of horses that I have right now and the people supporting me,” Mavis said.

-Featured photo credit: Captured Moment Photography/Blenheim Equisports.