“Onwards and upwards” is Mark Kinsella’s plan for Quality H after their win in the $30,000 Ritz-Carlton 1.45m Open Classic.

The course proved to be difficult with rails falling throughout the 61 horse start list. “I know his stride is so big that the leave out is easy. That put me on my rhythm and I just tried to stay on it,” says Kinsella of his strategy for Manuel Esparza’s 1.45m speed track. “He never feels likes he’s struggling. He can jump as big as he wants.”

Doriando stepping in for Quality H in the presentation. Photo by ESI photography

Owned by Canadian rider Ben Asselin, Quality H stopped the timers in 61.757, almost two full seconds faster than second place finisher Jake Endicott and RMF Chacco Top during the National Sunshine Series II in Thermal, CA.

Having another ride earlier in the class, Kinsella knew that Quality H’s big stride was going to work to his advantage. He is “a big ride and a very big mover. I can leave out numbers without having to go super fast. I don’t have to put him under too much pressure,” says Kinsella.

“I’ve always really liked the horse,” Kinsella adds of Quality H, an 11-year-old gelding (Frah Quaid x Shakira) who he has had in his DIHP-based farm for about 12 months. “He’s kind of a shy horse. […] We’ve been slowly producing the horse and he seems to have turned the corner and has been getting great results each time we go out.”

Second place finishers Jake Endicott & RMF Chacco Top. Photo by ESI Photography

Looking forward to the winter circuit, Kinsella plans to do mostly FEI weeks on Quality H and will continue to keep “knocking on the door jumping the grand prix at the Desert International Horse Park”.

The final podium finish went to Eric Navet on Cadillac Jack while Matt Archer and Luigi VD Bisshop took fourth place honors.

For full results of Thursday’s $30,000 Ritz-Carlton 1.45m Open Classic, visit here.

Catch all the action from the desert live at DIHP TV.