GP Riders – Be Sure to Get Your Four!

Filed under AIG Thermal $1 Million
Ashlee Bond and Wistful on Course at Blenheim.

Ashlee Bond and Wistful ride the fall Blenheim $50,000 Showpark World Cup Grand Prix. (Photo by Amy McCool)

Qualifying for the AIG Thermal $1 Million Grand Prix kicks into high gear during Desert Circuit I as grand prix riders from all over the world descend on Southern California to vie for a spot in the show-stopping March 17 finale.

The top 40 eligible riders, based on money won on the HITS Desert Circuit and participating West Coast shows that took place the second-half of 2012, may qualify for the AIG Thermal $1 Million. However, no rider will qualify until they’ve fulfilled the requirement of riding in four grand prix of $25,000 or more in four different DC shows prior to DC VII.

While 15 qualifying opportunities take place here in Thermal between Jan. 22 and March 10, the only on-ramp to high-rollerville in week VII is class 415, the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix Wildcard. The winner of the Wildcard earns an invite only if he or she had not previously qualified (if so, no invite is extended for that class).

Riders cannot qualify by showing only in the second half of the HITS Desert Circuit. For the 40 riders who do make it to the homestretch, final rankings will be calculated by rider/horse combination with the rider’s top money-winning horse determining the rider’s final ranking.
For more information on the AIG Thermal $1 Million Grand Prix including current standings and class specifications, please visit