Kristen VanderVeen Defends Her Title in $50,000 Parker Adventist Grand Prix in Colorado

Six weeks of fantastic competition and wonderful events at the Colorado Horse Park (CHP) were capped off with a weekend to remember.

Kristen VanderVeen on Bull Run’s Zino Platinum (Flying Horse Photography)
Kelsey Thatcher and Pony Lane Farm’s Dulf Van Den Bisschop (Flying Horse Photography)
Allison Kroff and Washington finished third (Flying Horse Photography)

There was truly something for everyone, including pony rides and face painting for military families during the second annual Military Appreciation Day; equestrian safety and the distribution of free helmets during the Parker Adventist Hospital Helmet Fitting; and the Wildfire Relief Fundraising Auction spearheaded by Liliane Stransky and her Step by Step Foundation that raised more than $6,000 for the victims of the Waldo Canyon fire. The day concluded with world-class competition in the $50,000 Parker Adventist Hospital Grand Prix.

Kristen VanderVeen, of St. Charles, IL, defended her title as reigning champion of the biggest Grand Prix of the Colorado Summer Circuit. On her horse Bull Run’s Zino Platinum, VanderVeen led the victory gallop for the second year in a row. Bull Run’s Zino Platinum is an 11-year-old Holsteiner (Accorodo) and has been with VanderVeen for about a year and a half.

VanderVeen has been attending the show circuit at CHP for years now and raved about the facility. “It’s been a fantastic summer,” shared VanderVeen. “The weather is great here and the management is amazing!”

For several years, Parker Adventist Hospital, the Parker Hospital Foundation and CHP have partnered to promote equestrian safety. “Our mission is to not only care for the people in our community when they are sick or injured, but to help them maintain and improve their health,” said Morre Dean, CEO of Parker Adventist Hospital. “With equestrian sports such an important component of our community, we are committed to helping improve equestrian sport safety through education and awareness.”

On Saturday, dozens of equestrians received free helmets–a key to decreasing the likelihood of serious injury. “It’s important for all riders to wear high-quality equestrian helmets that are properly fitted and replaced every five years or whenever a head strike with direct impact occurs”, explained Vikki Pope, RN, the trauma manager who oversees Parker Hospital’s equestrian safety program. “If you do take a fall from a horse, it’s important to watch carefully for signs of trouble. A person doesn’t need to lose consciousness to have a head injury.” Visit tips on equestrian safety and information on concussions.

Saturday also included CHP’s second annual Military Appreciation Day. Active service men and women, veterans and their families were invited to celebrate their tremendous sacrifices with snacks, pony rides, face painting and horse entertainment. “We wanted to support and recognize military families. They deserve our gratitude and thanks for their service. We are very happy to do our part by offering them the chance to relax and enjoy a pleasant afternoon with their families,” said Helen Krieble, CEO and president of CHP.

The weekend was rounded out by the Wildfire Relief silent auction. The CHP Foundation and the Step By Step Foundation joined forces to host this event to directly benefit fire victims. Liliane Stransky organized the event and gathered a wonderful selection of items, including artwork, tack and archery lessons, to raise more than $6,000. “We were happy to play a part in the revitalization in the lives of our community members and the environment,” shared CEO of CHP Foundation 501 (c) (3) and Manager of Business Development, Kyle Fenner.

Learn more and watch the winning rides on the Colorado Horse Park Youtube channel.

Visit and the CHP Facebook page to keep up with the excitement at CHP. While the Colorado Summer Circuit has drawn to a close, a full roster of events continues over the next several months.

The Colorado Horse Park has the support of many generous sponsors, including: Parker Adventist Hospital, Parker Hospital Foundation, Littleton Equine Medical Center, Platinum Performance, Kathy and Brad Coors, Griffis Residential, Guaranty Bank, Murdoch’s Ranch and Home Supply, Wells Fargo Advisors, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Suzy Sweitzer, Gesco Nursery, Bessemer Trust, Holiday Inn, Super 8, Hampton Inn, Norstar Industries, Nutrena, Pfizer, Grand Meadows, A Bit of Tack, Horse Connection, Equine Comfort Products, Days Inn, Sidelines, Comfort Suites, Chronicle of the Horse, Jump 4 Joy and Wild Ranch.

Results $50,000 Parker Adventist Hospital Grand Prix

1 Bull Run’s Zino Platinum, Bull Run Jumpers, Inc., Kristen VanderVeen

2 Dulf Van Den Bisschop, Pony Lane Farm, Kelsey Thatcher

3 Washington, Allison Kroff, Allison Kroff

4 Chianto, Forest View Farm, John Pearce

5 Wurion, Palmer Divide Ranch, Susan Griffis

6 Thomas Edison, Alex Jayne, Maggie Jayne

7 Johnny B Good (aka Verrochio), Forest View Farm, John Pearce

8 Colorado, Bovee Limited Liability Partnership, Bjorn Ikast