Articles: Press Release
Mary Shirley Shines With RNW New Day in 1.40m
at the Tampa Equestrian Festival
Photo Credit: Mary Shirley and RNW New Day garner the blue ribbon in 1.40m
at the Tampa Equestrian Festival after completing the only double
clear. Photo © Rebecca Walton/Phelps Media Group.
Rebecca Walton for
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
at (561) 753-3389 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tampa, FL - March 19, 2009 - It was an exciting day of jumper competition in
the Covered Arena today at the Tampa Equestrian Festival. Today marked the
second day of competition for the first week, Suncoast Internationale week,
at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center on the Florida State Fairgrounds. Horses
and riders competed for top ribbons in the 1.40m and 1.35m classes.
Mary Shirley earned the day's top prize after her exciting double clear
victory aboard RMW New Day in today's 1.40m class. The course featured 11
obstacles including two double combinations and a liverpool. For the
jump-off riders had to make tight inside turns and complete one of the
double combinations again.
Mario Deslauriers entered the ring first with Tigger and completed a clean
first round with a time of 71.090. Deslauriers raced through the jump-off
course but pulled the rail at the final fence, a single vertical off of a
tight turn. The pair tripped the timer at 30.446, and with their four fault
score, landed in second place. Derek Braun and Rio Lindebjerg were the next
horse and rider combination to complete a clear first round and earn a spot
in the jump-off. The duo had rails at the second fence in the jump-off, a
large oxer off an inside turn, and the final fence before racing through the
timers with a time of 29.920, which would hold up for third place. Shirley
and RMW New Day were the final entry to complete the first course without
any faults and move into the jump-off. The pair managed to be clean and fast
with a time off 32.073, producing the only double clear and winning the
"The course was very inviting, and the turns rode very nicely; I thought
they did an excellent job," explained Shirley. "I hadn't shown him in an
indoor ring before, so I brought him up before the grand prix classes start
next week, and this was a perfect start."
"I gave birth last year, so right now I'm working towards being more
competitive in the bigger classes and he's been a great partner for that,"
noted Shirley. "He's built a little down hill so you have to help lift him
up without getting him too heavy in your hands, but he knows his job. He's
been there and done that; he had a lot of experience when I bought him, so
the less I do the better he performs."
Shirley plans to continue showing RMW New Day during the next two weeks of
the Tampa Equestrian Festival, and will then continue on to Kentucky to
compete in the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows.
The excitement continued in the jumper ring as the 1.35m class got
underway. Brock Clermont was the first to enter the ring with Top Chic
D. The pair took the rail at the fourth fence, a blue and yellow vertical
going away from the gate, but it would be their only penalty with a time of
73.189, leaving them in second place at the end of the class. Donald Cheska
and Zeldenrust Z were the only horse and rider combination to complete a
clean first round trip during today's class. Coming home in a time of 74.704
the pair incurred one time fault but that would be enough to secure the
day's blue ribbon.
"Zeldenrust Z is one of my favorite horses," smiled Cheska. "I've had him
for two years and he will start showing in the grand prix classes in the
spring. He's a very good horse, talented, careful and scopey. He has a very
long stride so it took some time to get him packed and collected, but now he
is very disciplined and rideable. He's not always the fastest in the
jump-offs but he will always jump clear."
Cheska has been showing at the Tampa Equestrian Festival for 30 years and
loves being able to come back every year. "It is one of my favorite shows,"
he noted. "It's very refreshing after being at WEF and it's very horse and
rider friendly. Most horse shows that we go to are run like a factory, this
show is not. It has permanent stabling, excellent footing and a wonderful
staff; it's a great show."
The Tampa Equestrian Festival is a three-week horse show featuring the
country's top hunters and jumpers. The first week of competition, the
Suncoast Internationale, will continue through Sunday, March 24. Tomorrow
the jumper classes will compete in the covered arena again, with the
addition of the Adult Amateur Jumpers and Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers. The
Tampa Equestrian Festival will come to a close on April 4 at Raymond James
Stadium after the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, the most
prestigious show jumping event in the nation.
For more information please visit www.stadiumjumping.com.