Articles: Press Release
Tampa Equestrian Festival Week 2 Wrap-up, March 25-29, 2009, Tampa Bay Classic
Rebecca Walton for
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
at (561) 753-3389 or at email@example.com
Tampa, FL - March 30, 2009- Never before in the history of the Grand Prix of Tampa
has there been a tie for winner, but yesterday that all changed when both Darragh
Kerins riding Night Train, owned by Double H Farms, and Kent Farrington riding Up
Chiqui, owned by Alex Boone, Craig Dobbs and Kent Farrington, emerged victorious
after the $75,000 Grand Prix of Tampa, when both pairs completed clear jump-off
rounds and crossed the finished line in the exact same time, 32.63 seconds.
Yesterday's grand prix was the final FEI World Cup Qualifier for the Rolex FEI World
Cup finals in Las Vegas and Pierre Jolicouer designed a very technically difficult
course that tested all 45 riders that competed. The most difficult parts of the
course included fence 5, a deceptive triple combination, fence 10 to fence 11, a
liverpool bending line to a large vertical, followed by a tight turn to fence 12,
a delicate plank vertical, and finally fences 13 "a" and "b", an oxer to oxer double
combination going towards the end of the ring. The triple combination's middle element,
a large oxer, and the last oxer of the final double combination, was where many
riders found faults and lost their bid to the jump-off.
It was 17 rounds before Christine McCrea and Promised Land, owned by Candy Tribble
and Windsor Show Stables, managed to be the first pair to complete a clear first
round. The pair had a hard rub at fence 5a and fence 11 that had the crowd holding
their breath, but the fences stayed up and she took over first place. McCrea held
the lead for nine more rounds before McLain Ward and Phillipa, owned by Sagamore
Farms, stepped up to challenge by completing the second fault-free round and assuring
the crowd of a jump-off. Up Chiqui and Farrington were one of the last six rounds
of the class and also completed a clear first round despite a great deal of bucking
throughout the course on the part of Up Chiqui, who came into the ring feeling fresh.
Darragh Kerins and Night Train were the last entry to leave all the jumps standing.
The crowd cheered as he had a long approach to the final combination and still made
it across the final oxer without bringing down any rails.
The crowd was prepared for a very exciting jump-off, knowing that the four participants
would be trying their best and going all out to win today's class. Promised Land
and McCrea entered the ring first, setting a very high standard when they managed
to leave all the rails in their cups and crossed the finish line in a fast 33.25
seconds to eventually earn the third place ribbon. Ward and Phillipa were next
and came into the ring with a plan, but in an attempt to make a very tight inside
turn the pair had a rail down at fence 7, a tall vertical. They tripped the timers
in 31.69 seconds, the fastest time of the day, but their four fault score landed
them in the fourth place position. Up Chiqui and Farrington stepped into the ring
next and this time Up Chiqui was focused on the job at hand. The naturally fast
horse was clear in a time 32.63 seconds without taking the inside turn but managed
to takeover the lead. Kerins knew he would need to take the inside turn with Night
Train and be clear to win the class, but despite his best efforts a slight bobble
meant that he would not be able to make up the time. The pair stopped the clock
at 32.63 seconds, the exact same time as Farrington and Up Chiqui, creating a tie
for first place.
"It is great, we're both thrilled with how our horses went " smiled Farrington.
"These two horses compete against each other a lot and kind of battle back and forth.
They're both similar types, fast and careful, so when they're both in a jump-off
it's always exciting."
Kerins has qualified for the Rolex FEI World Cup Finals and will be representing
Ireland with Night Train during this year's event. After today's win Farrington
became the leader of the East Coast World Cup standings. He will be representing
the East Coast along with McLain Ward, Christine McCrea, Todd Minikus, Hillary Dobbs,
Beezie Madden and Michelle Spadone.
The Tampa Equestrian Festival will continue this week with its third and final week
of competition, the Tournament of Champions. The first major event will be the $35,000
Grand Prix of Florida CSI on Wednesday, April 1, the final qualifier for the $200,000
Budweiser American Invitational. The grand finale of the Tampa Equestrian Festival
is the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, which will be held Saturday, April
4, beginning at 7 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium. This event features the world's
top equestrians competing for one of the richest purses during one of show jumping's
most historical events.
For more information please visit www.stadiumjumping.com.
Jumper Highlights: Wednesday through Saturday
Wednesday's top riders were Lauren Hough and McLain Ward. Hough won the 1.40m class
aboard 13-year-old Prziosos S, while Ward took home the first and second place honors
in the 1.35m class with Cover Girl and Gentleman.
Wednesday's courses, designed by Pierre Jolicouer, winded around and had twelve
obstacles featuring many bending lines, a double combination, and a triple combination.
During the 1.40m class eight horse and riders combinations completed the first course
without any jumping penalties, but because of time penalties did not advance to
Lauren Hough and Preziosos S were the one of the few horse and rider combination
to complete a clear first round. Hough cut the turns and Preziosos S left all the
jumps standing. The duo raced through the timers in 28.128, passing McCrea to take
over the lead and win the class. Mario Deslauriers would attempt to challenge Hough's
time with his second mount Tigger, but their time of 28.313 seconds was only fast
enough to earn them second place honors.
"It's always good to win," smiled Hough. "He's a really good horse and he's won
a lot at this level. He has a lot of experience so he was able to go in and be competitive
on the first day. This is a big change in venue after being at WEF for so long but
he can accommodate to whatever is in front of him."
The 1.35m competed earlier in the day where Ward garnered the top two ribbons. Margie
Engle set the jump-off pace after being the first rider to go double clear with
her mount Hidden Creek's Campella. The pair managed to leave all the jumps standing
and tripped the timers at 28.377, which held up for the third place prize. Ward
and Gentleman entered the ring next and also advanced to the jump-off. The pair
breezed past Engle's time, stopping the clock at 25.857 seconds and capturing the
second place award. Ward and Cover Girl were the next combination to go clear and
Ward managed to top his own time by a fraction of a second, flying across the finish
line in 25.707 seconds and winning the class.
The last class of the day was the 1.45m where Andres Rodriguez and Secret captured
the top spot after a double clear effort in a time of 28.556 seconds.
Thursday fifty-eight riders competed in the $35,000 Welcome Stake in the Covered
Arena. Seven riders were able to complete clear rounds and advance to the jump-off,
but it was Hillary Dobbs and Marlo who completed the fastest double clear round
of the day and took home the blue ribbon.
"This is a really important, special win for me today," smiled Dobbs after her victory
lap. "Marlo is my newest horse and we had a period where we were getting to know
each other this circuit. Today's win solidifies that we're making great strides
and getting to know each other better. I'm really happy with the way she went;
she was unbelievable today and I couldn't be happier with her."
The jump-off course was designed by Pierre Jolicoeur and included nine jumping efforts.
Riders began over a bending line from fence three, a large oxer, to fence four,
a difficult vertical plank, followed by fence ten which was a skinny vertical. Riders
then continued to fence 11, a large oxer, and then to the vertical-to-vertical double
combination, 12ab, followed by a tight turn to fence nine, a large oxer. Finally
riders raced home over fence number one, a very wide yellow and black oxer.
Hillary Dobbs and Marlo were second to last to compete in the day's jump-off but
they were prepared to win. Dobbs took off towards the first fence, leaving strides
out and cutting turns where she could. The duo left all the fences standing and
raced through the finish line in 38.920 seconds, passing Michael Morrissey and Crelido
to garner the win. Leslie Howard challenged Dobb's lead with her second mount, Raimond
W. She also went double clear, but her time of 41.950 seconds would not be enough
to pass Dobbs and the pair earned the third place prize.
Friday jumper riders competed in the Covered Arena in the 1.40m class, where Beezie
Madden garnered the top two prizes, earning the blue ribbon with Exclusive, owned
by Elizabeth Busch Burke and John Madden Sales, and the red ribbon with the Neopolitan
Holding entry, Prima.
The first course was difficult with 15 jumping efforts that included many challenging
bending lines, a triple combination, and an oxer to vertical double combination.
Only six riders advanced to the jump-off, which included very sharp turns and rollbacks,
the double combination, and finished over a large oxer going away from the gate.
Madden followed Kent Farrington into the ring with her first mount Prima, posting
a clear effort and beating his time by stopping the clock at 38.611 seconds to earn
the second place prize. Madden entered the ring last with Exclusive and didn't hold
back in the jump-off, allowing the mare to cut the turns and fly through the timers
in a clear 38.202 seconds to capture the day's win.
"The first round was a little difficult; there weren't very many clear," explained
Madden. "I was a little conservative with my first horse, Prima, because she's done
a lot of running. She's kind of my main speed horse, so I didn't want to let her
go in and just be fast the whole time. When we went in and took over the lead being
conservative I knew that if I let Exclusive slip around at her own pace she'd probably
be a little bit faster to win."
Saturday in the Covered Arena junior and amateur riders competed in the Junior/Amateur-Owner
Jumper High Power and Speed class and the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Low class,
with the top awards going to Erica Pritz riding Ad Fundum, and Marque Cincotta
Erica Pritz and Ad Fundum were the last to qualify for the speed phase and Pritz
knew she was going to have to be fast and accurate to win the class. The pair cut
all the turns and left out all the right strides, flying through the timers in 44.554
seconds and capturing the blue ribbon.
"I'm pretty excited," expressed Pritz after receiving her ribbon. "This is my first
high win on him, I only moved him up the last week we were in Palm Beach; I had
been originally doing the lows and the mediums when I bought him in December."
She continued, "My plan with him was to try and make up for my mistake at the triple
combination with my other horse earlier in the class, and really try to not over
think and just go for it. The biggest concern was that first fence in the triple,
I had it with my first horse, and a lot of others did as well. It was hard, especially
coming off of a bending line with a triple bar. Today I just had to stay with my
horse and turn; he jumps amazing!"
Next to compete in the Covered Arena was the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Low class.
Seven riders were able to advance to the jump-off, which became a battle of the
clock when they all managed complete clear short-courses. Sarah Kerins was the first
to set a very fast time of 34.647 second with Allie, but it would not be enough
to hold up against Marque Cincotta and Chappie, who beat them by fractions of a
second after crossing the finish line in 34.244 seconds and winning the class.
Hunter Highlights: Thursday through Sunday
The Regular Working Hunters showed in the Main Hunter Ring Thursday, and after two
days of competition, the division's championship honors were awarded to Abel, owned
by Megan McGuire, and ridden by Amanda Steege. Abel and Steege won two first place
ribbons and three second place ribbons in the division's individual classes for
the tricolor win. Reserve champion of the Regular Working Hunter division went to
Gamaliel, owned by McNeel H.J. Inc., and ridden by Clair Kellner. Kellner and Gamaliel
won both classes over fences Wenesday and were second, second and third Thursday.
Abel, is an eight year-old Belgian Warmblood. Megan McGuire has owned the horse
for two years and shows him in the younger Amateur-Owner Hunters. Amanda Steege
of Bedminster, NJ, showed the horse today and was very happy with his brave performance.
Steege showed all winter in Ocala, and is enjoying the change of scenery here in
Tampa. "I think this is my fifth year coming to Tampa and I love it here," she
smiled. "We have been talking to people all week and everyone keeps saying how happy
they are when they are here. The weather is perfect, the ring is beautiful, the
footing is perfect, the jumps are nice, and I just think that Stadium Jumping puts
on a really classy event. We always look forward to coming here. I have some new
clients who are showing here for the first time this year and they are totally
hooked on Tampa now. We will definitely have it on the schedule for next year."
The Green Working Hunters showed in the Main Hunter Ring earlier in the day, with
Like Wize and Kate Conover winning the division's championship tricolor after two
days of competition. Like Wize and Conover placed first in all three of the division's
classes yesterday and were second in both classes today to win the championship
honors. Black Pearl and Mary Eufemia won the reserve championship tricolor, placing
second, second and fourth Wednesday and first and second Thursday.
The ASCPA Maclay Horsemanship Medal kicked off mid-afternoon Friday in the Jumper
Annex with 14 horse and rider combinations competing over fences for the first round.
The top pairs then showed under saddle for the final judging.
Following the flat phase it was 14 year-old Shawn Casady of Tennessee who took top
honors in the class. Casady showed Don Stewart, Jr.'s horse Piece of Art and walked
away with the blue ribbon. Later in the day Casady also placed third in the Pessoa
USEF Hunter Seat Medal riding Piece of Art.
"Piece of Art is a great horse; she is a really easy ride and really easy to do
these courses on," Casady commented after his win. "She has a big stride and she
really takes you around the course. I thought it was a nice course today; it flowed
nicely and was pretty open."
Following Casady in the class standings was Chelsey Zulia, who finished in second
place riding Arcadia Farm, Inc.'s Convent 8. After Zulia, Bailey Hughes placed third
in the class riding The Insider, owned by Gillian Sciaretta. Fourth place honors
went to Hasbrouck Donovan showing Sag Harbor's Lucky Star, owned by Paige Dekko.
Fifth place honors went to Rachel Griffin showing her horse Simplify.
The Amateur-Owner Hunters concluded their second day of competition Saturday afternoon
and presented championship awards to the division's top finishers. Player and Penelope
Ayers placed first and second in Saturday's classes over fences and were second
and sixth Friday to take the championship win. Templeton and Darby Toben won the
reserve championship honors after placing second Saturday and first, third and
Penelope Ayers has owned nine year-old Player since last April. Ayers is from Burnettsville,
NJ, and trains with Sandy Lobel, who she has been riding with for nearly 25 years.
"He has been an amazing ride for me," Ayers said of Player after her win. "My trainer
Sandy has always found me fabulous horses. He is really easy; he has a lot of scope
and a huge step. He is also very forgiving, so he is a wonderful amateur horse and
he has a great sense of humor. He just likes you to stay off his mouth and let him
do his job."
Both the Small and Large Junior Hunters 15 and Under competed in the Main Hunter
Ring Sunday morning at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center. After showing under saddle
and in two classes over fences Sunday, it was Taylor Ann Adams who took both championship
and reserve championship honors in the Small Junior Hunter 15 and Under division.
Adams showed Eloise to the championship tricolor, placing fourth in the under saddle
and first in both classes over fences Sunday. Eloise was also first and third over
fences Saturday. Adams rode Ferngully to the reserve championship honors, placing
third under saddle and second, second, first and sixth over fences.
"Eloise is the best horse ever and she always does her job," Adams smiled. "She
has the best personality; she just went out there in the pouring down rain today
Eloise is ten years old and Adams has been riding her for about six months. The
pair showed in Ocala together, and about halfway through the Ocala circuit, six
year-old Ferngully came along.
This was Ferngully's second week in a row being reserve champion in the Small Junior
Hunter 15 and Under division, and the young horse just started showing for the first
time five weeks ago. "He is a baby," Adams stated. "He is so great; he is going
to be the next big thing. We just love him and he has the best personality."
The Large Junior Hunter 15 and Under division competed following the Smalls. Junior
rider Samantha Schaefer rode Garfield to the championship tricolor for the second
week in a row. Schaefer also had the ride aboard the division's reserve champion,
The Small and Large Junior Hunters 16-17 also competed Sunday morning. The Small
Junior Hunters 16-17 were the first to compete, with Laura Pfeiffer riding Manchineel
to the championship win. The reserve championship honors went to last week's champion,
Lyle, ridden by Abby O'Mara.
Next to compete were the Large Junior Hunters 16-17. Earning the championship honors
was Practicial, ridden by Laura Pfieffer. Saving Grace and Evy Carroll took home
the reserve championship tricolor.