Articles: Press Release
Olympic Veteran Takes Garden State Grand Prix
Nona Garson Rides Rhythmical to Top Honors
Classic Communications (508) 698-6810, email@example.com
Augusta, NJ — May 15, 2001 — In the 50th Anniversary year of
the Garden State Horse Show, held May 2-6 at the Sussex County Fairgrounds
in Augusta, NJ, thirty-nine riders confronted a Michael Rheinheimer-designed
course in the $50,000 Cosequin/United States Grand Prix League Garden State
Grand Prix. It was Sydney Olympic team member Nona Garson, who rode her
Olympic mount, Rhythmical, to the winning double-clear ride in 38.196
seconds to take home the blue.
The horse-and-rider combination has shown sparingly this winter
and spring but came out strong for Garden State. The horse show was the
chestnut gelding’s first show back in the northeast.
Garson said, “I’ve tried to ride him very sparingly this year since he had
such a hard year last year. I feel strategically it was a great thing to do
because he feels better than ever to me right now. I’ve given him a lot of
time to relax and forget about all those over-his-head jumps he had to jump
Out of a field of 39 the pair was one of ten to jump clean over
the first course of fourteen jumping efforts. The course was ideal for the
fiery chestnut gelding who, standing only 15.3 hands, is quick around the
corners and has natural speed across the ground. The long galloping course
posed little difficulty.
“My horse is one of the fastest horses around,” said Garson. “He
can get across the ring as fast as any horse and he can jump a vertical over
his head better than any horse.”
Coming in a close second was the defending champion, McLain Ward
of Brewster, NY, who rode Xstatic to a 38.357-second finish. Ward rode two
horses in the jump-off but had an unlucky stop mid-course with his second
mount Beneton. Ward did, however, pick up fourth place with his three-fault
finish on Beneton. Earlier in the week, Ward also piloted Victoria to top
honors in the first high preliminary jumper class.
The only other rider to go double-clean in the Grand Prix was
James Benedetto riding Kondor. Benedetto and Kondor collected third with a
time of 38.523 seconds. Kondor, Susdal and Rhythmical are all owned by the
Kamine family of Oldwick, NJ.
During the awards ceremony for the Garden State Grand Prix, the
Junior Essex Troop proudly presented Centenary College’s Equine Studies
Program with a $25,000 donation earmarked for a scholarship fund. The
scholarship would be made available to New Jersey residents who will be
majoring in equine studies at the college. This year was the first that
students, through volunteering, were able to help out in the execution of
the horse show. Junior Essex Troop hopes that through the relationship they
will enhance the students’ experience in the equine studies program by
offering a hands-on role in the planning and execution of the largest
hunter/jumper show in New Jersey.
In the junior jumper division, Michelle Pia piloted Robin
Fairclough’s Dutchbred Himself to a blue ribbon finish in the junior jumper
stake class. After winning the stake class and collecting their blue ribbon,
Pia and Himself were also presented with the “The Colquhoun Cup.”
The perpetual trophy, donated by the Colquhoun family, is
awarded to the winner of the stake class. Ironically, Fairclough herself won
the cup twice – the first time in 1973 and the second time the following
year in 1974.
Pia, a Pennsylvania resident, rides with Emil Spadone of Fieldsteps Farm in
Hunterdon County, NJ, and is riding Fairclough’s jumper until he gets sold.
In the rated hunter divisions, Blessed, owned by Lee Kellogg of
Short Hills, NJ, and ridden by Jennifer Bauersachs, took home championship
honors in the green working hunter division. Finishing in reserve was
Sympatico owned by Ashley Force of Berwyn, PA, and ridden by Jeff Ayers.
In the regular working division, Garson completed a blue-ribbon
sweep of the over fence classes with Superman to take the championship
honors. The seven-year-old bay was imported from Europe as a four-year-old
by Garson and the Kamine family. Originally shown in the jumper division,
Superman was sidelined by an injury and brought back this past winter.
Garson started the stallion in the hunters to ease back into showing, but
Superman has proven to be a winning regular working mount. For now Garson
will continue to compete with him in the hunters before stepping him back in
to the jumper ring.
For the second consecutive year, Katie Conover, 16, of
Pipersville, PA, topped the $1500 Garden State Pony Hunter Classic. This
year Conover took home the blue ribbon riding Majic Marker, an
eight-year-old chestnut gelding owned by Cinnabar Farms Inc. Not only did
the pair top the classic, but also claimed the large division championship.
Majic Marker was brought down from Canada as a four year old and
purchased by customers in the barn as an investment. Conover has been
training the pony since he came to the farm unbroken. She said, “He’s really
good to work around and he loves little kids. He’s really a kid’s pony.”
Last year Conover showed Majic Marker lightly in the green pony
hunter division and capped the year with an over-fence win at the AHSA Pony
Finals. Following the prestigious win, the gelding moved into the large
division and gained experience showing indoors throughout the winter.
Conover is planning on showing Majic Marker at Devon, but now that he is for
sale she knows she may have to give up the ride.
Just one point behind Majic Marker in the Classic was Farnley Dolphin ridden
by Kaitlin Campbell of Cranberry, NJ. Campbell and Farnley Dolphin also
collected the small pony championship after claiming three seconds, a first
and a third in the hack. Campbell and Conover both train with Patty Miller
of Pipersville, PA.
In the $250 Marshall & Sterling Adult Hunter class, Allison
Smith Fernandez piloted November Rain to the blue ribbon finish. Riding the
grey gelding, Fernandez also took home the younger adult amateur
championship. Fernandez, 29, of Summit, NJ, trains with Robert Beck of
Hunters Crossing in Long Valley, NJ.
Mary Alexis Healey of Mt. Holly, NJ, bested a field of 22 to
take home the blue in the $5000 Agway Junior/Amateur Owner Prix. Healey,
16, galloped her junior jumper Laurin to a first-place finish in the Show
Jumping Hall of Fame class.
Returning first in the jump-off Healey put the pressure on the rest of the
field, as she and Laurin posted a clean trip in only 34.934 seconds. It was
a nerve-wracking wait as Healey watched the remaining horses go, but no one
could beat her time.
The seven-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare was imported from Brazil
and purchased by Healey about a year ago. Healey competed in the low
juniors at the Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival in West Palm Beach, FL,
and moved up to the highs in Tampa. Both Healey and Laurin had not shown in
the junior jumpers before being paired up, but have found success together.
The win at Garden State was the second classic she topped in two weeks. Both
Mary Alexis and her younger sister Leigh train with Frank and Stacia Madden
at Beacon Hill in Colts Neck, NJ.
Leigh, 15, also collected her share of prize money at Garden
State, riding Ideal to the top of the $1500 Marshall & Sterling Children’s
Jumper class and the $2500 John Fritz Challenge class on Saturday afternoon.
In addition to the blue ribbon, Leigh was presented with the John H. Fritz
Perpetual Trophy donated by Mr. and Mrs. Finn M. W. Caspersen. The trophy
was given in honor of John (Jack)
Fritz in celebration of the show’s 50th Anniversary as well as
Mr. Fritz’s vast efforts and dedication to the equestrian world.
The Maddens also train Kristy McCormack of Lakewood, NY, who topped the
Washington International Equitation class, the USET Medal and collected the
open equitation championship sponsored by Show Circuit Magazine.
In the $1500 Garden State Hunter Classic, the top honors were awarded to
Kate Jaffe of Bedford, NY, who rode her bay gelding named Libre. Libre and
Jaffe also collected the small junior hunter championship. Jaffe trains
with Val Renihan and Peter Leone of Lionshare Farm.
$50,000 Garden State Grand Prix results
Horse Rider Owner faults/time
1. Rhythmical Nona Garson Kamine family 0/0/38.196
2. Xstatic McLain Ward Harry Gill & McLain Ward 0/0/38.357
3. Kondor James Benedetto Kamine family 0/0/38.523
4. Beneton McLain Ward McLain Ward 0/3/45.324
5. Quidam M Peter Leone BCQ Enterprises 0/4/36.110
6. Korina Chris Kappler Moonraker Farm 0/4/37.125
7. Aalsmeer’s Enterprize Mark Leone Aalsmeer Farm 0/4/38.732
8. Eros Anne Kursinski Eros Group 0/4/39.086
9. Don Marino Lisa Jacquin Dr. Juan Carmona 0/4/43.500
10. Alteese du Boele Laura Bowery M/M Joseph DiMenna 0/8/39.947