Conyers, GA — November 14, 2010 — Classic Company’s Season Finale event, the Atlanta Fall Classics, is a virtual cornucopia of equestrian competition with everything from Zone Championships to a $25,000 Adult-Child Jumper Classic to a show jumping Grand Prix just in the first week. “We always like to end our year big!” Classic Company President Bob Bell quipped.
Friday’s kick off of head to head competition began with the USHJA National Hunter Classic. This event is considered a stepping stone to the regular Hunter Derbies for many and designer Joe Carnicone gave riders a taste of that experience with a layout offering four higher option fences to garnish bonus points. Top scores were invited to return for a handy round in which an overall point total would determine the victor. Round one found Camden, SC favorite Elizabeth Boyd riding the Lee Cesery owned Marquis to an early lead, but the young talents of Marlena Parker and Edie Ringger were right on her coat tails. And when the scores were tallied it was Edie Ringger of Midland, GA with her mount Norway de la Fosse taking the number one position.
Official Results for USHJA National Hunter Classic:
1st Norway de la Fosse with owner-rider Edie Ringger
2nd Marquis with Elizabeth Boyd for owner Lee Cesery
3rd Cavallino with owner-rider Marlena Parker
4th Bailey’s Irish with Christina Jason for owner Christina Vozza
5th Sylvester with owner-rider Meghan Flanagan
6th What D’Ya Know with owner-rider Lee Cesery
7th La Vita with owner-rider Raven Weinlein
8th Banderas with owner-rider Kathleen Gianturco
9th Gandhi with Lincoln Russell for owner Richard Kosa
10th Picasso with Aleece Jarman for owner Haley Farrell
11th Levi with owner-rider Aleece Jarman
12th Rooster Illusion with Gabriella Gianturco for owner Emily Corkhill
The Grand Prix arena opened the week with the Welcome Jumper Classic and a star-studded field of 32 competitors taking on course designer Allen Rheinheimer’s sprawling 12 obstacle/15 effort first round layout under the lights that once shone on Olympic competitors of the 1996 Games. With the likes of New Zealand Olympic vet Sharn Wordley, International talent Hector Florentino and top US Pros such as David Jennings and Jay Land, the spectators saw their fair share of action. After an abbreviated jump off of 8 efforts it was Shaker Heights, OH resident David Jennings riding the Tornado to victory for owners Two Shannons Farm. Second place went to local favorite (Alpharetta, GA) Jay Land aboard his mount Nepal, 3rd place went to Columbus, NC based owner-rider Vick Russell aboard Boudicca, 4th place to Hector Florentino of Hallandale, FL riding Ultimo for owner Stransky’s Mission Farm, Inc., and completing the top 5 was New Zealand born owner-rider Maurice Beatson with Apollo Van Evendael. “What an exciting start to the jumper competition this week! The prix on Sunday afternoon is sure to be a nail biter,” Bell said.
Saturday saw the lion’s share of Zone 4 Championships completed with more than 150 riders in contention and the Silver Cup Equitation Champions were decided. For 2010 the winners are; Adult Silver Cup – Leigh Cofer riding Breaking News for owner Fit to Print Farm; Children’s Silver Cup – Whitney Zimmerman aboard MG Vivaldi for owner Keren Halperin-Guy; and Junior Silver Cup – Sydney Crenshaw with Lead Story for owner Fit to Print Farm. Complete Zone 4 results can be viewed online at the Classic Company web site. “We have some amazing talent in this zone and it’s a treat for us to honor their hard work,” Bell said.
Qualifying for the $25,000 Barry Lane Memorial Jumper Classic was held on Saturday too, with more than 75 riders vying for a spot, of which 42 returned for Sunday afternoon’s show down event. Last year’s winner, horse show veterinarian, Dr. Juan Gamboa returned with partner Partizan to defend his title, but in a turn of the tables Alissa Kinsey of Ft. Myers, FL who finished second to Gamboa in 2009, took the top spot this year. An unfortunate rail kept Gamboa from reaching the jump off and when asked her reaction to that development Kinsey confessed, “Thank God!” She laughed and added, “That made my day a little easier. He was my biggest issue, knowing he was after me, because last year I under estimated him and got beat. Though I’d like to have had another run with him.” Course designer Allen Rheinheimer took little mercy on the Children and Adult competitors, giving them an 87-second allowance for round one’s 13 obstacles that required plenty of careful thought. “It walked different than it rode, at least the way I did. It looked fairly straight forward and then I actually left strides out in three of the lines I had walked. After watching several others go I saw that it was a track riding more forward,” Kinsey explained of their clear ride in 78.238. She believes that many of the riders anticipated today’s course to be reminiscent of the Saturday qualifying round. “Yesterday we had to do a speed round for the qualifier, well a lot of horses were in that mode still and today was not a course to speed – it was very technical and snug.” Thirteen others joined Kinsey and her 13-year-old Hanoverian mare for the 8 effort jump off round; set with a time allowed of 47 seconds to navigate the roll backs and turns safely. Not until the 8th in the order did the crowds see a clear ride. Diane Binswanger with mount Clarissa Z clocked in at 38.926 and held the lead until the bitter end when Kinsey and Grisset entered the arena. In what felt like a blink of the eye the duo cleared the final obstacle to stop the timers with a victorious 34.795 seconds. Following the awards presentation the pair loaded up and began their long journey home to Florida and a much deserved break from competition. “I always look at this [event] as our last big one before we head home and off the constant travel schedule. We’ll stay put until winter circuits and then start the road trips again,” a smiling Kinsey concluded.
Top Five Placings for the $25,000 Barry Lane Memorial Meter 1.15 Grand Prix:
1st Grisset with owner-rider Alissa Kinsey 0 in 34.795
2nd Clarissa Z with owner-rider Diane Binswanger 0 in 38.926
3rd Elektra with owner-rider Evie Jaeckle 0 in 44.477
4th Gregory with Kady Abrahamson for owner Ben Inagh Investment 4 in 38.629
5th Fargo with Mary Huitt for owner Rex Marquette 4 in 39.063
And capping off week one’s excitement was the $25,000 EMO Grand Prix featuring 37 competitors from around the world. Among them were World Equestrian Games, Olympic, and World Cup greats like Ireland’s Darragh Kerins, New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley, and USA’s own David Jennings, to name but a few. Rheinheimer set a 16 effort layout of turns and combinations, the trickiest perhaps the triple combo at 12abc [vertical to oxer to vertical] which headed straight towards the in gate but ending with a hard left to oxer #13 to be completed in under the 95 second limit. The 9th in the order of go, 16-year-old owner-rider Chase Boggio of Canton, GA, was the first to make a clean run with Hennessey in 91.831. Only four others would repeat this feat, including Shaker Heights, OH based David Jennings with his infamous partner Marcus Aurelius who went clean in 85.801. “We’ve jumped a lot of classes with Allen [Rheinheimer] building, he builds them very fair –a little careful, not overly big but very technical. And with this ring I think a lot of horses get a little bit tired towards the end. It’s a big ring and towards the end of the course people have the last jump down or that triple [combination] going to the in gate got some down. But all in all a great course!” Jennings said.
Rheinheimer’s “dash for the cash” jump off round of 7 obstacles [8 efforts] in under 47 seconds was a sweeping run from one side of the arena up the middle to roll back and end on the far right of the in gate. Boggio and Hennessey set the standard with a clean ride in 45.644; however when Jennings and Marcus crossed the start line it was quite obvious this pair intended to win. They clocked in at a fast 41.874 with only one horse and rider left to go, Apollo Van Evendael piloted by owner-rider Maurice Beatson, but despite a valiant effort the pair’s time fell short giving Jennings a confirmed win. When asked if he suffered any nerves going up against such world class competitors Jennings reflected a moment and then answered, “You always look at the people who are here, and it doesn’t come down to it until you’re in the jump off. I have to ride the first round clear, but then you look at the field in the jump off and who you’re riding against, maybe not knowing some of the people but I’ve been showing through the summer with some of these people and I see how they ride, where they’re a little conservative, and going towards the end of the jump off you have a little bit of an advantage just because you can see how fast they’re turning to the jumps, see how fast they’re going across the ground to the next jump. I not only look at the jump coming up, but at the track where others have gone and try to stay just a little bit inside that route.” He did add that knowing your horse well is key to this strategy. Given the winning streak Jennings and Marcus have chalked up this season it’s safe to say he knows his partner very well. The dynamic duo will return for week two’s double $25,000 Prix competitions.
Official Top Five Results for the $25,000 EMO Grand Prix:
1st Marcus Aurelius with owner-rider David Jennings 0 in 41.874
2nd Lisona with Darragh Kerins for owner Kevin Babington 0 in 42.326
3rd Apollo Van Evendael with owner-rider Maurice Beatson 0 in 42.829
4th Hennessey with owner-rider Chasen Boggio 0 in 45.644
5th Carneval with owner-rider Susan Knoblauch 4 in 46.915
Week Two of the Atlanta Fall series will boast even more action with the NCE Finals, two big $25,000 Jumper Classics, $10,000 Child-Adult Jumper Classic, and $10,000 Junior-Amateur Owner Jumper Classic. For complete results of the Atlanta Fall Classics Week 1 please visit www.horseshowsonline.com or call the office at 770-602-2510.
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