Halifax, MA – August 26, 2011 – The Fieldstone Summer Showcase had a full day of competition in the Grand Prix Field today and it was Amanda Steege of Bedminster, NJ, who rode to a one-two finish in the $25,000 New England Hunter Derby Final. Steege rode Duval, owned by Randi Vladimer of Malvern, PA, to victory. Majestic, owned by Tony Arena of Fairport, NY, and Steege were second. Olympian Leslie Howard of Fairfield, CT, took the top prize in the $7,500 Herb Chambers Companies Speed Stake on Goed Zo, owned by the 73 West Group of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Fieldstone Summer Showcase features top hunter/jumper competition at their beautiful facility in Halifax, MA.
UPDATE: Today marked the fourth day of competition for the Fieldstone Summer Showcase, which will now run through Saturday, August 27. The MHJ Finals will run at the same times and in the same rings but now on Saturday instead of Sunday. The $25,000 Herb Chambers Companies Grand Prix start time has been moved to 9 a.m. on Saturday, August 27.
There were 45 entries in the $25,000 New England Hunter Derby Final, and they competed through two rounds to find the winner. The top 12 scoring horses from the first round returned for a handy round, which included a trot jump, hand gallop, and walking over a log. The courses were designed by Nathan Panetta.
“I thought they were fun courses,” Steege said. “I loved that the jumps were mostly off your eye and off the gallop. It really let you show off on a horse that had a pretty canter who perked his ears and looked for the jump. I liked doing the natural jumps in the first round. The way that they used them was really appropriate for this level of a class because it definitely was somewhat challenging without feeling trappy or so different that the horses didn’t want to participate. I have to commend the course designer for that.”
The leader of the first round was 11-year-old McKayla Langmeier on Czar Z, who posted a score of 86 plus four bonus points for the high score of 90. She returned last in the second round and added a score of 70 for a total of 160 and fourth place.
Steege and Duval, an eight-year-old Westphalian gelding by Democrat, sat in second place after the first round with an overall score of 88. They put down a fantastic trip in the handy round, including a flawless hand gallop jump and were rewarded with a score of 89. Their total of 177 gave them the win.
Steege started riding Duval last year in the Pre-Green Hunters and now competes in the First Year Green Working Hunters. “He’s been successful as a First Year horse and Randi also shows him in the Adult Hunters,” Steege explained. “We have just started doing derbies. We have done about four or five of the 3’3” derbies with the idea of shooting for the bigger derbies and hopefully derby finals next year. This was the perfect introduction to that type of setting. I was excited about that.”
Majestic, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Voltaire, and Steege had an 84 in the first round and posted a second round score of 87 for a total of 171 for second place. Steege has been paired with Majestic for three years, and they regularly compete in the High Performance Hunters.
“He will be a really good derby horse, but he isn’t quite ready to do all of the elements,” Steege said. “I did a few of the big ones in the right places but he’s so super careful that I felt this was the better way to go for his first year. I thought it was better to just concentrate on 3’3” until he got a few under his belt. I thought he handled today really well. I’m really excited to have both of these horses ready to step up into the next level of the derbies.”
Third place went to Sea Walker, ridden by Nicole Olinyk for David Olinyk of Franklin, MA. They received scores of 82 and 80 for a total of 162.
While the hunters do not normally receive much prize money, the hunter derbies have brought money to the discipline. Steege agreed: “To win a class with this kind of prize money was great. It’s my first big money class that I’ve won. The thought of riding in classes where you could make money never really occurred to me, so that’s exciting!”
Competing at Fieldstone was a return to Steege’s roots; she grew up in Massachusetts and showed in New England as a junior. “It was great to be back here, and working with my dad Mitch. It was so nice that my parents and family were able to come and watch. I’ve really enjoyed my time here.”
The $7,500 Herb Chambers Companies Speed Stake had 18 entries, and nine of those were able to stay clear over the course designed by Eric Hasbrouck. The early leader was Olivia Jack of Fairfield, CT, on her horse Corina. They stopped the timers in 68.016 seconds and were able to stay in second place. Third place went to Contino 5, ridden by Caitlin Venezia and owned by The 7 Group.
Leslie Howard and Goed Zo, an eight-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Castello, were very fast across the jumps and were able to shave off just enough time to take the win in 67.956 seconds.
Howard has been riding Goed Zo for two years. “We bought him at the end of his six-year-old year in Europe. He’s fast, careful, competitive, he always tries, and he has a great attitude,” she expressed.
Goed Zo had no trouble with the turns and galloping, and Howard and said he felt good today. “He did everything I asked. I took some shots with him and he was right there for me. He was a good boy, but he’s sort of that nature anyway. He’s usually a good speed horse,” she described.
This is the first time that Howard has competed at Fieldstone Equestrian. She said, “It’s really cute here, and they seem very willing to try to improve it all the time. That’s all you can ask.”
Howard plans to compete in tomorrow’s $25,000 Herb Chambers Companies Grand Prix.
Earlier in the day, junior and amateur jumper riders took to the field. The winner of the $2,500 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic (1.15-1.20m) was Valencia, ridden and owned by Kendall Milkey of Temple, NH. Melissa Jacobs of Buffalo, NY, rode T Cavalier to second place, while Cr Lugana and Hillary Swarr, riding for Janet Swarr of Franklin, MA, were third.
Katie Cox of Conroe, TX, rode Twilight to the win in the $5,000 CWD Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic (1.35m). John Holmes of New Hope, PA, rode Gideon to second place, while Jean Sheptoff of Waltham, MA, rode Elite Ventures’ Ami Des Gemmes to third place.
The Fieldstone Summer Showcase continues tomorrow with the Massachusetts Hunter Jumper Finals, the $5,000 Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic, and the highlight class of the week, the $25,000 Herb Chambers Companies Grand Prix, which will now run at 9 a.m.
$25,000 New England Hunter Derby Final Results
1. Duval, Amanda P. Steege, Randi Vladimer (Malvern, PA): 88, 89, 177
2. Majestic, Amanda P. Steege, Tony Arena (Fairport, NY): 84, 87, 171
3. Sea Walker, Nicole Oliynyk, Nicole Oliynyk (Franklin, MA): 82, 80, 162
4. Czar-Z, Mckayla Langmeier Linda Langmeier (East Granby, CT): 90, 70, 160
5. Major, Zoe McGee, Zoe McGee (Charleston, MA): 80.25, 79, 159.25
6. Elitere, Jennifer B. Bliss, Julie De Vaulx (North Salem, NY): 80, 77, 157
7. Generous, David Oliynyk, Lori Gaudet (Lexington, MA): 80.5, 75, 155.5
8. Aiden, John Yozell, John Yozell (Dedham, MA): 81.1, 74, 155.1
9. Sky’s the Limit, Kristen Bumpus, Elsa Kania (Concord, MA): 81, 72, 153
10. Bravo Van De Kwakkelhoek, Elizabeth Kenny, Elizabeth Kenny (Wellesley, MA) : 85, 64, 149
11. Chiquita, Kristen Bumpus, Banner Farm (Dover, MA): 81.5, 65, 146.5
12. Southern Belle, Catherine Kenny, Catherine Kenny (Wellesley, MA): 82.25, 60, 142.25
$7,500 Herb Chambers Speed Stake Results
1. Goed Zo, Leslie B. Howard, 73 West Group, 0/67.956 (Toronto, ON)
2. Corina, Olivia Jack, Olivia Jack, 0/68.016 (Fairfield, CT)
3. Contino 5, Caitlin W. Venezia, The 7 Group, 0/72.607
4. Reflection, Gregory Prince, Lionshare Lionshare Farm, 0/72.693
5. Wednesday Morning, Wendy L. Smith, Diane Denby, 0/73.673 (Somers, CT)
6. T Cavalier, Melissa Jacobs, Melissa Jacobs LLC, 0/75.260 (Buffalo, NY)
7. Carreras, Kristen Bumpus, Elsa Kania, 0/75.843 (Cambridge, MA)
8. Catalyst, Adrienne Sternlicht, Adrienne Sternlicht, 0/76.435 (Grennwich, CT)
9. Melisande, Amy M. Lowrey, Narnia Farms, 0/77.946
10. Canetti, Hannah Lavin, Volo Farm, 2/83.236 (Westford, MA)
11. Valdez, Olivia Jack, Oliva Jack, 4/72.593 (Fairfield, CT)
12. EquiFit Amadeus, Gregory Prince, Katelyn McGrail, 4/73.883 (Stratham, NH)