Elizabeth Boyd and Brunello Win $25,000 USHJA Hunter Derby; Chasen Boggio and Hennessey Victorious in $35,000 EMO Grand Prix
Conyers, GA — June 19, 2011 — There’s more than one reason exhibitors use the phrase “I’m showing in Hotlanta”; just ask Elizabeth Boyd who picked up some “hot” cash in Friday evening’s $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby or Chasen Boggio who’ll be depositing a big check from Sunday’s $35,000 Adequan Grand Prix.
Kicking off a huge week at the Georgia International Horse Park, the Hunter riders took center stage on Friday evening as 30 determined horses vied for the spotlight in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby presented by the Classic Company. It had the feel of a red carpet extravaganza with competitors donning Shadbelly jackets, shiny boots, braided manes and tails – all those special touches to further impress the panel of four judges: Mike Rosser, Betsy Perry, Leo Conroy, and Mike Lowrey. Beauty aside, what the judges really wanted to see was the talent used to negotiate the 12 obstacles brought to reality from the imagination of designer Allen Rheinheimer. Making use of the expansive Olympic arena, Rheinheimer created a track that traversed its entirety including the sizable bank along the back wall. Additionally riders encountered 4 options with height choices of 3’6 or 4’ as well as bending and broken lines throughout. Only the top 12 scores would be invited back for the handy round two.“Awesome job!” commented Elizabeth Boyd [Liza to her friends] of Camden, SC on Rheinheimer’s layout. Boyd and mount Brunello, the 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Accord II whom she co-owns with Janet Peterson of Landrum, SC, lead the first round pack with a score of 185. “Horse of a lifetime, I’m so lucky! He’s a real master of these [Derbies] now. I can really count on him,” Boyd complimented her partner, who is currently ranked 2nd going into the $100,000 USHJA International Derby Finals this August at the Kentucky Horse Park. She felt that one of the best obstacles in the first round was its length and stated you needed a fit horse for this layout. “Brunello is ridden and prepared like a grand prix horse-he gets worked. I keep him very very fit; you have to for the Derbies.”
Not far off Brunello’s hooves was Wagner with pilot Hasbrouck Donovan of Ocala, FL finishing the first round with a 178 score. “Hasbrouck is a wonderful young rider and I don’t take anything for granted when she’s in the competition,” Boyd said.
Moving to the second act, Rheinheimer deigned a handy 10 fence layout which included 4 options, however, the pièce de résistance came at the final two fences, #9 and #10 which were both option fences. Riders could take a left turn off vertical #8 to the lower #9 then sweep right to the 3’6 oxer at #10. Or they could brave the high road, like owner-rider Lucille Oken of Charlotte, NC with Cool Blue did, and execute a nearly flawless ride earning them a score of 196 added to their first round 150 for a total of 346. One of the toughest riders Boyd faced was young Donovan with Wagner. The duo had a smooth approach to the big obstacles which the judges’ scores reflected with bonus points for a 195 second round total and overall score of 373 giving them the lead position. Boyd and Brunello’s curtain call included choosing all the high options, making them only the second pair to attempt that strategy. “It rode big; those last two options were BIG solid oxers! I don’t get jumped loose very often, but my horse made such an effort that I got a little loose,” Boyd laughed. “He [Brunello] was great. I have such a bond with this horse and know him so so well.” Boyd’s confidence paid off with a score of 200 added to their first round for a total of 385 and the victory.
Presenting a host of goodies to this morning’s winners was Classic Company President Bob Bell and Robin Stoney of Classic Company. Along with the custom USHJA ribbons, the winner received with her check a commemorative cooler and the perpetual Jack Geitner Memorial trophy. “The weather turned out to be near perfect, despite a forecast of pouring rain and this was a great class. While presenting awards more than half of the riders commented on what a wonderful course it had been. Atlanta Summer is off to a fantastic start,” Bell said.
Official Results for the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby were:
1st Brunello owned by Liza Boyd & Janet Peterson ridden by Liza Boyd
2nd Wagner owned and ridden by Hasbrouck Donovan
3rd Bases Loaded owned by Am Free, Inc and ridden by Kelley Farmer
4th Cool Blue owned and ridden by Lucille Oken
5th Morocco owned by Nancy Moore and ridden by Megan Edrick
6th Waking Dream owned by Donald Stewart and ridden by Abby O’Mara
7th Samoan Dancer owned by Susan Hutchinson and ridden by Taylor Adams
8th Sylvester owned and ridden by Meghan Flanagan
9th Beyond Belief owned and ridden by Rachel Porter
10th Massimo owned and ridden by Chasen Boggio
11th Cellino owned by Julie Thompson and ridden by Jessica Law
12th All That owned by Donald Stewart and ridden by Taylor Adams
Derby hopefuls also got the opportunity to strut their stuff with the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Classic. On Saturday morning a field of 20 up and coming horses took on Allen Rheinheimer’s revised Derby type layout which had its fair share of turns, broken lines, and optional fences ranging from 3’ to 3’3. “This class is a great way for riders with horses on track for the big Derbies to start preparing them and it’s a lot of fun for the amateurs to get a feel of what riding in a Derby is like,” said Jaime Gibson of Ocala, FL.
Official Results for the USHJA National Hunter Classic were:
1st Status Quo owned by Nouveau Hunters LLC and ridden by Clair Kellner
2nd Ramano owned by Martin Schlaeppi and ridden by Julie Curtin
3rd Vince owned by Greg Burrow and ridden by Julie Curtin
4th Snowday owned by Triple Creek Farm and ridden by Lindsey Chestnut
5th Happenstance owned and ridden by Natalie Sterrett
6th Premonition BF owned by John Gillen and ridden by Jaime Gibson
7th Breaking News owned by Fit to Print Farm and ridden by Leigh Cofer Smith
8th Julian owned and ridden by Amanda Foard
9th Solitaire owned and ridden by Kira Epstein
10th Concierge owned by Nestldown Equine Services LLC and ridden by Quinn Larimer
11th Taran owned by Greener Pastures and ridden by Chasen Boggio
12th Excurs owned by Terry Russell and ridden by Hannah Echols
Wrapping up the first week in Conyers was the $35,000 Adequan Grand Prix with 34 of show jumping’s finest equine athletes taking on a 95 second allowance to navigate the twisty technical layout by designer Manuel Esparza. Jack Hardin Towell of Camden, SC based Finally Farm partnered with the Kelly Maloney owned Fieona were second in the order of go but first to post a clear round in 86.568. Two horses later it was local owner-rider Juan Pablo Gnecco of Atlanta Equestrian Center aboard Ukoon clearing the timers in 92.474 seconds and guaranteeing a jump off round. Shortly afterwards Ocala, FL based youngster Hasbrouck Donovan brought her mount Delilah over the final jump clear in 88.020. Moments later it was Canton, GA favorite, 18-year-old Chasen [Chase] Boggio with partner Hennessey joining the party with a clean ride in 85.805. “Just a great course that asked a lot of questions throughout. And tough enough – there were bogey fences all over, like the triple [combination] by the in gate or that last line caught a lot of people – a 5 [stride] to an oxer over a Liverpool. Hennessey was just amazing today,” Boggio said of round one. More than 20 horses tried and failed before the final name was added to the jump off, but oh what a name to add – Happy Z, the incomparable chestnut mare who hails from Lebanon, OH, and owner-rider Wilhelm Genn put down a clean run of 90.700. “What an illustrious pair. They have such a wonderful partnership, they know each other completely,” Boggio said of the $1 Million Club member Genn.
Despite round two’s generous time limit of 60 seconds the 8 fence layout had its share of snares to catch the five riders. Beginning at the far side of the former Olympic arena, the course serpentined its way across via a double combination [vertical in oxer out] to a hard right turn over another vertical and yet another right turn to gallop the final line with two big oxers. The first pair up, Towell and Fieona, sailed through quick and clear in 43.305. The next couple of riders weren’t so fortunate, having rails down that would put them out of the winners circle. This left young Boggio and veteran Genn to challenge Towell and each other. “After seeing Hardin go I knew I’d have to put my foot on the gas from the get go!” Boggio said of his ride. Hennessey is the 13-year-old Mecklenburg gelding by Heraldik whom Boggio has owned not quite two years, but has quickly proven the pair is a force to be watched. “He’s a little quirky, very feisty, and we’ve had some rough times, but with our strong showing at Devon last month he has solidified my faith in us,” Boggio bragged of the gelding. The fault free scorching time of 40.768 certainly was an acknowledgement of this dynamic duo’s talent. However, the speed queen of tight turns Happy Z waited in the wings. “I’m so honored to ride with her and Wilhelm. She’s an amazing horse,” Boggio said of Happy Z. The fiery mare gave it her best but when the timers stopped she was a mere 2 seconds off with a finishing time of 42.658. A little emotional, Boggio walked Hennessey into the winners circle and enjoyed the recognition bestowed upon the pair from show management, family, friends, and fellow competitors. “My dad doesn’t always get to come to the shows because he’s often away on business, so to win today, Father’s Day, made for a truly great gift,” Boggio said. Exiting the arena the often quiet and modest Boggio leaned down to pat his partner’s neck and whispered a simple heartfelt “Thanks.”
Official Results in the $35,000 Adequan Grand Prix
1st Hennessey with owner-rider Chasen Boggio 40.768 0
2nd Happy Z with owner-rider Wilhelm Genn 42.658 0
3rd Fieona with Jack Hardin Towell for owner Kelly Maloney & Hardin Towell 43.205 0
4th Ukoon with Juan Pablo Gnecco for owner Atlanta Equestrian Ctr 49.245 4
5th Delilah with owner-rider Hasbrouck Donovan 49.450 8
6th Lazaro with owner-rider Jordan Coyne 78.494 4
7th Al Calypso with Samuel Parot for owner Juan Ortiz 81.859 4
8th South Bound with owner-rider Martien Van Der Hoeven 85.400 4
9th Sympa with Daniel Geitner for owner Mrs. Charles Bostwick 85.758 4
10th Raja That with Samuel Parot for owner Juan Ortiz 86.931 4
11th Conquistador with owner-rider German Camargo 87.246 4
12th L’Etoile with The Genn for owner The L’Etoile Group LLC 90.665 4
The Atlanta Summer Classics continues with more hunter/jumper action through June 26th. Admission is free and the public is invited to enjoy the exciting competition throughout the week along with another $35,000 Grand Prix next Saturday evening at 7PM.