Category Archives: Classic Company

Hunter News Week II of the Atlanta Summer Classics

Michael Leon true champion in $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby with True Enough

Proving once again he’s king of the derby ring, Michael Leon closed out Week II of the Atlanta Summer Classic with a win in the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby aboard Kelly Sims’ True Enough.

Leon, of Marietta, Georgia, and True Enough were one of 12 contenders to put their riding skills to the test in the Oval Ring at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia.

The duo smoothly moved across the classic hunter component of the derby, finishing the first round with a tally of 161.5 points. Sitting in fourth position moving into the handy round, Leon and True Enough made up for lost points, achieving a handy round score of 188 points. The duo finished the competition with an overall total of 349.5 points — five points ahead of the runner up.

Caroline Willard, of Oak Ridge, North Carolina, ranked second for her performance in the saddle of Tara Dow-Rein’s Baron de Ley. The pair posted a classic round score of 155.5 points, before achieving a handy round score of 189 points — the highest in the class. Willard finished the event with an overall score of 344.5 points.

Leon returned to the ring to pick up the prize for third place, this time for his performance aboard another of Sims’ horses, Eleventh Hour. Their classic hunter round garnered them 166 points — landing them in first place after the first round. A handy score of 175 points gave the pair an overall total of 341.5 points.

Fourth place was presented to Lindsay Maxwell, of St. Simons Island, Georgia, who was aboard Hyperion Stud LLC’s Claas 16. For their first round, the duo ranked third for their score of 162 points. A score of 179 points in the handy hunter component earned them a total of 341 points.

Camryn Halley, of Oviedo, Florida, ranked fifth for her two rounds in the saddle of Laura Barrett-Gurtis’ I’ll Say JSF. Halley piloted to a classic round tally of 160.5 points, followed by a handy round score of 173 points. Halley finished the competition with an overall score of 333.5 points.

Ranking sixth was Jennifer Tate of Bourne, Massachusetts. Tate guided Barbara Kravetz’ Carsten S to an overall tally of 332 points. Seventh place was awarded to Carolyn Bell, of Alpharetta, Georgia, who was riding Eleese Shillingford’s Odyssey. The duo ended the event with an overall score of 304 points.

Eighth position was earned by Kara Jones, of Cornelius, North Carolina, for her two rounds with her own Chello. Jones achieved a grand tally of 279 points. Melissa Blades, of Cary, North Carolina, ranked ninth for her 259-point score with Cheyenne Sickle’s Jethro. Ranking tenth was Leon, this time aboard his own Celano. The duo posted an overall total of 233 points. Eleventh place was presented to Geoffrey Hesslink, of Shelburne, Vermont, who earned a 204-point score with Lindsay Maxwell’s High Society. Nicki Mathen, of Austin, Texas, rounded out the top 12 for her overall score of 199 with CopperhillSportHorseSales.com’s Dior Flying CH.

Payard and Erin Clayton victorious in $3,000 Classic Hunter Derby

Only a single point separated the top two contenders in Friday’s $3,000 Classic Hunter Derby during Week II of the Atlanta Summer Classic. In the end, it was Erin Clayton who was crowned champion for her two rounds aboard Payard.

Twenty competitors tackled the two derby rounds set across the Oval Ring at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia. But no one accomplished the task at hand as well as Clayton, of Zionsville, Indiana.

Clayton was in the irons of Kaitlyn Smith’s Payard, an 8-year-old Holsteiner. Together the pair chalked up a classic round score of 82.5 points, before returning to the ring for the handy component. They wove and battled their way through the winding second round, achieving a score of 84.5 points. The duo finished the competition with an overall tally of 167 points.

“The courses offered challenges, but I never worry too much about that horse, Payard always rises to the occasion,” Clayton remarked. “In the two years I’ve ridden him, I’ve come to know him well. So I knew the places on course that played to his strengths, and knew the places on course where I would have to ride to accommodate some of his weaker areas. It was nice to get this win — I’m quite happy with (Payard).”

Payard has been matched with Clayton since his baby green days. In their two years together, Clayton said the horse has always risen to the questions asked of him.

“Payard doesn’t do anything fast, but he always gives his best effort,” she said with a laugh.

A regular on the Classic Company circuit, Clayton said she’s always happy to come and compete at such a well-managed horse show.

“The Classic Company puts on the most exhibitor friendly horse shows,” she said. “Whether it’s supporting the competitors or making improvements to the footing — which is fantastic — it’s a great experience to come to such a well-run, well-managed horse show.”

Hot on the tails of the winners was Williston, Florida’s Meredith Martin, who was aboard her own Odessa. The pair rode their classic round to a score of 82 points, followed by a handy round score of 84 points. Their tally of 166 points landed the duo in second place.

Ranking third was Daniel Geitner, of Aiken, South Carolina, who was riding Hilary Baylor’s Naddel. Geitner piloted Naddel to an 84-point first round, before earning 80.5 points for their attempt at the handy course. They ended the class with an overall score of 164.5 points.

Fourth place was awarded to Beverly Hills, California’s Lindsay Maxwell, who was in the irons of her own Conspiracy. The pair posted a classic round score of 83.5 points, and rode to a handy score of 79.5 points, for a total score of 163 points. Maxwell also went home $500 richer after securing the Classic Hunter Derby High Non-Pro Bonus.

Ranking fifth was Michael Leon, of Marietta, Georgia, who was in the tack of Kelly Sims’ Transparency. Leon guided Transparency to 77.5 points in the classic component, followed by an 85 point ride in the handy round. The pair ended the class with a grand tally of 162.5 points.

Taking home the prize for sixth place was Sorrento, Florida’s Megan All, who was in the saddle of her own Confidential. All piloted her horse to an overall score of 160 points, and also left the ring with the $500 Classic Hunter Derby Low Non-Pro Bonus.

Clayton returned to the ring to pick up the prize for seventh place. She guided Walkabout Investments LLC’s Walkabout’s Neptune to an overall score of 159.5 points. Jennifer Tate, of Bourne, Massachusetts, ranked eighth for her 159 point performance aboard Barbara Kravetz’ Caspari. Ninth place was awarded to Caroline Willard, of Oak Ridge, North Carolina, who was riding Alex Stevens’ Sky Pilot. The duo finished the class with a tally of 157.5 points. Wellington, Florida’s Tricia Barr rode Rodney Bross’ Big Girls Don’t Cry to tenth position with a score of 157 points. Barr also took home the $300.00 Low Non-Pro Bonus.

Ranking eleventh was All, this time with Falcon Ridge Stables’ Cameo. The pair ended the class with 148 points, as well as the $300 High Non-Pro Bonus. Rounding out the Top 12 finishers was Oviedo, Florida’s Laura Barrett-Gurtis who guided Suzanne Lemons’ Content to an overall score of 146 points.

Jillian Minahan, of Milton, Georgia, took home the $200 Low Non-Pro Bonus for her ride aboard her own Joie de Vivre. Camryn Halley, of Oviedo, Florida, was awarded the $200 High Non-Pro Bonus for her performance with Valerie Vogel’s Always.

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Curly Sue and Daniel Geitner Victorious in Jumpers Week II of Atlanta Summer Classics

Daniel Geitner wrapped up Week II of the Atlanta Summer Classic with a win in the $25,000 Sidelines Grand Prix, presented by EMO. In the saddle of the game mare Curly Sue, Geitner topped the field and headed home with the winner’s share of the prize.

“Curly Sue is just fantastic,” said the Aiken, South Carolina rider. “She’s an easy horse; she rides super simply. Actually, she requires very little training on my part. I mostly just sit there and stay out of her way.”

This grand prix victory comes on the heels of Geitner’s win in the $7,500 Welcome Classic earlier in the week. Again, he was in the tack of Curly Sue, who is owned by Greg Burrow.

An overcast sky hung over the Olympic Ring at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia. Seventeen entries came out to compete over the first round. Clear rounds were hard to come by, with only four of the 17 contenders invited back to the ring to battle it out in the jump-off round.

Curly Sue and Geitner were the third to attempt the shortened course, racing to the finish in 38.691 seconds. A fallen rail at the last fence landed the pair four faults, but the duo couldn’t be caught.

“The jump-off is where things got interesting,” Geitner said. “You had to go over the mound to get from Jump 2 to Jump 5, which is always an added challenge. But the time allowed, at 40 seconds, was a little snug.”

Tricia O’Connor, of Williston, Florida, was the runner up. Aboard her own Coolman 78, O’Connor posted a four-fault jump-off round, and raced to the timers just outside of the time allowed in 40.117 seconds. The ended the class with five faults.

Geitner returned to the ring, this time to jump-off aboard the Kenwood Syndicate’s Kenwood. The duo raced to the timers in 36.481 seconds, but sent two rails tumbling for a total of eight faults. They ranked third.

Savannah Unger, of Morriston, Florida, was awarded fourth prize for her performance with her own Fabio TN. The duo left all the jumps solidly in their cups, but were well over the time allowed, finishing in 47.783 seconds with eight time faults.

Wellington, Florida’s Heather Hooker ranked fifth for her four fault first round with Meredith Darst’s Quester de Virton. O’Connor was back in the ribbons, picking up sixth place for her performance with Michael Kirby’s KT Bolo. Chasen Boggio, of Canton, Georgia, ranked seventh for his ride aboard Victoria Press’ Quesada D’Elle.

Penny Brennan, of Loxahatchee, Florida, ended the class in eighth place with her own Vertigo Delorme, and ninth was awarded to Williston, Florida’s Michael Kirby, who was riding Fairly Stable LLC’s Play Boy. Ranking tenth was Boggio, this time aboard his own Co-Pilot. Nicki Mathen, of Austin, Texas, was eleventh with CopperhillSportHorseSales.com’s Felix BC. Kirby rounded out the Top 12 placings for his ride with his own Disaronno.

Geitner and Curly Sue Win the Week II $7,500 Welcome

Week II of the Atlanta Summer Classic kicked off in a major way for Daniel Geitner, who galloped his way into the winner’s circle aboard Greg Burrow’s Curly Sue in the $7,500 Welcome Classic.

Geitner, of Aiken, South Carolina, topped a field of 16 entries in the Wednesday feature jumper class, held in the Olympic Ring at the beautiful Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia. Of those, eight contenders progressed to the jump-off.

It wasn’t a bad day at work for Geitner and Curly Sue, who haven’t been in the show ring since winning a grand prix in Aiken, South Carolina in April.

“The rideability of this mare is great; she’s as steady as they come,” Geitner said of the nine-year-old mare. “I haven’t jumped or schooled her over fences since Aiken in April, so the Welcome was a test to see where she was and if she is up for the grand prix later in the week — she is.”

The pair headed into the ring early in the jump-off order, setting the pace to beat right off the hop. They swiftly navigated the second round, reaching the timers in a clear and quick 41.502 seconds.

“I’ve been coming to Conyers to show here for what seems like forever,” Geitner said. “The work the Classic Company team is putting in here is evident — especially in terms of the footing. Hopefully things just keep improving.”

Hot on the heels of the winners was runner up Michael Kirby, of Williston, Florida. Aboard his own Disaronno, Kirby rode to a double clear performance in a time of 43.288 seconds.

Returning to the ring with his second mount, the Kenwood Syndicate’s Kenwood, Geitner piloted to the finish timers in 43.398 seconds. The duo left all the jumps solidly in their cups and took home the prize for third place.

Tricia O’Connor, of Williston, Florida, ranked fourth for her four-fault jump-off ride aboard Michael Kirby’s KT Bolo. They reached the timers in 44.395 seconds. Fifth place was awarded to Mary Meghann Huitt, of Savannah, Georgia. Riding her own horse, The Stig, Huitt sent a rail tumbling at Jump 3, before racing to the finish in 45.079 seconds. Savannah Unger, of Morriston, Florida, finished the class in sixth position for her eight-fault jump-off round on her own Fabio TN. Seventh place was awarded to J. F. Gagne, of Columbus, South Carolina, who rode Tower Lux to an eight-fault second round. Nicki Mathen, of Austin, Texas, ranked eighth for her 12-fault jump-off ride with Molly Lacey’s Braveheart CH.

Ninth place was awarded to Heather Steinman, of Canton, Georgia, who was in the saddle of Livhaven Stables’ Corini. Rounding out the top 10 placings was Dana Noga, of Ocala, Florida, who was riding her own OBOS Pepperpot.

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Hunter News Week I of the Atlanta Summer Classic

Michael Leon Claims Top 3 Placings in Classic Hunter Derby

Michael Leon proved he was king of the hunter ring during Week I of the Atlanta Summer Classics, as he laid claim to the top 3 placings in the Classic Hunter Derby. Aboard Kelly Sims’ Eleventh Hour, the pair topped the field of 20 entries to secure the title.

Leon, of Marietta, Georgia, and Eleventh Hour earned themselves a classic round score of 88, followed by a handy round total of 90. The duo ended the competition with a overall score of 178 points — five points above the runner up.

“Eleventh Hour is a sweet horse who jumps his heart out every time I ride him,” Leon said. “To get scores of 88 and 90 — it’s exciting. You put in all the hard work at home, then to come here and have that work recognized by the judges, it’s so rewarding.”

Leon has been partnered with the eight-year-old horse since October 2017. While Leon said there isn’t much that fazes the horse, the handy round did pose some questions.

“There was a gate you had to open in the handy, which we had never done before,” Leon explained. “I thought it may be a challenge: How do we approach it? Will he (Eleventh Hour) be okay as I lean over to open it? But it didn’t bother him at all.”

Leon ranked second for his two rounds aboard Kelly Sims’ True Enough. Their first round score of 86 points, combined with a handy score of 87, earned them a grand total of 173 points.

Leon returned to the ring once again, this time to claim third prize in the irons of Kelly Sims’ Transparency. Together they earned a classic round score of 87, along with a handy round total of 85 points. The duo ended the competition with an overall score of 172 points.

“To be able to walk into a ring on three different horses and adjust to three different rides and get all three right — it’s so exciting and rewarding,” Leon said.

“It helps to have an owner like Kelly Sims, who offers so much support to me and to the sport,” he added. “When you have that support and those great horses, it makes my job easy.”

The Atlanta Summer Classic marks an anniversary for Leon, who relocated from California to Georgia at this time last year.

“This was the first horse show I attended after I moved,” Leon said. “And the care that Bob Bell takes to run these shows is impressive. It makes for a great presentation to have him there to recognize the class and the competitors.

“And they are managing the footing here well — it’s 1,000 times better,” he exclaimed. “The way horses canter across the ground, taking off and landing softly, it’s made a great difference.”

Caroline Willard, of Oak Ridge, North Carolina, ranked fourth for her two rounds aboard Tara Dow-Rein’s Pilot. The pair rode to a classic score of 85 and a handy round of 86 points, finishing the class with an overall tally of 171 points. Fifth place was awarded to Zionsville, Indiana’s Erin Clayton, who was riding Kaitlyn Smith’s Payard. Clayton guided Payard to a first round of 86.5 points and a handy round of 82.5, for a total score of 169.5.

Ranking sixth was Devney Hoft, who was aboard Jacinda Purrington’s Coretto. Hoft, of Rolesville, North Carolina, accrued an overall tally of 167 points. Jennifer Tate, of Bourne, Massachusetts, placed seventh for her two rounds with Barbara Kravetz’ Carsten S. Tate rode to a grand total of 157.5 points.

Eighth place was earned by Christina Fox, of Aiken, South Carolina, who was riding Southland Stables LLC’s End Game. The duo achieved an overall score of 157 points. Fox also took home the $500 Classic Hunter Derby High Non-Pro Bonus.

Ranking ninth was Carolyn Bell, of Alpharetta, Georgia. Aboard Eleese Shillingford’s Odyssey, Bell rode to a total score of 154 points. Tate was back in the ribbons, picking up tenth place for her two rounds aboard Barbara Kravetz’ Caspari. The duo rode to a grand total of 151 points.

Isabella Randall, of Cartersville, Georgia, ended the class with an eleventh ranking for her two rounds aboard Michael Leon’s Celano. The duo achieved a total of 147.5 points.

Rounding out the top 12 was Josie Evans, of Covington, Georgia, who was in the irons of her own QVF Colt Seavers. The pair rode to a tally of 146 points. Additionally, Evans left the ring $300 richer after achieving the Classic Hunter Derby High Non-Pro Bonus.

Jordan Cheneval, of Jasper, Georgia, rode Laurie Yamasaki’s Lennox to the $500 Classic Hunter Derby Low Non-Pro Bonus. The $300 Low Non-Pro Bonus was awarded to Grace Bridges, of Eatonton, Georgia, who was riding her own Serenade. Kristin Walty, of Birmingham, Alabama, took home the $200 Low Non-Pro Bonus for her performance with her own Ikahns.

No Question About It Wins $1,000 USHJA Zone 4 Child Adult Handy Hunter

The first week of equestrian sport has drawn to a close at the Atlanta Summer Classics, but not before Mia Bakotic put her handy hunter skills to the test in the $1,000 USHJA Zone 4 Child Adult Handy Hunter. Aboard her own No Question About It, Bakotic claimed top prize.

There were six entries in the class, which boasts no entrance fee for contenders. Bakotic made short work of the handy course, earning herself an overall score of 80 points.

Only one point off the winner was runner up Polly Johnson, of Alpharetta, Georgia. In the irons of her own Sweet William, Johnson weaved her way to a score of 79 and a second place finish. Ranking third was Madeline Jordan, of Tallahassee, Florida, who was riding her own Tribecca. The duo achieved a handy score of 77 points.

Fourth place was awarded to Camryn Halley of Oviedo, Florida, who was aboard Laura Barrett-Gurtis’ I’ll Say JSF. The duo achieved a tally of 68 points. Ranking fifth was Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina’s Susan Davidson who rode her own Calliope to a score of 66 points.

Bringing home the sixth place prize was Marietta, Georgia’s Sophie Feis, who was aboard Gina Gasko’s Cordino. The pair accrued a handy score of 55 points.

With no entry fee, the $1,000 USHJA Zone 4 Child Adult Handy Hunter is a great opportunity to get in the ring and gain valuable mileage putting those handy hunter skills to the test.

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Jumper News from Week I of the Atlanta Summer Classics

Chase Boggio Victorious in the Jumpers

Week I of the Atlanta Summer Classic drew to a close the same way it kicked off: with Chasen Boggio in the winner’s circle. This time, he topped the field in Saturday’s $25,000 Outback Steakhouse Grand Prix aboard Victoria Press’ Quesada D’Elle.

This win comes on the heels of the pair’s victory in Wednesday’s $7,500 Welcome Classic.

“Winning the Wednesday class definitely gives you that boost of confidence heading into the weekend,” Boggio said.

Boggio, of Canton, Georgia, outgunned the other contenders to claim top prize in the grand prix, held in the Olympic Ring at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia. Only two contenders returned to the arena to battle it out over the jump-off course.

“The track was more technical than I initially thought when I walked the course,” he commented, adding that he’s very familiar with that arena. “I thought we may see a few more clears in the first round. But the course rode like one related distance, so if something happened, it was hard to get yourself re-organized and back on track.”

First up to tackle the shortened course was Boggio, aboard the Selle-Francais mare. Weaving their way around the track, the duo set the winner’s pace at clear and quick 31.682 seconds.

“Quesada is very fast, very careful, with a huge stride and I knew I could ride her aggressively,” he remarked. “But I knew Michael (Kirby) would ride aggressively too. I tried to be quick and clear, taking the direct lines. In the last line, I left a stride out, doing nine instead of 10, and I think that may have been the difference.”

Boggio is no stranger to the Conyers venue, or to Classic Company horse shows. He said he’s grateful for all the work that’s been done to refresh the footing at the Conyers facility, adding that it’s those kinds of management efforts that make attending Classic Company horse shows worthwhile.

“I don’t ride full time, so we’re very selective about where we go to show,” he said. “We plan the majority of our year around Bob (Bell)’s shows.”

Michael Kirby, of Williston, Florida, returned to the ring in an attempt to catch the pace to beat. In the irons of Fairly Stable LLC’s Play Boy, Kirby navigated his way to a clean jump-off round in a time of 32.179 seconds — less than a second behind the winners. The duo ended the competition in second place.

Boggio ranked third for his clear first round with his own Co-Pilot. The pair did not attempt the jump-off round.

Heather Hooker, of Wellington, Florida, placed fourth for her ride in the saddle of Meredith Darst LLC’s Quester de Virton. The pair finished well within the time allowed of 83 seconds, but a rail tumbling early in the first round cost them four faults. Ranking fifth was Williston, Florida’s Tricia O’Connor, who garnered a four-fault performance with Michael Kirby’s KT Bolo. And Kirby found himself back in the ribbons, claiming sixth for his four-fault ride with his own Disaronno.

Seventh place was awarded to Merideth Bryans, of Newborn, Georgia, who was riding her own Guidam Sid, while Ocala, Florida’s Dana Noga ranked eighth aboard her own OBOS Pepperpot. Nicki Mathen, of Austin, Texas, rode to ninth position aboard CopperHillSportHorseSales.com’s Felix BC. Rounding out the Top-10 placings was O’Connor, back in the ring aboard her own Coolman 78.

Chase Boggio and Quesada D’Elle Win the Welcome

Chasen Boggio wasted no time making his way to the winner’s circle Week I of the Atlanta Summer Classic. Aboard Quesada D’Elle, owned by Victoria Press, Boggio topped the contenders in Wednesday’s $7,500 Welcome Classic.

Eleven horse and rider contenders tackled the first round of the opening jumper class, which was set in the Olympic Ring at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia. Boggio, who went later in the order of go, made short work of the track, finishing within the time allowed of 78 seconds. He was one of eight competitors to return to the ring for the jump-off round.

Boggio and Quesada D’Elle set the pace to beat, finishing the class with a double clear performance, a jump-off time of 36.431 seconds and the lion’s share of the prize money.

“Quesada is a relatively new ride for me and it’s been wonderful to have her,” Boggio said. “She’s completely different from my other horse, Co-Pilot, so it’s been a great lesson in adaptability.”

“I’ve been riding her since November and have been trying a few different things with her,” he added. “We were having a lot of four-fault, eight-fault rounds, but I knew we were close to breaking through. We just seemed to click this week — I’m really proud of our wins.”

Ranking second was Wellington, Florida’s Heather Hooker, who was riding Meredith Darst LLC’s Quester de Virton. The pair also accrued a double clear showing, but reached the timers in a relatively conservative 37.399 seconds — good enough for the red ribbon.

Third place was awarded to Williston, Florida’s Michael Kirby. First to tackle the jump-off round, Kirby racked up two clear round in the irons of Fairly Stable LLC’s Play Boy, galloping to the finish in 37.785 seconds. Boggio returned to the ring to pick up the fourth place prize for his double clear performance with his own Co-Pilot. The pair finished in 40.198 seconds.

Tricia O’Connor, of Williston, Florida, posted the fastest of the four-fault jump off rounds. With Michael Kirby’s KT Bolo, O’Connor rode to the timers in 39.072 seconds, placing fifth. Ranking sixth was Austin, Texas’ Nicki Mathen, who guided CopperhillSportHorseSales.com’s Felix BC to a four-fault jump-off round in 39.957 seconds.

Seventh place was awarded to O’Connor, this time riding her own Coolman 78. The pair reached the timers in 42.681 seconds, sending two rails tumbling on course for a total of eight faults. Rounding out the Top-8 was Newborn, Georgia’s Merideth Bryans, who achieved an eight-fault jump-off round in a time of 46.320 seconds with her own Guidam Sid.

Sevani and Caroline Monaghan Winners in $5,000 Dash for Cash

The first week of completion drew to a close this weekend, but not before Caroline Monaghan could race her way to the victor’s colors — and a cool $1,500 — in Friday’s $5,000 Dash for Cash 1.15 m.

Twelve contenders showed up the Olympic Ring at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia to gallop their way to the top prize in this special no entry fee competition.

Monaghan, of Birmingham, Alabama, was aboard her own Sevani. The duo raced across the single round, consisting of 15 numbered obstacles. In the end, they left all the jumps standing squarely in their cups, reaching the timers in a blistering 76.439 seconds — six seconds faster than the runner up.

Ranking second was Jordan Carlson, of Alpharetta, Georgia. In the irons of Kelly Sims’ Charisma, Carlson galloped his way to the timers, posting a clear ride in the relatively pokey time of 82.636 seconds.

Third place was awarded to Atlanta, Georgia’s Pierce Jenkins, who was riding his own S-Acorada Donaldson. A rail fell mid-way through the course, landing the pair a time of 86.834 seconds. Ranking fourth was Olivia Epple, of Woodstock, Georgia, who ended the class with a time of 88.491 second aboard Livhaven Stables’ Hot Spot. Fifth place was earned by Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s Julia Titus, who was riding her own Broxhill. The duo galloped to the finish in 92.873 seconds.

Cara Magliocco, of Austin, Texas, placed sixth for her 93.030 second round with her own Chuckomo, while seventh place was awarded to Warrenville, South Carolina’s Dorian Eubanks, who finished in 93.514 seconds aboard Ashley Pace’s High Offley Estella IV.

Rounding out the Top 8 placings was Celia Cram, of Aiken, South Carolina, in the irons of her own Auspicious. The duo reached the timers in 99.820 seconds.

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Charleston Summer Classics Designated a USEF Heritage Competition

The Classic Company is thrilled to announce that the USEF Board of Directors voted unanimously to award Heritage Competition status to Charleston Summer Classic I & II. Heritage designations are reserved for those competitions within the sport of Equestrian that have been established for a long period of time and have made a substantial contribution toward the development and promotion of the sport of equestrian, both within the sport and as well as within the broader community, by achieving, maintaining and promoting the equestrian ideals of sportsmanship and competition.

The Charleston Summer Classic started in July 1992 at the Seabrook Equestrian Center on Seabrook Island, South Carolina. The show was very successful for seven years then the land that surrounded the event was sold for development and the show was forced to move. The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC welcomed the event and it was held on the Estate behind the Biltmore house in a converted cornfield for seven more years. While this worked very well, Bob Bell, Classic Company President, knew the show needed to return to Charleston one day. Mullet Hall, a former plantation owned by Charleston County Parks and Recreation, was chosen to be the site for an equestrian center. Permits, public meetings, funding and construction took six years and a lot of community support, during which time the show remained at The Biltmore Estate. The show then moved to the Georgia International Horse Park for one year. The Charleston Summer Classic finally returned to the lowcountry to Mullet Hall the following year. The show’s sterling silver perpetual trophies document the show’s 26 year history recalling the dates and the names of the horses and riders that have shaped the equestrian sport.

“We are so pleased that the Charleston Summer Classic has been designated a USEF Heritage Competition,” commented Bell. “Our flagship show has been a part of the equestrian sport’s history. It took a village to make this happen! The community support has been phenomenal and the Charleston Summer Classic is a perfect example of how the community and a horse show community can come together as one. We wholeheartedly thank the USEF for granting the Charleston Summer Classics this prestigious USEF Heritage Competition designation,” he added.

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Business Is Booming for Jason Berry Week I of the Atlanta Spring Classics

Jason Berry of Verona, Virginia was on fire Week I of the Atlanta Spring Classics. He ended the week with a win in the $15,000 Grand Prix, presented by EMO.

Thirteen horse and rider teams tackled the course designed by Allen Rheinheimer of Zionsville, Indiana in the Olympic Arena at the Georgia International Horse Park.

The first round was set with a time allowed of 81 seconds and 43 seconds for the second round. Seven advanced to a second round opportunity.

Chasen Boggio of Canton, Georgia and his own Co Pilot were the first horse and rider team to turn in double clear rounds in times of 71.642 seconds and 32.241 seconds, setting the new time to beat.

Heather Hook of Wellington, Florida and Meredith Darst’s Quester de Virton followed with the next set of double clear rounds, but their time of 33.934 wouldn’t beat Boggio and Co Pilot.

Berry and Andrew Kocher’s Duvelke followed with the next set of double clears and their time of 30.362 seconds would temporarily take the lead. Duvelke and Berry have been partners for only a couple of weeks according to Berry.

Aida Sanchez Long of Chattanooga, Tennessee and Darragh Kerin’s Rossco followed with the next set of clear rounds but their time of 32.210 seconds couldn’t beat Berry and Duvelke’s time.

Boggio and Victoria Press’ Quesada D’elle followed with the next clear rounds and with a clear second round in a time of 29.567 seconds, temporarily took the lead.

“He [Rheinheimer] had set a vertical to six strides to a triple bar then five strides to an in and out and some folks had problems with that. He definitely didn’t hand us that line,” said Berry.

Berry followed with Fazous and challenged that time with their own double clear rounds and with a time of 29.055 seconds, took the lead and set the new time to beat. “I just had to go faster. I had the lead then Chase [Boggio] took it back so I just went a little faster with Fazous,” he said.

Jorge Ludwig of Newbury Park, California and his own Cricket sat in the enviable last to go position. Although the pair advanced to a second round, four jump faults in a time of 29.701 seconds would see them finish in seventh place and leave the win to Berry and Fazous.

Second place honors went to Boggio and Quesada D’Elle and Berry picked up a third with Andrew Kocher’s Duvelke.

Sanchez Long and Rossco earned a fourth place and Boggio returned for a fifth place ribbon with Co Pilot. Hooker and Quester De Virton rode home with a sixth place. Ludwig and Cricket earned a seventh place and Ludwig also picked up the eighth place ribbon in the irons of his own The Graduate.  Heather Steinman of Canton, Georgia and Maarten Huygens’ Justin earned ninth place honors for their four fault first round in a time of 69.406 seconds and tenth was awarded to Jorja Rose Jones of Byhalia, Mississippi and Diane Masters’ Light Show for their four fault first round in a time of 70.880 seconds. Eleventh was awarded to Charlotte De Smedt and her own Chido and Berry wrapped up the class with a twelfth place ribbon in the irons of Lee Cesery’s Quantos.

Berry Takes Top Three Ribbons in the $7,500 Welcome

Berry kicked off his winning week when he snatched up the top three placings of the Welcome Jumper Classic during Week I of the Atlanta Spring Classics. There were eight entries in the competition, with five pairs returning to the ring for the jump-off.

Berry, of Verona, Virginia, claimed the championship with Lee Cesery’s Quantos. Together they bested the other contenders, flawlessly completing the first round well within the time allowed of 81 seconds. Their jump off round was equally as seamless, with the duo finishing the shortened course in a clean and quick 36.857 seconds — one of two double clear efforts in the event.

The other double clear performance was also care of Berry, this time in the irons of Oak Ledge Farm’s Fazous. The pair left all the jumps up, but finished in 37.672 seconds — just a fraction of a second behind the winners.

Berry rounded off the top three placings for his ride aboard Andrew Kocher’s Duvelke. A clean first round gave the pair a shot at the jump-off, but a fallen rail at the last fence and a time of 37.268 seconds landed them the yellow ribbon.

Jorge Ludwig, riding his own Athenea, finished the class in fourth place. Ludwig, of Newbury Park, California, guided Athenea to an eight-fault jump off round, reaching the finish line in a speedy 34.824 seconds. The fifth place ribbon was awarded to Canton, Georgia’s Heather Steinman, who was completing with Maarten Huygens’ Justin. The pairing completed the second round in 42.159 seconds, accruing 12 faults.

Ludwig was back in the ring to pick up sixth prize for his ride with his own Cricket. Seventh place was awarded to Aida Sanchez Long, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, who was in the saddle of Darragh Kerins’ Rossco. Ludwig rounded out the placings, ranking eighth with his own The Graduate.

Berry commented, “The horses went really well and the horse show was really good. The show management did a lot with the footing from schooling day throughout the week and it’s just getting better every day. Next week will be even better. Any shows that Classic Company manages, they just do better every time. There is always a major improvement, every year. Like the permanent restrooms in Gulfport were awesome this year. Some of the improvements are simple, but for other show managers, it’s like you have to pull teeth to get them to make any improvements,” he added. “Next week will be my Week 10 on the road, but I’ll be showing here in Conyers,” he said.

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Hunter News from Week I of the Atlanta Spring Classics

Christina Fox and End Game earn firsts in both the inaugural Classic Derby and 3′ rider bonus

With a name like End Game, you would expect a performance worthy of a mic drop.

And you would have seen impressive sport during Week I of the Atlanta Spring Classics, when Christina Fox made short work of the challenging courses laid in front of her during the Classic Derby. Fox was aboard the aptly named End Game.

Fox, of Aiken, South Carolina, piloted Southland Stables, LLC’s End Game for the challenging two-round class. The pair earned 75 points in the classic round, followed by 83 points in the handy round for an overall score of 158 points.

With a total score of 156 points, Marietta, Georgia’s Grace Ann Nolan was narrowly edged into second place. In the saddle of Donald Stewart’s Agiato, 16-year-old Nolan rode her way to the top classic round score of 80 points and a handy score of 76.

Lee Cesery, of St. Augustine, Florida, ranked third for her score of 151 aboard her own Candidate. Fourth place was awarded to Madison, Georgia’s Katie Kittrell, who piloted Autumn View Farm’s Golden Sun to a total score of 108 points.

Victory Tastes Sweet for Toblerone and Carolyn Bell in the Sidelines Green Hunter Division

The Sidelines Green Hunter division kicked off Week I of the 2018 Atlanta Spring Classics in Conyers, Georgia. And it started with the championship colors for Alpharetta, Georgia’s Carolyn Bell.

In the irons of Debra Rattary’s Toblerone, Bell secured the division title in the Sidelines Green 3’/3’3” Hunter. The duo chalked up a grand total of 36 points.

Kat Mulkey, of Madison, Georgia, was awarded the reserve championship for her performances with Grace Bridge’s Serenade. The pair accrued a total of 28 points.

“I am so pleased with Toblerone,” said Bell. “He is a kind, honest, quiet horse, but he’s also athletic and scopey. This was his third time in the green division, and his second time being champion.”

Toblerone was purchased three years ago by Rattary, with the intention of enjoying the horse at home at the barn, Bell remarked. Toblerone made his show debut this year when a student of Bell’s began leasing him, she said. The nine-year-old hunter prospect has been racking up ribbons ever since.

“I wasn’t surprised at all,” said Bell. “I expected the best from him. When we were in Germany looking at him, we were impressed with his brain — he’s calm, quiet and one of the smoothest horses I’ve ever ridden.”

Bell also ranked fourth overall with her own Ambiance. She said the Green Hunter division provides her up-and-coming hunters with a good solid foundation for a long and successful jumping career.

“The green division is a great place to learn the basics, such as balance and straightness,” she commented. “It provides a solid base, rather than moving up a division because a horse is athletic enough to jump bigger fences.”

With this win, Bell and Toblerone are well on their way up the qualifying charts for the $30,000 Green Hunter Classic, which is set to run at the Atlanta Fall Classics in Conyers, Georgia. There is still plenty of time to qualify for this finale event, held at the venue of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Points are still up for grabs during Week II of the Atlanta Spring Classics, as well as during the upcoming Jacksonville Spring Classic and the Charleston Summer Classic.

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Jumper News from Week II of the Atlanta Fall Classics

Michael Tokaruk and Ilan [Alison Hartwell Photography]

The $5,000 Horseflight Open Welcome kicked off the high stakes jumper action and awarded Michael Tokaruk of Germantown, Tennessee and Maarten Huygens’ Ilan the blue ribbon after turning in double clear rounds.

The first round time allowed was 84 seconds and saw twelve advance to a second round opportunity.  Tokaruk was the first to turn in a clear in the irons of Klee Hellerman’s Cupid Shuffle. Although their second round time of 40.255 was well within the time allowed of 62 seconds, four jump faults would have them finish in tenth place. Daniel Geitner of Aiken, South Carolina and Seth Vallhonrat’s Conbalou followed Tokaruk with a clear first round and also went clear in their second round in a time of 40.255 seconds and set the new time to beat. Pelham Bay, owned and ridden by Lee Hughes of Redwood City, Georgia, followed with the next set of double clear rounds, but their second round time of 42.369 seconds would find them finishing in seventh place overall.

Tokaruk followed with the next clear first round on his second ride, Ilan, posting a clear second round in a time of 39.364 and took the lead.

Elizabeth Boyd of Camden, South Carolina and Stela Styslinger’s Cassiana followed with double clear rounds, but their second round in a time of 41.609 would find them finishing in sixth place overall. Thomas John Russell of Columbus, North Carolina and Vick Russell’s Ragnar followed with the next set of double clear rounds but their second round time in 42.396 seconds would find them finishing in seventh place overall.

Meredith Bryans of Newborn, Georgia and her own Guidam Sid followed in the order with double clear rounds, but their second round time of 51.616 seconds saw them finish in ninth place overall.

Taylor Land of Atlanta, Georgia and Pinetree Farms, Inc.’s Falco V turned in the next double clear rounds, but their second round time in 41.500 would see them finish in fifth place.

Tokaruk returned for his third ride, this time in the irons of Mattie Hatcher’s Cristiano with double clear rounds and a second round time of 40.889 which secured fourth place.

Last to go was Tokaruk with Cassie Kime’s Tenacious D, turning in double clear rounds with their second round time of 40.884 locking in third place.

Geitner and Kenwood Victorious in $25,000 Sidelines Grand Prix

The $25,000 Sidelines Grand Prix, presented by EMO, took place Saturday night and awarded Daniel Geitner and the Kenwood Syndicate’s Kenwood the blue ribbon.

The first round was set at 88 seconds time allowed and Taylor Land of Atlanta, Georgia and Pinetree Farms, Inc.’s Falco V were the first to go clear. David Jennings of Franklin, Tennessee and Deerfield Farm, LLC’s Tyson Uno followed in the order and insured a jump off with their clear first round.

Eight more horse and rider teams would qualify for the jump off round including Geitner with Kenwood and Conbalou, Tokaruk with Cupid Shuffle and Ilan, Glenn Hartigan of Alpharetta, Georgia and his own Z Coco Cabana, Lee Hughes of Redwood City, Georgia and Pelham Bay, and Thomas John Russell and Vick Russell’s Shining de Reve.

Of the nineteen horse and rider teams entered, ten advanced to the jump off with a jump off round time allowed of sixty seconds.  Jennings and Tyson Uno were the first to turn in a clear round in a time of 44.528 seconds, setting the new time to beat. Geitner and Kenwood followed with their own clear jump off round in a time of 41.607 seconds, taking the lead. Hughes and Pelham Bay followed with the next clear round in the jump off, but their time of 46.006 would find them finishing in third place overall. Russell and Shining de Reve followed with the last clear jump off round with their own 47.639 seconds and finished in fourth place, leaving Geitner and Kenwood as victors and Jennings and Tyson Uno in second place.

Geitner also picked up a fifth place ribbon with Conbalou for their four fault jump off round in a time of 42.403 seconds and sixth was awarded to Taylor Land and Falco V for their four fault jump off round in a time of 42.754 seconds.

Z Coco Cabana and Glenn Hartigan earned a seventh place finish and Quite Dark 2, ridden by Haley Gassel and owned by Westwind Equine Training Center placed eighth. Ninth and tenth places went to Tokaruk with Cupid Shuffle and Ilan, respectively, and Mattie Hatcher and her own Cristiano placed eleventh. Chasen Boggio and his own Co Pilot wrapped up the class with a twelfth place finish.

Arenus Jr/Amateur Owner Jumper Classics

The $3,500 Arenus Jr/Amateur Owner Jumpers 1.30 m welcomed ten horse and rider teams to the arena and only three advanced to a second round opportunity.

First to go Chasen Boggio and his own Co Pilot turned in double clear rounds and their second round time of 41.029 seconds beat the time allowed of 57 seconds, setting the new time to beat.

Erin McGuire of Cornelius, North Carolina and her own Kasarr followed in the order and also turned in double clear rounds. Their second round in a time of 38.610 seconds pushed Boggio out and she would eventually win the class with that time.

Haley Gassel and Westwind Equine Training Center’s Werner 61 were the last horse and rider team to turn in double clear rounds. Their second round time in 40.003 seconds would finish them in second place and move Boggio and Co Pilot to a third place ribbon.

Emma Willsky of Aspen, Colorado and her own Donegue placed fourth with their first round in a time of 87.786 seconds, which earned them two time faults. The fastest of the four faulters, Boggio and his own Conway, earned a fifth place ribbon for their first round in a time of 82.398 seconds and Bryan Dietz of Little Rock, Arkansas in the irons of his own Poppin Tags placed sixth for their four-fault first round in a time of 88.854 seconds.

Seventh was awarded to Shanna Beyer of Collierville, Tennessee and her own Invictus and eighth was awarded to Thomas Beazley and his own TKO Quincy for their eight-fault first round in a time of 84.194 seconds. Ninth was awarded to Nancy McFadden of Germantown, Tennessee and her own Catori.

The $2,500 Arenus Jr/Amateur Owner Jumpers 1.20 m saw big numbers with seventeen horse and rider teams competing for the blue.

Only six riders advanced to a second round opportunity over a course with the time allowed of 57 seconds. Madison Akins of Bogart, Georgia and her own Chasm Z rode home with the blue ribbon with their clear second round in a time of 38.373 seconds. Second place was awarded to Christina Cooper and her own Cora for their clear second round in a time of 40.288 seconds. Lily Bennett of Atlanta, Georgia and her own Zimba placed third for their 40.559 clear second round. Fourth was awarded to Kathleen Feely and her own Albrecht and fifth went to Accomplice owned and ridden by Grace Asbury of Atlanta, Georgia.

Kiersten Sudlow of Germantown, Tennessee and her won Athena Du Rouet placed sixth and Kaitlyn Smith of Carmel, Indiana and her own S’Envoler earned a seventh place ribbon.  Heather Zuber of Zionsville, Indiana and her own Firebird placed eighth, and ninth was awarded to Carson Ruff of Jackson, Missouri and Sabina Holtzman’s Magnus Quequen Mail. Julia Tait of Marietta, Georgia and Falcon Ridge Stables’ Limited Edition earned a tenth place finish.

$5,000 Elite Equine Sport Horse Medicine and Lameness Child Adult Jumper

The $5,000 Elite Equine Sport Horse Medicine and Lameness Child Adult Jumper 1.20 Classic saw seventeen horse and rider teams tackle the course in the Olympic arena and it was Cathy Reed of and her own Emporio who took home the blue ribbon. Audrey Muscari in the irons of her own Ricardo placed second and Grayson Fallon rode Hope Rousseau’s Bad & Boujee to a third place ribbon.

Fourth was awarded to Nelson Long and his own Merlerault and fifth went to My Wing Man, owned and ridden by Deborah Knowles. Sixth went to Kaitlyn Smith and her own VDL Casanova, and seventh was awarded to Alayna Myers of Maryville, Tennessee and Amanda Melton-Finger’s Reprieve. Smithwick, owned and ridden by Madison Massey of Pelham, Alabama, earned an eighth place finish, and Lynn Seithel of Johns Island, South Carolina and her own Jumping Jil Z placed ninth. Meredith Darst, LLC’s Quester De Virton ridden by Heather Hooker placed tenth, and EWSZ Quinetta, owned and ridden by Macie Atwood earned an eleventh place finish. Abigail Beaty of Indian Springs, Alabama and her own Via Dolorosa wrapped up the class with a twelfth place finish.

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Julia Curtis and Isarus Win the $25,000 Voltaire Design Grand Prix

Julia Curtis and Isarus [Photo Credit: Alison Hartwell Photography]

It was a happy anniversary for Julie Curtis of Villa Rica, Georgia and her own Isarus when they won the $25,000 Voltaire Design Grand Prix, presented by EMO, under the lights in the Olympic Arena.

“He’s nine coming ten years old and I got him one year ago here at the Atlanta Fall Classics,” said Curtis. “Kyle Timm called my trainer Harrison [Ford] and told him that he thought he had a perfect horse for me,” she said. “I really wasn’t even looking,” she added. “I was a junior then and only rode him in the 1.20 Low Juniors last year. Then we came here in the spring and got a third in our first Grand Prix but this is our first win together!” exclaimed Curtis.

Curtis and Isarus were the only horse and rider team to turn in a clear round in this Grand Prix. “When my trainer Harrison and I walked the course, we thought it was going to be simple and not so technical,” she said. “But once we got in the arena, there were no places to take a rest and you had to keep moving throughout the whole course,” commented Curtis.

“After the triple there was a bending seven to a wide oxer and my trainer said that once you got through the triple, the seven would come up tight,” she said. “Lots of horses had the back rail because they got there so tight,” she added.

“But my horse has a really hard left drift and since that part of the course was the hardest for me, when I jumped out of the triple, I used his drift to my advantage in order to get down the seven without coming in too tight to the oxer,” she said.

That strategy worked well for Curtis and she and Isarus were the only horse and rider team to go clear in a time of 74.535 seconds, beating the first round time allowed of 77 seconds. Glenn Hartigan of Canton, Georgia and his own Z Coco Cabana kept the rails up in the first round, but their time of 77.281 earned them one time fault and a second place ribbon.

The fastest of the four fault rounds, Danielle Grice of Northfield, Tennessee and Highridge Farm, LLC’s Kaprio placed third with their time of 71.488, and Summer Hill of Lexington, Kentucky, in the irons of Andrea Simpson’s Vendome DH Z, earned a fourth place ribbon with their four fault round in a time of 71.859 seconds.

Fifth was awarded to Seth Valhonrat’s Conbalou, ridden by Daniel Geitner of Aiken, South Carolina, for their four fault first round in a time of 71.875 seconds. Guidam Sid, owned and ridden by Meredith Bryans of Newborn, Georgia, placed sixth with their four fault first round in a time of 74.303 seconds, and seventh was awarded to Chasen Boggio of Canton, Georgia and his own Co Pilot for their eight fault round in a time of 71.799 seconds.

Haley Gassel of Lenoir City, Tennessee and Werner 61, owned by Westwind Equine Training, placed eighth and she also earned a ninth place ribbon with Westwind’s Quite Dark 2. Vick Russell’s Shining De Reve, ridden by Thomas John Russell of Columbus, North Carolina, placed tenth, and Madison Dehaven’s Chanel, ridden by Sarah Meier of Lexington, Kentucky, wrapped up the class with an eleventh place finish.

“I’m a freshman at the University of Kentucky and studying psychology, but have been horse showing the last two weeks,” commented Curtis. “I rode in the National Horse Show last week with a hunter I own and we got eighth in one of the rounds and jogged in two of them. Then I left Kentucky on Thursday and drove here to show this weekend,” she said. “Tomorrow I have another horse here to do the Barry Lane and then I need to head back to Lexington and be a student again,” she said.

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Hunter News from Week I of the Atlanta Fall Classic

Hunt Tosh and Bastogne [photo by Alison Hartwell Photography]

The highly anticipated $30,000 Green Hunter Classic, sponsored by Ariat and Friends of Ellen Veitch, took to the Olympic Arena at the Georgia International Horse Park and welcomed twenty-one finalists to the inaugural Classic championship.

Riders showed their horses in the Sidelines Green Hunter 3′ and 3’3″ Divisions all year hopeful to qualify for this inaugural Classic. The first round of the 3′ class had fourteen horse and rider teams and the 3’3″ saw seven horse and rider teams.

Bastogne, owned by Doug Wheeler and ridden by Hunt Tosh of Milton, Georgia, galloped away with the first place honors and their $9,000 share of the prize money, besting twenty other horse and rider teams. “Bastogne is five years old and we only started him in the Green Hunter Division in the Spring. He hasn’t even been doing this a full year! He is one of our greener horses but he went really well today. We went early in the first round and we turned in a really nice first round and his second round was more of a handy course for the Green Hunters and he did well in that too, turning in two solid, nice rounds,” commented Tosh.

Bastogne and Tosh’ s total score of 176 led the pack followed by Walkabout Investments, LLC’s Godric Gryffindor, ridden by Erin Mccabe Clayton of Zionsville, Indiana, with their overall score of 171. Daniel Geitner of Aiken, South Carolina in the irons of Liz Hudspeth’s Limelight, LTD earned an overall score of 169, awarding them a third place.

Tosh returned for a fourth place ribbon this time in the irons of Ceil Wheeler’s Lights Out with their overall score of 167. “He’s only six and we started him out in Florida last winter and he ended up winning the future hunter championships. He’s had a bit of a break but he went really nicely here. He had a little rub in the one round which kept him from placing higher, but we were happy with him,” commented Tosh. “This class was great for him and we’re excited about starting him the First Year Greens in 2018,” he added.

Kelly Sims’ Eleventh Hour, ridden by Michael Leon of West Hollywood, California, placed fifth with their overall score of 161.5, and Isabella Lafferty’s Argento, ridden by Carolyn Bell of Alpharetta, Georgia, placed sixth with their overall score of 160.

Tosh picked up a seventh with Douglas Wheeler’s Uptown for their overall score of 159.5. “Uptown is a six-year-old and has been really doing well and although we had a little mistake in the first round, we did well in the second round and overall went nicely. He’s a blast to ride!”

David Jennings of Franklin, Tennessee picked up eighth and ninth places with Belle Rolfe’s Boure [overall score 157.5] and Sabina Holtzman’s Jerez Mail [overall score 150].

Karen Lackinger’s Gratis, ridden by Elizabeth Boyd of Camden, South Carolina, placed tenth with their overall score of 145, and Eleese Shillingford’s Odyssey, ridden by Carolyn Bell, placed eleventh for their 126 overall score. Cypress, owned by Missy Nolen and ridden by Tim Maddrix of Leeds, Alabama, wrapped up the class with twelfth place and an overall score of 124.

“To get three nice checks was really great,” said Tosh. “Classes like this make you feel like you’re ready to move up to the 1st Year Greens. The Classic gives the owners, riders and trainers something to look forward to and to jump for $30,000 is really great.

“Our horses did well and everyone in the class did a great job,” Tosh continued. “I think it’s great that Bob offers the Green Hunters for $5 a division and gives everyone something to shoot for with this $30,000 Green Hunter Classic,” he added. “We have the Capital Challenge and then we’re finished. To have this class come later is perfect and Paul [Jewell] did a wonderful job with the course.

“Because of classes like these, we’re able to develop our horses and move them up next year. Now we have some new young ones to school and we’ll definitely be back to show in the Classic Company Green Hunters,” he added.  Tosh also received a pair of Fabbri Boots from Susan Benson and Somerset Sport Equestrian Trading.

Bob Bell commented, “We are so pleased with the success of our inaugural $30,000 Green Hunter Classic. We are committed to the development of our hunter horses and feel that by offering the Division for only $5 and then producing a $30,000 Finals Classic helps the horses, owners and riders continue to produce quality hunters,” he said. “To dedicate this Classic to our dear friend Ellen Veitch makes it that more special,” he added. “We are appreciative to everyone who supported our efforts this year and would like to especially thank Ariat for its sponsorship.”

True Enough and Michael Leon Win the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Kruse Cushion Ride

Michael Leon of West Hollywood, California and Kelly Sim’s True Enough bested a field of twenty-five horse and rider teams to take the win in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby. Leon had four horses in the class and guided three of them to finish in the top twelve. “It was fun,” said Leon. “The course was nice and open and he [True Enough] jumped really bright which let me show off how scopey he is with a couple of nice long gallops to a single. In the handy, he was really on it – very bright and strong,” he said. “He’s one of those horses that just wants to win,” he added.

“True Enough is seven coming eight and I’ve been riding him since last June in the Green Divisions. This is our third National Derby win,” he commented.

Leon also picked up the second place ribbon with his own Nil Du Buffant Rouge, also known as ‘Frenchy’. “He is a veteran,” commented Leon. “He’s 15 years old and I’ve won more than ten National Derbies and three International Derbies with him. I did it for fun and to be competitive. I try equally on all of the horses I ride, whether they are mine or my clients’,” he said. “Frenchy jumped beautifully, but he had a little swap at the last jump which moved him down in the placing.”

Third place was awarded to Tim Maddrix and Missy Nolen’s Special, and Cassico, owned by Rebekah warren and ridden by Julie Curtin, finished in fourth place.

Sue Gibbs’ Gioia, ridden by Vick Russell of Columbus, North Carolina, earned a fifth place finish, and Leon returned with Kelly Sims’ True Story for a sixth place ribbon.

Kat Fuqua of Atlanta, Georgia and her won RS Levitation placed seventh, and Matt Martin of Petersburgh, Tennessee rode Jessica Dicampli’s Berlinka to an eighth place finish. Shane Powell of Sterling, Massachusetts rode Sydney Mannon’s One Love to a ninth place finish, and Kat Fuqua took home the tenth place ribbon with her own High Noon 3E. Curtin and her own Honey Badger finished in eleventh place, and Russell returned for the twelfth place ribbon, this time in the irons of Skipping Foal Sport Horses’ Corton Charlemagne.

“This is my first year here,” said Leon. “I showed here in June and then relocated to the area from California so this is the first time for me making it to all of these shows,” he said. “Bob does a fantastic job. It’s been a breath of fresh air for me to experience Classic Company shows and their team. The show management and staff all the way to the folks who work the in gate – everyone is nice, the show runs on time, and you can just feel how much this horse show cares about the horses, competitors and owners. It really makes a difference how the Classic Company really cares about the professionals and stays on top of everything. Bob is out at the rings, the staff is always eager to help you out and everyone is so nice,” he said.  “We’ll be here next week too and I’m looking forward to riding four in the International.”

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