Green Cove Springs, FL — January 30, 2010 — Tonight’s $25,000 Jacksonville A-Z Grand Prix sponsored by North Florida Hunter Jumper Association closed out Week IV of competition with one of the most successful riders in show jumping, Aaron Vale, adding another win to his illustrious career.
After a week of observation, course designer Allen Rheinheimer put all he learned about today’s starting field into a lengthy and technical 13 obstacle/6 effort test with a time allowance of 96 tight seconds. “It was a little bit on the snug side for sure,” chuckled Vale about the tick tock of the clock. A vast majority of the faults in round one occurred from battling the clock, with 3 horses retiring and 6 having time issues. It wasn’t until the 6th in the field of 21, birthday girl Claire Lee, that the audience saw a clear round. Lee and partner High Roller posted a clean run of 91.786, which held as the only perfect ride until 3 rounds later when Vale and Platinum assured a jump off with a clean 94.083 seconds. Only one other horse and rider combo, Tony Font and Gardenio (owned by YZ Partners LLC) with a clean 93.776, would accompany them to the final round. Vale said, “This was surprising. When I walked the course I thought, wow – we had 9 clear last week, we’re going to have more clear this week. We only got 3 so sometimes you just can’t tell. Allen did a great job.” Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=10050
Green Cove Springs, FL January 22, 2010 – The third week of competition at the 2010 Jacksonville Winter Series got in full swing this afternoon with the $5000 Open Jumper Classic being won by Lebanon, Ohio’s Wilhelm Genn, as both owner and rider, piloting the brilliant mare Happy Z.
Presented by Farm House Tack, the Jumper Classic served as a prelim to Saturday evening’s featured event, the $25,000 Marco Family Foundation benefitting H.O.R.S.E. Therapies, a nonprofit therapeutic equine program to air people with special needs as well as military personnel in the Horses for Heroes and Wounded Warriors programs. This week’s course designer Buddy Brown of Stanford, CA got a good gauge of the talent on hand while the competitors learned how tough grabbing that prize money would be with only 6 clean first rounds. Genn was the only rider to bring two mounts into jump off runs, Chantal for owner Laura Ryan-Barnaclo and his own Happy Z. Despite some fierce competition the afternoon’s glory belonged to the popular chestnut Happy Z whose winning time of 33.025 simply couldn’t be caught. “She’s very much like a fine wine- better with age.” a happy Genn proclaimed.
Finishing in second place was teenage phenom Samantha Schaefer riding Sugar Ray –owned by Schaefer- to a clear time of 35.980, third place to veteran rider-owner Mary Lisa Leffler taking Gerona 92 to a clean time of 37.000, fourth place went to Wisconsin based Denise Wilson aboard the Blue Gate Farm entry Life is Life with a clean time of 40.194, and completing the top five was Indiana’s own Erin McCabe as rider-owner of Midnight Hour finishing with 4 faults in a quick 33.825.
As evening fell the lights of the covered arena seem to shine extra brightly for rider Samantha Schaefer as the 16 year-old received top marks in the $10,000 Jerry Parks Insurance Group Hunter Classic. The number one horse of the evening was Castle, owned by Ashley Toffolon and piloted by Schaefer with a first round score of 169.500.
In all, 22 horses competed on the course designed by Paul Jewel of Lambertville, New Jersey. The class consisted of two sections, with amateurs and juniors jumping 3’6” while professionals had an option of 3’6” or 3’9” fences depending on the horse’s level. The layout of 10 fences required strenuous efforts of both horse and rider with its bending and broken lines throughout the course. Judges Sue Ashe, William Sparks, and Chris Wayne presided over the scoring, returning only the top 12 pairs for round 2.
Schaefer is no stranger to winning this Classic- in 2007 she won aboard Lyle, the 17-year old German Warmblood then owned by Stephanie Keen and in 2008 with Lazy Sunday, a 9 year-old Zangersheide owned by Keli Colby at the time. Schaefer has made transitioning from being one of the nations most acclaimed pony riders to a top junior rider look effortless, but will be the first to say it’s only through daily hard work that she’s stays in the upper rankings. Sixth in the order, Castle and Schaefer finished the first round strong with combined judges’ score of 168. “I was very confident coming into the class with him [Castle] because I knew he would go right around, if anything it would just interest him a little bit and maybe spark him up a little, because he’s a really quiet easy going horse.” Schaefer said of the 11 year-old Dutch Warmblood, who along with both owner Ashley Toffolon and on occasion Schaefer train with Andre Dignelli of Heritage Farm in New York.
Regarding their round one ride Schaefer admitted, “I needed a lot of lead changes in the first class and I should have asked him in a few places to land on the correct lead, so that may have made it not quite as smooth.” Those who know Schaefer well will state she is always far more critical of her rides than any judge, as evidenced by the duo’s scores. “But in the second round he landed on every lead so it all flowed really well. He kind of glided around- real nice! He’s really good at this type of class because he’s brave and just awesome!” Schaefer added. The pair’s second round score of 177 was added to give a total score of 345. As things progressed Schaefer’s biggest competition became herself.
Corvet Z a 12 year-old Zangersheide gelding, also ridden by Schaefer and owned by Manhattan Mortgage Co., Inc. actually led the first round with a score of 169.50. “He’s just coming off of a little vacation and he was just great! In the second round I got a little excited at the last jump and he just nicked it a bit but overall he was really nice.” Schaefer said of her second place winning mount that finished with a combined total of 334.50. “I really have to thank Don Stewart for all his help! And Kim Stewart…and Andre…it’s really a team effort and I’m the fortunate one who benefits from them all.” a beaming Schaefer said.
Schaefer has become a master of balance, both in and out of the saddle as she juggles the pressures of high school and a full competition schedule with the appearance of ease. She explained, “I attend a special school that is a self paced type, when I’m not showing I do a lot more. I’m in a classroom about 3 hours a day and some online class work. It’s scheduled for me, which is really good because I have a structure to follow that’s well organized. I work really hard late fall and early winter to get ahead and now [show season] I have two classes to finish up while I’m here.” After the Jacksonville Winter Series the precocious Schaefer will take a week off to relax at school before heading to compete in West Palm Beach.
Official results for the $10,000 Jerry Parks Insurance Group Hunter Classic were:
1st Place- Samantha Schaefer and Castle owned by Ashley Toffolon
2nd Place- Samantha Schaefer and Corvet Z owned by Manhattan Mortgage Co., Inc
3rd Place- Shawn Casady and Eastwood owned by Kelly Tropin
4th Place- Taylor Adams and Chrystalle owned by Meridian Farms
5th Place- Taylor Adams and Rio’s Splash owned by Sarah Robin
6th Place- Gary Young and Cliché owned by Isobel Goldsmith
7th Place- Hasbrouck Donovan and Falcao owned by Donald Stewart
8th Place- Shawn Casady and Caruso owned by Bettina Richman
9th Place- Joy Janouskovec and Samaritan owned by Jennifer Munday
10th Place- Hasbrouck Donovan and Raquel owned by Ann Garnett
11th Place- Olivia Chowdry and Enchanted owned by Sage Flynn
12th Place- Mark Ferris and Promo owned by Ruth Douglas
The Jacksonville Winter Series continues through February 7th with classes Wednesday through Sunday beginning at 8AM until about 5PM except for special events on Saturday evenings at 7PM. Admission to the shows is free – parking at special weekend events is a $5 donation, which goes to support local charities.
For more information or results on the 2010 Jacksonville Winter Series please visit http://www.classiccompany.com/ or call the show office at 904-284-1579.
Flashpoint Media Services, based in Harrodsburg, KY, is a comprehensive public relations firm specializing in the equestrian sports. For additional information contact Robbi Meisel, 859-734 3713, email@example.com
FarmVet would like to congratulate Joe Fargis, one of our Sponsored Riders, for the honor he received in December from the United States Hunter Jumper Association. Last month Fargis and fellow equestrian, Larry Langer, were awarded with the USHJA Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2009 Evening of Equestrians Dinner during. Recipients of this award have dedicated their lives to promoting the disciplines of hunters and jumpers on a national level.
Olympian Joe Fargis certainly has an impressive list of accomplishments. He has represented the United States for more than 40 years and continues to be a force to reckon with today. Fargis is probably best known for his double Gold Medal wins at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games with Touch of Class. Then in 1988 at the Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea, Fargis and his mount, Mill Pearl, helped the U.S. team win the Silver Medal.
Today Fargis continues to compete in Grand Prix events around the country and has recent wins at such events as the American Gold Cup in Devon, the USET Wellington Cup, the Hampton Classic Grand Prix, and the I Love New York Grand Prix. Fargis also gives back to the equestrian community by serving on the USHJA Horse Welfare Committee and by teaching clinics all over the country.
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The North Florida Hunter Jumper Association five week 2010 Jacksonville Winter Series will run from January 6th – February 7th, 2010. This will be the 16th year of the annual Winter Series, which has donated over $900,000 to local charities over the years, including the Clay County 4-H and has an annual economic impact of over $16 million to the surrounding community.
The first week of competition, the Jacksonville Kick-Off, runs from January 6-10, 2010. It is an “AA” nationally rated horse show and will feature a $10,000 Jumper Classic.
Perhaps the most exciting of the weeks is the second week of competition. The Jacksonville International will be held from January 13-17, 2010. It is an “AA” nationally rated horse show that also boasts the $125,000 Green Cove Springs CSI-W. The $25,000 Welcome Class will be held on Friday, January 15th and the $100,000 World Cup Qualifier Class will be held on Saturday, January 16th. These two classes will draw a large and very exciting field of national and international Olympic riders and their mounts. A children’s carnival, rides, pony rides and a petting zoo will be offered to entertain the young and young at heart during the day. Admission is free with a $5 donation for parking. All proceeds from the day’s events will benefit the Clay County 4-H Foundation.
The Jacksonville Mid-Winter, January 20-24, 2010 follows with its own attractions, including “AA” nationally rated hunters and jumpers. The highlight of the weekend will be the $5,000 Welcome Class to be held on the afternoon of Friday, January 22nd in addition to the $25,000 Marco Family Foundation Grand Prix on Saturday, January 23rd that will benefit Horses for Heroes and the Wounded Warriors Programs. Cedar River Seafood will cater a reception for Exhibitors and Sponsors prior to the event. A string of pearls generously donated by Beard’s Jewelry and cufflinks generously donated will be auctioned off to raise money for the worthy causes. The $10,000 Jerry Parks Hunter Classic will be held the evening of Friday, January 22nd. This Hunter Derby type class is always spectacular to watch in the big covered ring under the lights!
The Jacksonville Winter A to Z ~ January 27 – 31, 2010 features “AA” nationally rated hunters and jumpers, a $5,000 Welcome Classes to be held on the afternoon of Friday January 29th in addition to a $25,000 Grand Prix to be held the evening of Saturday, January 30th. Exhibitors and sponsors will be treated to an Exhibitor Party on Saturday evening preceding the Grand Prix in addition to a Pizza Party Luncheon on Saturday during the day at the rings.
The series concludes with the fifth week, the Jacksonville National that runs from February 3 – 7, 2010. It also features “AA” rated hunters and jumpers. The final $5,000 Welcome Class will be held on the afternoon of Friday, February 5th and the final Grand Prix will be held on the evening of Saturday, February 6th.
All events are held at the Clay County Fairgrounds on SR 16 W in Green Cove Springs, FL. Each week of competition draws approximately 550 to 600 horses, which is the full capacity of the show grounds. Our exhibitor base draws heavily from North Florida and South Georgia and the entire East Coast. It includes international riders from approximately 25 states, three provinces of Canada, New Zealand, Brazil, Columbia, Ireland and Mexico. We are very proud to be chosen one of the only 12 shows in America to host a World Cup Qualifier.
Sponsors are in front of a very qualified audience for each of the five weeks and are in very good company. Some of our sponsors include, but are not limited to the following: Glen Kernan Golf & Country Club, Hodges Boulevard Development Group, Inc., Ring Power, John Deere, Mac Paper Company, Greene Hazel & Associates, the Marco Family, SKANSKA USA Building, Inc., Arlington Toyota, Auld & White Constructors, Inc., The Gift Horse, Pat’s Nursery, Ronnie’s Wings, Top of the Reef, Rick Baker’s RV Sales, Clay County Tourist Development Council, The Bruning Foundation, SunBelt Springs Water, Woody’s BBQ, Bridlebourne Stables, Baptist Primary Care, James D. Hinson Electrical Company, Jerry Parks Insurance, Diamond D Trailer Sales, Corrigan Trailer Sales, Canadian National Railroad, Six Mile Marina, Club Continental & Cedar River Seafood.
October 26, 2009 – The FEI is aware of the video filmed at the FEI World Cup Dressage qualifier at Odense (DEN) and posted on YouTube by Epona TV at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hIXGiV4N4k. FEI’s main concern has always been and will always be the welfare of the horse. We are taking the issues raised in the video and in the comments made by members of the public on social media and by email very seriously and have opened a full investigation. The conclusions of this investigation will be made public in due course.
Please read Dr. Gerd Heushmann’s book “Tug of War” and see his DVD “If Horses Could Speak” about the dangers of using this method of training and the long term effects of forcing horses to be hand ridden, ridden incorrectly from front to back which is is SUPPOSED TO BE as in Classical Dressage – from back to front, and pushing young horses into doing Dressage levels at too young an age before they have completely developed. I had posted that I interviewed him last week and will be posting more on this in the very near future. Click below to purhcase his book and DVD.
“The FEI held a successful seminar on Hyperflexion in 2006. There has been no change in the scientific evidence since that review. There are no known clinical side effects specifically arising from the use of Hyperflexion. However, there are concerns for the horses’ well-being if the technique is not practised correctly. The FEI does not permit excessive or prolonged Hyperflexion in any equestrian sport, and has a strict stewarding program to protect the performance horse in all disciplines.”
“The FEI regulates international competition principally. Also through its work it seeks to educate riders, trainers and judges thru their NFs how to deal with issues which have a bearing on the welfare of the horse. Where there is a specific training issue which brings the welfare of the horse into question it is for the NF to legislate at National level. At international competition level it is for the FEI to act. Through the ongoing training of stewards and all officials we seek to develop peoples understanding of what is acceptable and unacceptable training techniques.”
British Horse Society chairman Patrick Print has since written to HRH Princess Haya requesting the FEI launch a second investigation into the practise of hyperflexion.
Print’s letter reads: “The concerns so widely expressed are reasonable and therefore deserving of an urgent two-part investigation: first, an inquiry into the treatment of this particular horse on this particular occasion; and, second, a broader inquiry into the ethics and consequences of hyperflexion. In this second aspect The British Horse Society stands ready to assist the FEI in any way it can.”
Forums are rife with angered comment on the topic and several facebook groups have been set up in condemnation of rollkur.