Julie Curtin and Vince Win $2500 USHJA National Hunter Classic; Paige Parker Dubbed Most Supreme Pony Kahuna Champion
Johns Island, SC — July 24, 2011 — The final week of the Charleston Summer Classics held at Mullet Hall Equestrian Center was much like an adventure packed vacation itinerary. One moment you’re enjoying the sport with friendly competitive rivals, then shopping together for the social gatherings.
This was also the week where the Wee Warriors of the Pony divisions battled for the coveted titles of Grand Pony Kahuna and the glory of being named Most Supreme Pony Kahuna. “I started the Kahuna competition as a fun method for our pony riders to prepare for the USEF Pony Finals, the scoring uses the same numerical judging system with daily accumulated points moving forward to their respective division Classic rounds. We award a Supreme Grand Kahuna in each of the six divisions and an overall Most Supreme Grand Kahuna Champion. The prizes are nice – Essex Classic Shirts, custom Cooler, featured in an Ad – but the best reward is the knowledge and experience they can take into Pony Finals,” Classic Company president Bob Bell said.
The 2011 Most Supreme Grand Pony Kahuna is Paige Parker partnered with Champlain Sovereign, owned by The Hill Farm. This marked Paige’s second occasion as top Pony Kahuna having won the title in 2009 with Cherrybrook Skye Blue.
2011 Supreme Grand Pony Kahunas are:
Small Supreme Grand Pony – Howie Do It ridden by Avery Morgan
Medium Supreme Grand Pony – Swingtown ridden by Bergen Sanderford
Large Supreme Grand Pony – Champlain Sovereign ridden by Paige Parker
Small Green Supreme Grand Pony – Brownland’s Boardwalk ridden by Callie Rheinheimer
Medium Green Supreme Grand Pony – Daisy Due Blue ridden by Grace Gessett
Large Green Supreme Grand Pony – Highland’s Percival ridden by Marielle Golden
Not to be outdone by either the wee warriors or Robin Stoney’s infamous “Pain Killers”, Pros and Amateurs gathered on Thursday afternoon for the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Classic, sponsored by Rick Hendricks. 32 entrants took on another diverse two round layout by course designer Joe Carnicom. Leading the pack with scores over 90 in both rounds was Woodstock, GA based Julie Curtin of New Vintage Farm aboard last week’s 2nd place – by only 1 ½ points – finisher Vince, owned by Greg Burrow. “He’s just wonderful!” Curtin touted of the 10-year-old Warmblood gelding she’s partnered with since May. “He can get a little nervous in the ring because he’s such an over-achiever, but he’s always on his game. Vince was also the Grand Green Hunter Champion and Champion in the 2nd Year Greens here in Charleston.” Curtin admits to being a little nervous herself as the promising gelding is currently for sale but she’s holding hope that Vince will remain in the New Vintage family. The course of 10 obstacles offered riders 4 option fences, beginning with the first fence, a vertical with the higher option set at 3’3”. Curtin commented of the first round, “It was very nice course, the higher options were good and having the long bending lines are always fun to do rather than the standard 5 and 6 [strides].” By the end of the first round Curtin had all three of her mounts in the top five standings.
For the second round, Carnicom deigned a handy 8 fence layout which offered 4 options again, as well as the return of the unique option on the last fence of either remaining in the arena to make a sharp left rollback off of oxer #7 to the final oxer set almost dead center of the ring or to exit the ring after #7 at a canter to make two left turns and jump #8 [option 2] an oxer outside the ring in front of the spectator tent and continue in a trot to the end of the arena rail. “The course wasn’t too difficult; you just had to pay attention to where your horse was around the ring. A couple of the oxers came up kind of quick out of the turn, if you knew where your horse was then it was real smooth. And I liked having that last exit option again. It was fun to go out of the ring, to do something a little different. Overall it was a well-designed course that allowed you to be Handy but smooth all at the same time,” Curtin said. This was Curtin’s first time showing at the Charleston Summer Classics having come last year as a spectator to cheer on friends she decided then not to miss out on the 2011 event. “The weather was gorgeous and I’ve really, really enjoyed the two weeks here. Showing during the day and staying at Seabrook Island with a lovely pool to enjoy at the end of the day. It’s the best vacation!” Curtin concluded.
Official Results for the $2500 USHJA National Hunter Classic were:
1st Vince owned by Greg Burrow and ridden by Julie Curtin
2nd Firenze owned by Rebkah Warren and ridden by Julie Curtin
3rd All Star owned by Kiara Barnett and ridden by Charles Hairfield
4th Ramano owned by Martin Schlaeppi and ridden by Julie Curtin
5th Sleeper owned and ridden by Ashley Hazelwood Farrington
6th Emmet owned by Molly Wolfe and ridden by Charles Hairfield
7th Jasper owned by Wakefield Barn and ridden by Charles Hairfield
8th Tycoon owned and ridden by Kaitlyn Friedman
9th Kalifornia owned by and ridden by Heather Zuber
10th Icy London owned by Kiara Barnett and ridden by Allie Augustine
11th Amsterdam owned and ridden by Brittany Davis
12th Venice owned by Kendra New and ridden by Keith Alaimo
And what better follow up to a great Classic than the 19th Annual Unbridled Affair held once again at Reds Ice House on Seabrook Island. Boasting mounds of delicious Shrimp along with several local delicacies, an open bar, and the lively sound of island music, guests dined and danced well past the spectacular sunset. “What better backdrops for a party than a live band playing great music as you enjoy one of the most beautiful ocean views in the country. This is an Unbridled Affair in all its glory!” Bob Bell said. Next year marks the 20th Anniversary of the event and despite being very hush-hush about the plans, Bell did confirm it will be the party to end all parties!