Bjorn Ikast Finishes with Top Two Placings in $10,000 Open Welcome Stake
Parker, CO — A thrilling summer at The Colorado Horse Park debuted this week with nearly $1,000,000 in cash and prizes during the inaugural edition of the expanded Colorado Summer Circuit, June 8 – July 24, 2011. For 20 years this circuit has attracted some of the continent’s best hunter and jumper competitors, and this year it expands from four to six weeks. With big prize money every day, the circuit is expected to attract riders from around the country.
“The Colorado Horse Park is excited to launch this new circuit,” said Helen Krieble, founder and president of CHP. “We have worked hard to improve the facility and offer our competitors a fun summer to remember.”
This year competitors will find a new show manager at the helm. Pat Boyle and Showplace Productions are bringing their exhibitor-friendly management style to Colorado. In anticipation of the expansion, CHP has been upgrading many amenities, including brand new footing in the Grand Prix ring and Grand Prix warm-up; new jumps; new gardens; the Horse Connection Paddock Club Lounge; Stable Grounds, a permanent coffee shop; tented exhibitor party zone and more.
In addition to the visible improvements to the Park, competitors will find an optimized and consistent schedule that offers more opportunities to compete at all levels, with more prize money distributed throughout the sections.
Each week features a $10,000 Welcome class and a Grand Prix, along with big money classes in every division from low children’s and adult jumpers through the open classes. Hunters also have big money classics throughout the entire six weeks, including a whole day, July 19, devoted to the Derby.
Perennial CHP Grand Prix winner Bjorn Ikast started off the 2011 Colorado Summer Circuit with a bang, finishing in first and second place in this week’s $10,000 Open Welcome Stake with his two young Grand Prix stars — Amore and Colorado. Ikast had the fortunate position of just needing to ride clear in the jump-off, which he did. “It was a good start for me,” Ikast said. “Both of my horses were good. It was a nice track, technically difficult, as it should be.”
Ikast, who has made the trip to Colorado for years, praised the expanded six-week circuit. “It’s probably the best Colorado Summer Circuit ever. They’ve tried to put everything together for us riders — there’s good prize money everyday,” he said. He also commented on the new footing and friendly show staff. “They’ve done a really great job.”
Earlier in the week, two-time CHP Grand Prix winners Armando Hassey and La Roche won the $1,500 1.3m Open Jumper class on the inaugural day of the Colorado Summer Circuit. Hassey has spent the last four months focusing on flatwork with the 17-year stallion. “”He felt really good today,” Hassey said of La Roche.
Nick Gegen riding his own Sancerre finished in first place in the $1,500 1.45 m Open Jumper class on Wednesday. The 11-year-old Dutch gelding (Hemmingway x Landgraf) is a former equi horse that Nick has been paired with for just one year. The duo wintered in Thermal and then competed in the Grand Prix in Tennessee this spring. Nick plans on aiming Sancerre for the $25,000 Holiday Inn Grand Prix on Saturday.
The Colorado Horse Park relies on the generosity of its sponsors, including Parker Adventist Hospital and Foundation, Littleton Equine Medical Center, Platinum Performance, Holiday Inn of Parker, Hampton Inn of Parker, Super 8 of Parker, Griffis Group, Norstar, The Olson Family, Horse Connection, Comfort Suites of Castle Rock, Days Inn of Castle Rock, Nutrena, The Chronicle of the Horse, A Bit of Tack, Horseware Ireland, Grand Meadows and many more.
Look for frequent updates on Facebook and YouTube. Visit www.coloradohorsepark.com for more details.
Equestrian Sports Promotions