Gemma Paternoster Gets a Trifecta Win in the Open Welcome

Gemma Paternoster and Zonneglans won the $5,000 Open Welcome class yesterday at the Charleston Summer Classic. Flashpoint Photography.

British show jumping sensation, Gemma Paternoster, who currently resides in Wellington, Florida, grabbed the first, second and third placings in the Charleston Summer Classic’s $5,000 Open Welcome class yesterday at Mullet Hall Equestrian Center on Johns Island, South Carolina.

Paternoster rode four mounts in the class of twenty. “It was crazy,” said Paternoster. “I had three horses sharing a bridle and two horses sharing a saddle,” she laughed. “Thank goodness I had help from my groom Zara Kelly and Raffi Kechejian,” she said. “We had horses standing in halters, switching pads, hold this, hold that – too funny!” she added laughing.

Her first ride, Zonneglans, who she owns with Phil Swallow, was third in the order of go and the first to go clean in a time of 79.754 seconds. They purchased the 10-year-old Dutch mare as a four-year-old in Holland and she has had an abundance of wins in the young horse series and, although she has not yet won, has ribbons in three grand prix. Paternoster and Zonneglans’ second round effort was also clean and set the time to beat at 35.355 seconds, well within the 45 seconds time allowed.

Hailey Henderson of Lafayette, Louisiana had the next clean round in the class in the irons of her own Zine Dine. The pair turned in a clean first round effort in 84.127 seconds but four faults in their second round with a time of 36.396 seconds would see Henderson and Zine Dine finish in sixth place overall.

Julia Harrison-Lee’s Figarro D and Paternoster were tenth to go in the order and the next to go clean with a first round time of 77.559 seconds. Their clean second round in a time of 37.319 seconds would not beat Zonneglans’ time and Figarro D would finish in second place. Paternoster commented, “He was really solid and jumping very easily. I gave him a little more time to jump the in and out being a younger horse, and that’s probably why he did not beat Zonneglans,” she added.

Frank Owens of San Antonio, Texas and DS Holdings LLC’s Capricello 2 followed Paternoster and Figarro D. Owens turned in a clean first round with his mount in a time of 80.951 seconds, but with four faults in their second round with a time of 37.730 seconds, they would settle into fifth place overall.

Jennifer Ramsey of Ridgeway, Ontario, Canada followed Owens with Lyons Creek Sporthorses Ltd.’s Lyons Creek Hennessy in a clean first round effort in a time of 80.861 seconds. However, their second round yielded four jump faults in a time of 38.097 seconds which would see them finish in seventh place overall.

Jordan Gilchrist of Flower Mound, Texas, in the irons of Jenny Booth’s Lucie De Brecey, turned in their clean first round effort after Ramsey in a time 78.115 seconds but their second round saw four jump faults and with their time of 35.361 would see the pair finish in fourth overall.

Erin McGuire of Cornelius, North Carolina and her own Kasaar were the next to go clean with no jump faults, but their time of 85.440 seconds would incur a time fault and the pair would settle in ninth place overall.

Paternoster returned to the ring, this time in the irons of Julia Harrison-Lee’s Kenzo. The pair turned in a clear first round in 80.184 seconds and a second round effort in 37.772 seconds which locked them into third place. “I was very happy with Kenzo since this was his first welcome class he has done,” she said. Three rounds later, Paternoster returned for her fourth trip, this time in the irons of Harrison-Lee’s Osiris. The pair went clean in the first round with a time of 81.363 seconds but opted to withdraw from the second round and settle for eight place overall. “I wanted to save him for the Prix on Friday,” she said.

“I was really happy with Zonneglans’ win in the class,” said Paternoster. “She had a bit of a break after Kentucky and typical tough mare – she did one class this week and then went into the Welcome and won it!” she added.

When asked which one of her mounts might win the Grand Prix on Friday, Paternoster said, “Well, if it comes down to a matter of speed, it might be Figarro, but Zonneglans could win too. And if no one is clean, Osiris might do it because is he so careful. Then again, Kenzo has been going well too,” she said. “I’ll be trying on all of them; if I don’t break my leg kite surfing today!” she added. “I am heading off to the beach!”

“We are having a great time here,” said Paternoster. “We love the landscape – it’s so different than the other shows. And the management here couldn’t be nicer or easier to deal with,” she added.

Show-cation Party Schedule Is Underway!

Did you order your VIP table? There are literally four left for this week. So reserve your VIP table and then start marking your calendar because you won’t want to miss a moment of the fun at the Charleston Summer Classic!

Tickets to the VIP are only $350 for a table of 8 each week and individual tickets are only $45 per person. Be sure to email to reserve your VIP table now!

Tonight the USHJA National Hunter Derby has 46 entries competing and VIP patrons will be treated to a dinner sponsored by Charles Hairfield and the Seabrook Island Equestrian Center.

Tomorrow the fun continues during the $25,000 Grand Prix, with a party in the Grand Pavilion complete with an open bar and hors d’oeuvres generously sponsored by Oakwell Farms. There are already 23 entered, so don’t miss the fun and excitement!

Week II kicks off on Tuesday, July 15 at 6 pm with the Annual Unbridled Affair at the Beach Club, sponsored in part by Seabrook Island Real Estate. Casual attire, heavy hors d’oeuvres and a live band will have you raving about this event for years to come.

The fun continues on Wednesday, July 16 with the 7th Annual BBQ at Tissy’s Oak River Farm, 3598 Wild Plum Road, Johns Island – just down the road from the horse show. All are welcome to attend so be sure to bring the entire family!

The USHJA Hunter Derby returns next Thursday, July 17 and the Derby Party takes place alongside it in the Grand Pavilion starting at 5 pm. An open bar and dinner are generously sponsored by Seithel Law Firm, LLC.

Friday, July 18 at 5 pm, the Grand Prix party, sponsored by the Atlanta Hunt Club, New Vintage Farm and Ridgewater Show Stables takes place in the Grand Prix Pavilion during the $25,000 Grand Prix and will offer VIP patrons an open bar along with heavy hors d’oeuvres.

The Dressage Collection sponsors the Farewell Brunch on Saturday, July 19 at 10 am in the Grand Pavilion. Don’t miss the Bloody Mary Bar, compliments of The Market Place.

For twenty-two years, the Charleston Summer Classic has been offering riders, their families and friends the opportunity to jump the waves and the jumps. Mullet Hall Equestrian Center, located on Johns Island, South Carolina, is twenty minutes from downtown historic Charleston with its abundance of historic southern mansions, fabulous seafood, dining, art galleries, horse and buggy tours and world class shopping.

The show grounds are even closer to the beach! Yes, about 5 miles away from the show grounds, you can be on the Atlantic Ocean. And that is really what helps to make the show so cool. The show’s close proximity to the ocean keeps the temperature just perfect in the grand prix arena and hunter rings. Miles of scenic, wooded trails meander through the show grounds and exhibitors love kicking back and trail riding if they are not enjoying the pristine beaches or competing in the arenas.

If you have any questions or special requests, please contact the Classic Company at 843.768.5503 or send them an email at

Anyone who has shown with the Classic Company knows what sets them apart from the rest: Classic Shows are FUN! Weekly parties, Saturday ringside pizza, great prize money, great classes and the best, nicest show management team in the country! Remember, the Classic Company does not charge extra office fees for credit card transactions nor is there a scratch or add fee! Classic Company wants to make your showing experience the best ever!

So, whether you are a seasoned veteran or novice looking for a positive show experience, head for a Classic Company show where you get the red carpet treatment you deserve!

The Classic Company is a USHJA’s Members Choice Award winner, recognized for producing top quality show jumping events in the United States. Together, they offer the best exhibitor-friendly, top quality hunter jumper events each winter. Please visit them on the web at or call them at 843.768.5503.

All sponsorship, marketing and press inquiries should be directed to Lisa Engel, Sponsorship, Marketing and Public Relations Director, at

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See you at the ring,
Bob Bell
The Classic Company, Ltd.
Phone/FAX: (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311 Johns Island SC 29457

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