Holmes and Gideon Win $25,000 Grand Prix at Plymouth Rock Hunter Jumper Classic

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Gideon and John Holmes won the $25,000 Grand Prix at the Plymouth Rock Hunter Jumper Classic. Photo © Tony DeCosta

Halifax, MA – June 25, 2011 – The Plymouth Rock Hunter Jumper Classic concluded its main competition today and hosted the $25,000 Grand Prix in the lush grass of the Grand Prix Field hosted by Fieldstone Equestrian and Show Facility in Halifax, Massachusetts.

Michael Nielson of Diamond Bar, CA, was the course designer of the Grand Prix which saw four horse and rider combinations jump the first round clear to advance to a thrilling jump-off. Only two of the four in the jump-off were able to go double clear, and Gideon and Holmes had the fastest time of 38.528 seconds to earn them the win in Gideon’s second career grand prix.

Holmes imported Gideon, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding by Hamlet, as a 6-year-old stallion. After not having much success, it was decided he would excel better as a gelding, which has proven true as Gideon primarily shows in the High Amateurs and does quite well. However, when the opportunity arises, Holmes “tries to put him in some of the smaller 1.40m or 1.45m grand prixs like the one today at Fieldstone.”

Showing first over the shortened course on his other mount Zilano M, Holmes had the advantage of previewing the course when he returned with Gideon three horses later. Holmes said his plan for the jump-off was “made a little easier having the luxury of riding another of my horses earlier in the jump-off. So I got to see the turns and I knew there was a flat out open run from the first to the second fences of the jump-off and I went for it with Gideon. With Gideon, I had the opportunity to slice back to the third jump because he is a more experienced horse. After that I just kept running and the jumps just kept coming up right on target even when I was leaving strides out.”

DJ Volandre of Norwell, MA, rode Tequila for Gina Volandre to second place in the jump-off with an impressive time of 40.553 seconds. Jean Sheptoff placed third with a time of 42.723 seconds on her mount Peaches, who went clear during the first round but had a rail down in the jump-off.

Holmes stated that he was able to shave off some time due to “a combination of being quick across the ground as well as leaving strides out. I beat DJ by almost two seconds which I attribute to the fact that I was able to leave out a stride from fences 1 to 2 in the jump-off and a possible two strides from 8 to 9 as well as two strides in the last line. Add those up and that contributes to a total of two seconds saved.”

Winning in a jump-off is great according to Holmes “especially when you go last and there is someone to run after. DJ was really fast. His mare, Tequila, has a reputation for being quick. So I knew I had to really move out there.”

This is the second season that Holmes has competed at Fieldstone and he was quite pleased with the conditions of the field. “I give the Clawson family a lot of credit, for the amount of rain this week, the field was quite good. The turf had no affect from it.”

Today’s Grand Prix concluded a fantastic week of competition at the 2011 Plymouth Rock Hunter Jumper Classic, which was in its first year as a ‘AA’ competition. The exciting Fieldstone Triple Crown Series, sponsored by SmartPak, will finish in August with the last of these great events that make up the series.

Running August 23-27, 2011, The Fieldstone Summer Showcase will feature many top classes, including a $7,500 Welcome Stake on Wednesday, August 24, the $10,000 Pony Hunter Derby Finals as well as the $10,000 2’9 Hunter Derby Finals on Thursday, August 25. Two Junior A/O Jumper Classics totaling $7,500 in prize money and the $25,000 New England Hunter Derby Final will be held on Friday, August 26, and a $5,000 Children’s Adult Jumper Classic, a $7,500 Speed Stake and the $25,000 Grand Prix will take place on Saturday, August 27. Concluding the week of competition will be the Massachusetts Hunter Jumper (MHJ) Finals on Sunday, August 28.

Final Results: $25,000 Fieldstone Grand Prix
1.    Gideon, John Holmes, John Holmes (New Hope, PA): 0/0/38.528
2.    Tequila, DJ Volandre, Gina Volandre (Norwell, MA): 0/0/40.553
3.    Peaches, Jean Sheptoff, Jean Sheptoff (Waltham, MA): 0/4/42.723
4.    Zilano M, John Holmes, John Holmes (New Hope, PA): 0/4/43.558
5.    Ami des Gemmes, Cory Hardy, International Group LLC (Littleton, MA): 8/86.052
6.    Cupid, Kristen Bumpus, Kristen Bumpus (Concord, MA): 8/90.199
7.    Wednesday Mornin, Wendy L. Smith, Diane Denby (Somers, CT): 12/87.602

Conveniently located just 28 miles south of Boston in the heart of southeastern Massachusetts, The Fieldstone Equestrian and Show Facility is bar none in the New England region. The outstanding competitions provide a great opportunity for riders, owners, and trainers to experience something new and different from their standard horse show destinations. This beautiful, scenic facility is the perfect option for competitors looking to give their horses a breath of fresh air and compete in a beautiful, relaxed environment. Centrally located, the horse show is easily accessible from Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and anywhere in the northeast region.

The stunning show grounds offer competitors, guests and spectators beautifully manicured grounds, miles of trails and an exhibitor friendly atmosphere. The facility boasts nearly 100 acres, equipped with nine all-weather hybrid sand/felt/fiber show rings, permanent and temporary stabling, ample parking, and a beautiful all-grass Grand Prix field. Renovated in 2009, this field is a world-class venue for the facility’s premier classes. With show schedules boasting over $100,000 in cash and prizes and great exhibitor parties and events, these horse shows are not to be missed!

For more information on the Fieldstone Horse Shows, please visit www.showfieldstone.com, call 781-679-0701, or email info@showfieldstone.com.

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