Photo courtesy of SDPhotography.
Jacksonville, Florida (April 19, 2016) – The inaugural Jacksonville Spring Classic is underway at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. Last weekend, the Jacksonville Spring Classic I kicked off the two-weekend series, which has been described as the perfect place for hunter/jumper riders to wrap up their winter show circuits. The Jacksonville Equestrian Center in Jacksonville, Florida is proud to host the event, produced by the Classic Company.
The Classic Company has been organizing equestrian show jumping competitions for nearly 30 years. The organization’s competitions span four states and are noted for the southern hospitality that the Classic Company brings to each event. The Classic Company has even been awarded the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA)’s Member Choice Award for providing excellent customer service to competitors. Bob Bell, President and founder of the Classic Company, was quick to applaud the hard work of the Jacksonville Equestrian Center’s staff, as well. “So far, this has been the perfect venue for our show,” Bell said after the first weekend of Jacksonville Spring Classic competition. “The staff is working hard and bending over backwards. This is a real horse show facility – it was meant to be an equestrian facility and the people who are running it understand the horses.”
Many riders who spent the winter competing in Florida – either in Wellington at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) or in Ocala at HITS – are stopping in Jacksonville for their final competition in Florida for this season before heading north. A perfect place to layover on the long journey home, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center is located just a few miles off of I-95 and offers over 400 permanent stalls, an indoor coliseum, and several outdoor arenas.
Savannah Unger is one rider who is taking advantage of the opportunity to show at the Jacksonville Spring Classic on her way home to North Carolina. At the Jacksonville Spring Classic I, she guided Fresh Prince, owned by Amber Hill Farms, to victory in the 1.10. For Unger, the winning ride brought a lot of ‘firsts.’
“This is our first time at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center,” she said. “It’s a beautiful facility. We really like the indoor arena! This is also the first time I’ve ever jumped Fresh Prince, and I got on him for the first time ever yesterday.” Unger planned to head into the ring and do her best, but even she was surprised by how well the pair clicked together as they sailed over the jumps. As she accepted her blue ribbon at the end of the large class, Unger was already planning to compete on a few more horses before the weekend was over.
Riders are also using the Jacksonville Spring Classic I and II as a way to acclimate their horses to an indoor arena after a season of outdoor classes. Indoor jumping arenas, known for having tighter turns on course and different shadow patterns, can especially be a challenge for greener horses. Grand Prix rider Aaron Vale guided Corvett over the fences in the 1.10m class in the massive 123,000 square foot indoor arena, and said, “This is a good experience for Corvett to jump in an indoor. It’s different for the riders and the horses. Things come up quicker.” Vale earned several top placings throughout the weekend at the Jacksonville Spring Classic I.
After a fun and competitive first weekend, horses, riders, and the Jacksonville Equestrian Center are all gearing up for another great show at the Jacksonville Spring Classic II on April 20-24, 2016.
Nearly every weekend, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center is host to family-friendly events that are open to the public. After the Jacksonville Spring Classic II, cowboys and cowgirls will take over the venue for a roping event where the winner will go home in a new truck on April 29 – May 1. The facility features an enormous indoor arena, outdoor turf arena, outdoor show rings, and more than 400 permanent stalls. Ample RV hookups and vendor spaces ensure exhibitor comfort and convenience. The Jacksonville Equestrian Center, located at 13611 Normandy Blvd. in Jacksonville, Florida, has amenities to host not only equestrian events, but also recreational, sporting, and community events. For more information, visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com or call Penny Gorton at (904) 255-4227.
For more information, contact:
Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Penny Gorton 904-255-4227
13611 Normandy Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32221