Kelsey Thatcher and Fredrick.
Parker, CO – July 13, 2013 – Kelsey Thatcher and Pony Lane Farm’s Fredrick coasted through beautiful rounds in the 3’6″ Amateur Owner Hunters on Saturday at Summer in the Rockies V to win two blue ribbons and the trophy in the $2,500 Amateur Owner Hunter Classic. Thatcher rode with poise and confidence to post the high scores in each class.
Fredrick paired with Thatcher’s trainer, Maggie Jayne, to earn the championship in the High Performance/Second Year Green Hunters earlier in the week. Thatcher said she benefited from Jayne’s advice to improve her performances with Fredrick.
“Maggie and I had a talk from last week to this week about how to ride him better, and I think he came out better and he went around great,” Thatcher explained. “He’s a very low horse – he isn’t a very big horse – and I ride uphill, fiery ones better, so we had a good talk about it and we are much more consistent this week.”
She said part of her new strategy involved working to adjust her riding to the horse’s way of going. “With him, it’s just staying really light and understanding that he goes low,” she described. “You’ve got to go with the flow and let him cruise right around.”
And cruise they did, putting in steady, flowing rounds over the Skip Bailey-designed courses. “The courses are absolutely beautiful out here,” Thatcher said. “They do a great job of making it feel like a very special horse show.”
“It’s a pretty special horse show for me personally,” she added. “I showed in the short stirrups here – I actually fell off in that ring right down there! We love coming out to Colorado.”
Thatcher also rode Pony Lane Farm’s Starina B in the 3’6″ Amateur Owner Hunters. Starina B and Haylie Jayne won the championship in the First Year Green Hunters earlier in the week.
“Starina came out ready to play, but I didn’t get her down one line quite early enough, so she hit a back rail pretty hard,” Thatcher said. “That mare likes to be perfect, so she was a little upset with me. But we did a bridle change for the last classic round, and she was much better and ready to go.”
Thatcher also trains with Haylie Jayne and looks to her for advice on the horses she rides. “We’re all a very tight-knit group,” Thatcher said. Her sister, Madeline Thatcher, has also been successful in the hunters at Summer in the Rockies V, collecting top ribbons in the Junior Hunter divisions. And both Thatcher sisters competed in the $40,000 Holiday Inn of Parker Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon.
“I have to say, I’m Maddie’s biggest fan and her harshest critic,” Kelsey Thatcher said. “It’s been fun – we have a little fun, healthy competition. My dad and mom love watching us both get fired up about that. I’m proud of her for how much she’s improved her riding.”
Thatcher will enter her senior year at the University of Georgia this fall, and she will continue to juggle academics and her busy show schedule as she works toward two goals: graduating with her degree in early childhood education and bringing home a championship on the indoor circuit. She believes her horses have what it takes to win and is grateful to the Jaynes for keeping them ready for her. “I’m aiming for an indoors champion cooler for sure,” she said.
While Thatcher looks to be tough to beat for the 3’6″ Amateur Owner Hunter championship, the 3’3″ division could be a toss-up between several strong competitors. Saturday’s classes shaped up as a contest between an up-and-coming young horse and a seasoned campaigner returning to the show ring after time off. Anna Corley and 6-year-old Ddominicc picked up a win and a third place over fences, and Candace Cavanaugh and 16-year-old Irish Storm collected a win and a second. Irish Storm is easing back into competition after colic surgery last year, while Ddominicc just stepped up to the 3’3″ Amateur Owner Hunters after competing at 3′ for the first weeks of Summer in the Rockies.
“He felt great,” Corley said after her rounds on Ddominicc. “He’s young, so it’s always a little bit of a challenge. It was his second time doing the 3’3″s. My first course was one of the best I’ve had on him. The jumps were all really nice, we had a good pace and he jumped them all really well.”
According to Corley, Ddominicc’s favorite treat is peppermints – he’s allergic to carrots. He certainly earned a sweet reward for his efforts in the hunter ring. Corley purchased Ddominicc two years ago and has been working to bring him up the ranks with guidance from trainer Matt Cyphert of Dallas, TX.
“I’ve done most of his training myself and he’s done really well,” she said. “He’s been very easy. He’s has taken it all in stride, and Matt has helped me a lot in getting him going right. It’s been fun.”
Corley, who lives in Austin, TX, trains with Stacie Bird when she’s at home. She will ride Ddominicc in the USHJA National Hunter Derby on Sunday and eventually hopes to move up to the 3’6″ Amateur Owner Hunters with him, though she plans to give him plenty of time to adjust to the 3’3″ height before stepping up again.
“He’s such a pretty horse,” Corley said. “He’s got a pretty head and his color’s very striking. When he walks in the ring, he just turns it on. He always has his ears up and he’s happy. I think he’s really eye-catching for the judges.”
Cavanaugh has had a long relationship with Irish Storm, whom she bought when he was 6 years old. She started him in the Pre-Green Hunters and moved up from there. Ten years later, their partnership is still going strong, and Irish Storm is back in good form after taking a hiatus to recuperate from his colic surgery.
“My first round was really, really nice,” Cavanaugh said. “I was very happy and my horse was jumping great. The lines seemed to run a little long, so we really had to flow down each one. It’s a nice course and the jumps are very inviting.”
“He enjoys his job very much and he’s responsive to me,” she added. “He is very level-headed. He’s got a really good brain and he really likes to jump, so he makes my job so much easier.”
Cavanaugh trains with Meredith Houx-Remiger of Sandia Farm in Albuquerque, NM, and she is spending four weeks competing at the Colorado Horse Park this summer along with her barn. “I love the facility,” she said. “It’s just gorgeous and they put on really nice horse shows, so I like coming up here. I lived here for many years and actually boarded here at the Horse Park, so I love coming back. And I like the new footing!”
The Amateur Owner Hunters continue Sunday. The Large and Small Junior Hunters wrapped up on Saturday with the final two classes over fences for each division. Hunter Holloway and Chianti’s Dream won both of Saturday’s Small Junior Hunter classes to clinch the championship, while Amanda Hauser and Calido’s Son notched second and fourth place finishes for the reserve.
The Large Junior Hunter championship went to Emily Sutherland and Phineas, owned by Lisa Sutherland. The pair started off the division on a high note with two wins on Friday and had the best overall placings over the two days. Kai DeVoglaer and Colleen McKenzie’s Castello added a third place over fences to their strong results from Friday to earn the reserve championship.
The Junior Hunter riders also faced off in the $2,500 Junior Hunter Classic. Hunter Holloway took three of the top two spots: she rode Cascina to the win, finished second with Chianti’s Dream, and took fourth with Lyons Creek Bellini. All three horses are owned by Hays Investment Corp. DeVoglaer and Castello were third.
Summer in the Rockies V comes to a close on Sunday with a major highlight for competitors and spectators alike: the hunter derbies. The $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, the $5,000 USHJA National Derby, and the $2,500 CHP Pony Derby begin at 8 a.m. in the Olson Family Hunter Arena.
Full results available at http://www.showplaceproductions.com/chp/resultsDivisionList.php?competition=22.
The Colorado Horse Park Summer in the Rockies Fast Facts
What: Summer in the Rockies AA-Rated Hunter Jumper Show Series
Summer in the Rockies I June 5-9, 2013
Summer in the Rockies II June 12-16, 2013
Summer in the Rockies III June 19-23, 2013
Summer in the Rockies IV July 3-7, 2013
Summer in the Rockies V July 10-14, 2013
Summer in the Rockies VI July 17-21, 2013
Click here for an online version of the prize list. For a hard copy of the prize list, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address and phone number and specify which prize list you would like (spring/fall or summer).
Mail to The Colorado Horse Park, 7522 South Pinery Drive, Parker, CO 80134 or fax to (303) 841-7879. Opening date for Stall Reservations: April 1, 2013. Closing date May 20, 2013.
Pat Boyle, Show Manager (847) 274-6834
Brian Curry, Show Manager (303) 918-2908
Show Office (303) 841-7461
Show Office Fax (303) 841-1419
Colorado Horse Park Main Office (303) 841-5550
Colorado Horse Park Main Office Fax (303) 841-7879
Wed – Sun: Show starts daily at 8 a.m. unless otherwise noted
Address: 7375 E Bayou Gulch Rd, Parker, CO 80134
From North: I-25S exit Ridgegate Parkway – go east under the freeway. Ridgegate Parkway to S. Chambers Road, approx 3 miles (Traffic light) – turn right/south onto Chambers Road. At end of Chambers Road turn left/east onto Hess Road. Hess Road to Parker Road/Hwy 83 – turn right/south onto Hwy 83 approx 4 miles to Bayou Gulch Road. (Traffic light). Follow signs to Colorado Horse Park.
From South: I-25N, exit Founder’s Parkway. Founder’s Parkway to Highway 86, approx 4 miles (traffic light). Turn east/left onto Hwy. 86 to Franktown/Hwy 83. At Franktown go north on 83 approx. 7 mi. to Bayou Gulch Rd. (Traffic light), turn right/east onto Bayou Gulch Rd. Follow signs to Colorado Horse Park.
About the Colorado Horse Park
Celebrating its 20th Anniversary, the Colorado Horse Park was founded by visionary Helen Krieble who acknowledged the need for a high-volume horse show and horse boarding facility to serve Colorado. The Colorado Horse Park welcomes more than 75,000 visitors per year and hosts over 40 competitions annually. CHP features a derby arena designed by Olympic-designer Linda Allen and a cross-country course designed by Olympic Gold Medalist David O’Connor and eventing super-star James Atkinson. There are 300 permanent stalls with capacity for more than 1,000 stalls.
The picturesque property, located only minutes from the town of Parker, hosts international equestrian events in multiple disciplines. Visitors enjoy the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountain surroundings and access to miles of trails and open space. The Colorado Horse Park is committed to supporting equestrian education and amateur athletics, preserving open space, fundraising for local charities and supporting the community.
Mary Adelaide Brakenridge for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International