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Sun Tzu and Brennan Win the $10,000 Horseflight Open Welcome

Penny Brennan and Sun Tzu.

The $10,000 Horseflight Open Welcome took place yesterday afternoon on the world class grass grand prix field and crowned Penny Brennan of Buhl, Alabama and her own Sun Tzu the winner in the class. Allen Rheinheimer of Zionsville, Indiana, Technical Coordinator for the 2015 World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, Nevada, designed the course.

Sun Tzu was the first horse to turn in a clean first round with a time of 92.864 seconds, just under the time allowed of 93 seconds. With two more to ride, Brennan opted to return later for her second round. Leann Kelly of Valatie, New York and Honorway Farm, LLC’s Leander followed Brennan with a clean first round in a time of 89.725 seconds. Although their second round time of 41.031 seconds beat the time allowed of 48 seconds, they incurred eight jump faults.

Chanel Du Calvaire, owned and ridden by Francois Lamontagne of Saint-Eustache, Quebec, Canada, followed with the next clean round in a time of 88.177 seconds and a second round in 46.387 seconds. With four jump faults, the pair would temporarily take the lead.

Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama and Loretta Patterson’s Silverstone followed Lamontagne with a clear first round in a time of 92.487 seconds. The pair posted a clean second round in a time of 46.131 seconds, setting the new time to beat and temporarily taking the lead.

Brennan returned to the field, this time with her own Japan. The pair posted a clean first round in a time of 82.180 seconds. But four jump faults and fourteen time faults in their second round in a time of 61.621 seconds would inevitably place them in seventh place overall.

Lochinvar, owned and ridden by Matt Cyphert of Northlake, Texas, posted a clear first round in a time of 84.919 and advanced to the second round, going clear in a time of 41.797 seconds, taking the lead from Shepherd.

Shepherd returned to the ring, this time in the irons of Loretta Patterson’s Triompf, and went clear in a time of 90.281 seconds. They followed with a clear second round in a time of 44.219 seconds, which would not be fast enough to take the lead from Cyphert.

Brennan returned to the ring as the final ride in the irons of Sun Tzu. The pair went clean in a time of 41.031, taking the win and moving Cyphert and Lochinvar into second place.

Final results saw Shepherd taking the third and fourth place ribbons with Loretta Patterson’s Triompf and Silverstone, Lamontagne and Chanel Du Calvaire in fifth, Kelly and Leander in sixth and Brennan and Japan in seventh. The fastest of the four faulters, Scott Lenkart of Bartonville, Texas riding Allison Freeman’s Baloubrie, in a time of 87.196 seconds, placed eighth, followed by Amanda Forte of Glenmoore, Pennsylvania and Cerulean Stables’ HHS Louis in ninth place for their four fault first ride in a time of 89.572 seconds. Tenth place went to Brooke Kemper of Culpeper, Virginia and her own Classified, eleventh place awarded to Brennan and Cord II, owned by Meco Equestrian, LLC, and Happy Boy Van De Doornakkers, owned and ridden by Jordan Gilchrist of Flower Mound, Texas, wrapped up the class in twelfth place.

“It was a beautiful course,” commented Brennan. “It wasn’t enormous, but it was big and square and you needed to have respect for it,” she said. “The square options off of a 6.5 stride toward the in gate were difficult,” she added. “Everyone rode it in seven because the oxer was too big going out,” she continued. “You needed to put your air brakes on over the oxer in order to not grab that back rail,” she said.

“Sun Tzu was so fast today,” said Brennan. “That was a little bit of a tough jump off,” she said. “You had to stay with your horse and needed to have that little respect on the run to the in and out and not cowboy it,” she added.

“The Welcome really got all of us wondering what this Sunday’s CWD Grand Prix will be like,” she said.

Penny Brennan is originally from Nottingham, England and her father made his annual trek just last week to watch her ride in Gulfport. “He just left the other day and I really wanted to win one while he was here,” she said. “So I am dedicating this win to my Dad!” Brennan added. “I also want to thank my sponsors CWD and Finish Line Horse Products,” she said. “Finish Line products have done a lot for my horses and I’m very appreciative of their support,” she commented.

Micro-Chip Your Horse for $28 at the Gulf Coast Winter Classic

Micro-chipping is now a requirement! The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) now requires horses to be micro-chipped by December 1, 2017 in order to be eligible for Horse of the Year awards. Pricing for this can range into the hundreds of dollars at the other winter circuits. Not at the Gulf Coast Winter Classic! For only $28, all those showing in Gulfport can have their horse micro-chipped by Dr. Patrick Cleveland, the Official Veterinarian of the Gulf Coast Winter Classic. Dr. Cleveland is available to discuss any questions you have about micro-chipping and Mary Babick, United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) Hunter Vice President, is also available for questions about the rule change.

The Gulf Coast Classic Company is a USHJA’s Members Choice Award winner, recognized for producing top quality show jumping events in the United States. For more information on Gulf Coast Classic Company and its exhibitor-friendly, top quality hunter jumper events, please visit them at www.gulfcoastclassiccompany.com.

All sponsorship, marketing and press inquiries should be directed to Lisa Engel, Sponsorship, Marketing and Public Relations Director, at lisa@classiccompany.com.

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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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