Sydney Crenshaw and Camera Ready.
Some horses were born to be in the spotlight, and on Monday night Camera Ready lived up to his name by claiming the Adult Amateur Jumper Championship after winning the $7,500 NAL Adult Jumper Classic and the Adult Amateur Jumper speed class with Sydney Crenshaw for Fit To Print Farm.
“It’s definitely something that you imagine, that you feel like you’re prepared for, but it’s just surreal,” expressed Crenshaw at the end of the night. “You imagine it, but you don’t really expect it to actually happen.”
The highlight event of the evening saw 19 competitors in the Dixon Oval, all aiming for the winning prize. Seven entries made it to the tiebreaker, where Phoenix Cooke and Skys Burnin Blue set the pace with a clear round in 35.613 seconds. Their effort would only be good enough for second place though as the winner of the speed class earlier in the day came into the ring.
Crenshaw showcased Camera Ready’s speed and winning ability for the second time today by blazing across the finish in a faultless 32.211 seconds, three seconds faster than Cooke. The only other rider to clear the track was Nancy Hooker aboard Corianos Boy, but their time of 37.090 seconds would capture the third place award.
Despite galloping Camera Ready around the speed class earlier in the day, Crenshaw was confident the 13-year-old Brandenburger mare would be ready for the final event.
“Camera Ready is a good horse,” said Crenshaw. “She loves to go into the ring. She was maybe a little quiet earlier, but I just put a little spur on and she was ready to go. She knows when it’s a night class; she really knows when it’s a big deal.”
Crenshaw has been riding Camera Ready for owner Kathy Coffey for a number of years, and when the mare hurt her tooth trainer Sharon Enteen had to get creative. The talented grey mare now goes in a “sponge bit” – a thin nylon strap surrounded by sponge.
“Any time that she had anything bigger and you would pull the opposite rein it would really upset her,” explained Enteen. “We ended up in a sponge. There is no lateral control, but she’s happy in it. You can’t even give her treats because her mouth is so open. She likes it. You can squeeze water out of it – it’s an actual sponge.”
Crenshaw added, “She was in a rubber snaffle before, so she’s never been in a lot of bit. For me, I sometimes feel a little out of control. It takes me a couple laps to stop sometimes. It’s not that big of a thing though. She’s not the kind of a horse that needs that big of a bit anyway.”
The University of Georgia senior will continue showing Camera Ready throughout the year and is aiming for Pennsylvania National Horse Show and the Washington International Horse Show at the end of the year.
On Tuesday, the Open Jumpers get underway with two events in the evening, gearing up for the $100,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon on Thursday night. For more information about the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair and complete results, visit www.DevonHorseShow.org.
Rebecca Walton for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International