Lone Star and Hunt Tosh. Photos: A&S Photography (Ann Stanton)
Tuesday, May 20th – The 2014 Atlanta Spring Challenge Horse Show came to a close this past Sunday. The event in its 11th year had its biggest turnout to date. The show again took place May 14-18 at the famed Georgia International Horse Park, home of the equestrian portion of the 1996 Olympic Games. J. P. Godard and his Equus Events team handled the managing duties.
Gold sponsors of this year’s event included Fenwick Equestrian, Dietrich and Company Equine Insurance, The Tack Room, Reflections Farm, and DFG Stables. The Tack Room of Camden, SC presented this year’s daily continental breakfast throughout the event. Hospitality has always been a key element at the Atlanta Spring Challenge and this year was no exception. Exhibitors, trainers, and spectators alike were treated to daily ring hospitality, an ice cream party, as well as an exhibitor’s dinner Friday evening sponsored by the 2014 Hospitality Sponsors. This year’s sponsors were: Booth Parker, Black Ankle Farms, The Atlanta Hunt Club, DFG Stables, Finally Farm, Liz Tarumianz, The Meadow Hill Stables, Proof of the Pudding, Reflections Farm, The Tack Room, and The Marketplace. DFG Stables presented this year’s annual Preakness Party on Saturday evening and The Meadow Hill Farm and the Porath Family sponsored a farewell pizza party Sunday afternoon.
Feature events at this year’s show included the popular $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on Friday evening which was sponsored by Reflections Farm. The class took place under the lights in the International Arena along with Exhibitors dinner under the tent. Hunt Tosh and Betsee Parker’s Lone Star took top call in the class topping an impressive field of 23 competitors. The pair is no stranger to the spotlight winning the inaugural USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals in 2010; they also were awarded Horse of the Year honors in 2011. Second place honors in the derby went to Meredith Mateo’s Salto and rider Caroline Willard and the third place rosette went to DSJ Stable, LLC’s Checklist and rider Daniel Geitner.
Jumpers took center stage Saturday evening in the $30,000 Fenwick Equestrian Grand Prix. 24 horse rider combinations tried their luck against a tricky route designed by course designer Phil Devita. Spectators were treated to the show’s annual Preakness Party presented by DFG Stables and Daniel and Cathy Geitner. The crowd cheered Triple Crown hopeful California Chrome to victory while enjoying a Mexican dinner catered by Proof of the Pudding. Finca Horse’s entry of Notaris and rider Nina Fagerstrom came home the victor’s in the class with a time of 53.728 and 1 time fault topping Happy Z and Wilhelm Genn’s fast time of 46.557 with 4 faults, and Lazaro and Jordan Coyne with 8 faults and a time of 46.804.
Equus Events continues its 2014 show season with the Tryon Summer Premiere May 22-25 at FENCE in Tryon, NC. For complete horse show results and 2014 show schedule, please visit www.equusevents.com.