Week II of the Atlanta Spring Classic drew to a close with Jason Berry continuing his winning ways in the jumper ring. Aboard Quantos, owned by Lee Cesery, Berry topped the field to win the $15,000 Grand Prix, presented by EMO.
It’s been a banner two weeks for Berry and Quantos in Conyers, Georgia. The duo won both weekly Welcome Jumpers, in addition to the Week II Grand Prix.
“Quantos is giving it his all,” Berry commented. “It certainly makes you excited to get up in the morning when you have a horse with a future like he’s going to have.”
Berry, of Verona, Virginia, was the first horse and rider team to attempt the first round of the grand prix track, set in the Olympic Ring at the Georgia International Horse Park. Only three achieved the clear round required to proceed to the jump-off.
First to attempt the shortened, speedy course was Jorja Rose Jones of Byhalia, Mississippi. She piloted Diane Masters’ Light Show to a double clear performance, setting the pace to beat at a quick 42.721 seconds.
Next up was Canton, Georgia’s Chasen Boggio. In the irons of his own Co Pilot, Boggio navigated the shortened course, leaving all the jumps in their cups. Unfortunately, the duo reached the timers just outside of the 47-second time allowed — their time of 47.076 seconds landed them a single time fault.
Berry and Quantos were next up to catch the pace to beat. The pair laid down a flawless clear round, racing to the timers in 41.422 seconds, snatching top hours and the lion’s share of the prize money.
“I wasn’t sure I could catch her,” said Berry of the pace to beat set by Jones. “But Quantos is a good mix. He’s a long-strided horse, so we can leave the stride out, but he’s also got a turn on him. It was a good course, and you needed a horse who could accomplish both — leave out strides and turn quickly.
“There was a fast gallop to an oxer in the jump-off, followed by a sharp right turn,” Berry continued. “Quantos ran well to the oxer and took direction well on the backside, making a sharp right turn. I think that may be where I caught the time.”
Berry said his team couldn’t be happier with the seven-year-old Quantos and he’s pleased with the support from his team, from his owner Lee Cesery to his grooms, Javier Guerra and Luis Vega.
“Everyone has been at the top of their game,” Berry remarked.
Jones ended the class in second place, and Boggio ranked third.
Jones was back in the ring to pick up fourth prize for her ride aboard Chris Richards’ Uno Z. Fifth place was awarded to Aida Sanchez Long, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Darragh Kerins’ Rossco. Berry ranked sixth aboard Andrew Kocher’s Duvelke, while Lexington, Kentucky’s Sarah Meier placed seventh with Punchestown Stable’s F 16.
Boggio was back in the ribbons, ranking eighth with Victoria Press’ Quesada D’Elle. Heather Hooker, of Wellington, Florida, was ninth with Meredith Darst’s Quester de Virton. Tenth place was awarded to Meier, this time with Madison Dehaven’s Chanel. Meredith Bryans, of Newborn, Georgia, with her own Guidam Sid, ranked eleventh, and Roger Seitzmeir, of Thompsons Station, Tennessee, wrapped up the top-twelve with the Jaeckle Centre’s TJC’s Kaizer-A.
Quantos and Jason Berry Reclaim Title in $5,000 Welcome Jumper
Jason Berry kicked off Week II of the Atlanta Spring Classic in the same manner he wrapped up Week I — victorious. This time, it was top prize in the $5,000 Welcome Jumper with Quantos. With Duvelke, Berry took home the second place ribbon as well.
Berry, of Verona, Virginia, piloted Lee Cesery’s Quantos across the opening jumper class. The first contenders to tackle the first round, the duo made short work of the track, leaving all the jumps in their cups and reaching the timers well within the time allowed of 79 seconds. They were the first of four contenders to be invited back into the ring for the jump-off round.
Berry and Quantos set the pace to beat across the shortened course, finishing the competition with a double clear performance, a jump-off time of 40.114 seconds, and the winner’s check in his pocket.
“The jump-off round was great for my horse,” said Berry. “There was a lot of space to gallop and he covers the ground so easily.
“Quantos was imported last fall,” said Berry. Since then, he said they’ve been bringing the seven-year-old along slowly and are pleased with his progress.
“He’s been wonderful. He can be an amateur’s horse, but still has the scope for a grand prix. He’s young and green but you can always leave that stride out — he’s got tons of step and tons of scope.”
Berry and Quantos also claimed top prize in Week I’s Welcome Jumper, along with winning the $15,000 Grand Prix aboard Fazous. Berry said it’s his second time riding at the Atlanta Spring Classic, but said it’s been a good few weeks made better by show management.
“They are professionals,” Berry remarked of the show management. “The staff is doing a great job of making the most of the footing —they are putting the time and effort into maintaining it.”
Berry was runner-up with Andrew Kocher’s Duvelke. The duo achieved the only other double clear performance, but a relatively pokey jump-off time of 47.312 kept them in second position.
Sarah Meier of Lexington, Kentucky rounded off the top-three for her performance with Madison Dehaven’s Chanel. The pair blew the time to beat out of the water, reaching the timers in 38.315 seconds, but a falling rail midway through the jump-off landed the pair the third place ribbon. Meier also ranked fourth for her performance with Punchestown Stables’ F 16.
Thompson Station, Tennessee’s Roger Seitzmeir ranked fifth with the Jaeckle Centre’s TJC’s Kaizer-A, while Berry rounded out the top-six with Fazous.