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Hunter News Week II of the Atlanta Summer Classics

Michael Leon true champion in $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby with True Enough

Proving once again he’s king of the derby ring, Michael Leon closed out Week II of the Atlanta Summer Classic with a win in the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby aboard Kelly Sims’ True Enough.

Leon, of Marietta, Georgia, and True Enough were one of 12 contenders to put their riding skills to the test in the Oval Ring at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia.

The duo smoothly moved across the classic hunter component of the derby, finishing the first round with a tally of 161.5 points. Sitting in fourth position moving into the handy round, Leon and True Enough made up for lost points, achieving a handy round score of 188 points. The duo finished the competition with an overall total of 349.5 points — five points ahead of the runner up.

Caroline Willard, of Oak Ridge, North Carolina, ranked second for her performance in the saddle of Tara Dow-Rein’s Baron de Ley. The pair posted a classic round score of 155.5 points, before achieving a handy round score of 189 points — the highest in the class. Willard finished the event with an overall score of 344.5 points.

Leon returned to the ring to pick up the prize for third place, this time for his performance aboard another of Sims’ horses, Eleventh Hour. Their classic hunter round garnered them 166 points — landing them in first place after the first round. A handy score of 175 points gave the pair an overall total of 341.5 points.

Fourth place was presented to Lindsay Maxwell, of St. Simons Island, Georgia, who was aboard Hyperion Stud LLC’s Claas 16. For their first round, the duo ranked third for their score of 162 points. A score of 179 points in the handy hunter component earned them a total of 341 points.

Camryn Halley, of Oviedo, Florida, ranked fifth for her two rounds in the saddle of Laura Barrett-Gurtis’ I’ll Say JSF. Halley piloted to a classic round tally of 160.5 points, followed by a handy round score of 173 points. Halley finished the competition with an overall score of 333.5 points.

Ranking sixth was Jennifer Tate of Bourne, Massachusetts. Tate guided Barbara Kravetz’ Carsten S to an overall tally of 332 points. Seventh place was awarded to Carolyn Bell, of Alpharetta, Georgia, who was riding Eleese Shillingford’s Odyssey. The duo ended the event with an overall score of 304 points.

Eighth position was earned by Kara Jones, of Cornelius, North Carolina, for her two rounds with her own Chello. Jones achieved a grand tally of 279 points. Melissa Blades, of Cary, North Carolina, ranked ninth for her 259-point score with Cheyenne Sickle’s Jethro. Ranking tenth was Leon, this time aboard his own Celano. The duo posted an overall total of 233 points. Eleventh place was presented to Geoffrey Hesslink, of Shelburne, Vermont, who earned a 204-point score with Lindsay Maxwell’s High Society. Nicki Mathen, of Austin, Texas, rounded out the top 12 for her overall score of 199 with CopperhillSportHorseSales.com’s Dior Flying CH.

Payard and Erin Clayton victorious in $3,000 Classic Hunter Derby

Only a single point separated the top two contenders in Friday’s $3,000 Classic Hunter Derby during Week II of the Atlanta Summer Classic. In the end, it was Erin Clayton who was crowned champion for her two rounds aboard Payard.

Twenty competitors tackled the two derby rounds set across the Oval Ring at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia. But no one accomplished the task at hand as well as Clayton, of Zionsville, Indiana.

Clayton was in the irons of Kaitlyn Smith’s Payard, an 8-year-old Holsteiner. Together the pair chalked up a classic round score of 82.5 points, before returning to the ring for the handy component. They wove and battled their way through the winding second round, achieving a score of 84.5 points. The duo finished the competition with an overall tally of 167 points.

“The courses offered challenges, but I never worry too much about that horse, Payard always rises to the occasion,” Clayton remarked. “In the two years I’ve ridden him, I’ve come to know him well. So I knew the places on course that played to his strengths, and knew the places on course where I would have to ride to accommodate some of his weaker areas. It was nice to get this win — I’m quite happy with (Payard).”

Payard has been matched with Clayton since his baby green days. In their two years together, Clayton said the horse has always risen to the questions asked of him.

“Payard doesn’t do anything fast, but he always gives his best effort,” she said with a laugh.

A regular on the Classic Company circuit, Clayton said she’s always happy to come and compete at such a well-managed horse show.

“The Classic Company puts on the most exhibitor friendly horse shows,” she said. “Whether it’s supporting the competitors or making improvements to the footing — which is fantastic — it’s a great experience to come to such a well-run, well-managed horse show.”

Hot on the tails of the winners was Williston, Florida’s Meredith Martin, who was aboard her own Odessa. The pair rode their classic round to a score of 82 points, followed by a handy round score of 84 points. Their tally of 166 points landed the duo in second place.

Ranking third was Daniel Geitner, of Aiken, South Carolina, who was riding Hilary Baylor’s Naddel. Geitner piloted Naddel to an 84-point first round, before earning 80.5 points for their attempt at the handy course. They ended the class with an overall score of 164.5 points.

Fourth place was awarded to Beverly Hills, California’s Lindsay Maxwell, who was in the irons of her own Conspiracy. The pair posted a classic round score of 83.5 points, and rode to a handy score of 79.5 points, for a total score of 163 points. Maxwell also went home $500 richer after securing the Classic Hunter Derby High Non-Pro Bonus.

Ranking fifth was Michael Leon, of Marietta, Georgia, who was in the tack of Kelly Sims’ Transparency. Leon guided Transparency to 77.5 points in the classic component, followed by an 85 point ride in the handy round. The pair ended the class with a grand tally of 162.5 points.

Taking home the prize for sixth place was Sorrento, Florida’s Megan All, who was in the saddle of her own Confidential. All piloted her horse to an overall score of 160 points, and also left the ring with the $500 Classic Hunter Derby Low Non-Pro Bonus.

Clayton returned to the ring to pick up the prize for seventh place. She guided Walkabout Investments LLC’s Walkabout’s Neptune to an overall score of 159.5 points. Jennifer Tate, of Bourne, Massachusetts, ranked eighth for her 159 point performance aboard Barbara Kravetz’ Caspari. Ninth place was awarded to Caroline Willard, of Oak Ridge, North Carolina, who was riding Alex Stevens’ Sky Pilot. The duo finished the class with a tally of 157.5 points. Wellington, Florida’s Tricia Barr rode Rodney Bross’ Big Girls Don’t Cry to tenth position with a score of 157 points. Barr also took home the $300.00 Low Non-Pro Bonus.

Ranking eleventh was All, this time with Falcon Ridge Stables’ Cameo. The pair ended the class with 148 points, as well as the $300 High Non-Pro Bonus. Rounding out the Top 12 finishers was Oviedo, Florida’s Laura Barrett-Gurtis who guided Suzanne Lemons’ Content to an overall score of 146 points.

Jillian Minahan, of Milton, Georgia, took home the $200 Low Non-Pro Bonus for her ride aboard her own Joie de Vivre. Camryn Halley, of Oviedo, Florida, was awarded the $200 High Non-Pro Bonus for her performance with Valerie Vogel’s Always.

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Curly Sue and Daniel Geitner Victorious in Jumpers Week II of Atlanta Summer Classics

Daniel Geitner wrapped up Week II of the Atlanta Summer Classic with a win in the $25,000 Sidelines Grand Prix, presented by EMO. In the saddle of the game mare Curly Sue, Geitner topped the field and headed home with the winner’s share of the prize.

“Curly Sue is just fantastic,” said the Aiken, South Carolina rider. “She’s an easy horse; she rides super simply. Actually, she requires very little training on my part. I mostly just sit there and stay out of her way.”

This grand prix victory comes on the heels of Geitner’s win in the $7,500 Welcome Classic earlier in the week. Again, he was in the tack of Curly Sue, who is owned by Greg Burrow.

An overcast sky hung over the Olympic Ring at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia. Seventeen entries came out to compete over the first round. Clear rounds were hard to come by, with only four of the 17 contenders invited back to the ring to battle it out in the jump-off round.

Curly Sue and Geitner were the third to attempt the shortened course, racing to the finish in 38.691 seconds. A fallen rail at the last fence landed the pair four faults, but the duo couldn’t be caught.

“The jump-off is where things got interesting,” Geitner said. “You had to go over the mound to get from Jump 2 to Jump 5, which is always an added challenge. But the time allowed, at 40 seconds, was a little snug.”

Tricia O’Connor, of Williston, Florida, was the runner up. Aboard her own Coolman 78, O’Connor posted a four-fault jump-off round, and raced to the timers just outside of the time allowed in 40.117 seconds. The ended the class with five faults.

Geitner returned to the ring, this time to jump-off aboard the Kenwood Syndicate’s Kenwood. The duo raced to the timers in 36.481 seconds, but sent two rails tumbling for a total of eight faults. They ranked third.

Savannah Unger, of Morriston, Florida, was awarded fourth prize for her performance with her own Fabio TN. The duo left all the jumps solidly in their cups, but were well over the time allowed, finishing in 47.783 seconds with eight time faults.

Wellington, Florida’s Heather Hooker ranked fifth for her four fault first round with Meredith Darst’s Quester de Virton. O’Connor was back in the ribbons, picking up sixth place for her performance with Michael Kirby’s KT Bolo. Chasen Boggio, of Canton, Georgia, ranked seventh for his ride aboard Victoria Press’ Quesada D’Elle.

Penny Brennan, of Loxahatchee, Florida, ended the class in eighth place with her own Vertigo Delorme, and ninth was awarded to Williston, Florida’s Michael Kirby, who was riding Fairly Stable LLC’s Play Boy. Ranking tenth was Boggio, this time aboard his own Co-Pilot. Nicki Mathen, of Austin, Texas, was eleventh with CopperhillSportHorseSales.com’s Felix BC. Kirby rounded out the Top 12 placings for his ride with his own Disaronno.

Geitner and Curly Sue Win the Week II $7,500 Welcome

Week II of the Atlanta Summer Classic kicked off in a major way for Daniel Geitner, who galloped his way into the winner’s circle aboard Greg Burrow’s Curly Sue in the $7,500 Welcome Classic.

Geitner, of Aiken, South Carolina, topped a field of 16 entries in the Wednesday feature jumper class, held in the Olympic Ring at the beautiful Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia. Of those, eight contenders progressed to the jump-off.

It wasn’t a bad day at work for Geitner and Curly Sue, who haven’t been in the show ring since winning a grand prix in Aiken, South Carolina in April.

“The rideability of this mare is great; she’s as steady as they come,” Geitner said of the nine-year-old mare. “I haven’t jumped or schooled her over fences since Aiken in April, so the Welcome was a test to see where she was and if she is up for the grand prix later in the week — she is.”

The pair headed into the ring early in the jump-off order, setting the pace to beat right off the hop. They swiftly navigated the second round, reaching the timers in a clear and quick 41.502 seconds.

“I’ve been coming to Conyers to show here for what seems like forever,” Geitner said. “The work the Classic Company team is putting in here is evident — especially in terms of the footing. Hopefully things just keep improving.”

Hot on the heels of the winners was runner up Michael Kirby, of Williston, Florida. Aboard his own Disaronno, Kirby rode to a double clear performance in a time of 43.288 seconds.

Returning to the ring with his second mount, the Kenwood Syndicate’s Kenwood, Geitner piloted to the finish timers in 43.398 seconds. The duo left all the jumps solidly in their cups and took home the prize for third place.

Tricia O’Connor, of Williston, Florida, ranked fourth for her four-fault jump-off ride aboard Michael Kirby’s KT Bolo. They reached the timers in 44.395 seconds. Fifth place was awarded to Mary Meghann Huitt, of Savannah, Georgia. Riding her own horse, The Stig, Huitt sent a rail tumbling at Jump 3, before racing to the finish in 45.079 seconds. Savannah Unger, of Morriston, Florida, finished the class in sixth position for her eight-fault jump-off round on her own Fabio TN. Seventh place was awarded to J. F. Gagne, of Columbus, South Carolina, who rode Tower Lux to an eight-fault second round. Nicki Mathen, of Austin, Texas, ranked eighth for her 12-fault jump-off ride with Molly Lacey’s Braveheart CH.

Ninth place was awarded to Heather Steinman, of Canton, Georgia, who was in the saddle of Livhaven Stables’ Corini. Rounding out the top 10 placings was Dana Noga, of Ocala, Florida, who was riding her own OBOS Pepperpot.

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Hunter News Week I of the Atlanta Summer Classic

Michael Leon Claims Top 3 Placings in Classic Hunter Derby

Michael Leon proved he was king of the hunter ring during Week I of the Atlanta Summer Classics, as he laid claim to the top 3 placings in the Classic Hunter Derby. Aboard Kelly Sims’ Eleventh Hour, the pair topped the field of 20 entries to secure the title.

Leon, of Marietta, Georgia, and Eleventh Hour earned themselves a classic round score of 88, followed by a handy round total of 90. The duo ended the competition with a overall score of 178 points — five points above the runner up.

“Eleventh Hour is a sweet horse who jumps his heart out every time I ride him,” Leon said. “To get scores of 88 and 90 — it’s exciting. You put in all the hard work at home, then to come here and have that work recognized by the judges, it’s so rewarding.”

Leon has been partnered with the eight-year-old horse since October 2017. While Leon said there isn’t much that fazes the horse, the handy round did pose some questions.

“There was a gate you had to open in the handy, which we had never done before,” Leon explained. “I thought it may be a challenge: How do we approach it? Will he (Eleventh Hour) be okay as I lean over to open it? But it didn’t bother him at all.”

Leon ranked second for his two rounds aboard Kelly Sims’ True Enough. Their first round score of 86 points, combined with a handy score of 87, earned them a grand total of 173 points.

Leon returned to the ring once again, this time to claim third prize in the irons of Kelly Sims’ Transparency. Together they earned a classic round score of 87, along with a handy round total of 85 points. The duo ended the competition with an overall score of 172 points.

“To be able to walk into a ring on three different horses and adjust to three different rides and get all three right — it’s so exciting and rewarding,” Leon said.

“It helps to have an owner like Kelly Sims, who offers so much support to me and to the sport,” he added. “When you have that support and those great horses, it makes my job easy.”

The Atlanta Summer Classic marks an anniversary for Leon, who relocated from California to Georgia at this time last year.

“This was the first horse show I attended after I moved,” Leon said. “And the care that Bob Bell takes to run these shows is impressive. It makes for a great presentation to have him there to recognize the class and the competitors.

“And they are managing the footing here well — it’s 1,000 times better,” he exclaimed. “The way horses canter across the ground, taking off and landing softly, it’s made a great difference.”

Caroline Willard, of Oak Ridge, North Carolina, ranked fourth for her two rounds aboard Tara Dow-Rein’s Pilot. The pair rode to a classic score of 85 and a handy round of 86 points, finishing the class with an overall tally of 171 points. Fifth place was awarded to Zionsville, Indiana’s Erin Clayton, who was riding Kaitlyn Smith’s Payard. Clayton guided Payard to a first round of 86.5 points and a handy round of 82.5, for a total score of 169.5.

Ranking sixth was Devney Hoft, who was aboard Jacinda Purrington’s Coretto. Hoft, of Rolesville, North Carolina, accrued an overall tally of 167 points. Jennifer Tate, of Bourne, Massachusetts, placed seventh for her two rounds with Barbara Kravetz’ Carsten S. Tate rode to a grand total of 157.5 points.

Eighth place was earned by Christina Fox, of Aiken, South Carolina, who was riding Southland Stables LLC’s End Game. The duo achieved an overall score of 157 points. Fox also took home the $500 Classic Hunter Derby High Non-Pro Bonus.

Ranking ninth was Carolyn Bell, of Alpharetta, Georgia. Aboard Eleese Shillingford’s Odyssey, Bell rode to a total score of 154 points. Tate was back in the ribbons, picking up tenth place for her two rounds aboard Barbara Kravetz’ Caspari. The duo rode to a grand total of 151 points.

Isabella Randall, of Cartersville, Georgia, ended the class with an eleventh ranking for her two rounds aboard Michael Leon’s Celano. The duo achieved a total of 147.5 points.

Rounding out the top 12 was Josie Evans, of Covington, Georgia, who was in the irons of her own QVF Colt Seavers. The pair rode to a tally of 146 points. Additionally, Evans left the ring $300 richer after achieving the Classic Hunter Derby High Non-Pro Bonus.

Jordan Cheneval, of Jasper, Georgia, rode Laurie Yamasaki’s Lennox to the $500 Classic Hunter Derby Low Non-Pro Bonus. The $300 Low Non-Pro Bonus was awarded to Grace Bridges, of Eatonton, Georgia, who was riding her own Serenade. Kristin Walty, of Birmingham, Alabama, took home the $200 Low Non-Pro Bonus for her performance with her own Ikahns.

No Question About It Wins $1,000 USHJA Zone 4 Child Adult Handy Hunter

The first week of equestrian sport has drawn to a close at the Atlanta Summer Classics, but not before Mia Bakotic put her handy hunter skills to the test in the $1,000 USHJA Zone 4 Child Adult Handy Hunter. Aboard her own No Question About It, Bakotic claimed top prize.

There were six entries in the class, which boasts no entrance fee for contenders. Bakotic made short work of the handy course, earning herself an overall score of 80 points.

Only one point off the winner was runner up Polly Johnson, of Alpharetta, Georgia. In the irons of her own Sweet William, Johnson weaved her way to a score of 79 and a second place finish. Ranking third was Madeline Jordan, of Tallahassee, Florida, who was riding her own Tribecca. The duo achieved a handy score of 77 points.

Fourth place was awarded to Camryn Halley of Oviedo, Florida, who was aboard Laura Barrett-Gurtis’ I’ll Say JSF. The duo achieved a tally of 68 points. Ranking fifth was Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina’s Susan Davidson who rode her own Calliope to a score of 66 points.

Bringing home the sixth place prize was Marietta, Georgia’s Sophie Feis, who was aboard Gina Gasko’s Cordino. The pair accrued a handy score of 55 points.

With no entry fee, the $1,000 USHJA Zone 4 Child Adult Handy Hunter is a great opportunity to get in the ring and gain valuable mileage putting those handy hunter skills to the test.

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Jumper News from Week I of the Atlanta Summer Classics

Chase Boggio Victorious in the Jumpers

Week I of the Atlanta Summer Classic drew to a close the same way it kicked off: with Chasen Boggio in the winner’s circle. This time, he topped the field in Saturday’s $25,000 Outback Steakhouse Grand Prix aboard Victoria Press’ Quesada D’Elle.

This win comes on the heels of the pair’s victory in Wednesday’s $7,500 Welcome Classic.

“Winning the Wednesday class definitely gives you that boost of confidence heading into the weekend,” Boggio said.

Boggio, of Canton, Georgia, outgunned the other contenders to claim top prize in the grand prix, held in the Olympic Ring at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia. Only two contenders returned to the arena to battle it out over the jump-off course.

“The track was more technical than I initially thought when I walked the course,” he commented, adding that he’s very familiar with that arena. “I thought we may see a few more clears in the first round. But the course rode like one related distance, so if something happened, it was hard to get yourself re-organized and back on track.”

First up to tackle the shortened course was Boggio, aboard the Selle-Francais mare. Weaving their way around the track, the duo set the winner’s pace at clear and quick 31.682 seconds.

“Quesada is very fast, very careful, with a huge stride and I knew I could ride her aggressively,” he remarked. “But I knew Michael (Kirby) would ride aggressively too. I tried to be quick and clear, taking the direct lines. In the last line, I left a stride out, doing nine instead of 10, and I think that may have been the difference.”

Boggio is no stranger to the Conyers venue, or to Classic Company horse shows. He said he’s grateful for all the work that’s been done to refresh the footing at the Conyers facility, adding that it’s those kinds of management efforts that make attending Classic Company horse shows worthwhile.

“I don’t ride full time, so we’re very selective about where we go to show,” he said. “We plan the majority of our year around Bob (Bell)’s shows.”

Michael Kirby, of Williston, Florida, returned to the ring in an attempt to catch the pace to beat. In the irons of Fairly Stable LLC’s Play Boy, Kirby navigated his way to a clean jump-off round in a time of 32.179 seconds — less than a second behind the winners. The duo ended the competition in second place.

Boggio ranked third for his clear first round with his own Co-Pilot. The pair did not attempt the jump-off round.

Heather Hooker, of Wellington, Florida, placed fourth for her ride in the saddle of Meredith Darst LLC’s Quester de Virton. The pair finished well within the time allowed of 83 seconds, but a rail tumbling early in the first round cost them four faults. Ranking fifth was Williston, Florida’s Tricia O’Connor, who garnered a four-fault performance with Michael Kirby’s KT Bolo. And Kirby found himself back in the ribbons, claiming sixth for his four-fault ride with his own Disaronno.

Seventh place was awarded to Merideth Bryans, of Newborn, Georgia, who was riding her own Guidam Sid, while Ocala, Florida’s Dana Noga ranked eighth aboard her own OBOS Pepperpot. Nicki Mathen, of Austin, Texas, rode to ninth position aboard CopperHillSportHorseSales.com’s Felix BC. Rounding out the Top-10 placings was O’Connor, back in the ring aboard her own Coolman 78.

Chase Boggio and Quesada D’Elle Win the Welcome

Chasen Boggio wasted no time making his way to the winner’s circle Week I of the Atlanta Summer Classic. Aboard Quesada D’Elle, owned by Victoria Press, Boggio topped the contenders in Wednesday’s $7,500 Welcome Classic.

Eleven horse and rider contenders tackled the first round of the opening jumper class, which was set in the Olympic Ring at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia. Boggio, who went later in the order of go, made short work of the track, finishing within the time allowed of 78 seconds. He was one of eight competitors to return to the ring for the jump-off round.

Boggio and Quesada D’Elle set the pace to beat, finishing the class with a double clear performance, a jump-off time of 36.431 seconds and the lion’s share of the prize money.

“Quesada is a relatively new ride for me and it’s been wonderful to have her,” Boggio said. “She’s completely different from my other horse, Co-Pilot, so it’s been a great lesson in adaptability.”

“I’ve been riding her since November and have been trying a few different things with her,” he added. “We were having a lot of four-fault, eight-fault rounds, but I knew we were close to breaking through. We just seemed to click this week — I’m really proud of our wins.”

Ranking second was Wellington, Florida’s Heather Hooker, who was riding Meredith Darst LLC’s Quester de Virton. The pair also accrued a double clear showing, but reached the timers in a relatively conservative 37.399 seconds — good enough for the red ribbon.

Third place was awarded to Williston, Florida’s Michael Kirby. First to tackle the jump-off round, Kirby racked up two clear round in the irons of Fairly Stable LLC’s Play Boy, galloping to the finish in 37.785 seconds. Boggio returned to the ring to pick up the fourth place prize for his double clear performance with his own Co-Pilot. The pair finished in 40.198 seconds.

Tricia O’Connor, of Williston, Florida, posted the fastest of the four-fault jump off rounds. With Michael Kirby’s KT Bolo, O’Connor rode to the timers in 39.072 seconds, placing fifth. Ranking sixth was Austin, Texas’ Nicki Mathen, who guided CopperhillSportHorseSales.com’s Felix BC to a four-fault jump-off round in 39.957 seconds.

Seventh place was awarded to O’Connor, this time riding her own Coolman 78. The pair reached the timers in 42.681 seconds, sending two rails tumbling on course for a total of eight faults. Rounding out the Top-8 was Newborn, Georgia’s Merideth Bryans, who achieved an eight-fault jump-off round in a time of 46.320 seconds with her own Guidam Sid.

Sevani and Caroline Monaghan Winners in $5,000 Dash for Cash

The first week of completion drew to a close this weekend, but not before Caroline Monaghan could race her way to the victor’s colors — and a cool $1,500 — in Friday’s $5,000 Dash for Cash 1.15 m.

Twelve contenders showed up the Olympic Ring at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia to gallop their way to the top prize in this special no entry fee competition.

Monaghan, of Birmingham, Alabama, was aboard her own Sevani. The duo raced across the single round, consisting of 15 numbered obstacles. In the end, they left all the jumps standing squarely in their cups, reaching the timers in a blistering 76.439 seconds — six seconds faster than the runner up.

Ranking second was Jordan Carlson, of Alpharetta, Georgia. In the irons of Kelly Sims’ Charisma, Carlson galloped his way to the timers, posting a clear ride in the relatively pokey time of 82.636 seconds.

Third place was awarded to Atlanta, Georgia’s Pierce Jenkins, who was riding his own S-Acorada Donaldson. A rail fell mid-way through the course, landing the pair a time of 86.834 seconds. Ranking fourth was Olivia Epple, of Woodstock, Georgia, who ended the class with a time of 88.491 second aboard Livhaven Stables’ Hot Spot. Fifth place was earned by Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s Julia Titus, who was riding her own Broxhill. The duo galloped to the finish in 92.873 seconds.

Cara Magliocco, of Austin, Texas, placed sixth for her 93.030 second round with her own Chuckomo, while seventh place was awarded to Warrenville, South Carolina’s Dorian Eubanks, who finished in 93.514 seconds aboard Ashley Pace’s High Offley Estella IV.

Rounding out the Top 8 placings was Celia Cram, of Aiken, South Carolina, in the irons of her own Auspicious. The duo reached the timers in 99.820 seconds.

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Charleston Summer Classics Designated a USEF Heritage Competition

The Classic Company is thrilled to announce that the USEF Board of Directors voted unanimously to award Heritage Competition status to Charleston Summer Classic I & II. Heritage designations are reserved for those competitions within the sport of Equestrian that have been established for a long period of time and have made a substantial contribution toward the development and promotion of the sport of equestrian, both within the sport and as well as within the broader community, by achieving, maintaining and promoting the equestrian ideals of sportsmanship and competition.

The Charleston Summer Classic started in July 1992 at the Seabrook Equestrian Center on Seabrook Island, South Carolina. The show was very successful for seven years then the land that surrounded the event was sold for development and the show was forced to move. The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC welcomed the event and it was held on the Estate behind the Biltmore house in a converted cornfield for seven more years. While this worked very well, Bob Bell, Classic Company President, knew the show needed to return to Charleston one day. Mullet Hall, a former plantation owned by Charleston County Parks and Recreation, was chosen to be the site for an equestrian center. Permits, public meetings, funding and construction took six years and a lot of community support, during which time the show remained at The Biltmore Estate. The show then moved to the Georgia International Horse Park for one year. The Charleston Summer Classic finally returned to the lowcountry to Mullet Hall the following year. The show’s sterling silver perpetual trophies document the show’s 26 year history recalling the dates and the names of the horses and riders that have shaped the equestrian sport.

“We are so pleased that the Charleston Summer Classic has been designated a USEF Heritage Competition,” commented Bell. “Our flagship show has been a part of the equestrian sport’s history. It took a village to make this happen! The community support has been phenomenal and the Charleston Summer Classic is a perfect example of how the community and a horse show community can come together as one. We wholeheartedly thank the USEF for granting the Charleston Summer Classics this prestigious USEF Heritage Competition designation,” he added.

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Jacksonville Equestrian Center Wraps Up Another Successful Spring Classic Series

Derek Peterson and Diamant’s Legacy. (Allison Hartwell Photography)

Jacksonville, FL (April 24, 2018) – For the third year in a row, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center wowed riders and spectators alike during the Jacksonville Spring Classic, held April 4 through April 15, 2018.

The facility, which boasts an impressive set-up including a larger-than-life indoor stadium, several outdoor rings and a derby field, attracted 500 hunter and jumper pairs from as far as Dallas, Texas.

The highly anticipated two-week series featured a myriad of hunter and jumper classes, with favorites including the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby sponsored by Glen Kernan Gold and Country Club, and the $35,000 Regional Grand Prix sponsored by Sidelines. Prize money totaled more than $260,000, adding to the allure of the springtime show.

The show also offered Opportunity Classes for those riders who are not USEF members and wanted to compete at a USEF-rated competition – cementing the series’ ideal environment for all types of riders, including junior, amateur and professional competitors ranging from unknown, local amateurs to household names, like Kelley Farmer.

Farmer, known by the hunter community as a derby queen, captured the coveted the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby aboard her new partner, David Glefke’s Verdict. The impressive pair blew the competition out of the water with 20 points above the runner-up in a field of 23.

This year, many competitors were return customers, after enjoying the simultaneous comfort and excitement of previous years’ events. Derek Petersen, of Archer, Florida, for example, commented about how thrilled he was to return to the show. After taking second in last year’s grand prix, much to his pleasure, this year he took the blue in the $35,000 grand prix.

Equally happy to participate in the show, first-time Jacksonville Equestrian Center rider and winner of the $7,500 Welcome Jumper, Amanda ‘Happy’ Comly, also expressed her enjoyment.

“It’s so nice to be here with the Classic Company,” she said. “It’s a lot more personal than other shows I’ve been to — it feels like the organizers care about what I think and how I’m doing. I’m grateful to be a part of this community.”

Of course, the show is just as thrilling for spectators as it is for riders. Conveniently located near lodging and attractions, like the Jacksonville Zoo and the Riverside historic district, spectators, who enjoy free admission and parking to the series can, find lots of entertainment.

To learn more about this year’s Jacksonville Spring Classic series, go to www.classiccompany.com. For more information about the Jacksonville Equestrian Center and the myriad of equestrian events that call it home, visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Tim Jones
904-255-4215
tjones@coj.net
13611 Normandy Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32221

Jason Berry and Quantos Dominate Jumpers Week II of the Atlanta Spring Classics

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.

ClassicCompany.com
GulfCoastClassicCompany.com
Phone/Fax: (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311, Johns Island, SC 29457

Jagger Topping and Union Jack Tops in Classic Hunter Derby

Jagger Topping and Union Jack closed Week II of the Atlanta Spring Classics on a high note as victors in the Classic Hunter Derby.

Topping, of Sagaponack, New York, tackled the two-round derby aboard Alice Keller’s Union Jack. The pair finished the classic round with a score of 79 points, before weaving their way to the handy round’s top score of 84 points. The duo ended the class with a total score of 163.

“Alice, Union Jack’s owner, kindly offered to let me show the horse this week,” Topping remarked. “It was quite a treat for me. My wife and I teach the kids, and I go to shows often, but it’s nice to be a part of the game. It’s nice for the kids to watch me ride and see me struggle and work, because they have to struggle and work too.”

Topping said the rounds built for the derby suited Union Jack’s manner of going; he described the Dutch warm blood as quirky, but honest and a great friend to have in the ring. “Both rounds rode nicely — there were great options and the courses were twisty-turny,” he commented. “Union Jack is very good at the trot fence; he’s very good at landing on that correct lead. The single jumps on a diagonal asked some questions, but the horse held his leads beautifully.”

The Atlanta Spring Classic acts as a kick-off for spring horse shows for Topping, whose wife Amanda and daughter Phoebe were also contenders in this specific event.

“This is one of our favorite horse shows,” said Topping. “We’ve been here many, many years. This is the start of spring horse showing for us, plus we look forward to coming here and getting away from the northeast for a few weeks of outdoor riding.”

Gianna Cobb, of Marietta, Georgia, ranked second for her two-round performance astride her own Allure. The pair clinched the highest classic score of 85, but their score of 76 in the handy round kept them two points behind the winners. Cobb finished the event with an overall score of 161.

Cobb was also the recipient of the $250 1st place 3’3″ bonus for the Classic Derby.

The third-place ribbon was awarded to William Lyles for his performance with his own Jungle Book. Lyles, of Nashville, Tennessee, piloted Jungle Book to a classic round score of 82 points, before tackling the handy round. A handy score of 78 accrued the duo a total derby score of 160.

Amanda Topping, of Sagaponack, New York, ranked fourth. In the saddle of Yvette Rechler-Newman’s Celebration, Topping navigated the two rounds to a total overall score of 156 points. Covington, Georgia’s Cindy Ball placed fifth for her performance with Pansy Winters’ Wheels of Fortune. Ball rode the 13-year-old Hanoverian to a two-round score of 141 points. Ball also left the ring with the 1st place 3′ $250 Bonus for the Classic Derby.

Sagaponack, New York’s Phoebe Topping ranked sixth for her ride in the irons of Tracey Topping’s Perfektionist. The duo achieved an overall total of 122 points. Phoebe also received a $150 Bonus for the Classic Derby 3’3”.

Madison Winebrenner of Lexington, Kentucky ended the event in seventh place with her own App For That. Additionally, Winebrenner was awarded a $150 Bonus for the Classic Derby 3’0”.

Matthew Piccolo and Leland Win Sidelines Green Hunter Championship

The Sidelines Green Hunter 3’0”/3’3” ended its Atlanta circuit with Matthew Piccolo being awarded the championship title for Week II of the Atlanta Spring Classic.

Piccolo, of Thompson Station, Tennessee, was in the irons of Leland, a nine-year-old prospect owned by the L & N Group, LLC. Piccolo piloted Leland to an overall division score of 33 points.

“I’m proud of him — he had a great two days,” said Piccolo of Leland. “He’s a fun horse with a great canter; he’s very straightforward. We’re very excited about his future.

“I have a bunch of customers who buy young hunters and these green hunter divisions are a great opportunity for me to progress the horses and prepare them for my clients to ride.”

Piccolo said he’s been bringing Leland along for just under a year. He said the venue and show management for the Atlanta Spring Classic makes it a regular stop on his yearly competition schedule.

“We love to come to Conyers and usually make it here a few times a year. The courses have been great this week and the weather has been even better. It’s always better when the sun comes out and the rain stays away… And the Classic Company always puts on a great horse show, whether that’s here in Conyers, or Gulfport.”

Milton, Georgia’s Kelli Gibson took home the reserve championship for her performances across the division with Kellington LLC’s Tycoon. The duo achieved an overall division score of 30 points.

These coveted points are helping to boost Piccolo and Gibson on their way up the qualifying charts for the $30,000 Green Hunter Classic, set to run during the Atlanta Fall Classics.

ClassicCompany.com
GulfCoastClassicCompany.com
Phone/Fax: (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311, Johns Island, SC 29457

Business Is Booming for Jason Berry Week I of the Atlanta Spring Classics

Jason Berry of Verona, Virginia was on fire Week I of the Atlanta Spring Classics. He ended the week with a win in the $15,000 Grand Prix, presented by EMO.

Thirteen horse and rider teams tackled the course designed by Allen Rheinheimer of Zionsville, Indiana in the Olympic Arena at the Georgia International Horse Park.

The first round was set with a time allowed of 81 seconds and 43 seconds for the second round. Seven advanced to a second round opportunity.

Chasen Boggio of Canton, Georgia and his own Co Pilot were the first horse and rider team to turn in double clear rounds in times of 71.642 seconds and 32.241 seconds, setting the new time to beat.

Heather Hook of Wellington, Florida and Meredith Darst’s Quester de Virton followed with the next set of double clear rounds, but their time of 33.934 wouldn’t beat Boggio and Co Pilot.

Berry and Andrew Kocher’s Duvelke followed with the next set of double clears and their time of 30.362 seconds would temporarily take the lead. Duvelke and Berry have been partners for only a couple of weeks according to Berry.

Aida Sanchez Long of Chattanooga, Tennessee and Darragh Kerin’s Rossco followed with the next set of clear rounds but their time of 32.210 seconds couldn’t beat Berry and Duvelke’s time.

Boggio and Victoria Press’ Quesada D’elle followed with the next clear rounds and with a clear second round in a time of 29.567 seconds, temporarily took the lead.

“He [Rheinheimer] had set a vertical to six strides to a triple bar then five strides to an in and out and some folks had problems with that. He definitely didn’t hand us that line,” said Berry.

Berry followed with Fazous and challenged that time with their own double clear rounds and with a time of 29.055 seconds, took the lead and set the new time to beat. “I just had to go faster. I had the lead then Chase [Boggio] took it back so I just went a little faster with Fazous,” he said.

Jorge Ludwig of Newbury Park, California and his own Cricket sat in the enviable last to go position. Although the pair advanced to a second round, four jump faults in a time of 29.701 seconds would see them finish in seventh place and leave the win to Berry and Fazous.

Second place honors went to Boggio and Quesada D’Elle and Berry picked up a third with Andrew Kocher’s Duvelke.

Sanchez Long and Rossco earned a fourth place and Boggio returned for a fifth place ribbon with Co Pilot. Hooker and Quester De Virton rode home with a sixth place. Ludwig and Cricket earned a seventh place and Ludwig also picked up the eighth place ribbon in the irons of his own The Graduate.  Heather Steinman of Canton, Georgia and Maarten Huygens’ Justin earned ninth place honors for their four fault first round in a time of 69.406 seconds and tenth was awarded to Jorja Rose Jones of Byhalia, Mississippi and Diane Masters’ Light Show for their four fault first round in a time of 70.880 seconds. Eleventh was awarded to Charlotte De Smedt and her own Chido and Berry wrapped up the class with a twelfth place ribbon in the irons of Lee Cesery’s Quantos.

Berry Takes Top Three Ribbons in the $7,500 Welcome

Berry kicked off his winning week when he snatched up the top three placings of the Welcome Jumper Classic during Week I of the Atlanta Spring Classics. There were eight entries in the competition, with five pairs returning to the ring for the jump-off.

Berry, of Verona, Virginia, claimed the championship with Lee Cesery’s Quantos. Together they bested the other contenders, flawlessly completing the first round well within the time allowed of 81 seconds. Their jump off round was equally as seamless, with the duo finishing the shortened course in a clean and quick 36.857 seconds — one of two double clear efforts in the event.

The other double clear performance was also care of Berry, this time in the irons of Oak Ledge Farm’s Fazous. The pair left all the jumps up, but finished in 37.672 seconds — just a fraction of a second behind the winners.

Berry rounded off the top three placings for his ride aboard Andrew Kocher’s Duvelke. A clean first round gave the pair a shot at the jump-off, but a fallen rail at the last fence and a time of 37.268 seconds landed them the yellow ribbon.

Jorge Ludwig, riding his own Athenea, finished the class in fourth place. Ludwig, of Newbury Park, California, guided Athenea to an eight-fault jump off round, reaching the finish line in a speedy 34.824 seconds. The fifth place ribbon was awarded to Canton, Georgia’s Heather Steinman, who was completing with Maarten Huygens’ Justin. The pairing completed the second round in 42.159 seconds, accruing 12 faults.

Ludwig was back in the ring to pick up sixth prize for his ride with his own Cricket. Seventh place was awarded to Aida Sanchez Long, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, who was in the saddle of Darragh Kerins’ Rossco. Ludwig rounded out the placings, ranking eighth with his own The Graduate.

Berry commented, “The horses went really well and the horse show was really good. The show management did a lot with the footing from schooling day throughout the week and it’s just getting better every day. Next week will be even better. Any shows that Classic Company manages, they just do better every time. There is always a major improvement, every year. Like the permanent restrooms in Gulfport were awesome this year. Some of the improvements are simple, but for other show managers, it’s like you have to pull teeth to get them to make any improvements,” he added. “Next week will be my Week 10 on the road, but I’ll be showing here in Conyers,” he said.

ClassicCompany.com
GulfCoastClassicCompany.com
Phone/Fax: (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311, Johns Island, SC 29457

Hunter News from Week I of the Atlanta Spring Classics

Christina Fox and End Game earn firsts in both the inaugural Classic Derby and 3′ rider bonus

With a name like End Game, you would expect a performance worthy of a mic drop.

And you would have seen impressive sport during Week I of the Atlanta Spring Classics, when Christina Fox made short work of the challenging courses laid in front of her during the Classic Derby. Fox was aboard the aptly named End Game.

Fox, of Aiken, South Carolina, piloted Southland Stables, LLC’s End Game for the challenging two-round class. The pair earned 75 points in the classic round, followed by 83 points in the handy round for an overall score of 158 points.

With a total score of 156 points, Marietta, Georgia’s Grace Ann Nolan was narrowly edged into second place. In the saddle of Donald Stewart’s Agiato, 16-year-old Nolan rode her way to the top classic round score of 80 points and a handy score of 76.

Lee Cesery, of St. Augustine, Florida, ranked third for her score of 151 aboard her own Candidate. Fourth place was awarded to Madison, Georgia’s Katie Kittrell, who piloted Autumn View Farm’s Golden Sun to a total score of 108 points.

Victory Tastes Sweet for Toblerone and Carolyn Bell in the Sidelines Green Hunter Division

The Sidelines Green Hunter division kicked off Week I of the 2018 Atlanta Spring Classics in Conyers, Georgia. And it started with the championship colors for Alpharetta, Georgia’s Carolyn Bell.

In the irons of Debra Rattary’s Toblerone, Bell secured the division title in the Sidelines Green 3’/3’3” Hunter. The duo chalked up a grand total of 36 points.

Kat Mulkey, of Madison, Georgia, was awarded the reserve championship for her performances with Grace Bridge’s Serenade. The pair accrued a total of 28 points.

“I am so pleased with Toblerone,” said Bell. “He is a kind, honest, quiet horse, but he’s also athletic and scopey. This was his third time in the green division, and his second time being champion.”

Toblerone was purchased three years ago by Rattary, with the intention of enjoying the horse at home at the barn, Bell remarked. Toblerone made his show debut this year when a student of Bell’s began leasing him, she said. The nine-year-old hunter prospect has been racking up ribbons ever since.

“I wasn’t surprised at all,” said Bell. “I expected the best from him. When we were in Germany looking at him, we were impressed with his brain — he’s calm, quiet and one of the smoothest horses I’ve ever ridden.”

Bell also ranked fourth overall with her own Ambiance. She said the Green Hunter division provides her up-and-coming hunters with a good solid foundation for a long and successful jumping career.

“The green division is a great place to learn the basics, such as balance and straightness,” she commented. “It provides a solid base, rather than moving up a division because a horse is athletic enough to jump bigger fences.”

With this win, Bell and Toblerone are well on their way up the qualifying charts for the $30,000 Green Hunter Classic, which is set to run at the Atlanta Fall Classics in Conyers, Georgia. There is still plenty of time to qualify for this finale event, held at the venue of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Points are still up for grabs during Week II of the Atlanta Spring Classics, as well as during the upcoming Jacksonville Spring Classic and the Charleston Summer Classic.

ClassicCompany.com
GulfCoastClassicCompany.com
Phone/Fax: (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311, Johns Island, SC 29457