Adam Sklansky of Skillman, New Jersey in the irons of Ellen Walker’s Hakini bested a field of seventeen horse and rider teams to win the $25,000 Harrah’s Grand Prix, which is the first grand prix the pair has won together.
Sklansky and Hakini were the only horse and rider team to turn in a fault-free first round in 71.091 seconds, well within the time allowed of 78 seconds which insured the win. “We were coming off a good showing in Ocala and she’s just been super,” he said.
The course was designed by Nancy Wallis and Paul Jewell from Windsor, New Jersey. About half the class had rails at obstacles six and seven. “Today’s course required the riders to adjust a lot between each test. I saw a lot of overrides out there, and while the time allowed was not the issue, it looked as if they were all riding for time,” Wallis commented.
“I personally didn’t walk the six to seven line today,” said Sklansky. “Hakini is really scopey and I trusted her. Six you had to fade left in order to jump the fence straight, but you needed to stay out a bit and not lock into a number. I faded out, got straight, and gave her a little ride up to it and then I think the last jump was getting people because they were just getting strung out. I wasn’t worried about beating someone’s time. You had to ride the last one like a careful vertical,” he added.
Happy Comly in the irons or Comly Sport Horses’ Clock-Wise CSH placed second with a four fault first round in a time of 70.600 seconds.
Colby Coltrain of Argyle, Texas finished in third overall with Gianna Aycock’s Conquer in a four fault first round in time of 72.258 seconds.
Quinn Larimer of Mableton, Georgia aboard Nestledown Equine Services, LLC’s Bronson CR placed fourth after posting a four fault first round in a time of 72.733 seconds.
Caitlin Burns of Denton, Texas rode her own Diablo Blue to a fifth-place ribbon with their four fault first round in a time of 72.850 seconds.
Larimer returned to the winner’s circle in the irons of Nestledown Equine, LLC’s Olympia Van Het Eikenhof to collect a sixth place for their four fault first round in a time of 73.195 seconds.
Comly returned for the seventh-place ribbon with October Hill Farm, Inc.’s Miraaz for their four fault first round in 73.579 seconds. Comly also placed eleventh with Comly Sport Horses’ Derby CSH.
Reid Rickett of North Port, Alabama placed eighth with Banderas De Borniva for their four-fault round in 73.661 seconds.
Stephanie Tropia of Magnolia, Texas and her own CR Twilight placed ninth with their four fault first round in 75.108 seconds and tenth with her own CR Dream Boy.
Celine Myers of Dallas, Texas wrapped up the class with a twelfth place finish aboard Will Bonnette’s Diamant.
Sklansky has been riding Hakini for two years. “We stepped her up to the Grand Prix level here last year, but this was our first grand prix we ever won. Having the No entry fee Grand Prix is really nice because it takes a lot of pressure off of us as riders. It’s a really nice thing to do,” he added.
Light Speed Equestrian’s Denison Park Combat and Brian Murphy of Berryville, Virginia had quite a Week III at the Gulf Coast Winter Classic and the exclamation point of the week was when they took home the win in the $25,000 Beau Rivage Lucky 777s Grand Prix!
Twenty-one horse and rider teams tackled the course designed by Jack Robson of Coronado, California on the world-class grass grand prix field and only six would return for the jump off round and the time allowed was set at 50 seconds.
“It was a great week for all of us from my barn,” commented Murphy. “We had four of the six horses to come back for the jump off round.”
When asked about the first round challenges, Murphy commented, “I thought it was a fair track because he [Robson] had too many clear in the Welcome so he had to make it a bit more difficult.
“The first round had the nicest line but you had to be careful. It was a five stride to the Fabbri jump but since it was only a 10’ rail, it was difficult and didn’t take much to bring it down,” said Murphy.
Murphy was the first to go in the jump off order in the irons of Light Speed Equestrian’s Hyperios HS. While their time of 39.880 seconds was well within the time allowed, a heartbreak rail at the last jump saw them with four faults. This was only the second Grand Prix for Murphy and Hyperios HS. Week II saw the pair second in the Week II $25,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix, presented by Fazzio’s Home and Farm Center. “Hyperios really loves this field. I bought him as a six-year-old from my student Will Coleman and he was really an event horse before I got him. He’s now nine and although he had a late start as a show jumper, he’s doing great. I overthought that last jump in the jump off round and it cost me a rail which was totally my fault,” said Murphy.
Elizabeth Schumann of Ocala, Florida and Light Speed Equestrian’s Princeton were next in the order of go, but four jump faults in a time of 40.225 seconds, had them in second behind Murphy and Hyperios HS. “I’ve been coaching Lizzie [Schumann] for three years,” said Murphy. “She is an event rider and did her first Grand Prix here last year,” he said. “Princeton is the highest caliber of an event horse, but Lizzie has turned him into a show jumper,” he said.
Bree Garey of Houston, Texas and her own Carvelo Z followed in the jump off round, but a disobedience at the third fence and four time faults saw them finish in sixth overall in a time of 53.122 seconds.
Murphy returned to the jump off round, this time in the irons of Denison Park Combat. The pair turned in a fault-free round in a time of 36.820 seconds, setting the new time to beat and taking the lead.
“My plan was to do seven strides to the oxer, which was a double combination, but I chickened out and did it in eight,” Murphy said. “Robson used the whole field for the jump off round and you needed to run for the last jump and not make too many decisions. This time I didn’t overthink it,” he added.
Julie Cleveland Beam of Argyle, Texas and Anastasia Stewart’s Lancelot followed Murphy in the jump off order. The pair turned in a fault-free jump off round, but their time of 37.779 would not catch Murphy and Denison Park Combat.
Another student of Murphy’s, Collin Reynolds of Oxford, Pennsylvania and Chicco W, were the next team to return for the jump off round. Their fault-free round in a time of 43.083 seconds would see them finish in third overall, leaving Murphy and Denison Park Combat as victors and Beam and Lancelot in second. Reynolds has been training with Murphy for three years and actually bought Chicco W from him.
Murphy went on to win the fourth place ribbon with Hyperios HS and Schumann and Princeton placed fifth.
Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama and Loretta Patterson’s CHS Krooze were the fastest four fault round and took seventh place with their time of 76.368 seconds.
Shannon Hicks of Lake St. Louis, Missouri and Helen Gilbert’s Emir D also earned four jump faults in their first round and their time of 77.315 seconds saw them finish in eighth overall. Hicks also picked up the tenth place ribbon with Helen Gilbert’s Clearwater 5 for their four fault first round in a time of 79.975 seconds.
Kaprio, owned by Highridge Farm, LLC and ridden by Danielle Grice of Mount Pleasant, Tennessee, also had four jump faults and their first round time of 78.160 seconds awarded them the ninth place ribbon.
Alexandra Ansteth of Spring, Texas earned both the eleventh and twelfth placings with August Pine Farm’s Mandras Van De Pannehoever and Zerro Leone, respectively.
“We’re taking a week off and then coming back again,” said Murphy. “I’m heading to Red Hills to coach event riders and then we’ll stop at our winter base in Ocala for a little bit,” he added. “We plan on coming back in a week.”
Week II at the Gulf Coast Winter Classic welcomed Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama and Loretta Patterson’s CHS Krooze back to the winner’s circle in the $25,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix, presented by Fazzio’s Farm and Home Center. Just one week earlier, Krooze and Shepherd won the $25,000 Domino’s Grand Prix.
Shepherd said, “We got Krooze just before Gulfport last year and since then have shown for a total of five weeks here between last year and this year. She’s won four of the five Grand Prix we’ve entered here so far.”
The first round was set with a time allowed of 84 seconds. Shepherd and Krooze were the eighth to go in the order and the first to turn in a clear round in a time of 79.988 seconds. It wasn’t until Brian Murphy of Berryville, Virginia and Light Speed Equestrian’s Hyperios HS, the last to go in the first round, posted a clear round in a time of 81.569 seconds and insured a jump off.
First to go, Shepherd and CHS Krooze turned in a fault free jump off round in a time of 36.595 seconds. Murphy and Hyperios HS followed but earned four jump faults and finished in second place overall.
Shepherd commented, “It was a hard course today and while there weren’t any big issues, you just had to be very careful out there. There was a great field of riders and horses, but only two went clear. It felt like the course won today,” she said.
“I had to make sure I was clear today, so I played it a little safe,” continued Shepherd. “In the jump off round, I thought Brian might have had me at the third jump, but when he took the rail there, that really decided the class,” she added.
“Krooze and I are still getting to know each other,” commented Shepherd. “We got her just before Gulfport kicked off last year, but when I hurt my shoulder last year, I had to take a break in order to heal and didn’t go anywhere for a couple of months. She’s really quite complex, but is all business when she gets in the ring.
“We are quite the same in temperament, but she’s a little spicier than me,” she laughed. “She really is a horse of a lifetime and I’m so thankful to Loretta Patterson for the opportunity to ride her,” she added.
“Loretta Patterson has been with me for 22 years and is my best friend, next to my parents and my son. Her love for the horses is above and beyond and I am so lucky to have that sort of owner,” she added.
Third place was awarded to Highridge Farm, LLC’s Kaprio, ridden by Danielle Grice of Mount Pleasant, Tennessee, for their first round which they finished in 84.159 seconds which earned one time fault.
Collin Reynolds of Oxford, Pennsylvania aboard his own Chicco W finished in fourth place with their first-round time of 84.763 seconds which earned them one time fault.
Even though junior rider Bree Garey of Houston, Texas and her own Carvelo Z had no jump faults in their first round, their time of 85.467 seconds earned them two time faults and a fifth place ribbon.
Junior rider Emma Scott of Conroe, Texas and her own Vidam De Courcel placed sixth overall for their four fault first round in a time of 77.616.
Seventh was awarded to Light Speed Equestrian LLC’s Princeton and Elizabeth Schumann of Ocala, Florida for their four fault first round in a time of 78.169 seconds. Schumann also picked up the eleventh-place ribbon with Edith Rameika’s Mimmo TZ for their four fault first round in a time of 83.822 seconds.
Shannon Hicks of Lake Saint Louis, Missouri earned both the eighth and ninth place ribbons in the irons of Helen Gilbert’s Clearwater 5, for their four fault first round in a time of 79.383, and Emir D, for their four fault first round in 79.503 seconds.
Murphy returned to the winner’s circle for both the tenth and twelfth placings, this time in the irons of Edith Rameika’s Semi-Automatic C, for their four fault first round in a time of 82.787 seconds, and Light Speed Equestrian LLC’s Denison Park Combat, for their eight fault first round in a time of 76.551 seconds.
The 2020 Gulf Coast Winter Classic Circuit wrapped up two weeks early with Week V.
“The Gulf Coast Winter Classic was fantastic and we, along with everyone else, are disappointed it had to end early. We stand with the USEF’s decision to cancel horse shows and put the safety of our competitors and horse show families as our top priority,” said Bob Bell, President of the Gulf Coast Classic Company. “Our No Entry Fee Grand Prix was a huge success and we appreciate everyone who showed with us here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. We hope to see everyone at the ring at our Aiken Summer Classic,” he said.
Congratulations to the Gulf Coast Winter Classic Champions!
Sportsmanship Award: Mary and Larry Antonini and Loretta Patterson
Baby Green Hunter Circuit Champion: Asterix, owned by Mary Collier Childress
Children’s Hunter 14 & Under Circuit Champion: High Regard, owned by Erica Van Dyken
Frank Owens and Capricello 2 [Photos: Alison Hartwell Photography]
Paul Jewell of Lambertville, New Jersey designed a tough course on Sunday for the $40,777 Beau Rivage 777 Grand Prix with a first round time allowed of 87 seconds. Only five would go clear and advance to the jump off phase.
First to go in the jump off order was Alexis Brown of Dallas, Texas and Alexandra Comly’s A & A Balthazar. The pair went clear in a time of 45.135, well within the 47 seconds time allowed and set the new time to beat.
Crowd favorite Matt Cyphert of Northlake, Texas and his own Lochinvar followed in the jump off order with their clear jump off round in a time of 40.850 seconds and snagged the lead from Brown. Frank Owens of Windcrest, Texas and DS Holdings, LLC’s Capricello 2 bested Cyphert’s time by fractions of a second with their own 40.496 seconds and took the lead.
Michael Tokaruk of Germantown, Tennessee and Richie Maloney’s Lord Hugo Warande Z tried to beat Owens’ round, but their clear jump off round in a time of 44.479 seconds wouldn’t oust Owens from his leading position.
Last to go Shannon Hicks of Lake St. Louis, Missouri and Helen Gilbert’s Emir D had eight jump faults and then retired from the round, leaving Owens and Capricello 2 as victors.
Final placings had Cyphert winning second place with Lochnivar and earning a tenth place with Hannah Donald’s Hector. Tokaruk and Lord Hugo Warande Z placed third and Bowen and Mullentine Imperial finished in fourth. Hicks placed fifth and eleventh with Emir D and Al Pachini, respectively, and Penny Brennan of Aiken, South Carolina finished sixth and ninth with Cerulean Farm’s HHS Louis and her own Sun Tzu, respectively. Owens returned for an eighth place ribbon in the irons of DS Holdings, LLC’s MTM Twenties Girl and Alexis Brown of Dallas. Texas wrapped up the class with a twelfth place riding Alexandra Comley’s A & A Balthazar.
$10,000 Horseflight Open Welcome Week V
The jumper action kicked off Week V with the $10,000 Horseflight Open Welcome on the beautiful grass grand prix field. Eight horse and rider teams turned in clear first round efforts out of a field of 18 and advanced to the second round.
Shannon Hicks and Helen Gilbert’s Emir D were the first to go clear in a first round time of 78.371. Their second round time in 38.774, within the time allowed of 45 seconds, had four faults and would see them finish in seventh place overall.
Holly Shepherd and Dejan Krunic’s Belle Clara DKS followed with a clear first round in a time of 77.662. Their second round had four faults at the first fence and their time of 38.079 had them finish in fifth place overall.
Matt Cyphert and DGS Farms, LLC’s Better Judgement were next up and turned in a clear first round in a time of 78.884 seconds. Their second round was the first to go clear in a time of 40.960 seconds and took the lead.
The lead was short lived when next to go Michael Tokaruk of Germantown, Tennessee and Richie Maloney’s Lord Hugo Warande Z followed with double clear rounds in times of 77.952 and 38.551 seconds, setting the new time to beat.
Five more would go before the next clear first round. Dominique Damico of Berwyn, Pennsylvania and her own Canoso turned in a clear first round in a time of 78.620. However, four jump faults in their second round in a time of 40.356 would see them finish in eighth place overall.
Shepherd returned to the grand prix field, this time in the irons of Loretta Patterson’s Sky High, posting double clear rounds in times of 82.754 and 39.274 seconds, which would find them with an overall fourth place finish.
Alexis Bowen of Dallas, Texas and Alexandra Comly’s A & A Balthazar followed Shepherd and Sky High. They turned in fast, double clear rounds in times of 83.420 and 39.274 seconds and temporarily took the lead.
Sitting in the enviable last to go position was Shannon Hicks of Lake St. Louis, Missouri and Helen Gilbert’s Al Pachini. Their fault free rounds in times of 79.335 and 36.720 seconds, respectively, bested Bowen’s time and had them ride away with the win.
Final placings had Bowen and A & A Balthazar in second place and Tokaruk in third with Lord Hugo Warande Z. Shepherd rode away with fourth and sixth places aboard Sky High and Belle Clara DKS, respectively, and fifth was awarded to Matt Cyphert and Better Judgement. Hicks picked up seventh and ninth placings with Emir D and C’Havinia and Damico earned eighth with Canoso. Sara Dees and her own Clearwater 5 placed tenth, Frank Owens and DS Holdings, LLC’s Capricello 2 earned eleventh, and Penny Brennan and Cerulean Stables’ HHS Louis earned twelfth place.
Arenus Jr/Amateur Owner Jumper Classics
Nineteen horse and rider teams competed in the $3,000 Arenus Jr/Amateur Owner Jumper 1.20 m Classic Week V and it was Gulfport’s own Abigail Bergin and her own Cumlaude who galloped away with the win in their double clear rounds of 66.085 and 45.777 seconds. Of the eleven who advanced to a second round opportunity, they were one of five horse and rider teams to successfully navigate over the second round with the fastest time.
Mikayla Foster of Dallas, Texas and her own Dare to Dream held the lead from the beginning of the Classic with their clear, second round time of 48.066 seconds until Bergin and Cumlaude bested their second round time. Foster and Dare to Dream came in second place with their 48.066 second, clear second round.
Half Time, owned and ridden by Grayson Bell of Franklinton, Louisiana, placed third with their clear second round in a time of 48.952 seconds. Christina Fisher of Alpharetta, Georgia and her own Zanzibar finished fourth and Heather Zuber of Zionsville, Indiana earned a fifth place finish with her own Firebird. Sixth went to Maria Roberts of Collierville, Tennessee and her own Qasqai while seventh was awarded to Apex Equestrian Center’s Ashville Rock, ridden by Foster. Catherine Zaunbrecher of Lafayette, Louisiana and her own Leonardo wrapped up the class with an eighth place finish.
Nine horse and rider teams competed in the $5,000 Arenus Jr/Amateur Owner 1.30 m Jumper Classic and it was Isabella Bleu Baxter and her own Jahil who took the blue. The pair was the second to go in the class and while they had four jump faults, their time of 50.789 seconds lead the pack. Sara Dees of Chathom, Alabama and her own Rico 5 also earned four jump faults in the second round, but their time of 51.421 had them finish in second. Third place was awarded to Sydney Swarr of New Orleans, Louisiana and High Hopes Farm’s Carl Loui TSP for their twelve fault second round in a time of 48.412 seconds. Fourth place went to Carson Ruff of Jackson, Missouri and Ron Daugherty’s Toulouse for their four fault first round in a time of 72.641 seconds. Ashley Shaw of Ellisville, Missouri and her own Capua placed fifth for their four fault first round in a time of 74.187 seconds. Sixth was awarded to Cassie Kime of Collierville, Tennessee and her own Tenacious D for their four fault first round in a time of 74.497 seconds. Lila Sessums of Clinton, Mississippi and her own Jet placed seventh and Charles Casey of Homewood, Alabama and his own CC Kolaborant wrapped up the class with eighth place.
The Jumper Groom’s Class sponsored by Oakwell Farms and Whitney and Frank Owens took place Sunday before the $40,777 Beau Rivage Grand Prix and awarded Dominique Damico’s groom, Ivan Montes, the big money. The Groom’s Award is an annual event at the Gulf Coast Winter Classic and recognizes the show’s unsung heroes, the grooms. “We are proud to recognize the hard workers behind the scene who are often charged with the responsibility of the care of our horses,” said Bob Bell, Gulf Coast Classic Company President.
Matt Cyphert and Lochinvar [Photo Credit: Alison Hartwell Photography]
Matt Cyphert of North Lake, Texas arrived at the Gulf Coast Winter Classic Circuit Week II and kicked it off with a trifecta win in Friday’s $8,000 Horseflight Open Welcome and brought home the first, second and third place ribbons.
As the first to turn in double clear rounds on his own Lochinvar, with times of 70.036 seconds and 37.313 seconds, respectively, Cyphert set the new time to beat besting the 47 second round time allowed.
Only two other horse and rider teams advanced to the second round besides Cyphert and included last week’s $25,000 Domino’s Grand Prix winner Lincoln Case’s Canebrake, ridden by Whitney Boyce-Petrey of New Orleans, Louisiana, and Helen Gilbert’s Al Pacini, ridden by Shannon Hicks of Lake St. Louis, Missouri.
Canebrake and Boyce-Petrey followed Cyphert and Lochinvar with double clear rounds, but their second round time of 44.150 finished them in fourth place overall.
Cyphert followed Boyce-Petrey and Canebrake with Hannah Donald’s Hector with the next set of double clear rounds. Their second round time of 43.054 seconds rewarded them with a third place finish.
Hicks and Al Pacini were the next horse and rider team to turn in a clear first round and although their second round time was the fastest in 35.973 seconds, four jump faults had them finish in fifth place.
Cyphert and Suzanne Suttles’ Better Judgement sat in the last to go position. Going clean in their first round, the pair’s fault free second round time in 39.347 seconds would have them finish in second place overall.
Hicks returned for both sixth and seventh place ribbons in the irons of Helen Gilbert’s Emir D and C’Havinia after turning in four fault first rounds in times of 70.113 seconds and 70.181 seconds, respectively.
Penny Brennan of Buhl, Alabama and her own Sun Tzu earned an eighth place ribbon after turning in a four fault first round in a time of 71.089 seconds.
Holly Shepherd and White Lightening [Photos: Alison Hartwell Photography]
The $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby kicked off the hunter action Week II at the Gulf Coast Winter Classic Circuit. Helen Gilbert’s White Lightening, ridden by Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama, galloped away with the blue ribbon after earning the highest Classic and Handy Round scores of 174 and 189.5, respectively, for a combined 363.5.
The second place ribbon was awarded to Fairfax, owned and ridden by Liz Hudspeth of Alpharetta, Georgia, after earning a Classic Round score of 160 and a Handy score of 187 for a combined 347.
Love Game, owned by EMC International and ridden by Evan Coluccio of Middleburg, Virginia, earned a third place ribbon with their first round score of 162 and Handy Round score of 174 for a total of 336 combined points.
Coluccio returned for a fourth place ribbon in the irons of Larry Antonini’s Six Pack after earning a Classic Round score of 159 and a Handy score of 155 for a total of 314.
Estander, owned and ridden by Leah Toscano of Chesterfield, New Jersey, placed fifth after earning 150 points in their Classic Round and a score of 154 for a total of 304.
In the Black B, owned and ridden by Liana Brown of Carmel, Indiana, took home the sixth place ribbon after earning a first round score of 140 and a Handy round score of 163 for a combined 303. Seventh was awarded to Allure, owned and ridden by Gianna Cobb of Marietta, Georgia, for their combined score of 302. Nemesis, owned by Daniel Damen and ridden by Dominique Damica of Berwyn, Pennsylvania, was awarded eighth place. Coluccio returned to the arena for both the ninth and tenth place ribbons with Ellen Addison’s El Tindo and Mary Antonini’s Rocking the Boat. Autograph, owned and ridden by Tim Sweat of Milton, Georgia, placed eleventh.
The $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby followed the International Hunter Derby and Jason Berry of Verona, Virginia and Kirsten Martin’s Cammarata took the win, besting sixteen horse and rider teams. Enticement, owned by Rebekah Warren and ridden by Julie Curtin of Woodstock, Georgia, was awarded a second place while Kaitlyn Williams of Wayne, Pennsylvania and her own Balouette placed third. Berry returned with EMO Stables’ Capiche to pick up the fourth place ribbon and Katie Thomas’ Yahtzee, ridden by Kelley Buringa of Northlake, Texas, earned fifth place. Liana Brown of Carmel, Indiana rode her own Marengo to a sixth place finish. Curtin returned to the winner’s circle to pick up the seventh place ribbon this time in the irons of Wesley Wilson’s Whitny and Robin Hood, owned by Jacob Brupbacher and ridden by Mary Antonini of New Orleans, Louisiana, placed eighth. HC Sport Horses’ HC San Patrignano, ridden by Lucy Heaton of Clarksdale, Mississippi, placed ninth and Katrina Seitz’ Notre Montrachet, ridden by Amy Tilson Ochoa of Zionsville, Indiana, finished in tenth place. Lily Gumenick of Richmond, Virginia rode her own Summit to an eleventh place finish and Hil Cat Farm’s Casting Call, ridden by Catherine Castle of Folsom, Louisiana, finished in twelfth place.
The hunter grooms were recognized Friday thanks to Sheila and Shirley Murphy. Tito Aguilar won the class and the cash award. Second place went to Missie Morrissey and third place was awarded to Josette Ward. “The grooms are often the unsung heroes of the horse show world and this class is a great opportunity to thank them for their commitment to the well-being of our horses,” said Bob Bell, President of the Gulf Coast Classic Company.
The $2,000 Sidelines 3′ and 3’3″ Green Hunter took place and for an entry fee of $5, Jason Berry and Kirsten Martin’s Cammarata won the 3’3″ Green Hunter Championship and Julie Curtin and her own Honey Badger won the 3′ Sidelines Green Hunter Championship. Twenty-three horse and rider teams competed in Week II’s $2,000 Sidelines Green Hunter Division and it continues to be successful, largely in part of Sidelines Magazine’s sponsorship of the Green Hunter Division offered for only a $5 entry fee. “Sidelines is happy to sponsor this division which is so important to the development of our Hunter horses,” commented Bradley Spragg, Publisher of Sidelines Magazine.
Catherine Zaunbrecher and Leonardo [Photo Credit Alison Hartwell Photography]
Week I of the Gulf Coast Winter Classic offered beautiful weather and exciting competition for the horses and riders in Gulfport, Mississippi.
The Arenus Jr/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic awarded Catherine Zaunbrecher of Lafayette, Louisiana and her own Leonardo the win and blue ribbon.
Heather Zuber of Zionsville, Indiana earned a second place ribbon aboard her own Phoenix and Kelsey Gore of Prairieville, Louisiana rode her own Goldfinger to the third place ribbon. Jet, owned and ridden by Lila Sessums of Clinton, Mississippi, rode to a fourth place finish and Kaitlyn Williams of Wayne, Pennsylvania rode Ramble On Farm’s Shaq to a fifth place ribbon. Zuber returned for a sixth place in the irons of her own Firebird and seventh was awarded to Atkins Ward of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and her own Manhattan.
Arenus is the sponsor of all Classic and Gulf Coast Classic Company Jr./Amateur Owner Jumper Classics in 2017.
The $1,500 Children’s Adult 1.10 Jumper Classic also took place Sunday and Carson Ruff of Jackson, Missouri rode Ron Daugherty’s Toulouse to the win, besting a field of thirteen horse and rider teams. Second place went to Bailey Doloff of Sykesville, Maryland in the irons of Sharon Hyland’s Liz Taylor. Megan Cato of Covington, Louisiana and her own Code Red placed third and Lila Sessums of Clinton, Mississippi and her own Little Elvis placed fourth. Doloff returned to pick up the fifth place ribbon in the irons of Darren Chiacchia’s Habenero, DMC and a sixth place ribbon with Lee Ann Martin’s Lyons Creek. For complete results, please visit horseshowsonline.com.
Whitney Boyce-Petrey and Canebrake [Alison Hartwell Photography]
Whitney Boyce-Petrey of New Orleans, Louisiana and Lincoln Case’s Canebrake won the $25,000 Domino’s Grand Prix under sunny skies at the Gulf Coast Winter Classic. As their first Grand Prix win, the victory was especially sweet!
Course Designer Nancy Wallis of Lambertville, New Jersey set the first round time allowed at 79 seconds. “I think Nancy did a great job designing all week,” commented Boyce-Petrey. “She built all week and got everyone comfortable. Each class she designed would present us with a new challenge or question on the course leading up to the Grand Prix,” she added.
First to go Shannon Hicks and Helen Gilbert’s C’Havinia turned in a first round effort in a time of 73.434 seconds, but with four jump faults would finish in second place as the fastest four fault round.
Sara Dees of Chatom, Alabama in the irons of her own Clearwater 5 followed in a time of 75.961, but a heartbreak rail at the final fence had them finish in sixth place overall.
Penny Brennan and her own Sun Tzu, the victors in Friday’s $5,000 Horseflight Open Welcome, had a rail at the second fence and their time of 75.067 would find them finishing in fifth place overall.
Boyce-Petrey had her first ride in the grand prix field on WRB Show Stables, LLC’s Mira, but their time of 79.688 seconds with five rails and time faults would find them finishing in eleventh place overall.
Dominique Damico of Berwyn, Pennsylvania and her own Cauoso followed with an eight fault first round in a time of 75.759 seconds, awarding them an eighth place overall.
Evan Coluccio of Middleburg, Virginia and EMC International’s Fluttershy also earned eight jump faults, and their time of 79.993 seconds added one time fault for an overall ninth place finish.
Hicks returned to the field, this time in the irons of Helen Gilbert’s Al Pachini. Four faults in a time of 74.495 seconds earned them a fourth place ribbon.
Brennan and Mister Money, owned by Brennan and Michelle Guardino-Dettelbach, followed in the order, but eight jump faults in a time of 74.762 seconds awarded them a seventh place finish.
Boyce-Petrey was up next, this time with Canebrake and the pair turned in the only first round leaving all the rails up. Their time of 79.049 seconds earned them one time fault, but also the win.
“The course walked nice and didn’t scare you when you walked it,” said Boyce-Petrey, “but it rode a little different,” she said. “It was fun and rode well, but it was a bit tougher,” she added. Boyce-Petrey continued, “The Horseflight jump wasn’t near the in gate, but you had to ride toward the gate and then make a 90 degree turn to get to the Horseflight jump. With my first horse I rode, I overrode the one stride and then my horse spooked really hard at the Horseflight jump. For my second ride, I made sure my horse saw the Horseflight jump,” she said.
Dees returned with her own Rico S for her second ride, but twelve jump faults in a time of 73.089 seconds saw them finish in tenth place overall.
Hicks and Helen Gilbert’s Emir D sat in the enviable last to go position, but four jump faults in a time of 73.862 seconds would see them finish in third place overall.
“We just got him [Canebrake] in the beginning of the fall and this was his first Grand Prix of the season and his first win,” Boyce-Petrey exclaimed. “We got him from a friend of mine in Ohio who got him as a Low Junior Jumper. She did some smaller classes with him and thought he could be something special and that’s when we bought him,” she said.
Boyce-Petrey continued, “We started working for the Case family about a year ago and they are just the loveliest and most supportive people. Since then, our business has grown tremendously. And we have a great staff! Heather Hays, Andrew Michael and Cullen Latimer are just amazing,” she added.
“We really like showing in Gulfport every year,” said Boyce-Petrey. “We brought nineteen horses with us and we’ll be here next week too. It’s a great show; we live in New Orleans so it’s an easy hour drive from home so we can run back and forth when we need to and the people here are so nice!”
Penny Brennan and Sun Tzu [Photo Credit: Alison Hartwell Photography]
Penny Brennan of Buhl, Alabama and her own Sun Tzu kicked off the opening week of the Gulf Coast Winter Classic with a blue ribbon in the $5,000 Horseflight Open Welcome besting a field of fifteen horse and rider teams! “That was such a fun class!” exclaimed Brennan. “It was like a horse race! You had a bunch of double clears and they just kept getting faster and faster,” she said.
Shannon Hicks of Lake St. Louis, Missouri and Helen Gilbert’s C’Havinia were the first to go in the order and turned in a clear first round effort in a time of 71.808 seconds. Although their second round in a time of 33.234 seconds beat the time allowed of 40 seconds, their four jump faults would see them finish in seventh place overall.
Dennis Murphy, Jr. of Vandiver, Alabama and Lila Sessums’ Jet followed in the order with double clear rounds in times of 76.313 seconds and 37.938 seconds, setting the new time to beat.
Sydney Luzicka of Albuquerque, New Mexico and her own St. John 10:9 were the next to turn in double clear rounds in times of 68.312 seconds and 32.881 seconds, taking the lead.
Hicks returned to the Grand Prix field, this time in the irons of Helen Gilbert’s Emir D and turned in the next double clear round in times of 72.122 seconds and 33.127 seconds, respectively, and would finish the class in fourth place.
Whitney Boyce-Petrey of New Orleans, Louisiana and Lincoln Case’s Canebrake followed with the next clear round in a time of 77.106 seconds. However, their second round in a time of 50.062 seconds with fifteen faults would find them finishing in eighth place overall.
Dees returned to the field with the next clear first round in the irons of her own Clearwater S and posted double clear rounds in times of 69.987 seconds and 33.828 seconds, respectively, which would earn them a fifth place ribbon.
Brennan and Sun Tzu were the next to turn in double clear rounds. The pair is a force to reckon with each year at the Gulf Coast Winter Classics and it looks as if 2017 will be no exception. Brennan piloted Sun Tzu through the first round fault free in a time of 72.054 seconds. Their lightning fast, clear second round in a time of 29.950 seconds set the new time to beat and would take the lead.
“It was a really fast class!” said Brennan. “There was jump one and then two, then a roll back over the vertical and then another roll back. After the roll back there was a hedge around the gazebo and I swear I cut it so tight I went right through it! There were leaves all around me – that’s how hard I hit it!” she laughed.
“The Horseflight oxer was narrow and square, set on an angle and set up to have the front rail down,” commented Brennan. “It felt like you were jumping into the VIP tent which took the horse’s focus,” she added. “The way it was set, it was hard to slice it but Shannon sliced it and went through it,” she said. “The distance I saw was the angle and we took the tight distance which is not what I meant to do. But if I hadn’t, we wouldn’t have won the class and Sun Tzu is just that brilliant,” she added. “We did a flat out run to the last jump. I walked it in 10 and I think we did it in 8!” she said.
Hicks and Helen Gilbert’s Al Pachini challenged Brennan and Sun Tzu’s round, posting double clear trips in times of 71.383 seconds and 30.858 seconds, respectively, which would find them finishing in second place.
Sydney Luzicka and her own St. John: 10:9 finished with third place honors and Hicks returned for a fourth place ribbon with Emir D. Sara Dees and her own Clearwater S finished in fifth and Dennis Murphy, Jr. and Jet took sixth place. Hicks returned for seventh with C’Havinia and Whitney Boyce-Petrey and Lincoln Case’s Canebrake finished in eighth place.
Dees and Rico S placed ninth and Dominique Damico and her own Canoso earned a tenth place ribbon.
“My horses had a little time off and this was a first class for us for the season and I’m so happy how well we did!” commented Brennan. “And it was great winning one with my Dad here who flew in from Birmingham, England,” she added. Added her father, “It was worth every bit of the journey! Penny was absolutely brilliant!”