Samuel Parot and Costa Real Win Outback Steakhouse Gamblers Choice; Taylor Ann Adams Named Grand Puba Junior Champion; Wilhelm Genn and Happy Z Triumphant in $35,000 Outback Steakhouse Grand Prix
Conyers, GA — June 26, 2011 — The Atlanta Summer Classics wrapped up competition at the Georgia International Horse Park, awarding nearly $300,000 in prize money and raising thousands for local charities over the two week run. “We’ve had some of the best riders in our sport joining us; it’s been a remarkable series and I couldn’t be happier,” Bob Bell, President of Classic Company, said.
Starting off the finale week was a couple of highly anticipated clinics on Tuesday, beginning with a member of the $1 million dollar club, famed Grand Prix pro Wilhelm Genn, sharing his secrets of mastering water jumps. Sponsored by the United States Hunter Jumper Association, Genn used the covered arena to set a mini course of six jumps, two with water hazards and utilized approximately ten horses to demonstrate proper and improper approaches. Speaking over a wireless microphone to riders and trainers for nearly two hours, Genn answered questions and provided helpful tips to “boost a horse’s confidence” when confronting water obstacles. Following was a very informative Pony Model Clinic with one of the foremost experts in this area, Bibby Farmer from Ocala, FL. She carefully explained to the young exhibitors not only what judges look for, but how to get the best from their ponies. Covering all the essentials from the pony’s stance to where the exhibitors’ attentions need to be when a judge is walking about them. On Thursday evening it was the judges who found themselves in the proverbial hot seats for an open forum called Just Ask the Judges, sponsored by Practical Horseman magazine. Three of the most respected names in judging, Betty Oare, Scott Fitton, and Barry Lobel, fielded questions from exhibitors and provided insight on scoring in the Hunter/Jumper disciplines. The panel also shared several of what they referred to as Judges’ Pet Peeves, which included overly short releases, especially in the Equitation divisions. All the experts agreed a restrictive release interferes with the horse’s jumping style, but pointed out that that doesn’t imply they want to see the opposite extreme with the infamous overdone throwing of the arms release. Another peeve they described was the exaggerated tour taken upon entering the ring, stating that if a rider needs to show their mount the ring and/or the fences then the rider appears unprepared. Questions were asked on a wide range of subjects and guests left the forum armed with a lot of valuable information. “The clinics were a giant success and we [Classic Company] will be introducing more of these throughout out show schedule,” Bell commented.
Katy TX – April 8, 2011 – Today was a hot and sunny day for horses and riders competing at the Spring Gathering Charity Horse Show, held at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center. The main indoor hosted the $10,000 Spring Gathering Jumper Classic, which proved to be an exciting competition. Wilhelm Genn continued to be successful this week taking the win aboard Copyright 3 in a six-horse jump-off.
Richard Jeffrey of Bomemouth, England, designed today’s courses with the first round course including 14 jumping efforts and the short course including six jumping efforts. Six horse and rider combinations were able to navigate the first course in the 74 second time allowed fault free and advance to their jump off round. The short course presented tight turns and a fast pace set early on by Wilhelm Genn and Happy Z. They were the first to enter the arena and advanced to the jump-off after a fault free effort. Genn and Happy Z set the time to beat at 34.849 seconds, which earned them third place honors.
“With Happy I took the inside turns. Happy doesn’t like the heat and it is very humid today and I didn’t want to push her that hard. Sure I wanted to be competitive, but I left the door open. If this were the grand prix jump-off I would have gone faster,” noted Wilhelm. “This was a really good course and a really good jump-off, but it wasn’t a jump-off that was suitable for Happy and with the heat she was sweating a lot. I just figured I would go nice and give her a good round, so she is confident for Sunday and not take too much out of her. I wouldn’t change anything if I went back in with her.”
Katy, TX – April 5, 2011 – Sunny skies and cool temperatures welcomed exhibitors for the first day of competition at the Spring Gathering Charity Horse Show, held in Katy, TX at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center. Today’s highlight event in the Main Indoor Arena was the $10,000 1.35m Open Jumper Speed Stake where Wilhelm Glenn scored the top honors, placing first and second with his mounts Happy Z and Copyright 3, respectively. His son Theo followed in the third place position aboard Zenith Dancer, after winning the 1.40m Open Jumper class earlier in the day riding L’Etoile.
The course for today’s Speed Stake was designed by Richard Jeffery of Boumemouth, England, and featured 14 jumping efforts. The fences included multiple bending lines and options for inside turns, as well as an oxer-vertical double combination and a vertical-oxer double combination.
Chris Nelson led the way over today’s course aboard GPS Toronto. The pair successfully left all the rails in their cups and crossed the finish line in 68.578 seconds, which would eventually hold up for the fourth place honors.
Wilhelm Genn followed suit shortly after with his veteran grand prix mount, Happy Z. The duo quickly made their way to the top of the leaderboard with a clear round in a time of 67.607. Their incredible effort would hold the top position for the rest of the class and they would eventually take home the top prize.
GULFPORT, MS — Mar. 14, 2011 — “I want to thank the exhibitors, trainers, owners and my staff for the best winter shows we have ever had in Gulfport. Both Janet McCarroll [Co-Chair of the Winter Classics] and I are thrilled that our shows went so well and were so well attended. It’s always sad when all the horse trailers and campers start leaving after a circuit, but all good times must come to an end… until next year,” Bob Bell of The Classic Company said Sunday evening as crews began the task of packing up.
This was the most anticipated week; exhibitors were on pins and needles awaiting the announcements for this year’s Circuit Awards. Aiken, SC based Daniel Geitner was the first recipient, taking the Grand Champion title in both the High Performance Hunters with the Robin Hughes owned Living Color and the Green Conformation Grand Hunter with Allison Mills’ Stature. Via text Geitner said he was thrilled with the news and had enjoyed the weeks of competition in the Gulf greatly. Jordan Siegel of the Flower Mound, TX based Summer Hill Farm garnered two Circuit Awards, beginning with the 1st Year Green Working Hunters partnered with Cherry Stone for owner Fallon Bock and later in the Performance Working 3’6-3’9 Hunters piloting Jetset for owner Castle Point Farm, LLC. And Memphis, TN based pro Phoebe Sheets grabbed a pair of Circuit Awards as well, first in the Baby Green Hunters with Jean Tuttle’s Ring Ling and in the Performance Working 3’3 Hunters aboard Casino for owner Cheryl Rubenstein.
Gulfport, MS — Feb 20, 2011 — A Cajun expression Lagniappe (lan-yap), “small extra gift”, describes best what Mother Nature left as a token on her visit to the Gulf Coast Winter Classics. Not only did temps continue to heat up, but so did the rivalry for supremacy in both the Hunter and Jumper divisions.
Beginning in the Hunter Divisions where for the second week several of the top horse-rider combinations turned in stellar performances. Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, AL rode Figaro B for owner Linda Bobrik to the Championship in the 1st Year Green Working and top place in the USHJA Hunter Classic, while Hillsboro, VA based Tom Brennan picked up the tri colors in the 2nd Year Green Working aboard Lynn Rice’s Purple Heart. And taking the Championship title in the High Performance Hunters for week two was Cincinnati, OH resident Sarah Mechlin paired with Olivia Weaver’s agreeable horse Yes Indeed.
Over in the jumper rings the theme was “Les Bon Temps Rouler”, let the good times roll, and in Friday afternoon’s Lucky Sevens Welcome Stake Wilhelm Genn of Lebanon, OH kept on enjoying the good times with his mount Copyright 3 taking the victory.
Wilhelm Genn and Happy Z Take $25,000 National Grand Prix
Green Cove Springs, FL – January 23, 2010 — Kelley Farmer, who hails from Keswick, VA, partnered with Rosalynn to capture the top spot of North Florida’s Inaugural $20,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby sponsored by Jerry Parks Insurance, Great American Insurance Group and The Bruning Foundation, held Saturday under the lights of the covered arena at the Clay County Agricultural Center in Green Cove Springs, FL.
The evening was kicked off in the “Marques at Green Cove Springs”, the stylish and inviting VIP tent adjacent to the arena, with a delicious dinner provided by Carrabba’s Italian Grill and a very special Live Auction to benefit HOPE Therapeutic Riding Center. “While we raised a lot of money for HOPE, the generous bidders were big winners too. They got some outstanding deals on an array of items- like the Sea World Aquatic package and the Golf World getaway,” Tony Weight, President of North Florida Hunter Jumper Association, said.
Green Cove Springs, FL January 22, 2010 – The third week of competition at the 2010 Jacksonville Winter Series got in full swing this afternoon with the $5000 Open Jumper Classic being won by Lebanon, Ohio’s Wilhelm Genn, as both owner and rider, piloting the brilliant mare Happy Z.
Presented by Farm House Tack, the Jumper Classic served as a prelim to Saturday evening’s featured event, the $25,000 Marco Family Foundation benefitting H.O.R.S.E. Therapies, a nonprofit therapeutic equine program to air people with special needs as well as military personnel in the Horses for Heroes and Wounded Warriors programs. This week’s course designer Buddy Brown of Stanford, CA got a good gauge of the talent on hand while the competitors learned how tough grabbing that prize money would be with only 6 clean first rounds. Genn was the only rider to bring two mounts into jump off runs, Chantal for owner Laura Ryan-Barnaclo and his own Happy Z. Despite some fierce competition the afternoon’s glory belonged to the popular chestnut Happy Z whose winning time of 33.025 simply couldn’t be caught. “She’s very much like a fine wine- better with age.” a happy Genn proclaimed.
Finishing in second place was teenage phenom Samantha Schaefer riding Sugar Ray –owned by Schaefer- to a clear time of 35.980, third place to veteran rider-owner Mary Lisa Leffler taking Gerona 92 to a clean time of 37.000, fourth place went to Wisconsin based Denise Wilson aboard the Blue Gate Farm entry Life is Life with a clean time of 40.194, and completing the top five was Indiana’s own Erin McCabe as rider-owner of Midnight Hour finishing with 4 faults in a quick 33.825.
As evening fell the lights of the covered arena seem to shine extra brightly for rider Samantha Schaefer as the 16 year-old received top marks in the $10,000 Jerry Parks Insurance Group Hunter Classic. The number one horse of the evening was Castle, owned by Ashley Toffolon and piloted by Schaefer with a first round score of 169.500.
In all, 22 horses competed on the course designed by Paul Jewel of Lambertville, New Jersey. The class consisted of two sections, with amateurs and juniors jumping 3’6” while professionals had an option of 3’6” or 3’9” fences depending on the horse’s level. The layout of 10 fences required strenuous efforts of both horse and rider with its bending and broken lines throughout the course. Judges Sue Ashe, William Sparks, and Chris Wayne presided over the scoring, returning only the top 12 pairs for round 2.
Schaefer is no stranger to winning this Classic- in 2007 she won aboard Lyle, the 17-year old German Warmblood then owned by Stephanie Keen and in 2008 with Lazy Sunday, a 9 year-old Zangersheide owned by Keli Colby at the time. Schaefer has made transitioning from being one of the nations most acclaimed pony riders to a top junior rider look effortless, but will be the first to say it’s only through daily hard work that she’s stays in the upper rankings. Sixth in the order, Castle and Schaefer finished the first round strong with combined judges’ score of 168. “I was very confident coming into the class with him [Castle] because I knew he would go right around, if anything it would just interest him a little bit and maybe spark him up a little, because he’s a really quiet easy going horse.” Schaefer said of the 11 year-old Dutch Warmblood, who along with both owner Ashley Toffolon and on occasion Schaefer train with Andre Dignelli of Heritage Farm in New York.
Regarding their round one ride Schaefer admitted, “I needed a lot of lead changes in the first class and I should have asked him in a few places to land on the correct lead, so that may have made it not quite as smooth.” Those who know Schaefer well will state she is always far more critical of her rides than any judge, as evidenced by the duo’s scores. “But in the second round he landed on every lead so it all flowed really well. He kind of glided around- real nice! He’s really good at this type of class because he’s brave and just awesome!” Schaefer added. The pair’s second round score of 177 was added to give a total score of 345. As things progressed Schaefer’s biggest competition became herself.
Corvet Z a 12 year-old Zangersheide gelding, also ridden by Schaefer and owned by Manhattan Mortgage Co., Inc. actually led the first round with a score of 169.50. “He’s just coming off of a little vacation and he was just great! In the second round I got a little excited at the last jump and he just nicked it a bit but overall he was really nice.” Schaefer said of her second place winning mount that finished with a combined total of 334.50. “I really have to thank Don Stewart for all his help! And Kim Stewart…and Andre…it’s really a team effort and I’m the fortunate one who benefits from them all.” a beaming Schaefer said.
Schaefer has become a master of balance, both in and out of the saddle as she juggles the pressures of high school and a full competition schedule with the appearance of ease. She explained, “I attend a special school that is a self paced type, when I’m not showing I do a lot more. I’m in a classroom about 3 hours a day and some online class work. It’s scheduled for me, which is really good because I have a structure to follow that’s well organized. I work really hard late fall and early winter to get ahead and now [show season] I have two classes to finish up while I’m here.” After the Jacksonville Winter Series the precocious Schaefer will take a week off to relax at school before heading to compete in West Palm Beach.
Official results for the $10,000 Jerry Parks Insurance Group Hunter Classic were:
1st Place- Samantha Schaefer and Castle owned by Ashley Toffolon
2nd Place- Samantha Schaefer and Corvet Z owned by Manhattan Mortgage Co., Inc
3rd Place- Shawn Casady and Eastwood owned by Kelly Tropin
4th Place- Taylor Adams and Chrystalle owned by Meridian Farms
5th Place- Taylor Adams and Rio’s Splash owned by Sarah Robin
6th Place- Gary Young and Cliché owned by Isobel Goldsmith
7th Place- Hasbrouck Donovan and Falcao owned by Donald Stewart
8th Place- Shawn Casady and Caruso owned by Bettina Richman
9th Place- Joy Janouskovec and Samaritan owned by Jennifer Munday
10th Place- Hasbrouck Donovan and Raquel owned by Ann Garnett
11th Place- Olivia Chowdry and Enchanted owned by Sage Flynn
12th Place- Mark Ferris and Promo owned by Ruth Douglas
The Jacksonville Winter Series continues through February 7th with classes Wednesday through Sunday beginning at 8AM until about 5PM except for special events on Saturday evenings at 7PM. Admission to the shows is free – parking at special weekend events is a $5 donation, which goes to support local charities.
For more information or results on the 2010 Jacksonville Winter Series please visit http://www.classiccompany.com/ or call the show office at 904-284-1579.
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