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Fun Is in Full Bloom during Magnolia Week
Holly Shepherd and Belvedere clear an oxer in the $2,500 USHJA Hunter Derby yesterday. Flashpoint Photography.
Gulfport, Mississippi (March 2, 2013) – Fun is in full bloom during Magnolia Week at the Gulf Coast Winter Classic!
Twenty eight hunters from all over the country tackled the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby yesterday while spectators enjoyed the complimentary brunch in the exhibitor tent complete with fried chicken, eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits, salads, mimosas, tea, orange juice and coffee! But none could dethrone Derby Queen Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama and Belvedere, owned by Ellen Herrington, from their winning Derby streak!
This was the second consecutive Derby win for Belvedere at the Gulf Coast Classic. Courtney Calcagnini of Lantana, Texas rode Blue Moon, owned by Anne Hormel, to a second place finish, while Maria Rasmussen of Milwaukee, Wisconsin rode Use the Ring LLC’s Castlewellan to the yellow ribbon. Fourth place honors went to Carino, owned by Linda Viens and ridden by Christian Rogge of Spring, Texas, while fifth was awarded to Priority, owned by Eileen Fontaine and ridden by Belynda Bond of Pilot Point, Texas. Six place went to Blue Grass, owned by Ruth Hawk and ridden by Jazz Hawk of Houston, Texas, and seventh was awarded to Happenstance, owned and ridden by Lauren Takata of Athens, Texas. Eighth place was awarded to Caves Farm LLC’s Outsider, ridden by Katie Cooper of Owings Hill, Maryland, and ninth place went to State Hill, owned by Joan Violin and ridden by David Wright of Murfresboro, Tennessee. Tenth position went to Kim Segal’s Iceberg, ridden by Jordan Siegel of Flower Mound, Texas, and eleventh place went to Barbara Risius’ Longstreet, ridden by Sarah Young of Belleville, Illinois. Sally Carrera, owned and ridden by David Wright, rounded out the class in twelfth place.
No Worries and Devin Ryan Snag Friday’s Welcome Cash!
Friday afternoon it was the jumpers’ turn to celebrate TGIF in Gulfport when twenty eight took to the course designed by legendary designer Steve Stephens. But it was CWD sponsored rider Devin Ryan of Long Valley, New Jersey riding No Worries owned by Barbara Rowland who took the win in Friday’s $10,000 Open Welcome Classic.
Stephens is considered to be the world’s most accomplished course designer as a USEF R licensed hunter course designer, 4* FEI course designer, R jumper course designer, judge and the show jumping course designer for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. “I designed this course pretty straightforward. There are a lot of competitors out there who are trying it out and taking it for a spin. This is a good opportunity to get a sense of what I’ll be designing for Sunday,” said Stephens.
“I have been designing here for a few years. I designed the course last year and this year and — wow! What a difference! This field is unbelievable. I thought it was Week One when I got here it’s so green and it’s already Week Four! Nowhere have I seen one in this sort of shape. It has held up unbelievably well,” commented Stephens on the new grass grand prix field.
The field continued to hold up under many thundering hooves under sunny skies, but only seven went clean. The first to go clean was the fifth to go, Carrington, owned by Helen Gilbert and ridden by Shannon Hicks of Lake St. Louis, Missouri, in a clear first round effort in 80.888 seconds. They accumulated eight jump faults in a time of 49.689 seconds in their second round which would finish them in seventh place overall. Devin Ryan rode his second mount, Zosja, owned by Eagle Valley Partners, LLC, to the second clear round of the class in a time of 75.499 seconds. But with four faults in his second round and a time of 43.241 seconds, the pair would finish in fourth. The next clear round to go was not until the thirteenth pair entered the ring. Eduard Braun of Bend, Oregon and his own H.J. El Magnifico went clean in a time of 81.297 seconds and set the second round time to beat at 42.063 seconds which would eventually land them in second place. Next to go was Christian Rogge of Spring, Texas aboard his own Lissa TSP who looked to challenge Braun, going clean in a first round time of 78.413 seconds. But with four faults in his second round and a time of 44.044 seconds, he would settle for fifth place overall. Wilhelm Genn of Lebanon, Ohio, riding his own Cookie Monster, was the next to go clean in a time of 80.942 seconds. The pair would accumulate eight jumping faults in a time of 47.232 seconds in their second round which would land them in sixth place overall. The next clean round came right after Genn, as Lillie Ross of Wheaton, Illinois rode Pako, owned by Allison Ross, to a clean first round time in 79.172 seconds. Despite a clean second round effort, their time of 46.691 seconds would not beat out Braun and Magnifico’s time and would land them in third place overall. Ryan and No Worries were the last clean round of the class and the second to last competitor to take the field. After going clean in a first round time of 76.167 seconds, the pair would beat Braun’s second round time by about a second in 41.271 seconds and secure the win.
Bon Giorno owned by Showcase 81, LLC and ridden by Bryn Sadler of Santa Fe, New Mexico would finish in eighth place in a first round time of 76.846 seconds and four faults. Ninth place was awarded to Zine Dine, owned and ridden by Hailey Henderson of Lafayette, Louisiana, in a first round time of 77.662 seconds and four faults, and Vorione Fortuna, owned by Marieke Slik and ridden by Trapp O’Neal of Magnolia, Texas, finished in tenth place with a first round time of 77.665 seconds and four jump faults.
“I think Sunday might be a hole bigger,” said Stephens. “We’ll see some 5′ fences and everything will be pretty square. I would like to see about five or six go clean this Sunday – that’s what they did last Sunday so I’d like to continue that,” he added.
The Harrison County Party was in full swing last night at the Hurricane Shelter and provided exhibitors with complimentary shrimp, crawfish and Cajun delights, drinks and live music by a special Pop Swamp Band – that’s ‘N’Orleans’ music with a “kick”. “My customers and staff really love the parties here,” said trainer Tom Brennan of Charles Town, Virginia. “They make them feel appreciated,” he added.
Merial, makers of ULCERGARD, are on site this week with a special promotion. So, stop by their booth located next to Flashpoint Photography and see what it’s all about!
Sponsor CWD, makers of fine French custom saddles, will be sponsoring this week’s $35,000 CWD Grand Prix on Sunday. And CWD plans to celebrate! Stop by the CWD booth on your way back from the ringside action for the CWD Post Prix party at the CWD booth. Have a beer, grab some snacks, play some games and enjoy your Sunday. Robin from CWD looks forward to seeing you!
Have you seen the news? Sidelines Magazine and the Gulf Coast Classic Company have partnered on a special contest to walk the $50,000 Budweiser Grand Prix scheduled for March 10 with a top grand prix rider. It’s easy to enter: send in a picture of you and your horse on the sidelines. Sidelines will post the picture on their Facebook page and Classic Company will too. Sidelines will select and announce the winner prior to the March 10 grand prix. Good luck to all!
Make sure to book your VIP table for this weekend. For only $275 patrons are treated to a table seating eight with lunch for Friday’s $10,000 Welcome Class and for Sunday’s $35,000 CWD Grand Prix with a table seating eight, complimentary champagne and a first-class catered meal from one of the area’s fine restaurants. This week’s VIP restaurant is local favorite, Back Bay Restaurant, known for their seafood and creole cuisine. They will be serving lunch from 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm. Individual tickets are also available, so be sure to stop in the office today and reserve your spot for the best ringside seats, food and champagne on the show grounds!
The Gulf Coast Winter Classic in Gulfport is where the fun will be this winter, so don’t miss it! Mardi Gras in neighboring New Orleans ended a couple of weeks ago, but that festive atmosphere spills onto the show grounds. With its close proximity to the Gulf Coast beaches, class offerings, prize money, and social scene, the Gulf Coast Classic Company’s Gulfport shows are a must on everyone’s show list. The show will feature weekly $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derbies, the $10,000 International Hunter Derby Week V and a weekly Grand Prix to name a few highlights. The grand prix schedule continues this Sunday with the $35,000 CWD Grand Prix on March 3 and the circuit grand finale, the $50,000 Budweiser Grand Prix, scheduled for March 10.
Anyone who has shown with the Classic Company knows what sets them apart from the rest: Classic Shows are FUN! And, this year the fun continues at the Gulfport show with complimentary exhibitor parties, breakfasts, luncheons and office snacks to make your showing experience the best ever.
Classic Company never charges a scratch or add fee for those last minute adds and scratches, so if you haven’t entered yet, go to the prize list or simply click on Equestrian Connect to fill out your entry form and stabling requests.
Equestrian Connect is Classic Company’s Official Service Provider and allows exhibitors to store their data one time, on the web, and then use that data to automatically fill out hunter/jumper entry forms across the country. The service offers a free 45 day trial period for new members. At the conclusion of the trial period, Equestrian Connect offers an annual subscription, or a “pay as you go” service. The service allows exhibitors to save both time and money. This is the one-minute online entry service that will help you get your entries in on time and you to the show!
So, whether you are a seasoned veteran or a novice looking for a positive show experience, look to the Gulf Coast Classic shows in Gulfport, and let the good times roll!
The Classic Company is a USHJA’s Members Choice Award winner, recognized for producing top quality show jumping events in the United States. For more information on Classic Company and its exhibitor-friendly, top quality hunter jumper events, please visit them at www.ClassicCompany.com or call them at 843-768-5503.
All sponsorship, marketing and press inquiries should be directed to Lisa Engel, Sponsorship, Marketing and Public Relations Director at email@example.com. All program advertising should be directed to Nate Poliquin, Program Sales Representative at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you at the ring,
The Classic Company, Ltd.
Phone/FAX: (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311 Johns Island SC 29457