Atlanta Spring Classic Week 1 Update

Glen Hartigan and Ace of Spies clear an oxer on their way to the win in Saturday’s $25,000 CWD Grand Prix. Flashpoint Photography.

The official first day of spring coincided with the second day of the Atlanta Spring Classic at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia.  The Classic Company just finished up at the Mississippi Gulf Coast before it trekked to Georgia to kick off two weeks of AA show jumping competition last week.

Equestrians love riding at the famous 1996 Olympic Stadium.  For many with dreams of Olympic fame, there is no other venue where riders can capture that feeling of excellence and fuel their passion.

“The Atlanta Spring Classic is a rite of spring for many of us,” commented Bob Bell, President of the Classic Company.  “We love the Gulf,” said Bell, “but this is just the perfect location for many riders heading back north to catch another week or two of competition en route to their northern bases after a long winter of showing,” he added.

Atlanta Is Jumpin’!

The $5,000 Open Jumper Welcome Class took place Thursday and it was Devin Ryan of Long Valley, New Jersey who not only won the class, in the irons of Sima Morgello’s Chantilly, but also took a fourth and fifth place ribbons with Don Stewart’s Cavansto and Eagle Valley Partners LLC’s Quandorette Z, respectively.

Francois Lamontagne of Saint-Eustache, Quebec, Canada rode Christina Macdougall’s Nature des Pierres to second place, while Haley Lebow of Nashville, Tennessee rode Krisley Hill Equine Investments’ Calligraphy to a third place finish.  Sixth place was awarded to Glen Hartigan of Canton, Georgia and Phyllis Hines’ Ace of Spies.

Obviously the Thursday Welcome was a good warm-up for Hartigan and Ace of Spies as the team went on to win the $25,000 CWD Grand Prix Saturday after they turned in the only fault-free first round in 79.921 seconds, well within the 87 seconds time allowed.

“The course was definitely challenging,” commented course designer Paul Jewel of Lambertville, New Jersey.

Hartigan agreed: “The course was pretty hard. But it’s a grand prix and set at the national standard,” he said.

The first to go in the class was Francois Lamontagne, riding Christina Macdougall’s Nature Des Pierres.  The pair looked to go clean, but a heartbreak rail at the last fence gave them four jump faults and a time of 82.943 seconds, which put them in third place overall. Hartigan took to the course with Phyllis Hines’ Johny Bravo and turned in a first round effort with twelve jump faults and a time of 82.656 seconds, landing them in fifth place overall.

Haley Lubow was next up in the irons of Krisley Hill Equine Investments’ Calligraphy.  But with twelve jump faults and a time of 83.665 seconds, the pair would settle for sixth place overall.

Daniel Geitner of Aiken, South Carolina and the Kenwood Syndicate’s Kenwood looked like they were on their way to the win, but a rail down at fence 11 gave them four jump faults, which combined with their time of 81.261 seconds, would see them finish in second place overall.

It was still anyone’s class by the time Hartigan and his next mount, Phyllis Hines’ Ace of Spies, entered the ring.  “It was a tough track starting out with a triple combination, but it was fair.  There were some excellent horses in there and you had Francois [Lamontagne] who rode for the Team [Canada] and Devin’s [Ryan] horses are very talented too,” he added.

Devin Ryan and Chantilly clear a fence in the $5,000 Open Jumper Welcome on their way to the win. Flashpoint Photography.
Devin Ryan and Chantilly clear a fence in the $5,000 Open Jumper Welcome on their way to the win. Flashpoint Photography.

Thursday’s Open Jumper Welcome winner, Devin Ryan, was one of the last to go in the irons of Simma Morgello’s Chantilly, but with a eight jump faults and a time of 79.079 seconds, the pair would finish in fourth place overall, leaving Hartigan and Ace of Spies with their first place finish.

Ace of Spies goes by the nickname Reilly and his name is based on a series of novels called, ‘Reilly, the Ace of Spies’.  “This is Reilly’s third grand prix with me. He is a fabulous horse and a very good jumper,” said Hartigan.  “Phyllis usually rides him in the AO division.  But once in a while I get to ride him and he is really fun,” he said.  “Reilly has this great personality, kind of like a pony.  But he is really sweet.  Phyllis has been such a great supporter of ours and she is such a pleasure to work with,” he added. “We’re so happy she is part of our barn.”

Originally from Novia Scotia, Canada, Hartigan spent most of his professional life in Germany where he met his wife Stephanie, a dressage rider and trainer.  The couple moved to Georgia about four years ago and together they raise their five year old son, Connor.

“I’m having a great time here and will have nine horses showing with me this week,” Hartigan said.

Hunters Were Hopping

Yvetta Newman of Southampton, New York and the Topping Riding Club made the trip to Conyers, Georgia so she could ride in the Atlanta Spring Classic.  “We really needed a break from the winter and we love to support Bob and his shows,” she said.

The Classic Company’s new Atlanta Classic Official Veterinarian, Dr. James Hassinger, riding his own Sandro, was champion in the 3’3″ Amateur Owner Hunter over 36 Division Sunday.

Sitting Pretty!  Equitation Winners

Courtney Osborne won the ASPCA Maclay and Liddy Strickland won the Junior Southeast Medal.

On Deck!

A full schedule kicks off this week and will feature the $2,500 Second Chance Thoroughbred Division as well as the $25,000 EMO Grand Prix on Saturday.  The $5,000 Open Jumper Welcome is slated for Thursday and a wealth of hunter, equitation, amateur, pony and even walk trot divisions will fill the rings all week.  There’s always something for everyone at the Classic Company.  So if you haven’t reserved a stall yet, make sure to email today.

Anyone who has shown with the Classic Company knows what sets them apart from the rest:  Classic Shows are FUN!  After a successful winter at the Gulf Coast Winter Classic Circuit, the fun has moved to the Georgia International Horse Park for the Atlanta Spring Classic Shows. Remember, the Classic Company does not charge extra office fees for credit card transactions nor is there a scratch or add fee!  Classic Company wants to make your showing experience the best ever!

So whether you are a seasoned veteran or novice looking for a positive show experience, head to the Georgia International Horse Park and the Atlanta Spring Classics, where you can ride in Olympic style and get the red carpet treatment you deserve!

The Classic Company is a USHJA’s Members Choice Award winner, recognized for producing top quality show jumping events in the United States.  Together, they offer the best exhibitor-friendly, top quality hunter jumper events each winter.  Please visit them on the web at 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

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See you at the ring,
Bob Bell
The Classic Company, Ltd.
Phone/FAX:  (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311  Johns Island  SC 29457

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