Classic Company Debuts $25,000 Pony Hunter Derby in Atlanta, Wraps Up Another Successful Two Weeks of Competition

Keep Dreamin' and Ashton Alexander in the winner's circle with President of Classic Company, Bob Bell

The Classic Company’s Atlanta Summer II wrapped up on Sunday, June 24, 2012 and the hunters were out in full force! The Classic Company had an overwhelming popular response to its inaugural $25,000 Pony Hunter Derby which closed out the successful two weeks on Sunday. The course was set by noted course designer Alan Rheinheimer.

“It was really magnificent,” said Bob Bell, President of the Classic Company. “The trainers really liked it. It was a great opportunity to showcase their pony hunter talent.”

Of the thirty seven entries, it was Keep Dreamin’, owned by Katie Dinan, LLC and ridden by Ashton Alexander, who took the first place honors. Brad Spragg, Keep Dreamin’s trainer and owner of the Atlanta Hunt Club in Smyrna, Georgia, said, “She really did a great job. The pony is just wonderful. What a great class this is to showcase the up and coming talent in our industry.”

Atlanta II featured the always popular Outback Steakhouse Dinner to benefit Hope Clinic and everyone was treated to the Jump and Run Classic class and the $35,000 Outback Grand Prix saw 36 entries on Saturday night.

Besides two weeks of perfect weather at the international facility, riders were treated to weekly exhibitor parties.

VIP seating was available in the Grand Prix arena and was sold out as soon as it was announced. “We were really pleased with the overwhelmingly positive response and will definitely offer it again,” said Bell. “We will be offering dinners at the Fall shows, too,” he added. The night classes continued to see a packed ringside around the international stadium. “It’s so much fun watching the night classes,” said Dylan Thomas of Judy’s Tack Shop. “I get to see old friends and watch some great competition,” she added.

The final week of the Atlanta shows featured USHJA Zone 4 sponsored clinics on Monday and Tuesday. Jimmy Torano taught group after group of eager riders in the cool covered arena, and on Tuesday, internationally known trainer Wilhelm Genn conducted a clinic focusing on the water jump in the Olympic stadium. The clinics were free for participants and a complimentary lunch was provided by Betsy Minton and Dietrich Equine Insurance Company.

Bell presents the $35,000 Outback Grand Prix winner, Liza Finsness, rider and owner of Ormsby Hill, with a cooler, trophy and check

Event Coordinator Janet McCarroll said, “We had 38 participants in Jimmy Torano’s clinic. We were able to split them into four very diverse groups and Jimmy did a wonderful job of addressing all the riders’ needs. Everyone commented on how nice and positive the experience was and they felt that they got a lot of good advice.”

Jill Mills, coordinator of the jump clinic, said, “Wilhelm did a great job with the water jump clinic. He had 35 watching and 16 in the ring.”

Both clinics were sponsored by Zone 4 Hunter Jumper Committees and funded with the $2.00 USHJA fee paid by all show competitors. “The Classic Company is thankful to the Zone 4 team in having the opportunity to bring this unique, educational opportunity to our competitors,” said Bell.

Jimmy Torano appreciated the opportunity to be a part of the show. “This was my first visit to the show grounds and I am completely impressed with the footing, the show, and the commitment Classic Company has to providing the riders with the best possible experience here. I will definitely be back for the fall show!”

Classic Company will next head to historic Charleston, South Carolina. Located just a few miles from the beautiful coast, many competitors find the opportunity to incorporate their family vacations with their horse show experience.

“We have a great time at this show,” said Bell. “We can hold up to 400 here and we love that number. This is a boutique show and everyone has a great time. We have a busy exhibitor party schedule that ranges from dinners to brunches and really exciting classes that offer something for everyone. We all have a great time at this event.”

It’s not just going to be fun outside the ring, since the $25,000 Pony Hunter Derby will make its second stop at the show grounds during Week II. Don’t miss your opportunity to be a part of the Classic Company horse shows. For more information on The Classic Company, visit them at

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

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