May 21st ~ 2012, Conyers, GA – Yesterday marked the conclusion of the 9th annual Atlanta Spring Challenge Horse Show. The event took place at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, GA and saw a record number of participants this year. “We are beyond thrilled with the turnout,” said show organizer J. P. Godard. Godard, based out of his hometown of Aiken, SC, and his Equus Events have produced the show for the past nine years. “I have to thank all of our exhibitors, staff, and sponsors for their continued support of Equus Events and the Atlanta Spring Challenge Horse Show; it is a team effort and without that support it is tough to grow in this economy. We have managed to build this event up the past 9 years and I am really looking forward to going all out for our 10th anniversary next year!”
The much anticipated $25,000 Atlanta Spring Challenge Grand Prix took place Saturday evening under the lights in the International Arena with 38 horse rider teams competing and a huge crowd set to cheer them on. Olympic silver medalist Michel Vaillancourt designed a course that was challenging giving many riders some tricky spots to contest with. The final jump, the Fenwick oxer #13, proved to be one of the more problematic spots as 9 riders had that final rail down in the first round. After the initial round, 11 horses and riders graduated to the jump off including 2 entries for Ocala, FL based riders Aaron Vale and Sharn Wordley. With only 4 clean, Aaron Vale and Carmen Rojas Admiral Clover soared to the win with a time of 40.648 just edging out Vale’s second jump off qualifier Tibor owned by Bonnie Smith. Megan Edrick, also hailing from Ocala, FL, took home the third place ribbon with the Procedures, Inc. owned entry of Cadence while Sharn Wordley and his Cederick rounded out the top 4 spots.
May 19th, 2012 ~ Conyers, GA – It was a bustling evening at the acclaimed Georgia International Horse Park as the crowd watched 25 of the country’s top hunter riders compete under the lights in the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby presented by Dietrich and Company Equine Insurance. No stranger to the winner’s circle, Liza Boyd took home the blue ribbon last evening aboard Mrs. Janet Peterson and Finally Farm’s Quatrain while capturing the second place on her and Mrs. Janet Peterson’s Brunello. The team from Finally Farm in Camden, SC just came off a one-two win at the Aiken Spring Classic Derby and the Camden Spring Classic Derby back in April with Brunello taking the top spot over Quatrain in both of those classes.
It was finally Quatrain’s time to shine as the 8-year-old’s boldness and consistency garnered him and Boyd the top scores of the night. In round 1 they received an 87 and 88 plus 8 high option bonus points from the judges and in the second handy round received an 84 and 88 plus 8 bonus points and 13 bonus handy points, giving them the winning total of 376 over Brunello’s 370. Towell was pleased at how far Quatrain has come along this spring. Just this past February he was competing in the jumper ring in Palm Beach. The pair also captured the High Performance Hunter Championship earlier in the week that division sponsored by Fenwick Equestrian. Julie Curtain and Morgan Connely’s Hanover On The Rocks took home the third place ribbon in the Derby and Alamo and Mariah Friedland rounded out the top 4.
May 18th, 2012 ~ Conyers, GA – The 9th annual Atlanta Spring Challenge Horse Show kicked off on Wednesday with a record number of attendees turning out for competition at the Georgia International Horse Park. The event is managed by Aiken, SC based J. P. Godard and his Equus Events. “We have a busy week; lots of horses and lots of entries!” quoted Godard. “My staff and I haven’t had a moment to spare, but it’s great I couldn’t be more pleased with the turnout.”
Thursday marked the culmination of a few highly anticipated professional hunter divisions. Traveling all of the way from Topeka, KA, Rio, owned by Hays Investment Corp, took home the championship honors in the first year green hunter division sponsored by Fenwick Equestrian, LLC. Camden, SC’s Elizabeth Boyd had the ride on Rio who took home a Fenwick Equestrian High Performance Sporty Dress Sheet for their efforts. In the second year green division it was Ocala, FL based rider Aaron Vale and Lynn Reed’s Spell Bound who took home top honors in the division winning 3 of the 5 classes. Elizabeth Boyd found herself in the winner’s circle once again this time with Mrs. Janet Peterson and Finally Farm’s Quatrain who took home top honors in the High Performance Working Hunters sponsored by DFG Stables.
May 10th, 2012 – The 9th annual Atlanta Spring Challenge Horse Show is just under a week away. The highly anticipated show takes place at the renowned Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia with J. P. Godard and Equus Events, Inc handling the duties. The show holds a USEF AA hunter rating and is a Jumper 4. It is sanctioned by USEF, USHJA, SCHJA, GHJA, NCHJA, NAL, and WIHS.
This year’s event looks to be the biggest to date and Godard is very grateful. “Many shows have seen a decline over the past few years as the economy has hit us all so very hard. We are pleased that we are seeing a positive response in what we are doing,” said Godard. Good footing, good weather, good staff and officials, and hospitality seem to be the key as the Atlanta Spring Challenge show continues to pick up some of the best riders and trainers in the country.
March, 13th, 2012 – This May the Georgia International Horse Park will once again play host to the Atlanta Spring Challenge Horse Show. Produced by Aiken, SC based J. P. Godard and Equus Events, the show offers a fitting end to the spring season and a perfect stop for those on their way to Devon. The show now in its 9th year has become a favorite of those attending events at the Horse Park which was site of the equestrian portion of the 1996 Olympic Games.
“We have added new classes and special events each year,” said show organizer J. P. Godard. The show started out a single “A” rated horse show in 2004 and has now grown to a five day “AA” rated event that attracts some of top hunter and jumper riders throughout the country. In today’s economy it takes a lot more than the average horse show to survive and to actually grow throughout the last 8 years is a major feat in itself. Godard believes this consistent growth can be attributed to Equus Events and its staff striving to offer more than just the average horse show.
May 22nd, 2011 – Conyers, Georgia – The 2011 Atlanta Spring Challenge Horse Show came to a close today at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, GA. Attention turned to the International Arena on Saturday evening for the $25,000 Atlanta Spring Challenge Grand Prix and “Preakness Party” which was sponsored by DFG Stables and Daniel and Cathy Geitner of Aiken, SC. The crowd gathered early to enjoy the impressive spread of tasty Mexican fare including ground beef, chicken, and steak tacos with rice and all of the fixings and an assortment of special mini cupcakes to celebrate the occasion. A large screen TV was set up for everyone to enjoy the 136th running of the Preakness Stake. As Shackleford headed towards the winners circle at Pimlico, riders prepared to tackle the challenging Prix course designed by J. P. Godard. The course set at the National Standard offered 15 jumping efforts in the first round including a double and triple combination with a time allowed of 84 seconds. The shortened jump off course included 8 jumping efforts with numerous options and a time allowed of 48 seconds.
It was a fantastic night for Daniel Geitner and his DFG stables of Aiken, South Carolina. Out of the original field, Geitner qualified two mounts for the jump off, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bostwick’s Sympa and CDS Stable’s Neville. DFG’s Christina Jason also advanced to the jump off on the Booth Parker Owned entry Wonder Pomme.
May 21st, 2011 – It was a gorgeous night at the Georgia International Horse Park as the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby took place under the lights in the International Arena with a huge crowd in attendance. Exhibitors and spectators were treated to a fabulous class featuring 31 of the top horses and riders in the country while enjoying a “Derby Reception” sponsored by Equus Events and the Godard Family. The course designed by J. P. Godard of Aiken, SC received rave reviews and included inviting natural obstacles such as coups, split rail fencing, gates, wooden logs, and brush boxes. It is a unique setting for this class being the site of the 1996 show jumping portion of the Olympic Games; it really is quite stunning at night under the lights.
At the end of the night it was no stranger in the winner’s circle as Brunello and Liza Towell Boyd of Camden, South Carolina stepped out to take the blue ribbon. Boyd’s “Grand Prix” hunter as she has been known to call him jumped brilliantly and earned the highest scores of the night earning a 188 in round 1 and a 189 in the handy round giving them the over winning total of 377. Brunello, a 13 year old Hanoverian gelding is owned by Boyd along with Mrs. Janet Peterson. This marks the pair’s 2nd consecutive derby win at the Atlanta Spring Challenge Horse Show. Boyd was joined by 17 month old daughter Elle, her father Jack Towell, and Mrs. Janet Peterson for the ribbon presentation. Betsy Minton of Dietrich and Company Equine Insurance was also on hand. Dietrich and Company is a Major sponsor of the 2010/2011 USHJA International Hunter Derby series as well as the “official” insurance provider for Equus Events, Inc. and the Atlanta Spring Challenge Horse Show.