Devon, PA - July 5, 2012 - Soaring temperatures greeted the Adult Amateur Hunters today in the Dixon Oval during the Brandywine Valley Summer Series presented by Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS), but that did not stop the best horse and rider combinations from rising to the top. Leading the way was Clementina Brown and Isis, who garnered the Grand Adult Amateur Hunter Championship. Bridget Hallman and Hope Batchelor also earned Circuit Championship awards for their efforts in the Adult Amateur divisions. Earlier in the day, Louise Serio took home First Year Green Hunter Circuit Championship with Aate and the Pre-Green Hunter Grand Championship aboard Corvine.
The Adult Amateur 46 & Over Hunters were up first, and it was Clementina Brown of Loxahatchee, FL, and Isis at the top of the standings. After winning both of yesterday's over fences classes they also won today's under saddle class, earning the division's championship title. Combined with their championship title from last week the talented duo took home the Circuit Championship, as well as the Grand Adult Amateur Hunter Championship. Following with the Adult Amateur 46 & Over Hunters Reserve Championship was Elizabeth Frankel of West Chester, PA, and Utopia.
"Isis is a Pre-Green Hunter that I started here last year," explained Brown. "She's been so fantastic. It's been a huge improvement from last year and I am so proud of her. She was great; she didn't make any mistakes. Isis needs a consistent and gentle ride because she's a very sensitive and athletic mare. She's also very smart and hardworking. A friend of mine saw her as a dressage horse and thought she would make a good hunter prospect, so I bought her from him."
Brown added, "She had to learn how to jump at an older age, which is a little bit different, but she's very athletic so she was able to do it. She's beautifully broken on the flat, so that helped as well. This is really my dream come true, I am so happy, what more could I want?"
The Adult Amateur 36-45 Hunters were up next and this time it was Megan Batty of Chester Springs, PA, and Constantine HTF taking home top honors. With two blue ribbons they returned to the center of the ring for the championship prize. Following with the reserve championship honors was last week's champions, Bridget Hallman of Oyster Bay, NY, and Constellation. After two weeks of solid performances they won the Circuit Championship title.
"Constellation has been great these last two weeks," smiled Hallman. "He's so young and inexperienced, so to walk into this ring and be so honest is really exciting. He's a really quiet horse, so we don't do much with him because we worry about making him too tired. He's just so honest and he's got a great canter, the jumps kind of show themselves to you."
The Adult Amateur 18-35 Hunters were hotly contested, requiring a hack-off for the championship honors. In the end it was Rachel Samuels and Espor, owned by Liz Durkin of Essex Fells, NJ who went home with the top tricolor. Hope Batchelor and Joy Ride, owned by Joanne Copeland of West Chester, PA, claimed their second reserve championship at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series. After two weeks of top performance, Batchelor and Joy Ride also earned the Circuit Championship.
"I've only been riding this horse for a couple of months," noted Batchelor. "He has plenty of step, plenty of scope, and he doesn't spook. He really excels at a venue like this. It's a little bit challenging for me because I am the horse show vet so I have to work and ride. I am very lucky to ride a horse as nice as this. I've grown up riding other people's horses and it's nice to ride a horse with this much quality."
The Pre-Green 3' Hunter division kicked off today's competition, with Louise Serio and Willow, owned by Bryan Baldwin of Brandon, FL, toping the group. Serio and Willow won both of today's over fences classes, which was good enough to claim the championship honors, as well as the Pre-Green 3' Hunter Circuit Championship. Following with the reserve championship honors was Katie Cooper and Sandlot, owned by Cherry Knoll Farm of West Grove, PA.
"Willow was so good today," said Serio. "Yesterday she was a little bit green because it was her first time in the Dixon Oval. Today, she was awesome, she was really right on it. I am really happy with how she has come along; she has really matured. I am really excited about her; she's going great."
Serio continued her winning ways in the Pre-Green 3'3" Hunters, earning the championship honors with Corvine and the reserve championship aboard Bonaparte. Each horse had two wins to their name, and Corvine's performance also captured the Pre-Green Hunter Grand Championship for owner Timothy Wickes of Unionville, PA. Bonaparte, owned by Annette Lauer of New York, NY, was last week's champion, and his effort over the last two weeks won the Pre-Green 3'3" Hunter Circuit Championship.
"Corvine has already had a lot of success and is a future Derby horse; he has all the credentials to do that," noted Serio. "He will do the National Derby here on Saturday night, and then he will go to Kentucky at the end of August to do two of the National Hunter Derby events there.
Serio continued, "Bonaparte was also great here. He will do the Derby on Saturday night and also go to Kentucky. He's also going to be a great derby horse. He loves the handy classes, and the more there is to jump the more he gets into it."
The final professional division of the day was the First Year Green/High Performance Working Hunters. With three first place ribbons, Serio and Aate, owned by Jennifer Burger of Buffalo, NY, were awarded the championship honors, as well as the First Year Green Working Hunter Circuit Championship. Serio and her second mount Eloquence, owned by Taylor Willever of Pen Argyl, PA, also picked up a win today, and they were presented with the reserve championship tricolor.
"Aate is in this awesome place right now. I've had him long enough to really know him well and he really trusts me and understands what we're asking of him. He's not surprised by anything when we walk in the ring. He has such good style and he's lovely horse to ride," explained Serio. "This is only my second week riding Eloquence. This week, I knew her better and knew what to expect and she jumped really nicely."
The Brandywine Valley Summer Series will continue tomorrow at the prestigious Devon Show Grounds. The Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions will get underway, and in the evening the High and Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classics will be held in the Dixon Oval. On Saturday night, the top horse and rider combinations will compete during the week's highlight event, the $5,000 Get Real Get RAW USHJA National Hunter Derby.
For more information about the Brandywine Valley Summer Series, please visit http://brandywinevalleysummerseries.com.