Harrisburg, PA- October 20, 2012-
Sweetnam and Solerina went early in the class but no one could beat their breakneck pace
The Featured Class of the evening at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show was the $5,000 Open Jumper Speed Class. Course designer, Alan Wade put the world’s top riders and their horses to the test. There were six unsuccessful attempts at a clear round before Kirsten Coe and Baronez, owned by Kirsten Coe/Ilan Ferder/Lovsta Stuteri, put in the first fault-free round setting the time to beat at 63.342.
Next to go was Shane Sweetnam aboard Solerina, owned by Sweet Oak Farm. Sweetnam just won the Gambler’s Choice on Wednesday with Cyklon. Sweetnam stepped on the gas and took the inside turns to put in an astounding time of 52.983, leaving all the rails in their cups.
Sweetnam wore his green jacket, rode an Irish horse over a course designed by an Irishman
Eight additional riders out the total field of 42 would have faultless rounds, but not one would surpass the bar that Sweetnam had set. Laura Chapot, known for her fearless skill in the speed classes, came closest and finished in second place with Bradberry with their time of 53.082 and third with Zealous, owned by Mary Chapot and their time of 54.428. Tim Gredley and Unex Valente were fourth with a clean round completed in 57.137 seconds.
“Solerina is a naturally quick horse,” said Sweetnam. “I’ve had her since last summer. She’s had some really good results. She covers the ground really quickly and she really wants to be careful. She’s an Irish horse.”
“I went early in the class I thought I would get beat. I had a little bit of luck it worked out well,” said Sweetnam who was wearing his green jacket, riding an Irish horse over a course designed by an Irishman.
“I started off, like everyone else I did six, I did one less- Laura did it as well with the chestnut horse (Bradberry) from the plank to the oxer,” he said. “Then everywhere else I just stayed on with the plan and was tight with the turns. She really does try for you. She wants to win. There was a triple combination that always makes things harder.”
Sweetnam and Cyklon were awarded the Open Jumper Speed Championship. Chapot and Bradberry were awarded the Reserve Championship of the Division.
In the afternoon, amateurs were challenged by Wade’s course in the $15,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur Owner Jumper Classic today at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. Of the 27 horse and rider pairs, only four would master the first course with a clear round and progress to the jump-off round. In fact, Wade’s course eliminated five riders, many at the out fence of the triple combination.
Callie Smith and Upstaire, Meagan Nusz and Vesuvius, Katie Dinan and Sandro and Robert Lee and El Grecco met in the second round. First back was Smith who was eliminated, Then Nusz set the standard with a faultless round with a time of 34.650. Dinan and Lee both had rails. Nusz’s double clear round would stand as the winner.
Meagan Nusz and Vesuvius
As the top point earner in the Amateur Owner Jumper division, Nusz and Vesuvius were awarded the Hunterdon Challenge Trophy for the Leading Amateur Owner Jumper Champion. Dinan and Sandro were named the Reserve Champions. The E. Corbett Memorial Trophy for the Leading Amateur Owner Jumper Rider also went to Nusz.
“When you put in a lot of hard work and your horse jumps so amazing and you have a good round, it’s great to be rewarded,” said Nusz. “I still get all giddy when I win. I love it because I’m so competitive. That’s why I keep going back in there.”
“My plan was to go in strong, put in the best round I could and let them try to catch me- which, fortunately for me, it worked out today, said Nusz who trains with Kent Farrington. “With Kent, he is such a perfectionist that you feel so confident because you have such a strong plan, if you stick to it you’re going to be unbeatable.”
“The triple was where a lot of people were having trouble – my horse would jump very high in and that one gets a little bit off. I planned it to go to the stick to give him a little reminder that to kick off the ground, whereas everyone else was getting there in one and a half, which is a very common mistake.
Earlier in the day, the $10,000 North American League Adult Hunter Finals participants from around the country qualified to compete at shows throughout the year. A two round competition, entries were judged on a course from 2’9” to 3’.
Julie Holzberg and Revealed
Julie Holzberger and her bay gelding, Revealed, earned an 87 for their performance in the first round. It would stand as the high score of the division. Combined with their second score of 81.5 they received the judge’s nod for the Championship. Laguna and Laurie Barna were awarded the Reserve Championship with a total of 168 for both rounds.
Revealed, known as “Clay” and Holzberger have only been together since January. She trains with Dave Belford and Chris Payne in Cincinnati.
“I just try to be consistent with my riding,” said Holzberger who is a busy owner of two Aveda Institutes. “This is my bliss. This keeps me balanced. Dave and Chris are such amazing trainers- I’ve been with them for 10 years. I stopped riding for 25 years and came back to it. I never intended to come back and compete, but I own a horse and I’m showing. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to do what I do.”
When the scores were tallied in the Amateur Owner Hunter 3’3” 18-35 division, Sarah Sturges and One Shot were named Champions of the Division and Bozeman, ridden by Margaret Oberkircher were awarded the Reserve Championship.
Sarah Sturges and One Shot
The Amateur Owner Hunter 3’3” 36 and Over division’s two top contenders were a winner and a champion- Winner, ridden by Daryl Portela were awarded the the Championship of the Division and were honored with the Grand Championship of the 3’3” Amateur Owner Hunter division. All In and Kelly Champion earned the Reserve Championship of the Amateur Owner Hunter 3’3” 36 and Over division.
Daryl Portela and Winner
“I’ve had him for a year and a half now,” said Portela, who lives in Ft Lauderdale, FL and trains with Jimmy Torano. “We didn’t do too much showing. I threw my back out at the beginning of the year, so I didn’t ride for three months. I did two shows at the end of circuit, and two shows at Old Salem, Devon and a couple shows. I only had 10 or 11 shows to qualify. We had a really good year, it’s been great.”
“He never lets me down, he stands up to his name, Winner,” she said. He came with that name. I’m very superstitious; I would not change his name.
Exupery, owned by Steven Borders of San Marcos, CA, and shown by Tommi Clark, was named the Pennsylvania National Grand Hunter Champion on Thursday.
The Grand Champion Hunter award was presented to the horse that accumulated the most points in the Green Conformation Hunter, Regular Conformation Hunter, Green Working Hunter, or High Performance Working Hunter divisions.
Exupery won Grand Champion Hunter and Clark was named Leading Hunter Rider
Exupery, or “Super” as he is affectionately called, lived up to his name by earning the greatest number of points in the High Performance Working Hunter division. His owner was thrilled with the title and Super’s performance.
“It’s very exciting, said Borders. “Super jumped beautifully all week. It was wonderful to see him perform that well the entire competition. I am very proud of Tommi and of my horse.”
Clark also won the Leading Hunter Rider Award. “Winning the Leading Hunter Rider award is just amazing, beyond anything that I could have ever dreamed of,” said Clark. Super is the most incredible animal that I have had the pleasure to ride.”
The Regular Conformation Hunter Championship, sponsored by Penelope Ayers & Ravens Wood Farm, was presented to Cold Harbor, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker of Middleburg, VA, with Hunt Tosh in the saddle. The Reserve Champion was Sambalino, owned by Becky Gochman of New York, NY, and ridden by Peter Pletcher.
Wingman, owned by Lee Kellogg Sadrian of New York, NY, and shown by Jennifer Bauersachs, took top honors in the Green Conformation Hunter Championship. Lugano, owned by Susan Moriconi of St. Louis, MO and ridden by Chris Payne, won the Reserve Championship.
In the Amateur Owner Hunter 18-35 Tracy Scheriff-Muser and Absolut won the first over fences class scoring an 86 for their brilliant performance. Kingston, ridden by Jazz Johnson Merton earned an 85.5 and the second place prize. Moshi and Stephanie Riggio were third with a score of 85.
In the second class of the division Lindsey George and Timber Ridge won the blue ribbon for their remarkable round that earned the pair an 88. Merton and Kingston earned another red ribbon, with an 86. Elizabeth Feraci and Presque Isle scored an 85, which put them in third place.
In the 36 and Over Amateur Owner Hunters Lisa Williams and San Marino won the first class with an 88. Invincible ridden by Ellen Toon were second with their score of 86 and Superman and John Ingram earned the yellow ribbon with and 85.
Robin Swinderman and her INXS astounded the spectators with a brilliant round that earned the pair a huge score of 89. The second place finishers were Lisa Williams and Sanmarino with an 86. Third place went to Deborah Perkins and La Fayette who received a score of 85.75.