Wellington, Fla. – Mar. 1, 2018 – The Classic Champions Tour classes for young horses concluded on Thursday with top awards given to 5, 6 and 7 year-old jumpers at the Deeridge Derby, part of the Palm Beach Masters series held at Deeridge Farm, a spectacular world-class venue, in Wellington, Florida.
Senan Hayes and New York BC, a bay stallion owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock, took top honors, the Award of Distinction, for the 5-Year-Old Division, with a win in the first competition of the division and a third place in Thursday’s final event. New York BC is by Presley Boy, who competed successfully at the international level under Mexican rider Jamie Azcarraga, and out of McLain Ward’s gold medal Olympic mount Sapphire. The judges of the Classic Champions Tour reward one horse per generation with the “Classic Champions Award of Distinction.” The award is given to the horse that the judges felt demonstrated exceptional jumping style, quality of canter and rideability.
“He was a little green out there and had a rail in the jump-off,” said Hayes. “It was just something new, going a bit quicker. It happens. It is part of the process with the young ones. Young horses have to make mistakes, it is the only way they learn. These classes are very important because they give the young ones an opportunity to come into a place like this and figure it out.”
The winner of Thursday’s $5,000 Classic Champions 5-Year-Old Jumper Table II class was Delaney, by Bustique, owned by Lothlorien Farm and Ariel Grange and ridden by Dennis Dijkerman. They completed both rounds without penalty, with a jump-off time of 47.30 seconds.
“He is a homebred,” said Dijkerman of his mount. “He is a full brother to Daniel Coyle’s first Nations Cup horse, so he is a favorite in the barn. It is really quite exciting because we know he has potential. He can be a little full of himself, but I would say he is a horse with a great future. It’s nice to win something like this, there was so much for him to look at but he stayed focused and had a lovely round.”
Mevis De Muse and Brittni Raflowitz sped to victory in the $7,500 Classic Champions 6-Year-Old Jumper Table II class with double clear rounds and a jump-off time of 39.860. Not only did Mevis De Muse (Elvis Ter Putte x Heroine De Muze), owned by ESI Show Jumpers, perform exceptionally, so did Raflowitz, who rode while feeling decidedly under the weather.
“The course was technical enough for the young horses and it gave them a bit of a challenge,” said Raflowitz. “To come out on the grass and see new things and jump new fences in a place like this is quite a test. But it all worked out and I am very proud of my baby. He has had a month off from showing, I try not to push him too hard. I feel that he already knows his job so I just try to not overdo it with him. He hasn’t had a rail down in the show ring in five months. He has already surpassed my expectations.”
Second place in the class went to Charlotte Jacobs and Hi-Jack (Vegas x Lydia), owned by North Star. The pair jumped two fault-free courses but were barely a second slower in the jump-off, finishing in 40.240 seconds.
The Award of Distinction for 6-Year-Old horses went to Catania 137 and rider Mavis Spencer. Catania 137 is by Coffee 18 out of Caipirhina 2, and is owned by Sarah Ryan. The pair placed fourth and sixth in the classes offered in the division.
The Classic Champions $15,000 7-Year-Old Jumper class was won by Taylor Flury aboard the AliBoo Farm entry Calano Z. The pair bested a field of 24 entries to achieve the win. Calano Z is by Calato Z out of Calvacolle Z, and is a horse that is close to Flury’s heart. She has had the horse “since he was born” and she is the only person who has ever ridden or jumped him. It was a truly emotional day for Flury; the win was dedicated to her grandfather whose funeral was today. But on a happier note, today also happens to be the birthday of Calano Z’s owner.
“He is a very special horse,” said Flury. “He jumped great and he loves the field here. We have done this series for three years and this show for two, since it began. The field here is awesome for the young horses it is a great experience for them. It allows them to get out of the traditional sand ring, the courses are age appropriate, tough enough for their age but not too technical or uninviting. We love Classic Champions and we love Deeridge.”
The Award of Distinction for the 7 Year-Olds was given to Celina, owned by Jane Forbes Clark and ridden by Ben Maher. The mare, by Centadel out of Agronda, best exhibited all the criteria of exceptional jumping style, quality of canter and rideability.
The young horse classes are non-USEF rated, held in Deeridge Farms’ beautiful grass Grand Prix Ring, and offer $40,000 in prize money. The courses for the Classic Champions young horse classes were designed by Frederic Cottier, an FEI Level 4 Show Jumping Course Designer, who won a Bronze Medal at the Seoul Olympics and was the course designer for the 2014 World Equestrian Games.