Parker, CO – June 8, 2017 – The summer horse show series kicked off on Thursday, June 1, at The Colorado Horse Park (CHP) in Parker, CO, with FEI CCI**/* & Horse Trials and the inaugural Dressage at High Prairie FEI CDI 3* & National Show presented by Adequan®. The inaugural Heart of the Horse Gala, benefitting several local charities, highlighted the weeklong events at the venue.
The Heart of the Horse Gala Highlights Fundraising Efforts
On Saturday, June 3, CHP welcomed The Heart of the Horse Gala, a night created to benefit Denver Dumb Friends League and Harmony Equine Center, as well as the Zoology Foundation at Crooked Willow Farms. The event ran in conjunction with the freestyle competition for both national and international levels of dressage during the Dressage at High Prairie CDI 3* & National Show presented by Adequan®.
Mark Bellissimo, Managing Partner of the Colorado Equestrian Partners (CEP), addressed the progress being made at The Colorado Horse Park, before the freestyle performances and noted the buzz surrounding potential expansion looking towards the future.
“We are very excited about this venue. Over the next few years, we are really hoping to re-energize equestrian sport for hunter/ jumper, eventing and dressage in this area. We think that this venue can do that, and we are looking forward to the opportunities that will exist here,” he said.
The evening was a success, bringing in over $12,000 for the benefitting charities.
Event organizer Sarah Tredennick commented, “This night would not have been possible without the board members that helped organize and execute this so diligently. With that being said, we would like to extend our thanks to those members, Beth Bowlen Wallace, Elizabeth Hamilton, Julie Graebel, Avie Roassaci and Stephanie Richards.”
The Heart of the Horse Gala, sponsored by Hyatt House Denver Tech Center and Jay’s Valet, also featured demonstrations and equestrian acts highlighting the beauty and elegance of the horse, including Sylvia Zerbini and her Grande Liberte Horses, Starfire Farm LLC Fjords Pas de Deux, and a western dressage freestyle presented by Francis Carbonnel.
A live auction and silent auction took place throughout the evening, offering packages that included a stay at Marble Inn, in Carbondale, CO, paired with a Maserati car rental for the weekend, as well as a four-night getaway provided by Exclusive Resorts and accompanied by transportation provided by Jay’s Valet town car services.
Eventing in the Rockies Brings Top Competition to the Midwest
Rebecca Brown (USA) and her own Dassett Choice, a 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Caricello x Hemmingway), took the lead after a strong dressage phase in the FEI CCI 2*.
“We’ve been working really hard on our dressage,” said Brown, “I would say that that is usually our hardest phase. However, he’s loving this cool weather and he came here and settled right in. He was fabulous yesterday, even though I was pretty nervous. I wanted to do well, and he was so cheeky in the barn, I just knew that he was going to be really good. This is his first CCI and he couldn’t have been better.”
Brown imported Dassett Choice three years ago with the help of Joe Meyer. “He was kind of a feral four-year-old when I got him,” continued Brown. “He’s doing so great now, though. I want to go out and win Fairhill hopefully! He’s very talented and has Advanced in his future. After that, we will see where we can go from there.”
The pair dominated throughout the weekend, concluding Sunday’s show jumping portion of the competition with a final score of 70.90, and the victory.
Clara Cargile (USA) and White Indian, a 2000 Irish Sport Horse gelding (White Clover x Indian Kitt), owned by Nancy & John Cargile, finished second on 56.60 penalties.
Julie Wolfert (USA) and mount Djabouti, a 2008 KWPN gelding (Wynton x Wousseaudonja), owned by Wolfert, captured the win in the CIC 2* with a final score of 56.40.
“In the dressage phase he was a little spookier than normal,” said Wolfert. “He’s on the hot side anyway, so I was getting a little nervous before I went in the arena. He seemed to settle though, and it was the first time I’ve done half passes in a test, so I was happy with it. He was a little hesitant on cross country, there were a lot of technical combinations, so he had to go out there and be fairly brave about it. He stepped up to the plate, and I was quite proud of him.”
Summer Peterson and Jake The Fish, a 2003 Thoroughbred Cross gelding (Verdine x Misty III), finished in second on 76.50 penalties. Third place went to Heather Drager and Nobless Obliege, on 78.60 penalties.
The CCI 1* saw a win for Kit Ferguson (USA) and Yoshi, a 1998 Holsteiner mare (Chant De Daix x A Leap of Faith), owned by Ferguson, with a score of 70.90. Dani Sussman took second place with Thurston B Howell, on 111.50 penalties. Third place went to Lauren Lambert and Fantastique, on 119.90 penalties.
Allyn Mann of Adequan® concluded the weekend by stating, “Watching the riders enjoy being out here, it makes me enjoy being out here. The investment that this park has made with the new footing, these horses are going over ground that is just about as good as it gets in this country. To top it all off, we have this backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. It doesn’t get any better than this.”
For more information on CHP, please visit www.coloradohorsepark.com.
Edited press release courtesy of: Kim Beaudoin for The Colorado Horse Park