Conyers, Ga. – Mar. 30, 2018 – Jagger Topping and Union Jack closed Week II of the Atlanta Spring Classics on a high note, as victors in the Classic Hunter Derby.
Topping, of Sagaponack, New York, tackled the two round derby aboard Alice Keller’s Union Jack. The pair finished the classic round with a score of 79 points, before weaving their way to the handy round’s top score of 84 points. The duo ended the class with a total score of 163.
“Alice, Union Jack’s owner, kindly offered to let me show the horse this week,” Topping remarked. “It was quite a treat for me. My wife and I teach the kids, and I go to shows often, but it’s nice to be a part of the game. It’s nice for the kids to watch me ride and see me struggle and work, because they have to struggle and work too.”
Topping said the rounds built for the derby suited Union Jack’s manner of going; he described the Dutch warm blood as quirky, but honest and a great friend to have in the ring.
“Both rounds rode nicely — there were great options and the courses were twisty-turny,” he commented. “Union Jack is very good at the trot fence, he’s very good at landing on that correct lead. The single jumps on a diagonal asked some questions, but the horse held his leads beautifully.”
The Atlanta Spring Classic acts as a kick off for spring horse shows for Topping, whose wife Amanda and daughter Phoebe were also contenders in this specific event.
“This is one of our favorite horse shows,” said Topping. “We’ve been here many, many years. This is the start of spring horse showing for us, plus we look forward to coming here and getting away from the northeast for a few weeks of outdoor riding.”
Gianna Cobb, of Marietta, Georgia, ranked second for her two-round performance astride her own Allure. The pair clinched the highest classic score of 85, but their score of 76 in the handy round kept them two points behind the winners. Cobb finished the event with an overall score of 161.
Cobb was also the recipient of the $250 1st place 3’3″ bonus for the Classic Derby.
The third-place ribbon was awarded to William Lyles for his performance with his own Jungle Book. Lyles, of Nashville, Tennessee, piloted Jungle Book to a classic round score of 82 points, before tackling the handy round. A handy score of 78 accrued the duo a total derby score of 160.
Amanda Topping, of Sagaponack, New York, ranked fourth. In the saddle of Yvette Rechler-Newman’s Celebration, Topping navigated the two rounds to a total overall score of 156 points. Covington, Georgia’s Cindy Ball placed fifth for her performance with Pansy Winters’ Wheels of Fortune. Ball rode the 13-year-old Hanoverian to a two-round score of 141 points. Ball also left the ring with the 1st place 3′ $250 Bonus for the Classic Derby.
Sagaponack, New York’s Phoebe Topping ranked sixth for her ride in the irons of Tracey Topping’s Perfektionist. The duo achieved an overall total of 122 points. Phoebe also received a $150 Bonus for the Classic Derby 3’3”.
Madison Winebrenner of Lexington, Kentucky, ended the event in seventh place with her own App For That. Additionally, Winebrenner was awarded a $150 Bonus for the Classic Derby 3’0”.
While the Atlanta Spring Classic has come to a close, competition will continue with the Jacksonville Spring Classic, April 4-8 and April 11-15. Held at the Jacksonville Equestrian Centre, in Jacksonville, Fla., the circuit features two weeks of top-notch sport featuring the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on the beautiful grass derby field.
Place / Horse / Rider
1. Union Jack / Jagger Topping
2. Allure / Gianna Cobb
3. Jungle Book / William Lyles
4. Celebration / Amanda Topping
5. Wheels Of Fortune / Cindy Ball
6. Perfektionist / Phoebe Topping
7. App For That / Madison Winebrenner