Traverse City, MI - July 29, 2011 - With the sun back out in full force today in Traverse City, horses and riders at Horse Shows by the Bay had to keep their cool amidst considerable competition. The Adult and Children's Jumper divisions had a full schedule during both the morning and the afternoon, with the Low Adult and Children's Jumper Classics heating up Ring 4 at Flintfields Horse Park. Over in the Grand Prix ring, the Children's, Adult, and Modified Child/Adult Jumpers started the weekend in a winning fashion with great rounds galore.
The top finishers of the day included Reiley Wilson and Stefanie Calderone in the classics, Kady Abrahamson in the Children's Jumpers, Lauren Keck and Madeline Cooley in the Adult Jumpers, and Erin Haas in the Modifield Child/Adult Jumpers. Horse Shows by the Bay Series IV will continue through Sunday, when the Grand Prix ring will host a Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Prix, a Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, a Modified Child/Adult Jumper Classic, and a Children's/Adult Jumper Prix.
The Low Children's and Adult Jumper Classics were up first this morning and set an upbeat tone for the rest of the day. Reiley Wilson and Melissa Hirt's Orchidee sped through the course without a fault, with Kaylee Cloghessy and her own Isabelle coming in second. Sierra King and Notting Hill, owned by King, completed the top three. Following this class was the Low Adult Jumper Classic, sponsored by Sporthorse Saddlery. Stefanie Calderone and Final Destination charged through the course in Ring 4, producing an incredible jump-off time of 29.402 seconds. Calderone and her speedy mount blew past each fence without a fault, sacrificing neither speed nor accuracy in their trip. Jessica Bannister and her own Wild Card played their hand well, accomplishing two clear and spirited rounds of their own. Carl Perry and Olian D'Orange, owned by Perry, earned today's third place position. Lee Ann Ingram earned places fourth through sixth, on Bijou Bleu de Catope, Johnny Rocket, and Lil' Joe. All three of Ingram's rides today are owned by Riverview Farm LLC. Gay Sykes rode U.R. Just Lucky of Jim Sykes into seventh place, with Jenny Swanson coming in eighth on Patriot K of Emily Kinch.
Calderone's winning mount, Final Destination, has been with Calderone for over ten years. "We do the B circuit normally," Calderone stated, "so he does these jumpers - he's won the grand championships a few times. Since he sometimes over-anticipates, our first round is almost like schooling. I'll turn him the opposite direction than we would be going for the jump-off because he likes to turn in the air, even when I'm not telling him. He just sees a gap and thinks it's where he's supposed to go. So I use a slightly different strategy in our jump-off." Calderone's strategy is definitely paying off, as she and her Thoroughbred dominated today's classic. This is their first time showing at Horse Shows by the Bay.
In the Modified Child/Adult Jumpers, Erin Haas and Hans were first on the course and first to place in this afternoon's class. Hans carried Haas clearly through the jump-off in just 32.151 seconds, a time unmatched by anyone else in the event. The only other rider to achieve a clear second round was Kelsey Brown on her horse VDR Landon 8; the duo finished in second place. Cecily Waud and Ozaliat, owned by Janet Sassmannshausen, came in third with a highly spirited first round and an extremely fast jump-off, with just one rail preventing them from coming in first. The Children's Jumpers saw Kady Abrahamson win both classes, riding her own Irish Hunt and Chalvino Z. With Chalvino Z, Abrahamson also came in second in the class she won with Irish Hunt. Amanda Bozorgi came in third on Nathan Wegbreit's Tudor in that class. In the other Children's Jumper class of the day, Madison Lawton rode her own Juliette to second place, and Taylor Foote rode Theresa Foote's Loughnatousa Bronntanas into third. The Adult Jumpers saw Lauren Keck and Melissa Hirt's Galoupard prevail in the first class, with Lisa Baker and her own King Tobias coming in second. Heather Granader and Kathleen Caya's Learner's Permit rounded out the top three.
Today's Adult Jumper class, which was sponsored by Devoucoux Inc., witnessed a host of varied performances. A brightly-colored liverpool spooked several horses, while a rail on fence #7 just couldn't seem to stay put. Designer J.P. Godard's course kept riders on their toes, but a few falls kept them out of their saddles as well. Despite the challenge, six out of 16 horse and rider combinations were able to clear the course twice. Baker came in second, also on the energetic King Tobias, in the Adult Jumper class which was held in the Grand Prix ring today. Madeline Cooley was the last to ride in that class and thrilled spectators with a phenomenal jump-off time of 26.528 seconds. Cooley's brisk rounds earned her a first place finish, while Granader and Learner's Permit cantered cleanly into third. Of the other riders who aced the jump-off, Kim Woodsum and Maverick, owned by Shana Barnett, came in fourth, Rachel Geiger and her own Play Date came in fifth, and Kendall Meijer rode her own Caprio into the top six.
"The course was set really nice, it was a fun course," said Baker after her successful rides in the Adult Jumpers this afternoon. "It was also nice watching the children's, as there are some pretty good riders in the children's class as well." Regarding her success today, Baker noted, "I have a great horse, he can be very hot but he's also very sensitive, so if you say 'go' he goes, and if you say 'whoa' he whoas. I've had him since he was three and he's 11 now, so we've been through a lot of remakes but my final finish with him has been with Polly (Howard-Coberley), which has made him outstanding." Baker added, "I do like the footing; the first day we jumped on it he really jumped big so I think he liked it. Now I think he's used to it and he's just jumping really nice. This horse loves it here, he has been doing very well here for many years."
Also occurring in the Grand Prix ring today, the Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers saw Kimberly Seay triumph on Belvedere, her own talented jumper. Maria Costa and her own Reno came in second, and Lisa Goldman rode her own horse Don Salut into third place. In the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers, Erin Haas won again, this time on North Face Farm's Contino 46. Second place went to Lisa Goldman on her own Fontaine, and Laura Linback rode Woodrun's Casino to the third place position. In the 1.25m Jumpers, Samantha Ramsay continued her success on Via Veneto, owned by The Dammerman/Kamine Families LLC, finishing first in today's class. Lisa Baker and Zyminka finished in second place, and Erin Haas made an appearance in third place on North Face Farm's As Di Chupito. Finally, in the 1.30m Jumpers, Wilhelm Genn had a win on Winchester, owned by Bridlebourne Stables LLC. Genn also picked up third place on Eduardo Leon's Janitzio. In second place was Sandra Dalman on Santa Fe, owned by Southview Inc.
During Series IV, the fourth and final week of competition, notable events include the $30,000 D-BRAIDER Cherry Capital Classic Grand Prix, as well as a $10,000 Children's/Adult Jumper Prix and VIP Sponsor Luncheon. The rest of this week will also feature multiple equitation medal classes and the finals for the Hunter Jumper Association of Michigan's medal events. A CANTER fundraiser and raffle will be held tomorrow, with tickets being available in the show office. A non-profit organization, CANTER seeks to match Thoroughbred ex-racehorses with new homes and new careers.
By the conclusion of this month-long celebration of equestrian athletes, more than half a million dollars in prize money will have been awarded. For more information on Horse Shows by the Bay or to view schedules, please visit www.horseshowsbythebay.com or call 231-267-3700.
Photo: Heather Granader and Learner's Permit ride in the Adult Jumpers at Horse Shows by the Bay Credit: Robyn Keyster/PMG