Tampa, FL -March 29, 2012 - Today saw immense competition as the hunters turned the second day of the Tampa Bay Classic into a nail biter. Although Hunt Tosh piloted his mount Say Again into the spotlight yesterday with his sweeping wins in the over fences, it was Amanda Steege who came out on top earning four hunter championships today. Adrienne Iverson also was awarded the tricolor championship aboard Maximus, taking the top honors in the second day of the Pre-Green Hunters.
The morning commenced with a competitive class of Pre-Green Hunters, completing the division for the first week of the Tampa Equestrian Series. Submerged in a group of talented horse and rider teams, it was Iverson who would take the championship honors. She directed Maximus, owned by Redfield Farm, to a triplet of winning rides. Under the direction of trainer Emil Spadone, Iverson managed to seal her spot at the top in the first day of the Tampa Bay Classic.
"Maximus is a stallion but he doesn't even know it," laughed Spadone. "This year is his first crop, and he is just a wonderful character; you would never know he was a stallion. I am confident that his babies are going to be just as competitive and excel in either the hunter or jumper arena."
Spadone continued, "The courses were great, and he is certainly still green so he handled them very well. Sometimes he does such a great job tucking his knees that he forgets about his hind end, but you could see in his second course that he learns instantly. Before we came here we were in Ocala, showed him twice, and he was champion both weeks. We have 21 horses here in Tampa, and I have been coming here since I was a young, so it has a nostalgic effect on me."
Following closely behind, Steege piloted her second horse of the Pre-Green Hunter division, Winter Wonder, owned by Lise Rever, to a the first and third place wins securing her first week one title of reserve champion.
"He is one of our relatively recent horses, and I am really pleased with how today went," commented Steege. "We got him right before HITS Ocala, and he was Pre-Green Circuit Champion there. It was nice to have him be so perfect right from the start."
Completing the class pinning were Mary Eufemia and Summer Daze, Adrienne Iverson and London, Stacy Mayberry and Equisong's Rolls Royce, Amanda Steege and Hello Kitty, and Lauren Barth aboard each of her two mounts Speranza and Ciscana.
The continuation of the day included the Performance 3'3" Hunters. The design of the course was of a standard hunter pattern; however, it had just enough variation to allow riders a choice of striding in the bending line, as well as inside and outside turns between fences. It was organization and consistency that brought Steege to the top yet again. She showed four different mounts in the division, with all earning top awards in every round. Cashmier, owned by Judy Rutowski, took the championship honors, with Prestigious, owned by Dr. and Mrs. McGuire, earning the reserve tricolor for their efforts. Steege continued her success with Judi Root's Vintage Ink earning the first and fourth place ribbons for their efforts. The successful rider continued to dominate the division, leaving nothing to chance aboard Bouley, owned by Ivy Trzebucki, the talented duo snatched up the remaining top ribbons with ease.
"Showing four horses in a division is certainly tiring, but I enjoy doing it, and it is so great when they all come out on top," beamed Steege.
The afternoon classes proceeded with the Green Hunter division, and after a challenging first day of unrelenting quality from both horse and rider, it was a tough climb to the top. Luckily, Steege and Tosh put in distinguishable rounds on day one, allowing them to seal their spot in the top two positions. Steege guided Big Girls Don't Cry, owned by Kelly Cartwright, to the championship honors, while Tosh led Say Again to the reserve placing. While this is only Tosh's first year in Tampa, Steege is a veteran of the competition and her immense success so early on in the week is certainly generating excitement.
"I have a large number of horses that I am showing, and I appreciate the work that the staff does to make everything run smoothly," remarked Steege. "I love Tampa. I find it very user-friendly. I enjoy being in the permanent barns, and I think that Stadium Jumping does a really great job with the event. I have a few friends who have come here for the first time this year and actually have already stated that they will bring a large group back next year."
Tosh had similar remarks. "I am really satisfied with today's ride, especially after two great courses yesterday. There is a very nice group of riders here, and it definitely makes for more of a challenge, but that is the best part."
During the Tampa Equestrian Series, riders will have the opportunity for championship and reserve championship honors in the Professional Hunter divisions, Junior Hunter divisions, and Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions. The event also features the Tampa Series Hunter High Score Circuit Awards in several hunter divisions, which will be awarded during the 40th Annual $200,000 Gene Mische American Invitational presented by G & C Farm, at Raymond James Stadium.
For more information on Stadium Jumping, Inc. and the 2012 Tampa Equestrian Series please call (941) 744-5465. To download a copy of the prize list, please visit www.stadiumjumping.com.
Photo Credit: Amanda Steege and Caschmier rode to the top of the hunter results during the Tampa Bay Classic's second day of competition. Photo By: Elizabeth Vieira/PMG.