Littlestown, PA - May 17, 2015 - Andrea Torres Guerreiro's show jacket, stirrups and saddle pad are already an eye-catching blue, but following a successful week at the Blue Rock Classic Guerreiro is going home with even a bit more blue. She earned the victory in Friday's $5,000 Speed, and on Sunday she rounded out the horse show at Swan Lake Stables with a win the $5,000 SJHOF High Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic.
Guerreiro and Fifty Shades were the only combination to successfully navigate the Catsy Cruz designed course without fault, securing the victory in just one round. Second place in the $5,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic went to Jacob Pope and Zilvana who finished on four faults in a time of 72.012 seconds. Rounding out the top three were Lucy Matz and Cardella, also ending on just four faults.
"[Catsy Cruz] is a very good FEI designer. I had a really good show with her," Guerreiro said."You sort of try to follow the designers that you know suit your riding style. This one was more challenging for an amateur class. There were some really tough turn backs to wide oxers. The triple combinations were not small at all."
The 1.40m course was a good test for the young Fifty Shades who, at 7 years old, just made the move up to the High Amateur-Owners with Guerreiro.
"The course was very technical, and sometimes [Fifty Shade]'s rideability is not right there," Guerreiro said. "He's still a little bit green, but today he was just fantastic. I had a little bit of an issue in the last line bringing him back in the five strides, but he made them fit. He had a beautiful clean round."
Also turning in a beautiful clean round earlier in the day on Sunday were Wendy Libert and her 11-year-old Selle Francais mare, Papillion Peanut. For Libert and Papillion Peanut, it came down to a race to the wire to win the $3,500 NAL/WIHS/M&S Adult Classic.
From the original starting field, 19 horses went clear and advanced to the jump-off, turning it into a true test of speed and maneuverability. "Since there were a lot of people clean, I went to do the jump-off and knew I just had to go for it and hope that I left everything up," Libert said.
Even though, Libert says Papillion Peanut is always laid back in the farm, she loves the fact that the mare is all business when she enters the ring and can pull out a jump off time of 28.875 seconds, nearly two seconds faster than second place finishers Alexandra Volta and Lover Boy.
"She is really fast across the ground and has a big stride, but she is very adjustable," Libert said. "You can gallop flat out and then she can be really good in the turns."
As a full-time facilities manager in Washington D.C., Libert appreciates coming to such a well-run event where she can enjoy the weekend and showcase her hard work with her mare.
"We have shown here for many years," Libert said. "It's fairly close to home, and it's nice for my farm to be able to bring grand prix horses and some of the lower level horses. It is a great variety, and we all really enjoy it."
Volta and Lover Boy claimed the second place honors with a time of 30.75 seconds, and Kendall Casaccio and Elevation 1147 came in just behind her to take third, tripping the timers at 30.935 seconds.
Also earning classic victories on Sunday were Joan Reilly and Condor and Taegan Long and Pollux De Shalimar in the $2,500 NAL/WIHS/M&S Children's Classic and the $2,5000 NAL Low Junior/Amateur Owner Classic, respectively.
Morgan Ward and Samantha Schaefer Secure 3'6" Hunter Championships
For Morgan Ward and Samantha Schaefer, the final day of the Blue Rock Classic saw the close of an extremely successful weekend in the Junior and Amateur-Owner 3'6" Hunters. Ward earned the Junior 3'6" Hunter championship aboard Broadway while Schaefer claimed the same honor in the Amateur-Owner 3'6" Hunters riding Classified.
"Broadway is a phenomenal horse. Ever since we got him, he's been unbelievable," Ward said of the 9-year-old Oldenberg gelding owned by her sister Lindsey Ward. "I ride him like a big pony. He'll leave from wherever for me, which is so nice. He jumps like a freak. He's just everything."
Before being awarded the championship, Ward swept all four of the division's over fences classes and earned the victory in the $1,000 Junior Hunter Classic.
Schaefer and Classified saw very similar results, taking first place in three out of four of their over fences classes, in the under saddle and in the $1,000 Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic.
"We got him just before Capital Challenge last year. He's probably shown about six times. I've been at school, so I just come back and forth," Schaefer, a senior at Baylor University, explained. "He's an awesome horse. He's so easy to get to the ring. He always wants to win. He's been champion or reserve every time out."
Following a successful junior career, Schaefer is enjoying competing as an amateur and bringing along young horses including her second Amateur-Owner 3'6" Hunter mount, Stallone, as well as Capital and Hashtag, both of whom made their Amateur-Owner 3'3" Hunter debuts today.
"Stallone is a baby. He's a First Year horse this year," Schaefer said. "At his very first horse show he did the Pre-Greens here [at the Blue Rock Classic] last year. He's come a long way."
Schaefer continued: "The horses really enjoy it here, and it's close to home, so we can stay at home. We'll be back again in July and sometime later in the fall as well."
Taking the reserve championship in the Junior 3'6" Hunters was Samantha Schaefer's sister, young talent Madeline Schaefer. The reserve championship in the Amateur-Owner 3'6" Hunters went to Elizabeth Faraci and Chamonix.
In the Large Junior 15 and Under 3'3" Hunters the championship went to Alexis Ortenzio and Revolution, and the reserve championship was awarded to Abigail Russo and Cornelius B.
"He's such a little stud. He's amazing," Ortenzio said. "We just work really well together. I'm just so grateful that I have him. I've had him for about two years. I did half a season of Children's when I first got him, then a full season of Children's and qualified for Zones. Now we're doing the Juniors."
Ortenzio kicked off the division on Saturday with blues in each class that she entered with Revolution, including wins in two over fences classes and the under saddle. Ortenzio knows she cannot rest on her laurels though, and she will be working hard in the weeks and months ahead leading up to her first Junior Hunter Finals in July. Part of that work will include additional showing at Swan Lake.
"I came to almost all of the shows here in the winter time, and we come to a lot of them in the summer. I love it here," Ortenzio said. "I think it's just beautiful here, and a lot of people that I've shown against for a long time come here so it's fun."
Also a frequent Swan Lake Horse Shows exhibitor is this week's Large Junior 16 - 17 3'3" Hunter champion, Mary Claire Medeiros. Medeiros earned the victory aboard Argento, a 5-year-old warmblood gelding.
"I got him 7 months ago in Holland when he was 4," Medeiros said. "This is only his sixth horse show. He's very easy to ride." Medeiros continued, "I've been coming here ever since I started showing in the ponies, and I'm 16 now."
"You could say that she learned to ride her at Swan Lake," said Medeiros' trainer Scotty Sherman of Hunting Horn Farm.
The reserve championship in the Large Junior 16 - 17 3'3" Hunters went to Cristyn Edwards and Wilhelm.
In the Small Junior 3'3" and in a show ring dominated by largely warmbloods, it was a Thoroughbred who rose to the top and took home the division's tricolor. Mali Selman and Man of Steel earned blue ribbons in two of the divisions over fences classes and in the under saddle before also being named division champions.
"He's a really good boy. He takes care of me. I've had him for three years," Selman said. "He actually raced about 30 times before I got him. I got him from Tebogo Sport Horses, and they got him off the track. He's just a really, really cool horse."
Selman made the trip to the Blue Rock Classic from Leesburg, Virginia, and enjoys coming to Swan Lake for the show. "I like this one a lot. There are different people than I normally see in Virginia, and it's really open and there are a lot of really nice horses," Selman concluded.
The reserve championship in the Small Junior 3'3" Hunters went to Blaire Miran and Lariat. In the Amateur-Owner 3'3" Hunters the championships were presented to Bonnie Auger and Marcus Zarrelius in the 18-35 division and to Elizabeth Faraci and Adore in the 36 and Older division.
While Sunday marked the conclusion of the Blue Rock Classic, AA-rated competition continues at Swan Lake with the Summer Kick-Off Classic on June 16 - 21 and the Swan Lake Fall Festival on August 26 - 30.
For more information on upcoming Swan Lake Horse Shows, visit www.swanlakehorseshows.com.