Atlanta Fall Classics – Week One

Conyers, GA - The 10th Annual Barry Lane Memorial Jumper Classic kicked off the action of the Atlanta Fall Classics at the Georgia International Horse Park. “This is always a personal event to the horse show staff. Barry Lane was not only a great supporter of the Atlanta events, but a dear friend to many of us. We all feel her presence here and hope she’s enjoying this class.” Bob Bell, President of Classic Company said. This year’s Jumper Classic boasted 59 entries.

The format of the classic was changed this year –Bell explained, “For the past eight years we’ve offered $25,000 in a single classic to the Adult and Children jumpers but rules have changed, so rather than give up our Barry Lane Memorial we ran it as two classes. The first on Saturday evening under the lights of the Olympic arena for $10,000 and the second class on Sunday afternoon prior to the Grand Prix for $15,000. They were both a great success.” 

The $10,000 Barry Lane Memorial ran on Saturday evening over a meter 1.10 course set by Allen Rheinheimer. Last year’s winner Alissa Kinsey with mount Grisset seemed a shoe in for a repeat victory, until Patricia Hennessy of Kintnersville, PA aboard Little Tom galloped into the arena and made some big moves.  Hennessy shaved some precious time by actually adding a stride or two on course, “He’s [Tom] got short choppy strides, so I can drop them in if I need to. And it set me up good for the next turn [a tall vertical].” 

The 16 year-old unusual cross of an Irish Sport Horse and a Connemara Pony began as a “project ride” 8 years ago after Hennessy’s original mount passed away. She said of his breeding, “He was a mistake, I can’t remember which but either the stallion got lose or the pony did and Tom is the result.” This marked the second huge victory for Little Tom this fall, he and Hennessy captured the North American League Adult Jumper Championship at Harrisburg before heading south to Conyers with trainer Chris Kappler. Hennessey confessed the relationship with Little Tom hasn’t been easy, “It took a while for us to click. I think he may have had some trust issues, but now we’re in sync and bonded. He wants to win and if he doesn’t he gets mad.” Hennessy appreciates and respects the competition, saying “This was a tough field. Great group of riders and horses.”  

Asked about riding in the Olympic venue under the lights, Hennessy said, “It was exciting. Actually it was funny, because when I read about the Barry Lane Memorial I didn’t know who she was so I googled her and found out how special a person she was. That made this mean a lot more.”

Official Results for the $10,000 Barry Lane Memorial Adult-Children’s Jumper Classic:
1st Little Tom owned and ridden by Patricia Hennessy
2nd Grisset owned and ridden by Alissa Kinsey
3rd Chalvino Z owned and ridden by Kady Abrahamson
4th Camera Ready owned by Fit to Print Farm and ridden by Leigh Cofer-Smith
5th Alf owned by Showcase 81 LLC and ridden by Taylor Adams
6th Johnny Dublin owned by Ernie Irvan and ridden by Jordan Irvan
7th Jet owned and ridden by Lila Sessums
8th Charlemagne owned and ridden by Annie Kuniansky
9th Tulip owned by Redfield Farm and ridden by Mattie Worsham
10th Skylark owned and ridden by Andreas De Leyer
11th Campiola owned and ridden by Dana Tourville
12th Las Vegas owned by Anna Lisa Lee and ridden by Danielle Pedersen

On Sunday Rheinheimer set the second Barry Lane Memorial Jumper Classic for the meter 1.15 level. It was a layout full of turns and combinations that covered the vast spread of the arena. It was a déjà vu moment for Patricia Hennessy and Little Tom as the duo claimed victory in this $15,000 Memorial Classic. “The course was a little bit longer today, and it had a couple of good questions- some lines were on the half stride so you had to decide if you were going to add it or leave it out.” Hennessy said. All 50 plus competitors brought their “A game” and most had targeted Hennessy as the one to beat. “I tried not to think about anything but getting through the first round, then I’d worry about the jump off.” Hennessy said. A strategy that paid off well.

The abbreviated jump off round, despite the inclusion of the bank on the layout, turned into a good ole fashioned horse race with a mere 100th of a second determining Hennessy and Little Tom’s triumph. “The bank in there added a dimension, which I love that kind of stuff – a nice change. He [Tom] was such a good boy.” Hennessy said. Good boy indeed, Tom’s quick strides clinched the win and gave Patricia bragging rights to both of the Barry Lane Memorial Classics.

Official Results for the $15,000 Barry Lane Memorial Adult-Children’s Jumper Classic:
1st Little Tom owned and ridden by Patricia Hennessy
2nd Camera Ready owned by Fit to Print Farm and ridden by Leigh Cofer-Smith
3rd Skylark owned and ridden by Andreas De Leyer
4th Dennis the Menace owned and ridden by Rachel Johnston
5th Johnny Dublin owned by Ernie Irvan and ridden by Jordan Irvan
6th Set Sail owned and ridden by Tracy Slaughter
7th Paddington owned and ridden by Lillian Hahn
8th Golden Boy owned and ridden by Anne Gardner
9th Jessika De Brekka owned by Tony Weight and ridden by Catherine Billings
10th Grisset owned and ridden by Alissa Kinsey
11th Chalvino Z owned and ridden by Kady Abrahamson
12th Candor 15 owned and ridden by Dana Tourville

Week one, also saw heated competition for the Zone 4 Champion titles in both the Hunter and Jumper divisions. Riders residing in Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, or Tennessee competed in a total of three classes, for the hunters two will be over fences and one under saddle with judges issuing a numeric score for not only the division, but with bonus points going to the Zone Finals total. For the jumpers all three classes will be over fences in their respective divisions. Complete Zone 4 results can be found via the Classic Company web site or the USHJA web site.

Derby hopefuls also got the opportunity to strut their stuff with the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Classic. A field of 32 up and coming horses took on Joe Caricone’s Derby type layout which had its fair share of turns, broken lines, and optional fences ranging from 3’ to 3’3.  “This class is designed for riders with horses looking to move on to the big Derbies, and it’s great way for the amateurs to get a feel of what riding in a Derby is like.” said Bob Bell of Classic Co.

Official Results for the USHJA National Hunter Classic:
1st Vince owned by Greg Burrow and ridden by Julie Curtin
2nd You and I owned by and ridden by Elizabeth Boyd
3rd City of Angels owned by DC Sales & Entertainment and ridden by Megan Edrick
4th Good Fella owned by Kyle Register and ridden by Christina Jason
5th Excurs owned by Terry Russell and ridden by Hannah Echols
6th Ursula owned by Carolina Clark Morrison and ridden by Julie Curtin
7th Cascade owned and ridden by Kristin Martiniello
8th Concierge owned by Nestldown Equine Services LLC and ridden by Quinn Larimer

Wrapping up the first week in Conyers was the $25,000 EMO Grand Prix with 27 of show jumping’s finest equine athletes taking on an 87 second allowance to navigate the twisty technical layout by designer Allen Rhienheimer. In the end the day would belong to the first and fastest clear rides by Megan Edrick of the Ocala, FL based Don Stewart Stables partnered with the Procedures, Inc owned Cadence. They were sixth in the order of go but first to post a clear round in 84.447. Following was Columbus, SC favorite owner-rider Sara Ketcham aboard Urioso clearing the timers in 86.206 seconds and guaranteeing a jump off round. Shortly afterwards Wellington, FL based USET member Riley Schuyler brought her mount Goldmarie 33 over the final jump clear in 81.008. Moments later it was Lebanon, OH based Wilhelm Genn with crowd pleaser Happy Z joining the party with a clean ride in 84.478. Only three more would have their names added to the jump off list- Jack Hardin Towell of Camden, SC with Fieona (owned by Kelly Maloney)posting a clear 83.288, Theo Genn riding L’Etoile for The L’Etoile Group, LLC in a clean 86.430, and owner-rider Christina Jason of Aiken, SC with Tamino clearing the timer in 86.862.

“The course rode really smooth and was a good one for my horse.” Edrick said of round one. Even with rollbacks, sharp turns, and tight combo jumps, it was speed that propelled the elite group of seven to the final round. “That horse is amazing!” Edrick complimented of her 10 year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding, “He [Cadence] excels on a big field like that, he can really open up his stride.”

Round two offered a time limit of 48 seconds to traverse the 8 fence layout with its share of snares to catch the riders. “The jump off I liked because he could really go for it. There were a lot of options you could take to gain speed.” Edrick shared. Beginning in the middle of the former Olympic arena, the course serpentine its way around via a triple combination [vertical to oxer to vertical out] to a swift left turn over another oxer to a hard right turn to the final line with a big turn over #14 vertical and push to clear the final oxer . Leading off the second round when so much is on the line could easily intimidate young riders, but not so with Edrick, “Despite going back first, I just knew I’d go for it. What do I have to lose? I wanted to be first and he [Cadence] stepped up!”  The pair cleared the timers in 38.861, a feat only one other pair would duplicate, yet fall short on the time. “It was our day!” an exuberant Edrick said.  

Edrick’s can do attitude has been attracting attention over the past couple of seasons, she represented the USA in Brazil in 2010, helping to secure the Gold Medal and hopes for more opportunities to ride for the US, “I really hope to do more of those tours and World Cups and just represent my country!” a beaming Edrick concluded.

Official Results in the $25,000 EMO Grand Prix
1st Cadence with Megan Edrick for owner Procedures, Inc  38.861  0
2nd L’Etoile with Theo Genn for owner The L’Etoile Group LLC 45.966  0
3rd Happy Z with owner-rider Wilhelm Genn 39.496  4
4th Fieona with Jack Hardin Towell for owner Kelly Maloney & Hardin Towell 40.602 4
5th Goldmarie 33 with Riley Schuyler for owner Wolfstone Stables  41.535  4
6th Tamino with owner-rider Christina Jason 45.263  4
7th Urioso with owner-rider Sara Ketcham 46.624  8
8th Winchester with Theo Genn for owner Bridlebourne Stables  90.427  2
9th Via Dolorosa with owner-rider Derek Petersen  81.332  4
10th Hennessey with owner-rider Chasen Boggio  81.397  411th Grande Finale 3E with owner-rider Emily Short 80.393  8
12th Sympa with Daniel Geitner for owner Mrs. Charles Bostwick  82.448  8

The Atlanta Fall Classics continues with more hunter/jumper action through November 20th. Admission is free and the public is invited to enjoy the exciting competition throughout the week along with $25,000 Welcome Stake and another $25,000 Grand Prix.

For more information or results on the 2011 Atlanta Fall Classics please visit and or call the show office at 770-602-2510. 

Photo Credit: Patricia Hennessy & Little Tom; Megan Edrick & Cadence ©Flashpoint Photography