Atlanta, GA - March 29, 2015 - The Atlanta Spring Classic at the Georgia International Horse Park has been jumping! The weekend kicked off on Thursday with the $5,000 Open Welcome followed by the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on Friday and Saturday brought the $25,000 EMO Grand Prix to home of the 1996 Olympic Games.
Pan American Games Course Designer, Michel Vaillencourt designed the jumper courses Week II and used the $5,000 Open Welcome as his 'opener'. Leann Kelly of Valatie, New York rose to the challenge and piloted Honorway Farm LLC's Leander to the win after posting double clear rounds in times of 75.712 seconds and 30.881 seconds, respectively. In second place Daniel Geitner of Aiken, South Carolina, winner of last week's $5,000 Horseflight Open Welcome with Chivas, rode The Kenwood Group's Kenwood to a second place finish after turning in double clear rounds in times of 72.224 seconds and 31.973 seconds, respectively. Ashley Foster of Brookeville, Maryland and Rolling Acres' Carlot finished in third after posting double clean rounds in times of 74.437 seconds and 35.895 seconds, respectively. For complete results click here.
The $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby saw a field of twelve horse and rider teams compete over a course designed by Vaillencourt in the Olympic Arena. Pony Lane Farm's Sterling, ridden by Elizabeth Boyd of Camden, South Carolina won the class after earning a combined score of 354. Second place finisher was Ava, owned and ridden by Kathryn Jarriel of Collins, Georgia after they posted an overall score of 340. Their second round score of 175 gave them the lead over third and fourth place finishers who also earned a combined score of 340. Kathleen Feely of Canton, Georgia and her own Albrecht earned a second round score of 173 and a total score of 340 which placed them third. Fourth place finisher Daniel Geitner and Thomas Visconi's Signal Hill had a second round score of 172 combined with their first round score of 168, placed them in fourth place.
Fifth was awarded to Brandon Gibson and Rube & Select Show Horses' Jus D'O for their overall score of 331. Geitner returned for his sixth place ribbon in the irons of Barbar Risius' Long Street after turning in an overall score of 318. For full results click here.
Saturday at the Olympic Venue is Grand Prix showing jumping day and the $25,000 EMO Grand Prix saw a field of 13 compete for the win in the Olympic Arena over a course designed by Vaillencourt. Sixteen year old Sydney Long of Atlanta, Georgia in the irons of her own Venchy De Bornival posted the only clear round in a time of 77.163 seconds, beating the 80 seconds time allowed and won the class.
This was not only the second grand prix the duo tackled, it was their first win! "The course was tricky, but we just listened to what Terry [Brown] told us to do," said Long. "Venchy and I felt very confident," Long continued, "He [Venchy] just loves his job," she said. Long has been riding since age six and started training with Terry Brown at Showcase Ltd last September. Long purchased 'Venchy' last November and showed him for half of the Gulf Coast Winter Classic Circuit in Gulfport. She competed in Gulfport in the 1.20m and 1.30m competitions and only started at the grand prix level during Week I of the Atlanta Spring Classic. "I rode last week in the prix and really wanted to come back to try it again this week. I asked my parents and they could tell it meant a lot to me to compete this week, so they let me," she said. "I am so happy they let me come back and really appreciate all they do for me," she added.
Long balances her high school academics and riding along with her travel basketball league, which keeps the family busy shuttling between activities. Future plans for Long and Venchy include shows in Kentucky and then back to the Georgia International Horse Park for the Atlanta Summer Classics.
The fastest of the four-faulters, Afandina, owned and ridden by Lexy Reed of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania took the second place ribbon after their first round effort in a time of 74.337 seconds with four jump faults. Third place finisher Daniel Geitner and The Kenwood Syndicate's Kenwood, took third place honors after posting a first round time of 75.437 seconds with four jump faults. Leann Kelly of Valatie, New York and Honorway Farm, LLC's Leander posted a first round effort in 78.092 seconds with four jump faults for a fourth place finish. For full results on the $25,000 EMO Grand Prix, click here.
Today is the last day of the Atlanta Spring Classic and according to Bob Bell, President of the Classic Company, "The rings are packed and going full steam."
The Atlanta Spring Classic kicked off March 18 for two weeks of AA shows. With more than $200,000 in prizes and awards up for grabs and hunter points to be had, the rings have been jumping! Stand by for the wrap up release!