Atlanta Summer Classics-Something for Every Rider


April 15, 2012-St Johns Island, SC- Still undecided on summer plans? Bob Bell, President of Classic Company, would like to tempt you, “Our summer events are bursting at the seams with great offerings! We’ve taken exhibitors’ horse show wish list and made them a reality!” 

The Atlanta Summer Classics, held at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, GA, is a USEF AA rated two week event beginning June 13 through June 24. This year’s event will play host to the inaugural $25,000 Pony Hunter Derby Classic. “This will be the first of two $25,000 Pony events for the summer. We have some of the country’s best talent in our pony sections and I think it’s time they get rewarded for their efforts.” Bell said. The second Pony Hunter Classic will be held in July at the Charleston Summer Classic. 

Both events will be open to all ponies, even non members; however they will need a valid USEF measurement card. “Each Pony Derby Classic will be held as a two round event. The first round will be judged numerically and the top 20 will return for a second round. The course will be made up of 12 jumps with heights being adjusted for each section. Small ponies will show at 2’3, Mediums at 2’6, and the Larges at 3’.” Bell said.  Both Derby Classics will be run under the specifications of USEF rule HU 146 and the entry fee for each is $250.00. The prize money will be distributed through 12th place.

Pony riders aren’t the only ones getting a spotlight in Atlanta this summer, the first week of the series has been designated a World Championship Hunter Rider event, featuring the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. “For those riders looking towards the Derby Finals this is a great opportunity to prep. Our Derby courses in the former Olympic arena provide both the rider and horse the chance to compete on a huge field over some challenging obstacles.” Bell said.  Also during the WCHR week will be the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, the Atlanta Cup Equitation for Ponies, and the popular Grand Puba Junior Hunter Championship.  Jumper riders aren’t forgotten either, with a $35,000 Grand Prix to close the week.

There’s plenty to keep exhibitors attention between the show weeks too. The USHJA Zone 4 Hunter and Jumper Committees are sponsoring two special clinics; on Monday, the USHJA Riders Clinic with Jimmy Torano and Tuesday, the USHJA Water Jumping Clinic with Wilhelm Genn. These clinics are free of charge and while both have filled, auditors are welcomed. Please contact Jill Mills for additional information at 404-731-3643.

Week two of the Atlanta Summer Classics will host an array of exciting events, such as the Emerson Burr Program for Pony riders and one of the most popular annual social happenings returns to the Grand Prix arena- the 15th Annual Outback Steakhouse Charity Dinner! “Each year this dinner sells out and local charities win big! It’s a delicious way to give back to a community that welcomed our horse shows to their area even before the Olympic fanfare. I’m proud of the good works our charity dinner has and continues to do.” Bell said.  The 140 foot party tent along the grand prix arena will offer the VIP tables great views of all the action.

During the Outback Steakhouse dinner the crowd will be entertained with a special class, the $3,500 Ride and Run. “This is a fun class for jumper riders and their grooms! Without giving too much away- the rider does a special course while the groom, equipped with a wheel barrel of hay, grain, and water makes their way across the arena, both competitors trying to have the best time.” Bell shared.

There will also be a Zone 4 Forum hosted by the committee members and back by demand, Just Ask the Judges, sponsored by Practical Horseman magazine, with guest Jimmy Clapperton and Thom Brede on hand to answer exhibitors’ questions.

Highlighting the second week will be the debut of the $25,000 Pony Hunter Derby Classic in the Grand Prix arena and to close the series another $35,000 show jumping Gran Prix. “It’s going to be a great classic summer!  We’re expecting to put up three tents so I hope folks will get their entries in early- they don’t want to miss this series! Bell concluded.

The Classic Company is a USHJA Members Choice Award winner, known for producing quality, exhibitor friendly, international-level hunter/jumper horse shows throughout the Southeast US. For additional information on any of the 2012 events please call the office at 843-768-5503 or visit them on the web at www.classiccompany.com and for great hotel or condo rates contact www.equestriantravel.com.




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