Wellington, FL - March 20, 2011-The 2011 Artisan Farms Young Riders Grand Prix Series came to a conclusion on Sunday afternoon with its fourth and final event, the $15,000 Artisan Farms Young Riders Grand Prix, held on the grass field at the The Stadium of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.
Thirty-seven riders came out to try their hand at the course and 11 made it to the jump-off. Catherine Pasmore, of Charlottesville, VA, rode Pasmore Stables' Vandavid to the fastest clear round over the short course to earn top prize.
Today's class was the final of four qualifiers for the EY Cup Finals, which will be held at the FEI World Cup Finals in Leipzig, Germany. The top three riders in the series will have the opportunity to travel to Germany to compete and today's class finalized those standings. Through their sponsorship, The Dutta Corporation & International Horse Transport will be shipping the winning horse to the Finals and covering travel expenses for the highest scoring rider in this series.
At the completion of today's class, 16-year-old Reed Kessler of Armonk, NY, 16-year-old Charlotte Jacobs, or East Aurora, NY, and 21-year-old David Arcand, of Montreal, Canada, were the top qualifiers. Although she finished first in today's class, Catherine Pasmore was ninth in the overall standings.
Michel Vaillancourt of Aiken, SC, designed today's course on the derby field. Following Pasmore's leading time of 41.453 seconds, three others were able to jump double clear. Reed Kessler and Ligist finished with a clear jump-off round in 42.367 seconds to finish second. Callie Schott and John Madden Show Stables' Wrigley jumped clear in 43.837 seconds to place third. Patricia Koller rode Tirasinaa double clear in 46.452 seconds for fourth place, and Katherine Dinan had the fastest four fault round in 41.059 seconds riding Belle Dame D for fifth.
Class winner Catherine Pasmore has experience showing on a grass field after winning a young rider class at Hickstead, but this was her horse's first time showing out on the field at The Stadium. Vandavid is a 2002 KWPN stallion by Madison x Voltaire. Pasmore commented on her horse's performance today, smiling, "He was great. He loves the field; a big open gallop is his favorite and I just loosened my reins and let him go and he jumped really, really well."
Pasmore took a risky inside turn coming home to the last two fences, cutting inside a hedgerow on the field, and her risk paid off. She explained, "When I walked the course I thought that I would not take the risk of going inside the bushes, I thought that I would just go through the bushes and around, but there were so many clean that I had to take a shot at it. I just went right inside and the vertical came up perfectly and he walked the six strides to the last jump, so it all worked out really well."
Although Pasmore finished ninth overall in the series standings, she was very happy with her win today. "It means a lot to win this class," she acknowledged. "I have been trying to do well in the series and I have not done very well so far, so I am really happy to win the last one and end the circuit off with a good note."
The three riders now qualified to travel to Leipzig to compete in the EY Cup Finals are thrilled to experience such a great opportunity in their young careers. Reed Kessler led the series from day one, and maintained her place at the top through all four rounds of competition. Kessler felt pressure to hold on to her top place today and is now relieved to have successfully finished at the top. She laughed, "Finally, the stress is off. I have been freaking out the last week because I didn't want to blow it in the last trial. It is a huge weight lifted and I am so excited and I am glad that I did not mess up the final round."
Second place finisher Charlotte Jacobs agreed, stating, "The points were so close and it was all really up to the last round, but I don't think the standings changed at the top today, so it was good and I am very excited."
Jacobs, a top junior rider, has never had the opportunity to compete overseas, and is very excited for the trip. She smiled, "I have never shown in Europe, so that makes it even more exciting. I am nervous, excited, all of it. Just the fact that the World Cup Finals are running at the same time is so amazing."
The third and final qualifier to travel to the EY Cup Finals will be David Arcand. He was thrilled after today's class and beamed, "I am very happy. I was in a good place, but the last ride is everything. I could have been fourth, fifth, you never know, so I am really happy."
Arcand has also never shown in Europe and is looking forward to his first time traveling to Germany for competition. "It is a good experience and I think it is the first time that they have done the young rider finals for the world, so it is very good to be there and for everybody to see you. I am really excited about it."
Today's competition concluded week 10 at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Week 11, sponsored by FTI Consulting Inc., will begin on Wednesday, March 23. The week's feature events will include the $31,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 11 on Thursday afternoon and the feature event of the circuit, the $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix on Saturday. Gates open at 6 p.m.
Final Results: $15,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Round 4
1 VANDAVID CATHERINE PASMORE PASMORE STABLES: 0/0/41.453
2 LIGIST REED KESSLER REED KESSLER: 0/0/42.367
3 WRIGLEY CALLIE SCHOTT JOHN MADDEN SALES INC: 0/0/43.837
4 TIRASINAA PATRICIA KOLLER PATRICIA KOLLER: 0/0/46.452
5 BELLE DAME D KATHERINE DINAN GRANT ROAD PARTNERS: 0/4/41.059
6 PROMISED LAND CHARLOTTE JACOBS CANDY TRIBBLE & WINDSOR SHOW STABLES: 0/4/42.125
7 SINATRA IV MEG O'MARA DONALD STEWART: 0/4/42.197
8 SANTO'S UTOPIA DAVID ARCAND DAVID ARCAND: 0/4/42.350
9 VDL GROEP CAMARA CAITLIN ZIEGLER ARTISAN FARMS LLC: 0/4/43.049
10 LORENA 90 CHELSEA MOSS CHELSEA MOSS: 0/8/40.255
11 PUERTAS PARAISO STEVEN BLUMAN STEVEN BLUMAN: 0/30/65.733
12 VANCOUVER KATHERINE DINAN GRANT ROAD PARTNERS: 1/84.021
Final Standings for Top 12 in the Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series
1 Reed Kessler: 78
2 Charlotte Jacobs: 60
3 David Arcand: 54
4 Caitlin Ziegler: 47
5 Katherine Dinan: 43
6 Chase Boggio: 42
6 Meg O'Mara: 42
8 Callie Schott: 37
9 Catherine Pasmore: 36
10 Quentin Judge: 32
10 Victoria Birdsall: 32
10 Navona Gallegos: 32
Photo Credit: Catherine Pasmore and Vandavid; Catherine Pasmore and Vandavid with ringmaster Cliff Haines, a friend, Carlene Ziegler of Artisan Farms, and Michael Stone of Equestrian Sport Productions; Reed Kessler and Ligist; Charlotte Jacobs and Promised Land; David Arcand and Santo's Utopia jump in front of the water fountain at The Stadium. Photos © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, www.sportfot.com.