Devon, PA - July 4, 2012 - A warm breeze welcomed the jumper competitors in the Gold Ring this afternoon during the first day of the Brandywine Valley Summer Series, presented by Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS). The second week of this two week series kicked off with the Junior/ Amateur-Owner Jumper and Child/Adult Jumper classes. Receiving top honors in the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper class was Caiza with Chelsea Babcock in the irons, followed by a win for 2oodles and Madeleine Jefferson in the Child/Adult Jumper class.
The Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper exhibitors were the first to showcase their skills this week. The class proved to be very challenging, with only two horse and riders advancing to the jump off. In the end, it was Chelsea Babcock of Endicott, NY and her own Caiza who took home the win. The duo had a clear first round and just one heartbreaking rail at the second to last jump to earn them the blue ribbon. Taryn Nolte of Blue Bell, PA aboard Fantastiek put in a clear effort in the first round but had two unfortunate stops at the double combination, putting them in second.
"Caiza is a Swedish Warmblood. I've had her for two years so we're a pretty good team now. She's a calmer horse so I just need leg and she listens really well, she knows me by now," explained Babcock. "We went clean in the first round and made the jump off, and then won the class in the jump off. In the jump off, the most strategic plan was in the last line to take a different track in the bending line so we could take out a stride and make up time."
The Child/Adult Jumpers were the last to see today in the Gold Ring. The class was held as an optimum time class; competitors would be required to go clean in the first round in order to progress to the jump-off where they would attempt to jump-off close to 40.000 seconds. 2oodles, a pony owned by Leigh Berman of Bayertown, PA and shown by Madeleine Jefferson emerged victorious. The duo went double clear and stopped the clock at 39.891 seconds, an impressive .109 seconds below the optimum time. Coming in second with two clear rounds and a time of 40.516 seconds was Valkenier with rider and owner Alexis Rappaport of Berwyn, PA. Leon with Stacey Walsh of Douglassville, PA in the irons turned in two clear rounds with a time of 38.477 to put them in third. Also putting in double clear efforts were Red Bull and Angelena Daprato, as well as Orlando and Hope Batchelor.
"My pony rode really nicely, she was very soft," commented Jefferson. "I knew that it was an optimum time class so I had to get forty seconds. I actually wasn't aware of the time clock, but when I got out my trainer said I had only been two-tenths of a second off the time."
Jefferson continued "My pony is an awesome pony, she definitely takes care of me. She can be tough at times but she can outjump everyone. She can be hard on my hands sometimes but she is very willing. She actually outjumped me on some things. We came to Brandywine last year and I did the same division. I love showing at the Devon Horse Show Grounds, it's so fun. I love the whole atmosphere here."
The jumper divisions at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series will continue tomorrow in the Dixon Oval with the Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper class and the NAL/WIHS Child/Adult Jumper Classic to be seen in the afternoon. The jumpers will conclude on Friday evening with the highlight event being the $5000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic.
For more information about the Brandywine Valley Summer Series, please visit http://brandywinevalleysummerseries.com.
Photo Credit: Cazia and Chelsea Babcock won the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper class at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series. Photo By: AnLi Kelly-Durham/PMG.