Zionsville, IN - The highlight of the Traders Point Horse Show was the $75,000 Grand Prix of Indianapolis where thirty two riders tried to put in fault- free rounds for a piece of the prize money. The warm sunny Sunday brought hoards of spectators to enjoy the day's festivities. The charity event benefits the Riley Children's Foundation.
The thirteen-jump course on the beautiful grass field, designed by Philip J. Devita of Apopka, FL, had great views from every angle for spectators. The design included the open water jump, which was viewable on one side, a jump on the famous hill in front of the sponsor tent and three combinations for the other vantage points. Devita used the field wisely during the week so the footing was good despite a few rainy days.
The pre-show events included the traditional lead line class with many young entries excited for the chance to ride their favorite mount and the parade of champions to display the week's winners. Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence and his wife Karen, were on hand for a welcome speech topped off with the national anthem and a flyover of a vintage aircraft.
With the crowd revved up and horses warmed up, competitors started to set foot in the ring to tackle the track. Sharn Wordley of Ocala, FL with Bugatti were first to take a swing, setting the bar high with the first clean round. Next up was Olympic alternate, Charlie Jayne of Elgin, IL with Pony Lane's Valeska, adding another clean round right at the start of the class.
Then the course began to take its toll, showing how difficult the track could be. The open water proved to be a problem for a few horses and the combinations eliminated a few jump off prospects with several rails falling. The biggest lion in the den was the time allowed, which ate almost a third of the class.
Ten horses later, Nick Novak of Poplar Grove, IL added another clear round to the list with eighteen-year-old Springfield Tenessee. A few trips later, veteran Tracy Fenney of Flower Mound, TX, and MTM Centano added their name to the good list followed by Uraya, another ride for Charlie Jayne.
Another great rider for the crowd to watch was Aaron Vale of Morriston, FL with the eight-year-old chestnut stallion, Spirit of Alena, who added their name to the jump off list. With six clean, Wilton Porter and Sleepy P Ranch's Radio City made it seven, Charlie Jayne and his Olympic mount, Chill R Z made it eight, and Nick Novak with Rendezvous 22 made it nine.
A quick break before the jump off allowed jump crew to change direction of an oxer and eliminate part of a combination to prepare the jump off course. The eight fence jump off course began with the same first two jumps then rolled back to the B part of a combination across the diagonal, then on a long run gallop past the open water to a vertical, bending to the combination by the gate, up the small hill in the field to a single jump, finishing seven to eight strides later over the final oxer.
First to return for the jump off was Floridian Sharn Wordley with Ashland Stables' Bugatti, setting the pace with a clean round and a time of 41.286. Faster yet was Jayne and eight year old Valeska, clean with 40.642 seconds. Fellow Chicagoan Novak and Springfield Tenesee blazed around the course to take the lead with 40.314. Faster and faster they went like competitive riders do with their eye on the cash prize. Fenney and MTM Centano had a tougher time, pulling two rails for eight faults and a time of 41.123.
Returning with determination to beat Novak's time, Jayne and Uraya returned, galloping and cutting turns to take over the lead with 39.522. The boys continued to duke it out with Vale and Spirit of Alena almost catching Jayne with 39.916 but unfortunately pulled a rail. Porter and Radio City also had one rail and a slower time of 41.397.
Novak returned again, moving up in the order, for a second chance at the pot of gold with Nancy Whitehead's Rendezvous 22. As boys will be boys, Novak brought it on with a clear round but couldn't quite catch Jayne, landing a time of 40.673.
The third time in the ring for Jayne, this time with Chill R Z, put spectators on the edge of their seats. Trying to beat his own time on Uraya, Jayne started a bit slower in the roll backs but raced to the vertical at the end of the ring and was the only rider who left out a stride in the last line with Chill's large step. Despite the efforts, Jayne was not fast enough on this one to beat himself or Novak, finishing in 40.673 to get another check.
Elizabeth Johnson and her family were on hand for the presentation. Johnson has had her photo taken presenting to many Olympians like Jayne in her ring, including Beezie Madden and Margie Engle. Jayne took the blue with Uraya, Novak was second with Rendezvous 22 and third with Springfield Tenessee. Fourth and fifth place went to Jayne again with Valeska and Chill R Z. Sixth place went to the first entry in the ring, Floridian Sharn Wordley and Bugatti, seventh to Aaron Vale and Spirit of Alena, owned by Campos & Miranda Investments, eighth to Wilton Porter and Radio City and ninth to Tracey Fenney and MTM Centano.
Spectators could also take in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby in the sand ring. Taking home the blue there was another Chicago area rider, Caroline Weeden and Cucinelli, owned by Glory Days Farm, LLC.
The 36th year of the Traders Point Hunt Charity Horse Show wraps up having also hosted the $35,000 Russel Fortune Jr. Memorial Grand Prix with Vieanne and Frances Land taking that blue and the $15,000 PNC Bank Junior/Amateur Owner Showjumping Hall of Fame Classic with Manuel Fernandez Hache and Maribel H, owned by Aristides Fernandez Zucco taking the win there.
The horse show also was a part of history being made in the hunter division, when rider Kelley Farmer won the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby aboard Mythical, making Farmer the first hunter rider to earn one million dollars in prize money, thanks to the hunter derby program.
Show manager, Michael Morrissey and Stadium Jumping Inc. manage some of the biggest horse shows in the country including the American Invitational, the I Love New York Horse Show, The American Gold Cup, the Tampa Bay Classic, Fieldstone Show Park and more. For more information on Stadium Jumping, Inc., please visit www.stadiumjumping.com.
Class 101, $75,000 GRAND PRIX OF INDIANAPOLIS
1 / 366 / URAYA / CHARLIE JAYNE / 0/0/0/ 87.286 / 0/0/0/ 39.522
2 / 65/ RENDEZVOUS 22 / NICK NOVAK /0/0/0/ 85.044 /0/0/0/ 39.874
3 / 66/ SPRINGFIELD TENESSEE /NICK NOVAK /0/0/0/ 83.264/ 0/0/0/ 40.314
4 / 367 / VALESKA / CHARLIE JAYNE / 0/0/0/ 86.939/ 0/0/0/ 40.642
5 / 368 / CHILL R Z / CHARLIE JAYNE / 0/0/0/ 85.618/ 0/0/0/ 40.673
6 / 464 / BUGATTI / SHARN WORDLEY / 0/0/0/ 86.058 /0/0/0/ 41.286
7 /244/ SPIRIT OF ALENA / AARON VALE /0/0/0/ 85.435/ 4/0/4/ 39.916
8 / 7/ RADIO CITY / WILTON PORTER /0/0/0/ 87.074/ 4/0/4/ 41.397
9 / 564 / MTM CENTANO / TRACY FENNEY /0/0/0/ 87.310/ 8/0/8/ 41.123
10 / 291 / PALIM PALIM / WILHELM GENN /0/1/1/ 88.013
11 / 36 / HH DAUPHIN / LAURA LINBACK /0/1/1/88.597
12 / 375 / P.M. JACKPOT / KATHERINE DEWAR /0/2/2/ 89.635