Devon, PA - June 30, 2011 - Once again, the weather was perfect as riders gathered at the Devon Show Grounds for the second day of the first annual Brandywine Valley Summer Series, presented by Taylor Harris Insurance Services. Today, riders competed for top honors in the professional hunter divisions in the Dixon Oval. Sandy Ferrell and her Second Year Green Working Hunter mount Showman were the day's big winners, claiming the Grand Champion Green Hunter title after earning the Second Year/High Performance Hunter Championship.
This morning in the Second Year/High Performance Hunter, Ferrell was presented with the championship honors for her ride aboard Showman, owned by Krista and Alexa Weisman of Sherborn, MA. The division was sponsored by Meralex Farm, and the duo earned three first place ribbons, a second place ribbon, and a third place ribbon this week. They truly showed the way during their handy class, earning a high score of 90 for their efforts. Ferrell and Showman were then presented with the Grand Champion Green Hunter award after earning the most prize money in the Green Hunter divisions. The division's reserve championship prize went to Louise Serio and Phillipa, owned by Jennifer Burger of Buffalo, NY.
Ferrell smiled, "I am thrilled! This was our first show back after Florida, and it is nice to know that after a break Showman can come back and still be the same super star he was earlier this year. He's a horseman's horse, he's a winner, and he has a huge fan club."
"Showman is a big, quiet horse, it takes a little bit to package him together, but as far as his style of jumping it's a given talent, I don't ever have to worry about that, which is very nice from a rider's standpoint," Ferrell continued. "My biggest job is to get him organized because he's a big boy and he's a quiet, but after that you just steer and point him at the jumps."
The talented duo will continue showing at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series next week, before traveling to the Hampton Classic later this year. Ferrell is also married to DJ Johnson of Johnson Horse Transportation, who will be sponsoring the $3,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby each week.
"Louise [Serio] and her team are trying to bring a nice horse show to our area and they deserve to be rewarded for that," said Ferrell. "They have done a lot of hard work in a short period of time and I think next year it will double in size. It's our obligation to give back to the industry to help improve it, and that's what they are doing."
Earlier in the day, Ferrell scored the Green Conformation Hunter Championship with Moshi, owned by Stephanie Riggio of New York, NY. The duo almost had a clean sweep, winning five of the six classes sponsored by Madison Hills Farm. Taking home the reserve championship prize was Christina Serio and Noble Blue, owned by Kristen Bowman of Lancaster, PA, after they earned four second place ribbons and two third place ribbons.
"I have not ridden Moshi since Florida, so it was nice to be back in the tack again," noted Ferrell. "He's an all around winner and he had a beautiful round today. It's always a great feeling when you can walk in the ring with a horse that wants to win, and he wants to win."
The day's opening division was the First Year Green Working Hunters, sponsored by Wyndsor Farm. Louise Serio had top rides over the past two days and claimed both the championship and the reserve championship awards. She piloted Jennifer Burger's Rock On to three first place ribbons, a third pace ribbon, and a fourth place honor to take home the championship prize. The reserve championship went to Head Over Heels, owned by Lisa Scott of Kennett Square, PA, after Serio scored two first place ribbons, a second place ribbon, and two third place ribbons with the talented mount.
Rock On's owner Jennifer Burger commented, "It is an honor to earn a championship during the first Brandywine Valley Summer Series. It is very exciting to be a part of a new event at this historic facility. Louise is a very talented rider and it's always wonderful to watch her ride Rock On."
Ferrell's domination of the professional divisions did not stop at the Dixon Oval. In the Gold Ring, she also scored the 3' Pre-Green Hunter championship, sponsored by Manhattan Bagel of Chesterbrook, with Chinou, owned by Cindy Bohn of Grantville, PA. The reserve championship went to Louise Serio and Cinemagic, owned by Bryan Baldwin and Meralex Farm.
"I think the group behind the Brandywine Valley Summer Series has done a beautiful job," concluded Ferrell. "It is so nice for us to come to the Devon Show Grounds and have it be so relaxing, because when we come in May there is so much going on that we don't get to appreciate the beauty of the facility and how nice it is."
The day wrapped up with the Adult Hunter divisions and the $500 M&S Adult Hunter Classic. Once again, it was Laura Yoworsky and Marvelous, owned by Jennifer Shinners of Harleysville, PA, to claim the first place prize in the Classic. The second place award went to Amy Miller of Chester NJ, with Companion. The duo proved very successful over the past two days, and Miller was presented with the Grand Champion Adult Amateur Hunter Award. Robert Beck, who was the trainer for all three of today's Adult Amateur Hunter champions, trains Miller at Hunter Crossing.
Tomorrow, the Brandywine Valley Summer Series will continue with Amateur-Owner Hunters and the $10,000 Chester County Food Bank Mini Prix. On Saturday night, the highlight event will be the $3,000 Johnson Horse Transportation USHJA National Hunter Derby. The Brandywine Valley Summer Series' exciting hunter/jumper action will continue through July 10, 2011, at the prestigious Devon Show Grounds, with a local day of competition on July 11, 2011.
For more information about the Brandywine Valley Summer Series, please visit http://brandywinevalleysummerseries.com/.
Photo Credit: Sandy Ferrell and Showman won the Grand Champion Green Hunter prize at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series. Photo By: Rebecca Walton/PMG.