Cazenovia, NY - The 2010 Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament featuring the 127th National Horse Show continued with its second day of competition on Wednesday with the start of the professional, amateur-owner, and junior hunter divisions. Horses and riders showed two rounds over fences and went under saddle in the day's competition. Horses with multiple top ribbons included Red Panda, Superman, Goosebumps, Last Call, Fabricio and Back in the Game.
The Green Working Hunter division began the day with a win over fences for Amanda Steege and Majestic, owned by Lisa Arena. Cookie Beck rode Last Call, owned by Lisa Cudahy, to the blue ribbon in the flat class and the win in the handy hunter class.
Steege was thrilled with her excellent first round this morning and praised Majestic. "I've never won here before and his owners are from Fairport, NY, which is very close. They were excited just to get to show here, and for their horse to win a class, I'm sure they are over the moon," she smiled.
Majestic is a nine-year-old gelding that Steege has ridden for two years. "He's awesome to ride; totally dependable and really scopey," she stated. "He has a big, slow canter and always wants to jump a good jump. I'm excited to show him next year in the Regular Hunters and some Hunter Derbies. He's also gearing up for the 2'6'' Adults with his owner."
Commenting on the show, Steege said, "The footing is so great, that's the number one thing that sticks out. The footing feels very springy when they jump and the horses feel so comfortable on it. This is my first year here and I love it."
The Green Conformation Hunters followed with their first class over fences with a victory for Cookie Beck and Goosebumps, owned by Lisa Cudahy. The pair also topped the division's model first thing this morning and won the handy hunter class. Bob Crandall rode Casallo to a win under saddle.
Back in the Game, owned by Paris Sellon and ridden by Molly Ashe-Cawley, earned first place honors in the Regular Conformation Hunters model, under saddle, and handy classes today. For their model win, the pair received the "Stocking Stuffer" Challenge Trophy, donated by the late Mr. August A. Busch, Jr. and for their win under saddle they were presented with the "Eleanora R. Sears" Memorial Challenge Trophy, donated by Madame Marie V. Gendron.
Kelley Farmer rode Nancy Amling's Taken to victory in the division's first class over fences to receive the "Yvonne Schulthess" Memorial Challenge Trophy donated by Miss Lynn Schulthess and Mrs. Lane Schulthess Douglas.
The Regular Working Hunters showed next presented by Mr. & Mrs. Douglas Wheeler. The division began with an over fences victory for SBS Farms' Jersey Boy and Jennifer Alfano for the "Captain Flash" Challenge Trophy donated by Mr. E.S. Kardon and the late Mrs. Kardon. The under saddle winners Kelley Farmer and Betty Oare's Rosalynn were presented with the "Bararia" Challenge Trophy, donated by Stoney Hill, and the handy class saw a blue ribbon win for Jennifer Alfano aboard Meredith Lipke's The Specialist to earn the "Edyth B. Lindner" Challenge Trophy, donated by Craig and Frances Lindner.
Following the day's competition, Alfano commented on her rides, stating "The boys were great, they are always great! Elton (The Specialist) doesn't care where he is. You could show him out on the street and he would think it is fun. Lewis (Jersey Boy) has grown up so much in the last year. It used to be that you were never sure what he was going to do. He can still throw us for a loop once in awhile, but he is getting more and more consistent."
"It is great to win here," Alfano added. "It is nice for us because it is almost home and it is very special to have such a big event so close to home."
The Amateur-Owner Hunter 18-35 division followed with an over fences win for Trifecta, owned and ridden by Melissa Feller. Wesley Newlands and Pure Abundance earned the blue ribbon under saddle, and Robert Lee and Shock Top topped the handy class. The division is presented by Virginia Fout in honor of Paul and Eve Fout.
Riding to success in the Amateur-Owner Hunter Over 35 division, sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Earnest M. Oare, was Ellen Toon with Invincible. The pair won in the first class over fences and earned a special award for the best amateur-owner round of the morning. For the third year in a row, Toon and Invincible were presented with the "Automation-Model Cadet" Memorial Perpetual Trophy donated by Mr. Stephen C. Clark, Jr. and the late Mr. Clark, Jr. Lisa Williams rode Sanmorino to victory in the under saddle class and also earned the second victory over fences in the handy.
Ellen Toon was very happy with her success aboard Invincible and stated, "He's been really, really great this year. We were not so great at Harrisburg, but we were reserve at Capital Challenge and we had a great summer together. I was pretty nervous here because I didn't ride well at Harrisburg and I just didn't feel comfortable. Every year I think it gets harder!"
Invincible is ten years old this year and Toon noted that he just keeps getting better. "He's just the nicest horse," she smiled. "He's very straightforward and always tries to do a good job for you. You know he's not going to spook, he's going to walk down the lines and swap his leads. If he makes a mistake it is usually my fault."
On winning at The National Horse Show, Toon said, "It is a huge deal and I am fortunate to have done well. They make a huge effort here in Syracuse to do a great job. The stabling here is great now, the footing is wonderful and the jumps are beautiful. They do a good job and each year they try to come up with new things to make it better."
The Junior Hunter divisions were next to compete with wins for many of the country's top horses and riders. Caitlin Ziegler began the morning with a win aboard Fellini in the Small Junior Hunter 15 and Under. Hasbrouck Donovan and Confidential earned the blue ribbon in the division's under saddle class, and Shawn Cassidy and Wild Rose finished at the top of the handy class.
The Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division was sponsored by Greentree South, Inc. and presented Hayley Barnhill and John Ingram's Red Panda with the first place award in the first class over fences and the top ribbon in the hack. Holly Labry rode her horse Ruby to top honors in the handy class.
Hasbrouck Donovan rode Don Stewart Jr.'s Quality Time to victory in the first over fences class of the Large Junior Hunter 15 and Under. Morgan Geller and Katie Kelso's Fabricio won the under saddle and topped the division's handy class.
Concluding the day's divisions, Hannah Goodson-Cutt rode Superman to a win in the first over fences class and the under saddle of the Large Junior Hunter 16-17, presented by Suzanne Marquard. That win was followed by a victory for Leah DeMartini and Vida Blue in the handy class.
The hunter divisions will finish competition tomorrow morning with their final stake classes to determine championship honors. The competitors will also show in a special $50,000 National Horse Show Hunter Classic in the afternoon, held in memory of Charlie Weaver.
Photo Credit: Goosebumps and Cookie Beck earned multiple blue ribbons in Wednesday's Green Conformation Hunter division a the 127th National Horse Show. Photo © 2010 Lauren Fisher/PMG.