Halifax, MA - Jean Sheptoff and Peaches galloped to victory in the $35,000 Fieldstone Summer Showcase Grand Prix, held on the all-grass Grand Prix field at the Fieldstone Equestrian & Show Facility in Halifax, MA. The Grand Prix is the highlight of the Summer Showcase, which runs August 24-29 and features top-notch equestrian competition, great prize money, and nightly parties.
The course, which was designed by USET veteran Eric Hasbrouck, featured elements such as a sunken road, triple combination and an eye-catching aquatic wall. Fieldstone's pristine all-grass Grand Prix field served as the perfect backdrop for Hasbrouck's course.
"The field at Fieldstone is lovely, and there is a lot of space to do whatever you want when designing a course, said Hasbrouck. "The first few jumps were the easiest and I designed to course to get progressively harder from there, with the most difficult elements being the triple combination followed by the oxer at the end."
Following the first round of competition, ten horse-and-rider combinations returned to the ring for the final jump-off. Sheptoff and Peaches, an 11 year-old Dutch Warmblood, were second to compete in the jump-off, where they posted a lightning fast time of 40.640 seconds.
"The field is beautiful, and the course rode very smoothly," said Sheptoff. "I had to be very prompt with my turns in the jump-off, and I chose to take a chance by angling my fences and leaving out a stride in between jumps to save time."
Sheptoff and Peaches weren't the only champions to compete in the Grand Prix field. Prior to the $35,000 Grand Prix, riders 6 years-old and younger entered the field for the Leadline class. These miniature versions of their Grand Prix counterparts are the future of the sport, and may one day been seen competing in Grand Prix at Fieldstone in the future!
Earlier in the day, competitors in the $5,000 SmartPak Child/Adult Jumper Classic had their time to shine in the Grand Prix field. Out of 15 horse-and-rider combinations to compete over the first round course, 6 returned for the final jump-off. It was Sara Nicolau and Master Ballinteskin who posted a clear round in a time of 32.005 seconds for the win.
"I loved the jump-off course," said Nicolau, who rides with Kingsway Farm, located within the Fieldstone Equestrian & Show Facility. "We were able to use the distance between fences to build speed, which is what my horse loves to do!"
Though Nicolau calls the show grounds home, she still experiences the same show ring excitement as the hundreds of other riders from all across New England who come to compete at Fieldstone. "It's great to be able to walk back to the Kingsway barn and relax after we show, but when I'm waiting to compete, I still get excited," she said. "My horse gets excited too. He was imported from Ireland, so he is completely at home on the grass field and he loves it!"
Also taking home top ribbons in today's competition was Zoe Mcgee and Major in the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under Division, sponsored by Stoneymeade Farm, Elizabeth Kenny and Don Juan in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 Division, sponsored by Stoneymeade Farm, and Camilla Bennett and Small Change in the $1,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic, sponsored by Woodridge Farm.
Additional awards throughout the day included the Children's Horsemanship Test, won by Ava Stearns in 8 years-old and under category, Katie Eppinger in the 9-12 year-old category, and Elizabeth Kenny in the 13-17 year-old category. The test is a written exam that asks questions about equine health, anatomy, safety and handling.
Following a busy day of competition, exhibitors and trainers alike enjoyed The MHJ Qualifier Lobster Bake, sponsored by Elite Equine Shavings with live music by the band Bad Mood Rising. The Summer Showcase will host the 2010 Massachusetts Hunter Jumper (MHJ) Finals tomorrow, Sunday, August 29. Year after year the MHJ Finals brings together the area's top equitation competitors.
Celebrations continued well into dusk with the popular Canine Open Speed Stake won by Casey Bigelow and Jasmine in the Small Dog category and Danielle Barretto and Sierra in the Medium/Large Dog category.
"I love going fast and jumping with my dog," said Bigelow, who collected a $75.00 cash prize for her win! Baretto, who also won a $75.00 prize, echoed her statement, saying, "...jumping high was my favorite part!"
Finishing the evening was the always entertaining Sit-A-Twenty Bareback Challenge. Eight horses and riders, sans saddles, competed at the walk, trot, canter, and even over fences in an effort to be the last one still sitting on their $20.00 bill. Allie Barrios, 16, and Waterford Crystal were the winning pair, and collected $160.00 in the winter-takes-all cash jackpot!
The 2010 Fieldstone Summer Showcase would like to thank its sponsors: Ariat, Cumberland Farms in Halifax, MA, CWD, Elite Equine Shavings, Empire Wine and Spirits, EquiFit, inc., Equine Journal, Equine Realtors, Esterbrook Farm, Horsemen's Ltd., Leather Therapy, Response Products, SmartPak, Stoneymeade Farm, Tedeschi Food Shops in Halifax, MA, and Woodridge Farm.
Fieldstone Equestrian & Show Facility is one of New England's premier equestrian event venues. Its 100-acre show grounds are located just 28 miles south of Boston, MA. The recently renovated facility offers nine all-weather hybrid sand/felt/fiber show rings, permanent and temporary stabling, ample parking, and a state-of-the-art all-grass Grand Prix field.
For more information on the Fieldstone Summer Showcase, please visit www.showfieldstone.com, call 781-679-0701, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: Jean Sheptoff and Peaches, winners of the $35,000 Grand Prix at the Fieldstone Summer Showcase Photo Credit: Anne Gittins
Sarah Nicolau and Master Ballinteskin, winners of the $5,000 SmartPak Child/Adult Jumper Classic Photo Credit: Tony DeCosta
Competitors in the Canine Open Speed Stake Photo Credit: Anne Gittins