Parker, CO--While the Grand Prix horses are always a big draw at any hunter/jumper show, the hunters are getting a lot of attention during the Colorado Summer Circuit. Show manager Pat Boyle not only has great prize money in every division, but he's created a wonderful, lush platform for the course designers to develop classes that show off the athletic ability and beauty of some of the nation's finest hunters.
Last week John French and Yellow Dog Farm's Crown Affair won three of four over fences classes in the High Performance Hunter division and also took home the blue ribbon in the $1,000 Open Hunter Classic sponsored by Horse Connection. Crown Affair, a Holsteiner stallion by Cor de la Bryere out of a Capitol I mare, is always a favorite in the Derby classes. "We're preparing for the Derby Finals in Kentucky," French explained. "He's on his farewell tour and will retire at the Hampton Classic." Although his show schedule is winding down, the handsome bay stallion will continue his already successful breeding career. With Crown Affair's incredible performances, French said, "It's hard when he goes so well. Does he really want to retire? I was so proud of how he went this week."
French also praised the courses. He said, "The jumps were amazing with so much greenery and brush, plus a few natural jumps. It makes the horses jump their best. I was really happy that we came."
Amateur rider Gayle Cox, Adkins, TX, also praised the look and feel of the hunter ring. "I thought it was a beautiful course-really well dressed up, which made it so fun," she said of the $1,000 Amateur Owner Hunter Classic. Cox and her 14-year-old Westfalen mare Dubari won the classic as well the A/O Championship during week four. The mare, by Dinard L out of La Provence, lives at home with Cox on 10 acres. The program at home includes playing on cross-country, but Cox explains, "When we come to the shows, she's all business. She the chance of a lifetime horse."
Cox, who trains with Joan Waterman and Will Roberts of Pine Hollow Farm, is making the trip to Colorado a fun, family vacation. Her husband John Cox showed Windsor, an eight-year-old Dutch gelding by Krunch de Breve out of Katinka, in the Modified Adult Hunter division. The couple were also taking their two children, Ryan, five, and Josh, 10 months, to see the sights of the local area, including the train at Royal Gorge. "This is a great place to come with your family," Gayle said. "Everyone is super friendly."
More major hunter classics continue this week, culminating on July 19-Derby Day. This entire day is devoted to the Derby, including a $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, a $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby sponsored by Nutrena, the $10,000 Open Speed Derby and $5,000 Pony Hunter Derby sponsored by the Olson Family, the Devencenty family, the Kerzner family, the Carlson family and Snowfield Farm.
Look for updates throughout the day on Facebook.
The Colorado Horse Park relies on the generosity of its sponsors, including Parker Adventist Hospital and Foundation, Littleton Equine Medical Center, Platinum Performance, Holiday Inn of Parker, Hampton Inn of Parker, Super 8 of Parker, Gesco Nursery, Griffis Group, Norstar, The Olson Family, Horse Connection, Comfort Suites of Castle Rock, Days Inn of Castle Rock, Nutrena, The Chronicle of the Horse, Wells Fargo Advisors, WeatherTech, THIS, Pony Lane Farm, The Jensen Family, The Devencenty Family, A Bit of Tack, Our Day Farm, Douglas and Associates, Grand Meadows, MGP Ventures, Animo, Dev Cook, Horseware Ireland, Our Day Farm, C & E Horse Transportation, Charles Owen, Arenus, Today's Horse Trader, Ariat, Cosequin, Sidelines, Equisure, Stable Grounds, Cheval Colorado, Goose Down Farm, Suzy Sweitzer, Sandy Lee, Once Upon a Horse, Mrs. Patricia Carney Calkins and many more.
Check out all of the Flying Horse Photography photo galleries on Facebook and loads of videos on The Colorado Horse Park's Youtube channel. Visit www.coloradohorsepark.com for more details.
Photos: John French and Crown Affair won the $1,000 Open Hunter Classic Sponsored by Horse Connection.
Gayle Cox won the $1,000 Amateur Owner Hunter Classic.
Gayle Cox and her family are enjoying the local sights in Colorado. All photos by Flying Horse Photography.