Devon, PA - July 8, 2011 - The weather was sunny and warm for the first part of the Brandywine Valley Summer Series, presented by Taylor Harris Insurance Services, at the Devon Show Grounds. Junior riders had the opportunity to showcase their skills during the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) Equitation and the Platinum Performance/USEF Talent Search before the thunderstorms arrived. Allison Toffolon piloted Class Action to the winning title in the WIHS Hunter Phase to eventually score the overall victory, while Julia Fowler and Sierra earned the top call in the Platinum Performance/USEF Talent Search.
The WIHS Equitation Hunter Phase was the first equitation event of the day in the Dixon Oval. Allison Toffolon of Bronxville, NY, went straight to the top of the leaderboard after earning a score of 88 with Class Action. The duo then tackled the challenging Jumper Phase and received a score of 75, which would earn the fourth place honors. Their total score of 163 was eventually good enough to win the first place prize overall.
"Class Action is an unbelievable horse for the hunter rounds," noted Toffolon. "He's so smooth in the hunter rounds, you just need to have light contact and flow around the ring. My jumper round wasn't as good but it was still pretty competitive. Our first and second line was good, and just needed to wait a little more in the third line, the rest was good."
Toffolon purchased the talented equitation mount last summer from junior sensation Jessica Springsteen and began competing with him in January during the Winter Equestrian Festival after advancing from the pony divisions to the junior divisions. "Class Action has gone around and seen everything, so I know I don't need to worry about him doing anything bad," she said. "It makes me more confident, but at the same time I always want to do the best on him because he has such a great record."
Rebecca Clawson of Plympton, MA, and Kennebec were today's second place finishers overall in the WIHS Equitation. They received a score of 84 during the hunter phase and a 73.5 during the jumper phase, after incurring four time penalties. The third place honors overall went to Christina Gellos and Delorean, owned by Wendy Collins of Seattle, WA. The pair had a score of 83 in the Hunter Phase and 73 in the jumper phase.
The Platinum Performance/USEF Talent Search was next in the Dixon Oval, with Julia Fowler and Sierra, owned by Heritage Farm of Katonah, NY, taking home the blue ribbon prize. For the jumper round they had to show over a course with a liverpool, a double combination, and a triple combination. The duo executed their round effortlessly, and then returned for the under saddle portion, showcasing their skills at the sitting trot, the counter canter, and the lengthened canter.
"This was a really good course for Sienna because the time allowed was a little tight, and I knew there were a lot of places in between the jumps where you could gallop," commented Fowler. "There were also a lot of tight turns so she could show off her handiness. She's a really sensitive horse, so you don't need a lot of leg and you don't need to pull a lot. She's not hot but she goes easily, so you just need to be sensitive to that and she reacts really well to your aids."
Fowler added, "It's nice to come to this horse show because it's a beautiful ring and its great footing. The courses were really well designed and they definitely asked the same questions that you would see here in the spring or during Finals."
The second place honors went to Isabelle Caccamise of Westport, CT, with Topper, while Lillie Keenan of New York, NY, picked up the third place ribbon for her ride aboard Enso.
In the Gold Ring, today's main event was the $500 NAL/WIHS Hunter Classic. Maya Nayyar took home the winning title for her ride aboard Czech, owned by Laura Wasserman. The second place prize went to Quinn Rooney of Wayne, PA, with Gracious, while Parker Wright and Caligo, owned by Bill Schaub of Sanford, FL, received the third place honors.
Tomorrow, the Amateur-Owner Hunters will compete in the Dixon Oval during the Brandywine Valley Summer Series. The $3,000 Johnson Horse Transportation USHJA National Hunter Derby will be the day's feature event, and will get underway at 6:00 p.m. This new horse show will run through Sunday, July 10, 2011, with a local day of competition on Monday, July 11, 2011.
For more information about the Brandywine Valley Summer Series, please visit http://brandywinevalleysummerseries.com.
Photo Credits: Julia Fowler and Sierra win Platinum Performance/USEF Talent Search at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series.
Allison Toffolon and Class Action win WIHS Equitation at Brandywine Valley Summer Series. Photos By: Rebecca Walton/PMG.