Devon, PA - June 30, 2011 - With seemingly boundless energy, the jumpers put on an exciting display of athleticism today at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series presented by Taylor Harris Insurance Services. Amanda Hood repeated yesterday's success in the jumper arena, taking the blue ribbon in the $1500 North American League (NAL) / Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) Children's/Adult Jumper class aboard her longtime ride Boy-O-Boy. Janice Syphers won the 1.40m Open Jumper class, riding Cover Girl to a double-clear finish after a quick jump-off. Syphers came back in the 1.20m Open Jumper class on GK Calluci to clinch the win a second time later today.
Riders, their horses, and everyone in attendance enjoyed the warm weather at the famed Devon Show Grounds this afternoon. All of the jumper courses were designed by Jose M. Gamarra, and the tight turns and bright colors made for an action-packed second day at Brandywine. All three jumper classes took place in the Dixon Oval, whose central location made it the perfect place to catch today's fast-paced jumper action.
In the exciting $1500 NAL/WIHS Children's/Adult Jumper class, Hood proved that second is the best, riding second in the jump-off to ultimately finish first with a time of 28.971 seconds. Jennifer Imhoff took second place on Sand Dollar with an impressive time of 29.109 seconds. Picking-up a third place ribbon was A.J. Deleyer with Figaro, who traversed the course in only 30.212 seconds. Deleyer also rode Skylark in the jump-off, and rode away with only four faults in that effort. A total of ten riders and their horses qualified for the jump-off, with half of them making clear efforts. Hannah Baumann and CR Erin Go Bragh finished in 32.717 seconds, and close behind was Isabelle Caccamise who, aboard Qrocus Landais, completed the jump-off in 33.902 seconds.
"I try not to think about the stress of the jump-off," said Hood. "I've ridden Boy-O-Boy for so long that I just try and remind myself that it's about having a good ride. When you try and make yourself win, that's when, I find, you make yourself fall off." She added, "Boy-O-Boy is a great speed horse; he's really little but he's really fast, and he's really brave about jumping. His stride is really elastic, so despite being 15.2h, he can cover the ground pretty well, but he can also compact if you need him to."
The first jumper class of the day, the 1.40m Open Jumpers, saw a majority of the riders making clear efforts. Janice Syphers started off her busy afternoon on a high note, clearing the jump-off with Cover Girl in 36.713 seconds. Christina Serio and Volumia finished close behind with a time of 37.095 seconds. Fittingly, both of the top horses in this class hail from surrounding areas: Cover Girl is owned by Kindle Hill Affiliates in Gwynedd Valley, PA, while Volumia belongs to Derbydown of Kennett Square, PA.
After her victory, Syphers said, "I've been with Cover Girl for about two years, and she's unbelievable. Honestly, it's like riding a Porsche. The steering is there, mentally she's so focused, and she's really willing to work with you and help you out. The toughest part of the jump-off is maintaining your rhythm and keeping her straight. There were some tricky lines in there with this jump-off, so just maintaining my rhythm and keeping the energy going is important."
In the 1.20m Open Jumper class, Syphers earned a second blue ribbon, avoiding the downed rails and refusals that stymied other riders' efforts. Aboard GK Calucci this time, Syphers cleared the jump-off in just 31.787 seconds. Christina Serio's mount First Lady showed lots of spirit upon starting the course, and used that energy to propel the duo to a second place finish with a time of 33.6 seconds. Serio also came in third on Navarre, who, like First Lady, is owned by Derbydown.
Today's great weather and friendly competition made for an enjoyable afternoon both in and around the Dixon Oval. Syphers smiled, "I love it; it's so relaxing and the horses are really happy, we're all very comfortable. The whole show is so nice and Louise [Serio] has done a great job."
The Brandywine Valley Summer Series continues over the next two weeks, with highlights including the $10,000 Chester County Food Bank Mini Prix on Friday and the $3,000 Johnson Horse Transportation National Hunter Derby on Saturday under the lights. The 'AA'-rated competition will continue for two weeks through July 10, with a local day on July 11.
For more information about the Brandywine Valley Summer Series, please visit http://brandywinevalleysummerseries.com/.
Photo Credit: Amanda Hood and Boy-O-Boy won the $1500 NAL/WIHS Children's/Adult Jumper at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series. Photo By: Robyn Keyster/PMG.