West Palm Beach, Florida – Lars Petersen and Shawna Harding edged closer to winning a piece of the $15,000 prize money in the Wellington Classic Dressage Challenge of Champions. Harding won a Prix St. Georges competition and Petersen a Grand Prix during the first day of the Wellington Classic Spring Challenge presented by Collecting Gaits Farm. That makes this the second FEI-level win at a Wellington Classic show for both. If Petersen wins a third time, he’ll win the $10,000 Grand Prix prize. Harding needs a third win at Prix St. Georges or Intermediaire for that $5,000 prize.
"I sincerely hope I win it because it’s costing me an arm and a leg to be down here in Florida," Harding said. "I really need it to support the Visa card."
Held at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, the Feb 16-17 Wellington Classic Spring Challenge is a huge draw. As usual, the Prix St. Georges class was very large with nearly 40 competitors, which caused it to be divided into two classes. Harding and Come On III took the blue in one of the classes with a score of 71.00 percent. Behind them in second was Hokan Thorn and Stonefire with a score of 68.50 percent. They just edged out third place finishers Christopher Hickey and Donarweiss GGF with their score of 68.00 percent.
The second Prix St. Georges class was won by Susan Jaccoma and Wadamur with a score of 72.00 percent. Finishing second in that class was Linda Oliver and Georgie with a score of 70.50 percent. Third went to Jules Anderson and Brendan Braveheart with a score of 69.00 percent.
Also part of the 2008 championships are the Markel/Wellington Classic Dressage 2008 Winter Amateur Championship, awarded to amateur competitors with the highest average in their level throughout the series, and the 2008 Amateur Championship Trainer’s Award, sponsored by ThinLine and given to the trainer who has the most competitors in the top three standings of all levels.