Lauren Hough Wins $150,000 Budweiser Grand Prix of New York

New York, NY-November 4, 2001-Lauren Hough of Ocala, FL, rode Windy City, owned by Peppercorn, Ltd., won the $150,000 Budweiser Grand Prix of New York to close the 118th National Horse Show (NHS) at Madison Square Garden. Hough topped a field of 27 entries by riding two penalty-free rounds and the fastest jump-off time of 34.74 seconds. Placing second was Hough's teammate on the 2000 U.S. Olympic show jumping team, Margie Engle of Wellington, FL. Engle was the only other rider among the 10 in the jump-off to finish that tiebreaking round fault-free, but her time of 36.09 seconds on Hidden Creek' s Perin left her in second place.
Kimberly Frey of Hume, VA actually had the fastest time in the jump-off, 33.49 seconds, but a knock-down at the final fence on course gave her four faults and a third place finish on Bergerac.
Finishing fourth was Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, NY with four jump-off faults and a time of 33.89 seconds on Innocence; fifth went to Todd Minikus of Loxahatchee, FL with four faults in 35.01 seconds on Oh Star and sixth went to Kevin Babbington, riding for Ireland, with four faults in 36.18 seconds on Carling King.
Babbington won the National Horse Show's Leading Foreign Rider for the third consecutive year while Engle was named the Leading Open International Rider and overall Leading Rider.
Earlier in the day, Danielle Torano of Fort Lauderdale, FL, riding Lojana owned by Sir Ruly, Inc., emerged as champion of The National Horse Sports Foundation Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series. Torano entered the Series Final at the National Horse Show with the Series Championship clinched after excelling in series events all year.
"I always liked the series," said Torano. "It was a goal for me ever since I started riding jumpers. It's really exciting to go all year and actually win it, especially here at the National Horse Show. That really makes it special."
The $10,000 Adequan Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner Grand Prix class was won by Kate Bomgaars and Jupiter. It was a surprise ending for the pair since they had four faults in the jump-off. Paige Rassas and Chica Bay actually went without knocking down any rails, but incurred four time faults putting them in second place since time determines the winner in a tie score. Bomgaars felt luck was the key to her success this day.
"I always have unlucky four faults," said Bomgaars. "My trainer, Laura Kraut, said if I didn't have bad luck I would have no luck at all, but this time the four faults was lucky."
Paige Rassas and her horse Chica Bay may have had bad luck in Sunday's class but they still won the Amateur-Owner Jumper High Point award after winning one class on Saturday and coming in second on Sunday. Rassas was happy with the way things turned out.
"It was awesome," said Rassas. "A nice way to end the year. I am very happy with the way it ended. To be second and champion is wonderful." The $15,000 BET on Jazz Junior Jumper event was won by Maggie Jayne riding Kinda Blue owned by her brother Alex Jayne. Jayne and Kinda Blue had the only clear round out of the three that made it into the jump-off, culminating a great year for Jayne.
"To show at the Garden is the best way to end the year," said Jayne. "My goal is to come back next year and compete with Kinda Blue again." Jayne also won the BET on Jazz Junior Jumper High Point Award.
Georgina Bloomberg of New York City won the Best Junior Hunter/Jumper rider award, an award given to the junior rider entered and shown in the Hunter, Hunter Seat Equitation and/or Junior Jumper sections, who in the opinion of the judges is the best rider. Bloomberg had a very good record at the National winning the Small Junior Hunter Championship with Dialog L, and Saturday's $5,000 BET on Jazz Junior Jumper class with Huster Du. The National Horse Show marked her last appearance as a Junior rider and in the Hunter divisions. It was an emotional time.
"It's not sad, it's emotional. The first day I wasn't prepared for all the emotion, but I am very lucky and have had a great experience with my horses. It's not only an end, it's also a beginning and I am looking forward to the next level."