Devon, PA - July 9, 2011 - The top horse and rider combinations gathered at the Devon Show Ground's Dixon Oval this afternoon to compete for the winning title during the $10,000 Canine Partners for Life Mini Prix. This afternoon's competition was the highlight event for the Brandywine Valley Summer Series, presented by Taylor Harris Insurance Services, which will be continuing through July 10, 2011. At the end of the day, Lillie Keenan and Vanhattan owned by Chansonette Farm LLC of New York, NY led the victory gallop after advancing to the short course and completing a clear effort in a time of 38.082 seconds.
"I got Vanhattan in March from one of Kent Farrington's clients," explained Keenan. "Kent was showing him in the grand prix classes, but I started out doing the Lows a few times and then the Highs; from the beginning he was unreal. I love him, he is such a character and a lot of fun."
Christina Gellos and Man In Black owned by Gellos of Greenwich, CT were right behind them to take second with a time of 39.446, while Clementine Goutal and Ollywood Des Horts owned by Cloverleaf Farm of New York, NY broke the beam in a clean 39.865 to score the third place prize.
"Man In Black a little bit fired up, you just sit there and steer him around," said Gellos. "He's an incredible jumper, so you don't really have to worry about the fences, which is awesome."
Gellos added, "We come here for Devon and its great to come back here in the summer, because this ring rides really nicely. It was a great experience coming to Brandywine."
Also jumping double clear were Janice Syphers and GK Calluci owned by Kindle Hill Affiliates of Gwynedd Valley, PA with a fourth place time of 41.578 seconds. Christina Serio and Navarre, owned by Derbydown of Kennett Square, PA, took home the fifth place ribbon with time of 43.174 seconds. Gellos and her second mount, Eso owned by Treesdale Farms of Carmel, IN, had four faults and finished sixth. Orlando, owned and shown by Colleen Lewis of West Chester, PA incurred eight faults in the jump-off earning them seventh place honors.
Kenny Krome built an excellent course for the first round, which started with an oxer and a long run to a vertical-oxer five-stride line. Riders then made a right hand turn to a vertical followed by a water jump and an in-and-out. Tracking left, horse and rider combinations were greeted by a triple bar to a vertical line, spinning right around to a single oxer. The end of the course included a vertical to a long run triple combination, ending with a single oxer.
"I felt like my first round was one of the smoothest I've had on him, I've had a little trouble keeping him quiet but I had enough horse in the jump off to turn on the speed," commented Keenan. "I love the show, I've always loved Devon so to be able to come back here and not have the pressure of Devon, but to be able to use the facility, is great."
Canine Partners For Life (CPL) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to training service dogs, home companion dogs, and residential companion dogs to assist individuals who have a wide range of physical and cognitive disabilities. Based in Cochranville, Pennsylvania, CPL places service dogs nationwide. Home companion dogs are generally placed within a 250-mile radius of the campus (sometimes further) and residential companions are place within a 100-mile radius of the campus. For more information about CPL, please visit www.k94life.org.
Later in the day, Keenan continued her winning ways during the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers. She dominated the speed class with Firework, clocking in a clear effort in 64.782 seconds. Keenan also took home the second place award with her first mount, Valentino, owned by Javier Salvador of Chicago, IL. The duo left all the fences in tact and stopped the clock at 65.196 seconds.
"Both of my horses were awesome today," commented Keenan. "Valentino is still a little green, but they are both really special horses. Firework is more mature and a little bit quicker, but they are both a lot of fun."
Yesterday's afternoon thunderstorms caused the postponement of the $10,000 CPL Mini Prix, but just prior to the end of the show, riders competed in the $1,500 M&S Child/Adult Jumper Classic. Amanda Hood of Washington, D.C, and Boy-O-Boy claimed the winning ribbon after completing the fastest double clear effort. They were also the winners of the Children's/Adult Jumper Circuit Championship for their consistent rounds over the last two weeks. The Child/Adult Jumper Style Award went to junior rider Isabelle Caccamise of Westport, CT, and Qrocus Landais, who placed third during yesterday's Classic.
The Brandywine Valley Summer Series will continue tomorrow with the Junior Hunters in the Dixon Oval, as well as the $3,500 M&T Bank High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic and the $2,500 M&T Bank Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. 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.
Photos: Lillie Keenan and Vanhattan won the $10,000 Canine Partners for Life Mini Prix at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series.
Lillie Keenan and Firework won the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper class at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series.
Amanda Hood and Boy-O-Boy won the $1,500 M&S Child/Adult Jumper Classic at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series. Photos By: Rebecca Walton/PMG.