Tampa, FL - April 4, 2012 - The Tournament of Champions got off to a start with the Pre-Green Hunters this morning in the Main Hunter Ring, with top riders and horses vying for the honors throughout the afternoon. It was Amanda Steege and Mary Euphemia who stole the show on the second day of the Tournament of Champions. Steege flawlessly piloted Winter Wonder to the Reserve Championship in the Pre-Green Hunters coming just shy of the championship honors behind Euphemia. Euphemia also took home the Performance 3'6"-3'9" Hunter tricolor.
In the Pre-Green Hunter division, Steege guided the grey, Dutch Warmblood gelding, Winter Wonder, to first and second place honors. The pair put in solid rounds yesterday, too. They were awarded two second place ribbons over fences as well as a good ribbon for their efforts in the under saddle. Their quality rounds this morning eventually resulted in the reserve championship.
Summer Daze with Euphemia taking the reins, put in two smoothly executed rounds during the Pre-Green Hunters. Owner Patricia Simpson Zeh cheered the team on from the stands, watching as Euphemia expertly guided the gelding to the championship honors. The nine-year-old Hanoverian has a true relationship with Euphemia. Summer Daze, or "Archie" as he's affectionately called at the barn, has earned much attention in the hunter ring, winning an over fences class and the hack in the division yesterday and securing the win today with almost effortless rounds.
We call him Awesome Archie at home," chuckled Euphemia. "We got him from Archie Cox via Scott Stewart. He's such a great horse, but I can't understand how Archie rode him! He's not very big!"
Adrienne Iverson also put in great rounds aboard Afellay and Maximus during the Pre-Green Hunter classes. Afellay and Iverson were third in both of the Pre-Green over fences with respectable, consistent and flowing rounds. The consistency continued as Iverson steered Maximus to the fourth in both classes.
The day continued with the First Year Green Working Hunter division. It was Leslie Howard and ZippZoo, owned by Burr Associates LLC, who took the championship, building on their over fences win from Tuesday with two additional winning rounds. Greg Crolick continued to score high with the judges during his two rounds of the day, added with his top scores from yesterday, he and Imagine, owned by Clover Land Farm LLC, took the reserve championship.
It was Unbelievable who, for the second day in a row, swept the Performance 3'6" to 3'9" Hunters with rhythmic and smooth rounds, winning both classes and earning the championship for the division with Euphemia. She skillfully maneuvered the dark brown, Anglo Trakehner gelding, owned by Paula Pell, around the course to win the tricolor. Clitschko, owned by Brandis Linn, and ridden by Jessica Cross, was awarded the reserve championship honors. According to Euphemia, "Unbelievable purred around the course today! He had time off for two months, and he's back at it. He really knows his job. He's like a good bottle of wine, he just keeps getting better and better."
In the Second Year Green Working Hunters, Amanda Steege and Balou, owned by Lisa Arena were announced the champions. The duo won over fences and under saddle Tuesday and put in an additional winning round today.
"Balou is a seven-year-old Westphalian that we purchased from Emil Spidone three years ago and his owner, Lisa Arena, has just started showing him the Adult Hunters. This is my third year showing him in the Second Years. We're gearing up to go to Devon and do Second Years there. He went great today. He was very relaxed and jumped very scopey and high. I was happy with that," Euphemia remarked.
Megan Edrick aboard City of Angels, owned by DC Sales and Entertainment LLC, earned the reserve championship honors for their remarkable scores. The pair caught the judges' attention with their accurate distances, smooth and upbeat pace and solid rounds.
Thursday, The Tournament of Champions continues with activity in the Main Hunter Ring beginning at 8:00 am sharp for the Amateur Hunter divisions. During the Tampa Equestrian Series, riders will have the opportunity for championship and reserve championship honors in the Professional Hunter divisions, Junior Hunter divisions, and Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions. The event also features the Tampa Series Hunter High Score Circuit Awards in several hunter divisions, which will be awarded during the 40th Annual $200,000 Gene Mische American Invitational presented by G & C Farm, at Raymond James Stadium.
For more information on Stadium Jumping, Inc. and the 2012 Tampa Equestrian Series please call (941) 744-5465. To download a copy of the prize list, please visit www.stadiumjumping.com.
Photos: Summer Daze and Mary Euphemia; ZippZoo and Leslie Howard; Balou and Amanda Steege; Unbelievable and Mary Euphemia. Photo By: Carrie Wirth/PMG.