Hampton Falls, NH - The Fidelity Investments Jumper Classic presented by Porsche had started their weekend competition at the Silver Oak Equestrian Center with Classics for four divisions. Located in the beautiful seacoast town of Hampton Falls, NH, the Jumper Classic is New England's premier equestrian event.
This elite level competition attracts the country's top riders, past Olympians and local equestrians who compete for over $200,000 in prize money. The Jumper Classic runs through Sunday, September 19, with the highlight class, the $75,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix, on Sunday. Olympic course designer Linda Allen is designing the tracks in the Coldwell Bankers Previews Grand Prix Field this week.
Please visit The Jumper Classic Facebook page to see exclusive video interviews, photos, and more!
There were four Classics held in the morning, and thanks to the many generous sponsors, prizes and ribbons were given to the riders, including Jumper Classic coolers to the winners and Withers & Withers horse cookies for second place finishers.
The $5,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic had an exciting jump-off of six competitors from an original field of 20 entries. Going third in the jump-off, it was Meagan Nusz of The Woodlands, TX, and her nine-year-old Zangersheide mare Banana d'Ive Z who sped to the win with a clear round and a time of 41.473 seconds. They beat Nicole Bellissimo and Serval, who were clear in 42.022 seconds. Ellie Knight and Rascal were third with a time of 43.499 seconds. For her win today, Nusz received a Devoucoux saddle.
Nusz recalled, "The jump-off was really straightforward, there wasn't really a place where you could be slick. Linda Allen is always challenging you and making it difficult enough but where you really have to think about it and ride. It just came down to who could be the most accurate around the turns and shave the time off. My trainer told me to gallop to one, and I was just cantering to it thinking I was going so fast! (But I) let her fly to the last three jumps."
Nusz, who is currently based out of Brewster, NY, and trains with three-time Jumper Classic Grand Prix winner Kent Farrington, is an amateur rider. She purchased "Banana" just four months ago when she saw the mare compete in Europe with Danish rider Charlotte Lund.
"(Charlotte and I) ride a little bit the same, light in the hands and let them go. I saw her and knew that we would be a good match," Nusz said. "She's really typey and a little bit hot. The harder you ride her, the better she jumps. She's so careful, but she's so brave. She's one that if she gets stuck in a turn, she's ready to do her job and pushes herself and continues to the fence. She's so much fun to ride. We've been really successful, almost every class I've put her in she's been in the top ribbons."
This is the first time Nusz has been to the Jumper Classic. She said, "I love it. The weather, the grass field, the decorations, everything. They really cater to the exhibitors, and all of the spectators today is really nice!"
Seventeen-year-old Laura Hinsdale of Charlotte, VT, came home as the winner of the $3,000 Olinyk Show Stables Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic on her horse Woodstock, a seven-year-old gelding. They went first in the jump-off and set the winning pace in 35.475 seconds that could not be beat. Second place went to Rockstar and Tori Corts, who finished the jump-off in 36.333 seconds and no faults. Scaraberas and Alexa Adelson were third with a time of 37.654 seconds.
"I didn't get to watch anyone, but it was cool to feel out the course on my own," Hinsdale said of her first round ride. "I like that, just to be able to figure it out. I went first in the jump-off and it was nice to set my own pace and not go by anyone else's time. I did the five (strides) up the first line and then did a really forward six strides. I spun back fast to the last jump, and that made some time also."
Hinsdale has only been riding Woodstock since March, but this was her third time showing on a grass field with him. Hinsdale said that she is learning a lot from her horse. "He's my first horse doing the Low Junior Jumpers. It's been cool learning with him. He's been a great teacher," she said.
She described, "He's really compact and small, so he's really good at turning. He can just fire off the ground too. He's taught me to see where I am and trust myself because he's so trustworthy. He'll go and do whatever I ask him to do. It was really exciting to win here!"
The $1,500 Taylor Harris Insurance Services Adult Jumper Classic went next and saw the very first entry in the class return for the win after their fast jump-off ride at the end of the class. Laura Worthen of Hollis, NH, and Vera stopped the timers in 49.625 seconds with the only clear jump-off round. Second place went to Killigrew's Attraction and Tarik Sentissi, who had four faults in 49.173 seconds. Susan Powell and Tinka's Girl were third with a time of 50.333 seconds with four faults.
Worthen imported Vera, an eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, in 2008 from Holland and has been working with her since then on "rateability, adjusting her stride, and getting her to work with us," said Worthen. "She has a mind of her own!" But now, Worthen says, they work well together. "She's fast, she's clean, she's careful. We get along really well too," she agreed.
Going first in the jump-off, Worthen stuck to her plan. "We planned to do a lot of inside turns and a lot of galloping. She's really good with inside turns. I got lucky, I guess, that she was the only double clean in the jump-off," she revealed. "We've shown here three years, but this is our first win here. It's really fun to win here. I don't get to ride or show much because I'm in school now, so it's a really satisfying win."
Avery Vorwerk and Dulce de Leche were the fastest clear round in a jump-off of four entries to win the $1,500 Woodridge Farm Children's Jumper Classic. They had a time of 45.892 seconds to beat Nash and Olivia Trueb, who finished in 51.002 seconds. Third place went to Volare' and Rebecca Lituchy, who crossed the timers in 48.928 seconds with four faults.
Vorwerk, a 17-year-old rider from Greenwich, CT, has had the seven-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding for a year, having found him at last year's Jumper Classic. Although green when they started out, Vorwerk said the talented horse has grown throughout the past year.
"He's really come so far," she explained. "Each show has gone better and better. When we got him, he was kind of green. He really drifts left a lot, so it's taken some time to get him off my left leg and get him really round and relaxed when he goes in the ring. He's not spooky, but he looks for things that he can get away with."
Vorwerk had a simple plan for her jump-off. "I really wanted to be able to go as fast as I could. My trainer said to go all out, really plan the turns, and make the tightest turns," she said. "He's really careful, so we can really get away with going fast. He's small, so that helps us make the turns as well."
This was Vorwerk's first Classic win with Dulce de Leche, and she was excited to win at the Jumper Classic. "I love riding on the field here, and it was great that the lower divisions had two classes out there," she related. "It's so nice to win here, especially since the last few shows have been difficult. This is just really nice to come back and win here."
It has been a winning week for Darren Graziano's DG Venture, Inc. In today's $750 Fox Grove Studio Children's and Adult Farewell Class in Ring Two, Olivia Shahai rode into the winner's circle about Romano S owned by Cody Parker.
Shahai has been riding this horse for just a few weeks. She trains with Graziano and is relatively new to the show ring. "The course rode very nicely. The jump off was a bit more challenging for me, since there a few deceiving lines that made me want to move my horse up early. He is so good though and knows his job so well. That is super helpful as I am learning the keys to success in the ring and I am having so much fun," she said with a smile.
The Fidelity Investments Jumper Classic presented by Porsche concludes tomorrow with the $15,000 Equine Insurance Speed Stake presented by Great American followed by the $75,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix.
For more information and full results, please visit www.jumperclassic.com.
Final Results: $5,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic
158 Banana D'ive Z, Meagan Nusz: 0/0/41.473
133 Serval, Nicole Bellissimo: 0/0/42.022
194 Rascal, Ellie Knight: 0/0/43.499
124 Henry Jota Romano, Brittni Raflowitz: 0/4/42.123
64 Viper Van Het Bastynhof, Liz Mahoney: 0/4/44.268
10 Peaches, Jean Sheptoff: 0/25/63.604
255 Ramina, Alexandra Bartlett: 2/97.168
193 Codex-De-La-Vie, Julia Fowler: 4/92.883
109 Cassia Catalina, Britta Carlson: 4/93.094
26 Aracona Z, Sarah Flink: 7/98.192
111 Tarantel'la, Emily D'Alessandra: 8/96.000
37 Nerval de la Batia, Margaret Bopp: 8/99.017
Final Results: $3,000 Olinyk Show Stables Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic
138 Woodstock, Laura Hinsdale: 0/0/35.475
349 Rockstar, Tori Corts: 0/0/36.333
55 Scaraberas, Alexa Adelson: 0/4/37.654
49 Naram, Ariane Stiegler: 0/4/38.352
141 Sandy Lane, Danielle Stacy: 0/8/35.128
132 Lada, Pamela Nalefski: 0/8/43.100
323 Calmiro, Olivia Magliochet: 0/EL
213 Lyla, Randy Levesque: 2/94.434
113 Ulana, Alexis Stein: 4/83.623
275 Top Secret, Michael Janson: 4/85.705
205 Wintina Deux, Clementine Goutal: 4/87.601
184 Sovereign Mystery, Timothy Hooker: 4/88.641
Final Results: $1,500 Taylor Harris Insurance Services Adult Jumper Classic
224 Vera, Laura Worthen: 0/0/49.625
262 Killigrew's Attraction, Tarik Sentissi: 0/4/49.173
68 Tinka's Girl, Susan Powell: 0/4/50.333
82 Turbo, Jeanine Cash: 0/13/60.956
23 Palermo Park, Ahmed Alali: 0/26/65.751
340 George Goes To Hollywood, Jennifer Le Roy: 0/30/77.638
244 Foxgate's Joker, Christine Blair: 1/91.496
22 Fenway, Ahmed Alali: 4/83.704
313 Mamzelle, April Wehle: 4/84.411
221 Just Right, Amber Genest: 4/85.316
67 Windward's Tilia, Susan Powell: 4/88.715
350 Wendel, Katherine Hay: 8/90.063
Final Results: $1,500 Woodridge Farm Children's Jumper Classic
269 Dulce de Leche, Avery Vorwerk: 0/0/45.892
196 Nash, Olivia Trueb: 0/0/51.002
66 Volare', Rebecca Lituchy: 0/4/48.928
118 Papillon, Olivia Hupy: 0/10/57.693
353 Roxanna, Shelly Holroyd: 4/84.961
270 Rora-Peternella, Avery Vorwerk: 4/94.130
105 Papagino 007, Lyndsey Burns: 4/98.272
172 Chevere LS, Rachel Salera: 12/102.445
291 Bantry Bay, Abby Bertelson: 13/103.266
The Fidelity Investments Jumper Classic presented by Porsche, now in its 21st year, annually attracts some of the nation's most elite equestrian athletes as well as international competitors. The show offers five days of competition and culminates in the premier event, the $75,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix, held on one of the top grass grand prix fields on the east coast. For more information on the Fidelity Investments Jumper Classic presented by Porsche, please visit www.jumperclassic.com.
Photos: Meagan Nusz and Banana d'Ive Z, Laura Hinsdale and Woodstock, Laura Worthen and Vera and Avery Vorwerk and Dulce de Leche
Photo Credit: Flashpoint Photography