Hampton Falls, New Hampshire - Two new course designers will give the 2012 Jumper Classic equestrian show jumping competition a whole new international flair when the event comes to Hampton Falls, New Hampshire from August 8-12. Olaf Petersen, Jr., acclaimed course designer from Munich, Germany, will test the skill of riders competing on the grass Grand Prix field in the highest level classes, including the $12,000 USB Welcome Stake, $3,500 D.G. Ventures Speed Derby, $12,000 Speed Derby, $15,000 Equine Insurance Services Speed Stake, and $75,000 Fidelity Investments Jumper Classic.
Petersen has designed courses or served as technical delegate at more Olympic, Pan-Am, Asian and World Equestrian Games, World Cup Finals, European Championships, and Nations Cups than any other course designer in the history of show jumping. In the U.S., Petersen has designed courses in Wellington, Tampa, Ocala, Lake Placid and he will design the course for the Pfizer Million in Saugerties this year.
What can riders at The Jumper Classic look forward to in an Olaf Petersen course? I believe in free forward riding, especially on a big grass field like this show - these are ideal conditions for me. The challenge is to test the ride-ability of the horse and how good the coordination is between rider and horse. Our sport has so many options and different tasks and I try to prove the whole variety during a show, Petersen said. "I love grass fields even though it is more work for us course designers as we have to take much more care and have to move the jumps from the spots after each class. It just looks much better and for me it is the origin and history of our sport. For me as a rider there was nothing better to show on a big grass field.
"Jackie Leemon will be Ring 2 and 3 course designer with a full schedule of classes ranging from 0.80 meter to 1.30 meter. Leemon is only one of a few course designers who is also actively competing. A USEF licensed official r jumper course designer since 2008, she is based out of Wellington, Florida in winter at her Victory Lane Farm. She has Grand Prix ribbons from competitions all over the U.S. Internationally, she has had the opportunity to compete in Hickstead, England, Valenswaard, Holland and Spruce Meadows, Canada. She has designed courses at the Winter Equestrian Festival as well as at smaller shows in the middle Atlantic region. In 2012, she will be course designing for the ESP Spring Circuit.
Leemon is very enthusiastic about returning to The Jumper Classic for the opportunity to design courses for her own rings. "Last year I assisted Tony D'Ambrosio in the main ring, and previously worked with Linda Allen in the main ring as well," she said. In previous years, she has competed at The Jumper Classic. Leemon has studied with some of the greatest professionals in the business including Liz Young Vann, Hap Hansen, Margie Goldstein, Frank and Mary Chapot, and for the last 20 years with Norman Dello Joio.
"It's quite an honor to have Olaf Petersen design courses for the Coldwell Banker Previews Grand Prix field this year. This is the first time he will have come to the New England area, and we're thrilled he will bring this level of internationally-recognized expertise to our show," said Melissa Lovasco, President and CEO of The Jumper Classic. "We're thrilled to have the enthusiasm and expertise as well as first-hand experience of Jackie Leemon, who has been competing over jumps for many years and has been a part of The Jumper Classic as both a competitor and course designer assistant here."
For more information about the event, please visit www.jumperclassic.com or call 978.283.7708.