BRIDGEHAMPTON, NY (September 1, 2001) - Young rider Paige Johnson had a dream of a trip on Just Dreamin' to take first place in the $15,000 WGHR Farm's Jumper Classic (High) in the grand prix ring at the 26th Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show.
Paige, who will turn 16 this month, rode both Just Dreamin', a 9-year-old chestnut mare, and Reddy-Teddy, a gray German warmblood, in the Jumper Classic. She retired "Teddy" from the class after he pulled a rail. The hard ground was affecting his jump, she said.
Paige, who is from Washington, DC, said the Jumper Classic course held no surprises for her.
"I've been doing this for a long time," she said. "It was nothing that I haven't experienced before, but you had to ride every part of it. You can't relax. You have to try every minute."
Paige will compete again Sunday, Sept. 2, in the $25,000 Calvin Klein Show Jumping Derby, hoping to win it back to back. In 2000, she won the Derby aboard the diminutive Dominique, a 15-hand, 1-inch tall mare who once belonged to U.S. Equestrian Team veteran Beezie Madden. On Sunday, she will try again with Dominique.
Limited to just two mounts in the Derby, Paige also will ride Beach Bum, a chestnut Dutch Warmblood.
"He has a big look," Paige said of the 16 hand, 1 inch, horse. "And a big jump."
Paige's parents, Sheila and Robert Johnson, are big supporters of equestrian sports, working to help the grand prix riders of the future by joining the U.S. Equestrian Team and other organizations in sponsoring competition for talented young riders at horse shows across the country. Their television network, BET, sponsored the BET/USET show Jumping Talent Search for riders under 21 on Tuesday at the Hampton Classic Horse Show.