Syracuse, NY - Today was the opening day of the Junior/Amateur owner jumper divisions at the Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament where the divisions will compete for the next three days for over $75,000 in prize money. The focus today for the riders and their horses was speed where any falling rails were converted into extra time and a fast round could make up for a mistake made on the course.
The afternoon started with 42 entries in the Equine Body Works Low Junior/A-O Jumper Speed class. This very competitive class had Patricia Hennessy and Little Tom secure the win with a blazing time of 48.122, followed closely by Molly Newsome and Touch and Go for 2nd in 52.380 seconds. That time was good enough to edge Shannon Spencer and Markos for 3rd place with a time of 52.752.
Next was the Market Street Medium Junior/A-O Jumper Speed. This was the largest class of the night with 44 entries and the fast pace caused several horses to lose their riders on the course. In the end, Frances Land and Houston ended up on top finishing in a speedy time of 56.173 edging both Audrey Coulter on October for second and Laura Pfeiffer and Thorstin for 3rd place with a time of 58.346.
The Thursday night competition concluded with The Dutta Corporation $10,000 High Junior/A-O Speed class. The high stakes forced the thirty-two entries to go all-out in this competitive class and led to more thrills and spills as riders tried to have the fastest time. In the end, the top three competitors finished with close times. Karen Polle and her horse Whatever were last to go in the class, but navigated the course in a time of 51.678 for the victory. That win was vindication for an early ride where Karen had trouble remaining mounted on her other horse Cachette Z. Audrey Coulter and Rodenburghs California I finished close behind with a time of 53.015 for second while placing them ahead of Jocelyn Neff and Gaja 20 3rd place with their time of 53.472.
Highlights of the 2010 Invitational Tournament include the $100,000 Detwiler Fenton FEI World Cup Qualifier of Syracuse presented by G & C Farm, the $80,000 Sporthorse Cup presented by Copernicus Stables, the NEW Atlas Fence Local Competition Day, the National Horse Show ASPCA Maclay Championship, the $60,000 Spy Coast Farm High Junior/Amateur- Owner Jumper Championship and the NEW $50,000 Hunter Classic presented in honor of Charlie Weaver.
Competition tickets are on sale for the Syracuse Invitational through the Oncenter Box Office (315-435-2121) and Ticketmaster. There is a comprehensive schedule of events, activities and competitions for the entire family throughout the week and most of them are FREE. For a full list of events and updates to the schedules visit www.SyracuseInvitational.com.
The Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament is a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit organization that benefits Cornell University Equine Hospital and Vera House.
The National Horse Show was founded in 1883 at the original Madison Square Garden, the National Horse Show is America's oldest indoor horse show and as a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit organization, provides financial aid to many worthwhile charities. For more information on the National Horse Show, please visit www.nhs.org.
Photo Credit: Karen Polle and Whatever were victorious in the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers the Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament featuring the 127th National Horse Show. Photo By: Alyson Sanderford/PMG.