Conyers, GA-March 30, 2011- Spring has sprung and Summer is just around the corner! The Classic Company has two weeks of horse showing not to be missed, with increased prize money, new classes and an array of special events. “We’ve taken many of our exhibitors’ suggestions and made them into reality for the Summer Classics. I believe they’ll be as excited as we are with the results.” Bob Bell of Classic Company said.
Hunter riders will take center stage during the first week, designated a World Champion Hunter Rider event, the highlight will be the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. “We actually started these big money classes for the hunters a few years back before the inception of the Derby with our Classics, so I’m delighted that we can offer the high purses again. And the scope of talent we have in these events are hands down some of the best in our sport- we’re honored to host them.” Bell said. Both weeks of competition will also offer the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Classic. “This Classic has become such a poplar way for our riders to work towards their goal of competing in the big Derby, because its format is very similar. Our course designers try to give them a genuine feel of it through the layouts and style of the fences.” Bell stated. The popular Atlanta Cup Equitation for both Horses and Ponies returns for both weeks of competition.
Speaking of Pony riders, new this summer will be the Emerson Burr Grant. Open to competitors in any of the following sections, Children’s Pony Hunter, Regular Pony Hunter, Green Hunter Pony, USEF Pony Medal, or Pony Jumpers. Participants are divided into four age groups: 8 & Under, 9-11, 12-14, and 15-17. Each will take a multiple choice written test on horsemanship provided by USEF-usually 15 to 20 questions. The top four scores in each age group then advance to the hands on horsemanship challenge requiring competitors to demonstrate horsemanship with a pony- such as proper way to use leg wraps, assemble a bridle or similar tasks. An overall winner will be chosen from each age group and receive a $100 grant from USEF which can used for educational or equestrian related expenses.
And for the junior riders, there will be the return of the Grand Puba Junior Hunter Classic during week two. Using a numerical judging system, competitors’ accumulated points will be posted at the Horse Show Office at the end of each day; in turn these points are added to each of the respective Junior Classics to determine ultimate winners. A Grand Puba Champ from each of the sections; Small 15 & Under, Small 16-17, Large 15 & Under, and Large 16-17 will be awarded a Gift Certificate for an Essex Classics Shirt. An overall Supreme Grand Puba Junior Hunter Champion will be selected based upon total points garnered from all divisions; this Champion will also receive a special cooler and be featured in a full page congratulatory ad provided by Flashpoint Photography to appear in The Chronicle of the Horse.
Show Jumpers will also see an increase in their prize earnings this summer. For the Grand Prix competitors the jackpot is rising to $35,000 and $5000 Welcome Stakes each week. “Simply put, we just want to reward our exhibitors and nothing spells appreciation like cash!” laughed Bell. There’s also an infusion of big dollars for jumper competitors in the Open Meter 1.40 with $5,000 up for grabs. Junior and Amateur Owners’ purses will be on the rise as well, offering a $5,000 Meter 1.25 Jumper Classic and a $10,000 Meter 1.40 Jumper Classic. So too are the Children and Adult divisions, each offering a $3,000 NAL/WIHS Meter 1.10 Jumper Classic.
Adding to the fun side of these events week two will play host to a $3,500 Gamblers Choice presented during the 14th Annual Outback Steakhouse Charity Dinner, this year benefitting The Hope Clinic of Georgia. “Partnering with Outback each year to give back to this community is something important to everyone at Classic Company. We’ve enjoyed many years in Conyers, the people here have become somewhat of an extended family and we believe in taking care of family.” Bell said. The Gamblers Choice and Outback Steakhouse Charity dinner will be held on June 24th at 6:30PM in the Charles Walker Arena at the Horse Park. Singles tickets are $25 or a table of 8 for $200 and can be purchased prior to or during the horse show by contacting Becky Miles at 770-962-0311 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More additions for the Summer Classics are of an educational interest, sponsored by Classic Company, two free clinics will be offered on Tuesday June 21st. First up the USHJA Water Jumping Clinic with professional rider-trainer Wilhelm Genn. Based out of Lebanon, OH Genn is one of the most notable show jumping figures in the sport and considered a most knowledgeable teacher. The second session offered will be the USHJA Pony Model Clinic hosted by Bibby Hill of Ocala, FL based Don Stewart Stables. Hill’s resume of national pony titles is one of the most respected in the industry. “We couldn’t have hoped for better clinicians, both are experts in these fields and exhibitors are in for a genuine treat!” Bell said.
The Atlanta Summer Classics begin June 15th at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, GA for 2 weeks of exciting fun and competition! To learn more about 2011 Atlanta Summer Classics please visit www.classiccompany.com or call the office at 843.768.5503. To book hotel or condo reservations please contact Connections at 800-262-9974.
Photo: Elizabeth Boyd & Brunello ©Flashpoint Photography.