TAMPA, FL-July 30, 2001- Three riders sit atop the leader boards in the National Horse Sports Foundation Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series.
Danielle Torano of Fort Lauderdale, FL leads the East Conference with 115 points; Chrissy Renz of Lake Geneva, WI leads the Central Conference with 41 points; and Morgan Fauth of Wayzata, MN leads the West Conference with 43 points.
East Conference Action
Danielle Torano and Lojana dominated July's East Conference action. Her two wins and a second place finish propelled her into the top position of the leader board with 115 points. Paige Rassas, who has led for most of the Series, slipped to the second slot with 60 points.
Soggy weather caused the cancellation of July's first series competition at the Lake Placid Horse Show. The following week was much brighter for Danielle Torano and Lojana, who assumed the lead in the standings with her win at the I Love New York Horse Show. Sarah Willeman of Hamilton, MA and Lapeti garnered second place honors, while Jenny Ross of Kennesaw, GA and San Sell Sofia finished third.
The following three weeks of competition were held during the Vermont Summer Festival. In week one, at the Manchester Summer Festival, a field of seven competitors advanced to the jump-off from a field of 24. Amy Shafmaster of Portsmouth, NH and Rico set the early time to beat with a clear round in 50.336 seconds. Four other competitors proceeded to turn in clear rounds, but it was Southampton, New York's Vanessa Stevenson's quick time of 47.628 seconds that secured her first win of the Jumper Classic Series with Fortunato. Caitlin Venezia of Marstons Mills, MA and Maykel finished close behind in second with a time of 47.637, followed by Shafmaster in third. At the Manchester Classic, Torano increased her Conference lead with her second win of the month. Riding Lojana, she defeated ten jump-off competitors. Cayce Harrison of Burr Ridge, IL and Jashar finished second. Venezia's third place finish aboard Maykel moved her into third place in the overall standings with 54 points.
Anna McNight of Whitehall, MD and her horse, Marina took top honors at The Valley Classic. McNight posted one of three clean jump-off rounds, and her time of 40.482 seconds was enough to topple Torano and Lojana, who finished second in 41.729 seconds. Willeman took third place honors aboard Navaro with a time of 48.933 seconds. Central Conference Action Chrissy Renz maintained her lead in the Central Conference after the Series' three events in July. At the Merrill Lynch Hunter Jumper Classic, 7 of 22 competitors advanced to the jump-off. With several riders going clean, the pressure was on to see who could turn in the fastest round. Laura Steffee of Wellington, FL rose to the challenge and turned in a clean, fast round in 33.449 seconds to claim the win aboard Idole Du Chateau. They edged out Michael Morrissey of Bradenton, FL and Gera who finished close behind in 33.543 seconds. Sarah Burton of Ann Arbor, MI and Memphis Minnie took third place honors with a clean ride in 34.661 seconds.
The following week at the Turfway Classic, it was Amy Van Houten's turn to take the spotlight. The Chatham, NJ-rider and her horse, Alma Cogan, turned in the first of only two clear rounds in the seven-competitor jump-off and won with a time of 40.035 seconds. Her victory also launched her into second place in the Conference standings. Sherri Wenal of West Palm Beach, FL and Concerto also rode clean but earned one time fault to finish second. Gina Mancuso of New Hope, PA and Tellus took third with four faults in 36.514 seconds.
At the Greater Cincinnati Classic, the first round ultimately named the winner, as no rider posted a clean round. Kate Bomgaars of Rochester, MN and Jupiter took the blue with three faults in 80.951 seconds. Erin Haas of Ann Arbor, MI and Mir finished second with four faults in 73.048 seconds, followed by Rassas of Northfield, IL and Billy with four faults in 73.747 seconds.
West Conference Action
Morgan Fauth moved to the top of the West Conference leader board with her solid performances in July. Riding Winston Stables' Cohiba, she claimed her first Conference victory of the year at the Rocky Mountain Classic. Megan Kindred of Fairview, TX and her Commissar finished close behind in second, followed by Allison Kroff of Mesa, AZ and her Camus in third. At the Colorado Summer Classic, Summer Bruington of Boerne, TX was one of five competitors from a field of 27 to advance to the jump-off. Her fault-free ride in 36.144 seconds was enough to defeat Lynn Tron of Mexico and Puertas Amaranto, who rode clean in 40.269 seconds. Fauth and Cohiba turned in a quicker time of 34.279 seconds, but their four faults dropped them to third place.
Overall, Fauth sits atop the leader board with 43 points, followed by Bruington with 34 points and Megan Kindred of Fairview, TX with 30 points. The NHSF Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series, which runs February through November, is divided into three geographical conferences: the East Conference hosting 22 shows, the Central Conference hosting 8 shows and the West Conference hosting 5 shows. Conference point standings are calculated separately and updated after all shows. At the end of the series, a championship is awarded for each conference with East and Central Conference champions honored at the National Horse Show in New York and the West Conference champion honored at the Los Angeles National Horse Show in Burbank, CA.
The Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series gives Amateur-Owner and junior riders an opportunity to compete at higher levels and serves as a proving ground for riders who aspire to someday represent the United States in international competition. The focus of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. is to encourage broader interest and participation in the equestrian sport of show jumping, as well as to educate the equestrian and non-equestrian alike by sharing the sport's lore, fundamentals, history and greatest achievements. The National Horse Sports Foundation (NHSF) is a publicly supported charitable and educational organization whose purposes include providing financial and technical support for amateur equestrian programs for adults and children including therapeutic riding and competitions for the disabled. For more information about the 2001 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series, please visit the Show Jumping Hall of Fame website at www.showjumpinghalloffame.net.
For more information about the National Horse Sports Foundation, please call (914) 454-5555.