Five Classics Highlight Saturday Schedule at the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament

Sunday, August 17, 2014
Posted by Kenneth Kraus for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International


Randy Levesque and Aleeta S.  Photo by Kenneth Kraus/PhelpsSports
Randy Levesque and Aleeta S. Photo by Kenneth Kraus/PhelpsSports

Halifax, MA - August 16, 2014 - Another gorgeous New England day set the stage for five Classics on the Saturday schedule at the Silver Oak Jumper Classic in Halifax, MA. Beautiful sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-70's with low humidity made for perfect conditions as the Masters, Children, Adults and Junior/Amateurs took center stage on the Unicorn Landing Farm Grand Prix Field.

Germany's Olaf Petersen Jr. is here for the second year in a row to build the tracks in the main ring. Today, he faced a wide variety of competitors of different skill levels and came up with some great tracks, different for each section throughout the day.  The Masters Classic was the first to go this morning at 9 am and saw 10 entries take the field.

Randy Levesque rode Aletta S to victory. A brand new mount for Levesque, they posted a dominating win. "I own Insurance Services and I am a sponsor and an exhibitor and I am a dear friend of Jeff Papows," Levesque said. "I just bought Aletta S. I've only had her for a couple of weeks and I have been really happy with her and this is definitely a good start. I think the course ran great, I mean its Olaf, how could it not?" he laughed. "I think we made up the time because we were running, we were really moving out there."

Finishing second was Ever and owner rider Alison Finger. Third place went to Grace Farm's Sabrina and fourth place honors were dealt to Carlito. Jeff Papows, the defending champion in the Masters Classic, had what he termed, "a senior moment" at just the wrong time. He and his talented mount Eurostar went off course in the tiebreaker to settle for fifth place on the day.

Charles Jacobs atop the podium with Siobhan Hardiman (left) and Aly Howard (right). Photo by Kenneth Kraus/PhelpsSports
Charles Jacobs atop the podium with Siobhan Hardiman (left) and Aly Howard (right). Photo by Kenneth Kraus/PhelpsSports

The High Children's Top Ten featured the best ten (or nine in this case) from their qualifying classes earlier in the week. For many of the riders in the Children's and in the Adult Top Ten, it was their first time ever riding on a big, grass grand prix field. Intimidating for sure, but most riders handled the new experience in fine fashion.

That was certainly the case with the winner of the Children's Top Ten, Charles Jacobs and his talented partner Campesino IV. Going up against four others in the jump-off, Jacobs won by almost six seconds. Racing across the finish line in 29.860 seconds, he was all alone at the top of the charts.

Second place finisher, also clear, but in a time of 34.790 seconds was Siobhan Hardiman aboard Two Ways.

Aly Howard and Empire. Photo by Kenneth Kraus/PhelpsSports
Aly Howard and Empire. Photo by Kenneth Kraus/PhelpsSports

The biggest heartbreak of the day was for third place finisher Alexandra Howard. You might have read our featured article on Aly who traveled nearly 5000 miles to compete at Silver Oak. Based on the big island of Hawaii, she qualified for the finals on Empire, a wonderful big grey horse from Peter Leone. And today, she had the time to beat Charles Jacobs, but just rolled the rail at the very last fence on the course. Her finish time was an impressive 29.350 seconds, 5/10ths ahead of Jacobs, but the four faults would relegate her to a third place finish. She was happy with her result and her mom Wendy brought real Hawaiian leis for almost anybody that wanted one.

"I've been riding Campesino since November last year and things have been going really well," said winner Charles Jacobs. "I approached the course carefully after looking it over. I was just shooting for a clear round. I want to send a thank you to Linda Smith and Ed Copland for their help. I've been training with Linda for eight years and Ed gave me a great pep talk right before going in the arena," he said.

Fourth place went to Victory and Katherine Benard with four faults in 31.724 seconds. Copyright and rider Oliver Ritter settled for fifth place with the fastest four fault time over the first round course. Rounding out the top six was Oliver and his second mount, who had four plus a time fault in round one.

Alexandra Cherubini and Equifit Carlos. Photo by Anne Gittins
Alexandra Cherubini and Equifit Carlos. Photo by Anne Gittins

In the High Adult Top Ten Classic, it was Alexandra Cherubini dominating the class with an impressive first and second place finish. Riding her long time partner Equifit Carlos, Cherubini raced home in 29.163 seconds for the win and in a real show of consistency, finished second with Equifit Cayenne 178 just 5/10ths of a second slower in 29.635 seconds.

"I'm such a lucky girl with those two horses," she said following her victory gallop. "Equifit Carlos, I've had for about three years. I got him when he was about eight and now he's 11. He has been phenomenal and has never let me down. He has gone everywhere and has always been amazing."

Regarding her second place mount, Cherubini said, "We first tried Equifit Cayenne last summer and I started showing her at the end of December last year. She's great, she's eight years old and she's very game without being spooky at all. Every day she comes out, she's the same and she is a blast to ride. She gives you a great feeling," she smiled.  

Then, comparing the two horses, she noted, "I am a little bit more comfortable on Carlos, and I'm a little bit more tentative with Cayenne because I am just getting to know her and she is a little bit green. I do think that she will eventually beat her brother though."

"I think the show is great," Cherubini said of Silver Oak. "The facility is amazing; you can tell that there was a lot of hard work put into it. I grew up outside of Boston so I grew up showing here and so I've seen it through the years. I think it's fantastic and the footing has been incredible. It's really a treat to have such great prizes and ceremonies. It's been a great week and the weather has been spectacular," she said in conclusion.

Third place finisher Tattie Singer and her mount Zia just missed the mark, crossing the finish line just 9/10ths of a second slower than Cherubini and Equifit Cayenne, and 1.3 seconds behind Carlos. Singer's time was 30.501 seconds.

Lindsay Strafuss and Amyra V were fourth with a fault-free round in 31.400 seconds. Fifth went to Diago, piloted by Jennifer Platt, also clear, but a couple of seconds slower in 32.853 seconds. The top six was completed with Finnegan and Jody Kelly. They had a time of 29.443 seconds. That would have been good enough for second place had they gone clear.

The Junior/Amateurs were next on the agenda with the Low Classic and High Classics. The Low Classic had 34 starters. Of those 34, eighteen went clear to jump again.

Cody Parker and Ambitious. Photo by Anne Gittins
Cody Parker and Ambitious. Photo by Anne Gittins

Leading the victory gallop in the Low's were Cody Parker and Ambitious. The pair produced a double clear round in a speedy 38.841 seconds for the win. Parker was just fast enough to edge out second place finisher Susan Strecker and Vancouver who raced around the course in 39.129 seconds. Just 7/10ths of a second slower than Strecker was third place finisher Amanda Gunthel and Laracon who tripped the timers in 39.896 seconds.

"Ambitious is such a special girl," smiled Parker. "She is home bred and I have been with her from the beginning. We have been coming to Silver oak for a while, in fact, since she was five, which would make it a few years now. We always seem to come home with one of the coolers so I really think she enjoys the courses and the show," she said. "I really like the show's new location and we have been very lucky with such beautiful weather."

In the winner's circle, Cody said to the second place, Susan Strecker, "You were really making me nervous! You guys were really flying around there." "Well, my horse has one speed and that's 'hang on'" responded Strecker with a laugh.

Fourth place went to Carisco, owned and shown by Sarah Ryan. They broke the beams in 39.974 seconds. Fifth place was awarded to Society Again and rider Brian Sweeney with a clear round time of 40.055 seconds and Kenzie Snyder captured sixth aboard Waterloo in 40.499 seconds.

The final event of the long Saturday schedule was the High Junior Amateur Classic with 22 going to post. In this class, it looked like it was going to be a cakewalk to start, as five of the first seven went clear, but in the end, that was it for the jump-off, just those five horse and rider combinations. Brian and Debbie Dolan Sweeney each went clear over the fences, but both picked up time faults along the way. In the jump-off, only two riders were able to go clean a second time around.

Sara Ryan and Orleen. Photo by Anne Gittins
Sara Ryan and Orleen. Photo by Anne Gittins

Posting a 2.3 second win was Sarah Ryan and her long time partner Orleen, a spry 18 year-old who obviously loves his job. Ryan flashed across the finish line in 38.189 seconds to get by second place finishers Arturo and Kenzi Snyder. Snyder's time was 40.496 seconds. "I have three horses, but Orleen is, by far, my favorite," said Ryan. "I got Orleen when I was 13 and I am 24 now. He was my first jumper. We started off with Children's Jumpers and then we went all the way through the Grand Prix level. He has taken me from the beginning of my career to the highest you can go. He is 18 now and he is actually retiring after the Hampton Classic, so this is great for our second to last show," she said.

"We started going to Silver Oak when it was at its old location in New Hampshire and this is my first time at the Fieldstone location. I love it," Ryan noted. "The field is great and the footing holds up really well. They definitely have put a lot of effort into this show and have invested a lot in it."

Explaining the way today's class panned out, with the five going clear early, Ryan said, "I think that some of the riders in the beginning had a better sense of the fact that the time was really tight. I think that became an issue later on in the class because a lot of people were getting time faults."

And regarding her jump-off win today, Ryan explained, "My horse is really fast in the air and I think that it makes a huge difference in jump offs like these. I don't think that you could make up a lot of time on the course because there were a lot of turns and careful aspects. The horses the take more time in the air with a more attractive jump sometimes have a disadvantage in the jump off because they have more air time. My horse actually rubbed a few rails because he really just skims over the jumps," she said.

Third place went to the fastest four faulter, Navy Blue Tarroy and rider Alec Bozorgi. With 4 on the scoreboard, their time was 42.859 seconds. Fourth was Paraguana Des Dames and Hayley Carlson with 4 faults in 43.176 seconds. And fifth place went to Amstel E and Lauren Mahoney who were eliminated after they parted company in the jump-off.

So, that brings us to Super Sunday tomorrow with a massive 58 horse field in the D G Ventures Mini Prix at 9:30am and then the $75,000 Agero Grand Prix in the afternoon.

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